Paris Canal Saint Martin – Copyright Carla Coulson
“Paris is romantic, dirty, warm, kind, rude, enchanting, frustrating, heavenly, infuriating and impossibly beautiful - if you can’t see the beauty in Paris you must be blind.”.
This was Toro’s, my black and white printer’s definition of Paris when I asked him years ago what he thought of Paris.
I was still trying to find my feet in a city that I didn’t understand. I loved his definition and often when I am walking around Paris spying beauty or getting ignored at my local boulangerie I think of his words!!
It certainly wasn’t love at first sight, my heart wasn’t thumping or I wasn’t going weak at the knees. I had to scratch the surface of Paris and dig deep into its layers to get it. Some, fall in love with Paris the first time they put their Louboutins on her cobblestones, others who have arrived from Latin countries (moi) are reeling with the off-hand behaviour and the cold..
But just like Mark Darcy who won over the hilarious Bridget, Paris got her claws into me!! And they are well and truly stuck.. I know so many of you out there who are gah gah for Paris and if you want to take a little bit of Paris home this Christmas here are some of the things I love about Paris.
A friend of mine was working in an Italian restaurant in Paris when Alain Ducasse walked in and sat down for dinner. The owner instantly recognised Mr Ducasse and as any restaurant would (if one of the best chef’s in the world came for dinner) went into a flap. Mr Ducasse was researching J’aime Paris, the above book so when I received it as a gift I knew that his favourite Parisian addresses had been test driven by the man himself.
I love this book!! I have since given to other friends who love Paris and eating! What is great about this book is the restaurants aren’t all Michelin star joints, they even have my local falafel shop in it.. The second best thing is the little red book with all the addresses in J’aime Paris that comes with this weighty volume that one can tuck into your handbag and have it whenever the restaurant questions comes up!!
Paris loves Ines de la Fressange. Fashion muse and effortlessly stylish Parisian this is a little book about how to dress, shop and look like a Parisian.. If you want the look check out Parisian Chic.
I loved Sue Roe’s Book, The Private Lives of the Impressionists.. Ohh the struggle. On bad days when I think this photography thing is hard I just read through a chapter of The Private Lives of the Impressionist and bingo, I feel better.
Boy were their lives tough and what a struggle to convince the establishment that their new style was not only beautiful but also saleable. I always think of Camille Pissaro when I see one of his paintings and admire his persistance - he held onto the end. He never gave up painting yet he lived his entire life in poverty and died poor. A shout out for Pissaro!!
Paris by Cedric Klapisch
I remember watching Paris and thinking this is as close to real life in Paris as I have seen on the big screen. Beautifully shot, director Cedric Klapisch interweaves stories in a beautiful and heart warming way. Of course the fabulous Juliette Binoche is a pleasure to watch as is the marvellous Paris seen through Klapisch’s eyes..
Ohh soooo easy to watch the beautiful Audrey Tatou in Coco before Chanel. Cast as the young Coco Chanel, Audrey Tatou is effortlessly stylish and so damn beautiful!! This film gives a wonderful insight into how Coco really changed the way us women dress. If you love fashion and France you will adore Coco before Chanel.
Keep the carambars away from me!! It might be the five year-old within (who is always trying to get out) but I am addicted to these caramel bars.. Carambars are on sale everywhere in Paris which makes resisting them difficult! Good luck..
Converse are to Parisians what thongs are to the Aussies – essential footwear. You can wear your Converse to the opera, the fashion shows or to museums and nobody would bat an eyelid. I have them in red and black and where them with everything.. They are the new Hermes scarf??
Wishing and hoping and praying one day I will have a little of France’s most celebrated crystal, Baccarat
on my table to make washing the champagne bubbles down so much smoother!! Loving these Champagne flutes!!
For all of those of you who are checking out now I want to say many thanks for all your wonderful support this year for my blog, my photos and my books. I wish all you all lots of love and happiness during the holiday period and look forward to seeing you back here in the New Year. For those of you staying around.. stay tuned.
If you want to check out more cool French stuff for Christmas have a look here. If you want to have a look at some of my Italian Christmas Look here. And if you want to see what Vicki Archer has in her Christmas hampers have a look here.