Café Plume – A Pleasurable Necessity

Food, In Paris

‘Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity’ – Voltaire 

I couldn’t agree with Voltaire more; I love food and the pleasure that it brings.  In fact dining and indulging in French cuisine is one of my most favourite things to do in Paris.  A day spent wandering through Parisian streets, exploring and experiencing all that Paris has to offer, is made even better by enjoying a delicious meal at one of its many bistros, brasseries, restaurants and cafés.  Paris is literally full of them.  The French take their food very seriously and it certainly shows.  There is something so luxurious about just being there, in the moment, soaking up the amazing atmosphere that only belongs to Paris.  A time to sit and recharge, to watch the world go by, relaxing and anticipating the delights and decadence of the dishes to come. 



On an incredibly hot summer day in July, I found myself walking down rue Saint-Honoré in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, on my way to explore some of Paris’s famous covered passages.  In need of a well deserved rest from hours of flanneuring, I decided to take a break and have some lunch first.


A fine spray mist from above to help with the summer heat

Before I start, let me put this into perspective, when visiting Paris I eat all of my meals out.  That’s breakfast, lunch AND dinner… maybe even (very possibly…..OK…..more than likely…..OK definitely), a pastry and a coffee in the afternoon.  I always stay in hotels and don’t have any use for a kitchen.  When I’m on holidays, you certainly won’t find me cooking.  It gives me an excuse to take every self indulgent opportunity to enjoy as many culinary delights that I can.  You can’t count calories in Paris, there’s plenty of time for that at home.  I make a point of finding different places to try and rarely eat at the same place twice, unless it’s exceptionally good.  Now that adds up to a lot of different restaurants and I’ve decided to only write about Café Plume….that’s how good it is!


Quirky and whimsical menu


It’s the little details

As soon as I was seated, I started to take in my surroundings.  The first thing I noticed was that it was gorgeously eclectic in that perfectly French way.  A bookshelf behind me housed various old books and knick knacks and the ornate chandelier complemented the stunning black and white tiled floors and wonderfully wallpapered walls.  Even the menu itself was unusual and quirky, bound by a wooden rod reminiscent of a wand.  Café Plume is a charming mix of old and new that evokes interest and a sense of homeliness with a touch of glamour thrown into the mix.


Eclectic and tremendously French style –  warm and welcoming 


Gorgeous chandelier adds a touch of glamour and old world charm 


Black and white tiles & wallpaper – a perfect combination

Now for the really important bit, the food! It was so hard to choose what to order; everything on the menu looked equally and wonderfully appetising.  I am a sucker for chicken and creamy sauces so I stayed true to myself and ordered Le Paillard de Poulet – a delicious chicken dish with a creamy ginger sauce, onions and fresh coriander served with a smooth and buttery mashed potato.  Every morsel was a sheer delight to be savoured.  The flavours were so divine, rich and sumptuous that even though the serving size was generous, I didn’t want it to end.  


Le Paillard de Poulet – just divine!

Another thing I am a sucker for is dessert.  You can imagine the dilemma I found myself in when I literally could not decide between the range of famous Berthillon ice-creams on offer and one of my all time favourites, salted caramel cheesecake! I decided to ask an expert’s opinion and questioned my friendly server on such an important decision.  She didn’t hesitate for a second and replied in her charming French accent, ‘Without a doubt, the cheesecake. It is truly something special.’  Well, that was it!  The cheesecake it was to be!  Let me tell you that she wasn’t wrong.  I have never had a cheesecake as good as this, ever…period!  The texture of the filling was a cross between whipped cream and ice-cream, balanced with perfectly rich, smooth, salted caramel.  The word the comes to mind to describe it would be none other than heavenly!  It’s probably a good thing that I only discovered this wonderful restaurant on my last day in Paris or I may not have ever ventured away from the table.


Le cheesecake au caramel beurre salé – heavenly! I love how the plates tie in with the wallpaper

I now have a new favourite place to dine in Paris and I will definitely be a regular here on each future trip, happily breaking my ‘don’t eat anywhere twice’ rule.  I’m still daydreaming about the meal I had there and I have been back home for well over a month now.  Trust me, do yourself a favour and give it a try, you’ll be glad you did.  


