Monday, 15 April 2013

Frames and Paris

I can tell that North Somerset Arts Week must be getting near because all of a sudden the emphasis is on frames. I now have 7 things in frames, picking up 4 more tomorrow, and can properly believe that they are really works of art and not just woolly rags. Here is a taster (please, more than ever before, forgive the appalling photography: not easy with glass reflections and getting in the right place to take a decent picture):-

I haven't found anywhere to put them yet and I can tell that just having them near the front door for the last two days is annoying my other half, no words exchanged as yet but it won't be long. However he is off to Paris and will be gone for two nights so I'm keeping them out for a bit longer so that I can keep checking on their gorgeousness until he's on the plane home.

So Paris for a full 24 hours and he is wasting it with a sheet-metal trade fair. I could SO do it better. For one thing I am fluent in French and he can barely muster up a "merci". And I could really use that time wisely. I have such a great list of things I could do and the Eiffel Tower would not feature at all:-

  • E. Dehillerin: the best, most old-fashioned and bizarre kitchenware shop I've ever seen, wooden paddles for beating aligot (mashed potato with more cheese and garlic than you could shake a, erm, wooden paddle at) in every size imaginable from handbag-size to something you could row a boat with, cast iron pans, copper pans, whisks in more sizes than anyone would ever need, moulds for everything you could imagine and then about a hundred more.
  • La Droguerie: The most beautiful shop full of ribbons, buttons, beads, lace, yarn
    and cute necklace kits.
  • Alleosse: the most renowned cheese shop in all of Paris, where we were given our receipt with all the cheese names on and told to go to the wine shop next door where they would pick out the perfect bottle of wine to accompany them (and they were right).
  • The Musee Marmottan: the loveliest and least heard of museum, full of room upon room of Monet's waterlilies, a feast for the eyes. And I have a vague memory of the most remarkable patisserie and cafe on the way back to the metro station.
  • Chez Allard: I can't remember much about my starter or main course when I ate there but the cheeseboard came and was a great flat basket the size of a truck wheel and it had at least 25 different sorts of cheese on it, some of which were nearly dripping off the sides. 
  • Aux Deux Canards: the loveliest restaurant bizarrely themed around oranges - vin d'orange, duck a l'orange, a lesson on making "miel d'orange", a concoction of orange peel and sugar kept in a jar for months as a cooking ingredient to be added to white wine (to make vin d'orange) or to a duck sauce. And a very masterful and memorable front-of-house guy (named Gerard if I remember correctly) who would talk you through the menu on a blackboard at great length with a pointy stick. I hope he's still there.
  • The food market on rue de Buci. Piles of wild mushrooms, seafood, charcuterie to dream of, the powerful fragrances of ripe fruit - when do we ever smell ripe fruit in England?
Oh dear I've just seen that my list only includes one thing that doesn't mention food. It also sounds like one hell of a twenty-four hours. Maybe a trip to the sheet-metal trade fair might be easier on the stomach.

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