I just love the decor – so French, so chic


Of course I had to explore upstairs!


Upstairs dining area – I could live right there and be happy

I’m sure if Voltaire was still alive, he would have been sitting at the table right next to mine enjoying such a pleasurable necessity right there with me!


A chair for Voltaire

Café Plume – 164 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001

Bisous de Paris 💋

A Night at the Palais Garnier


‘Close your eyes and let the music set you free’ –  ‘Music of the Night’, Phantom of the Opéra

As a young girl, I would sit and watch the ballerina in my jewellery box twirling round and round and I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to dance so gracefully.  It wasn’t just a jewellery box to me; winding it up and popping open the lid to see her pirouette to the clumsy, almost tinny rendition of Swan Lake gave me such joy.  From that moment on I dreamt of attending the ballet one day and envisioned it to be a magical moment.   

I decided long ago that my first ballet experience had to be at the Palais Garnier and performed by the Paris Opéra Ballet.  Why?   Well, the Paris Opéra Ballet was founded more than three centuries ago by Louis XIV and also happen to be one of the world’s greatest and oldest ballet companies. Anyone that knows me well can tell you that not only do I get excited by historical details such as these but I’m also just a little obsessed with Louis XIV and Versailles. Speaking of the Château de Versailles, it’s level of opulence and grandeur can be found at the Palais Garnier, so to me it was the perfect combination and choice.  


Breathtaking extravagance, opulence and grandeur everywhere


The dramatic lighting intensifies the grandeur, mystery and mood of  the Palais Garnier

As soon as I worked out when I could be in Paris again, I checked Garnier’s website hoping that this time I would be in luck.  The stars must have been aligned because a performance of La Fille mal gardée fit into my schedule perfectly. I was finally going to the  ballet!  I was thrilled!  Talk about dreams coming true!  It certainly was a pinch me moment. Tickets hadn’t even gone on sale yet so as an added bonus, I would be able to pick one of the best seats in the house!  If you plan on going to see a performance, I strongly recommend booking your tickets as early as you can so that you can do the same.  


My perfect seat – 2ème loge de face (2nd floor box)


Le Réprimande

La Fille mal gardée is set in provincial France and was inspired by a painting by Pierre-Antoine Baudouins (La Réprimande, 1789). It staged just days before the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and is one of the oldest works in the modern ballet repertoire.  I couldn’t have planned it better!  It seemed entirely appropriate and meaningful to make this my first ballet, seeing as I would be in Paris for la Fête Nationale (Bastille Day) and because I am so fascinated by that period.  Could it get any better than this?

La Fille mal gardée is a charming and amusing story centred around peasants Lise and Colas. They are in love and want to get married but Lise’s widowed mother Simone has already arranged for Lise’s marriage to Alain, the son of a rich landowner.  Simone takes every opportunity to stand in the way of the young lovers, trying to prevent their union but they obviously have other ideas.  What follows is a comedic tale filled with determination from all parties that will bring a smile to your face and many laughs from the audience.  I absolutely loved it.  My ballet experience was everything I had hoped for and more. The dancers were amazing, every move so graceful, and the music helped to make the story come to life. There were many clips on YouTube to chose from but I just loved the music to this one so much. It suited the story and feel of the ballet so wonderfully. Perfectly positioned in a box on the second level,  I couldn’t help but notice that the stage sets and colourful costumes mirrored and complemented the colours of the magnificent ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.

Attending the ballet at such a grand and opulent theatre was an experience I will never forget.   Sitting on red velvet chairs and being surrounded by gold with an eight tonne chandelier hanging above you really sets the tone. I have never seen such a level of grandeur and opulence in one place before.  I was literally blown away by its sheer beauty and jaw dropping magnificence.  It truly is incredible; with so much beauty everywhere, trying to take everything in at once was quite overwhelming. 


Sumptuous red velvet and gilding in the auditorium

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the Palais Garnier is just as lavish and opulent as the Château de Versailles, if not more so.   As you now know, I am a huge fan of Versailles and Louis XIV so that is really saying something.  The Grand Staircase has to be seen to be believed and  it’s Grand Foyer bears a striking resemblance to the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, making it almost impossible to pick a favourite.  To be honest, if you simply can’t fit Versailles into your schedule and are looking to be wowed by grandeur, luxury and opulence then you can’t go wrong substituting it with the Palais Garnier instead.


The Grand Foyer, Opéra Garnier


And the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles -equally stunning


Inauguration of the Paris Opéra in 1875

On the 14th of January, 1858, an attempt was made to assassinate Napoleon III.  Multiple bombs were thrown into the crowd by Italian anarchists as he arrived at l’Opéra le   Peletier, the opéra at the time.  It was a miracle that Napoleon III survived the attempt as eight people were killed and almost five hundred were injured in the explosion.  The very next day saw Napoleon III give orders for a new opéra house to be built with a safer entrance for his arrival.  The Palais Garnier was designed by Charles Garnier who was a relatively unknown architect at the time and took fifteen years to construct, opening in 1875. 

Unfortunately, Napoleon III died two years prior to it’s completion and he never got the chance to see or enjoy the opéra house he commissioned.

Thanks to The Phantom of the Opéra, the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, the Palais Garnier is probably the most famous opéra house in the world and is shrouded in mystery.  It is here that the story is set, a classic tale that is so intertwined with historic detail that it is hard to seperate fact from fiction.  There really was a chandelier related accident and the Phantom’s notorious Box Nº 5 does exist as does the Phantom’s lair, the underground tunnels and lake running underneath the building.  Unfortunately for Phantom of the Opéra fans, the lake is not open for viewing to the general public but rest assured it is put to good use by the city’s pompiers (firemen) for diver training.


A perfect juxtaposition of modern and classical; Marc Chagall’s controversial fresco and the famous chandelier featured in The Phantom of the Opéra

Beauty, history, culture and opulence, all rolled up in the mystery of literary gothic fiction and a touch of horror.  What more could you ask for?  I will definitely be attending a performance here every time I visit Paris, be it an opéra or a ballet but if that’s not your thing, I strongly recommend you take a tour of the Garnier instead.  Trust me, you wont regret it and can thank me later.  Perhaps, book an after hour tour to explore the Phantom’s realm without the crowds.  Just don’t lag behind, you never know…..the Phantom might just be lurking in the shadows…..

Bisous de Paris 💋

La Petite Crêperie

Food, In Melbourne

‘Melbourne’s famous laneway culture meets French gastronomical delights’

One of my favourite things to do in Melbourne is to meander through its numerous famous laneways with a group of friends, casually exploring and discovering new great restaurants or cafés to catch up in over lunch or a coffee.  A recent crisp but blue skied wintry Sunday morning expedition led us to La Petite Crêperie in Hardware Lane.  I’m always on the lookout for anything with that French vibe in Melbourne and I certainly found it with this hidden gem.  

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A beautiful winter’s day in Hardware Lane 

Established in 2008 by owners Michaël and Patrizia, La Petite Crêperie specialises in deliciously authentic French crêpes and galettes that are freshly cooked on demand.  In case you haven’t tried them before (quelle horreur!), crêpes are made from wheat flour and are usually sweet while galettes are made from buckwheat and are usually savoury. 

Choosing to sit inside to escape the elements, we were immediately greeted by French waitstaff with a welcoming ‘bonjour’.  With French music playing in the background mixed with the comforting and inviting smell of fresh crêpes cooking, you could close your eyes and easily fool yourself into thinking you have been transported away to Paris. 

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 I love the rattan café chairs outside 

A casual, intimate setting with a nod to France through its eclectic decorations and a front row view to the chef preparing your order, adds to its warmth and charm.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch our meal being cooked; it never ceases to amaze me how every crêpe and galette always turn out so perfect and is done with such ease. Once ordered, our food arrived quickly and did not disappoint.  It was amazing! The food was both visually appealing and delicious.  We devoured every morsel and they were every bit as good as the ones I have experienced in Paris.

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French novel anyone?


There’s nothing petite about the amount of choices on offer!

Here’s what we ordered:

L’auvergnate – Galette with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese (one of France’s oldest cheeses that dates back to the Roman period), caramelised apple, walnuts and prosciutto – wow!

Galette – L’auvergnate

La Sacrebleau – Galette with a perfect mix of Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, red onion marmalade and prosciutto – delicious!

Le Plateau de Fromage – Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, Emmental, goats cheese, prosciutto, black olives, fig & ginger jam, walnuts, French bread and crackers – the picture says it all!  It’s a definite order again for me on my next visit!

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The impressive Le Plateau de Fromage and La Sacrebleau – galette

Le Croque Madame – the traditional French Café dish found all over Paris, made with Emmental cheese, tomato and ham topped with a free range fried egg on top. 

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Le Croque Madame

La Carabistouille – crêpe with home-made salted caramel made with Sel de Guérande, home-made caramelised apple, vanilla ice-cream and walnuts – superb!

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Crêpe – La Carabistouille

La Gourmande – crêpe with fresh strawberries, Nutella and the recommended additional whipped cream – a winning combination!

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Crêpe – La Gourmande

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 1664 – premium French beer with a rich history

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And of course, a café au lait to finish it off – including the obligatory lipstick stain!

Oh and if you happen to be on the go and find yourself in need of something sweet, pop by their takeaway kiosk (crêpes only) located opposite the Melbourne Town Hall on the corner of Swanston & Little Collins Street.  This converted former newspaper stand is a charming and convenient way to satisfy your sweet tooth when you are in a hurry.  There’s no excuse to go without!  

What more can I say?  Delicious, authentic French food, gluten and vegetarian friendly options available and very reasonably priced, especially for the generous serves you receive.  You just can’t go wrong.  I can’t wait to go back and am already dreaming about what I will have next time that will accompany the impressive ‘Le Plateau de Fromage’ that I’ll definitely be ordering!

Bisous de Paris 💋

Corey Frye – ‘A French Frye in Paris’ Tour Guide Extraordinaire!


“Oh! To wander in Paris! Adorable and delightful existence! Strolling is a science, the gastronomy of the eye. To wander is to do nothing, to stroll is to live”.  – Honoré de Balzac, (Physiologie du Mariage, 1829)

French poet Charles Baudelaire conceptualised the term flâneur, describing it as a gentleman stroller, a casual wanderer of the many streets and arcades of a nineteenth century Paris, whilst gazing upon society and its kaleidoscope of life.  He could very well have been referring to Corey Frye; A French Frye in Paris, the highly sought-after tour guide.  I recently had the pleasure of experiencing five of Corey’s tours, showing me a fascinating side of Paris in a way I could never have experienced on my own. 


The idiom ‘to know a city like the back of your hand’ is a big statement but it is the phrase that comes to mind that best describes Corey’s extensive knowledge of the famous City of Lights.  His passion and enthusiasm for Paris is undeniable and it clearly shows as he amazes and mesmerises you with interesting historical, informative and sometimes obscure facts, on top of pointing out great places to eat or visit along the way.  He reveals details and secret spots that are unknown to some (if not most) of the locals and his ability to point out hidden details almost every step of the way is amazing and captivating. For two hours, you will be transported back in time as Corey paints a colourful picture through anecdotes of what it must have been like to live during historic periods, such as medieval Paris, the French Revolution, the Belle Époque and World War II.     

As well as possessing such remarkable and insightful knowledge, Corey is genuine and friendly with a great sense of humour that is refreshing and puts you at ease instantly.  By the end of the tour, I literally felt like I had been walking around Paris with a friend rather than a tour guide. The only disappointment is when the tour is over and you realise that you will now have to walk around Paris without Corey’s expertise and insight; rendering you once again oblivious to all of the city’s hidden secrets and mysteries.

Corey has single-handedly revolutionised the guided tour industry by being the first to offer unique, free, weekly live video broadcasts via Facebook. Corey‘s signature sign off, “If you can’t bring yourself to Paris, I’ll bring Paris to you” is exactly what he does. Every Saturday (5pm Paris time), by visiting the public Facebook group aptly called, ‘A French Frye in Paris’, you can be whisked away, allowing you to interact in real-time as Corey leads you through a new Parisian location each week. It’s also a great way to sample and get a feel of what his tours are all about. 

Straight after the walking tour, Patreon subscribers can then participate in a live private Facebook Café Chat with Corey that often feature a special guest who offer their own invaluable experiences, tips and passion for Paris.  Each Café chat is held at a different establishment which (as an added bonus) exposes you to a variety of places that you can pop onto your list of things to do and perhaps try for yourself.  Some of the Café Chats have fantastic views, (way too many to list!), some are quirky, (a cat café) and some exotic, (an absinthe bar).  How’s that for variety?

Patreon subscribers are also privy to many other benefits, including having access to a very active private Facebook community group, exclusive content and printable PDF maps of the live Facebook tours indicating all the spots visited on each walk. They were an invaluable resource that I used when planning my recent trip that allowed me to explore and see things I had no idea existed before watching the live tours.  

If you are interested in a tour that is definitely a cut above the rest, then A French Frye in Paris is what you have been searching for. One thing is certain, my future trips to Paris would not be complete unless l take at least one walking tour with Corey on every visit. 

Find Corey on Facebook at:

Or to book a tour:

Bisous de Paris 💋

Notre Dame Cathedral


‘I have made it a ritual to always light a candle when I visit’

If you twisted my arm and forced me to pick just one favourite monument in Paris, I would reluctantly say (reluctantly because who in their right mind could only pick one?) that it would have to be the Notre Dame Cathedral.  Why Notre Dame?  Well, I have visited it on every one of my trips to Paris and will most likely visit it every time I return because of the way it makes me feel.  Not forgetting the fact that construction started in 1163 and took nearly 200 years to complete, which is astounding in itself, the connection I have to Notre Dame is inexplicable except to say that it moves me.  When I enter through it’s incredibly ornate, massive doors, a sense of calm, peace and awe washes over me in a way that is hard to imagine, unless you have felt it for yourself.  The hushed whispers of tourists and the dim lighting from its numerous medieval chandeliers only add to the ambience and solemn atmosphere inside. Taking a moment to appreciate your surroundings whilst inhaling the faint smells of wood and candle wax is extremely meditative.  It is thoroughly soothing, peaceful and refreshing.


I lost count of these stunning, atmospheric chandeliers.


The subtle smell of candle wax adds to the atmosphere.

Measuring in at 130m in length, 48m in width and at 35m tall, Notre Dame is an impressive structure to say the least.  It would be better described as a French Gothic masterpiece.  I can’t help but think of what life must have been like for the craftsmen and labourers who unknowingly contributed to such an iconic cathedral.  It is completely overwhelming to take in during one visit and I feel compelled to return again and again to discover something new each time.

On my last visit, I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon there and managed to attend the International Service (Sundays at 11:30am).  It was an incredible experience to say the least. With bells ringing on arrival, followed by dramatic organ music and the angelic, operatic voices of the choir singers all set against the beauty of its stained-glass windows, it seemed more like an elaborate opera performance rather than a weekly church service.  It was truly amazing.


The magnificent and dramatic organ of Notre Dame.


One of three stunning, stained glass roses.

Inside the church itself, you can enter The Treasury, where you will see sacred vases, ornaments and liturgical books amongst other relics. Unsurprisingly, Notre Dame’s most priceless piece by far, is the Crown of Thorns.  Funnily enough, it’s not found in The Treasury but right at the back of the cathedral, behind the alter, contained in a blood red glass display.  Keep your eyes open because I walked right past it twice and had to ask for help before locating it!


 In the Treasury:  Archbishop Sibour’s mid 19th century missal. 


The hard to spot Crown of Thorns.

If you have the energy and aren’t afraid of heights or claustrophobic, then climbing to the top of the towers is a must.  Be warned, there are 387 steps up a strictly one-way only, narrow staircase but the view is spectacular.  Make sure you reserve your timeslot before you intend to climb up; otherwise, quite frankly, don’t bother showing up.  I used an app called ‘Duck the Line’ and it was such a time saver.  Reservation access through the app is available from 7:30am on the day you wish to climb the tower and it will also notify you when it is your turn to ascend.  When the app alerts you, you simply present your phone to the Notre Dame official to gain entry. I only had to wait five minutes for access!  This allows you to avoid waiting in a long queue while you explore the outside of the cathedral.  Brilliant!  I actually think the view here is the best view of Paris. Yes, even better than the view from the Eiffel Tower.  After all, what is the view of Paris without the Eiffel Tower in it?  You can also get up close to one of the tower’s massive bells – don’t worry, this one doesn’t toll so your ears are safe!


I can picture Quasimodo up here.

Don’t forget to walk around the back and have a look at the cathedral from a different perspective, giving you a completely different view.  There is a small garden area where you can sit and enjoy the magnificent buttresses and carved gargoyle drain spouts – what a fabulous way to protect the building from water damage.  The rainwater literally comes out of the gargoyle’s mouths away from the building!  Speaking of gargoyles, the statues at the top of the Notre Dame are not gargoyles, they are chimeras. The gargoyles serve a functional purpose whilst the chimeras are purely decorative.  My favourite is the famous Stryga.


 Spot the real gargoyles while you take a break in the garden. 


The notoriously fabulous chimera – Stryga.

If you haven’t had your fill yet, at the end of the square in front of Notre Dame, you will find the Archaeological Crypt.  Here, you can walk amongst  ancient, medieval ruins that were found under Notre Dame during renovations – an eerie time capsule that gives you a glimpse into some fascinating urban and architectural development.


Fascinating ruins.

After all of that, before you say au revoir, make sure you locate Point Zéro in the square just outside the cathedral doors – it is officially the very centre of Paris itself!  Place your foot on it and take a touristy photo or put a coin on it and make a wish – or both!

I bet you can’t guess what I wished for!


Make a wish @ Point Zéro!

Bisous de Paris 💋

Le Meurice – Cédric Grolet

Food, In Paris

‘Cédric Grolet – a revolutionary pâtissier’

Luckily for me, Cédric Grolet opened his first patisserie ‘Le Meurice – Cédric Grolet’, just in time for my most recent visit to Paris.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, Cédric is not only an internet sensation with over 1 million followers on Instagram but has worked under Alain Ducasse at Le Meurice since 2013.  He was recently named as World’s Best Pastry Chef in October, 2017 and can be described as an artist and culinary genius, specialising in troupe-l’oeil pastries –  an optical illusion if you like.  Cédric’s pastries are perfectly sculptured replicas of fresh fruit that have to be seen to be believed.  Each piece is strictly limited and the menu changes monthly with the possibility of daily changes.


Today’s choices.

There is no official closing time, once the last cake is sold that’s it.  My advice is to get there at opening time to avoid the long queues and to guarantee your chance to experience one of these masterpieces.  A charming doorman  allows approximately six clients in at a time which only adds to the prestigious feeling of the whole experience.  The decor inside is white, minimalist and has an exclusive feel to it.  Cédric describes it as being halfway between a laboratory and a boutique and it is exactly that.  While you await your turn, a pastry chef puts on a show as he goes about constructing delicious chocolate tarts topped with blueberries and dehydrated strawberries, mesmerising you with his skill and attention to detail.


Watching the pastry chef decorating chocolate tarts whilst waiting in queue.

It’s finally my turn, after waiting months for this opportunity.  I order the Cerise (cherry) which looks more like a piece of art than a cake.  It is stunning!  Everything I had expected and more!  The glossy red reminds me of a toffee apple.  It is carefully placed into a box that looks remarkably like marble and then popped into its own bag.  There is no provision for dining in which isn’t a problem seeing as it is located basically across the road from the Jardin de Tuileries.  I am lucky enough to be staying around the corner so I take it back there to enjoy it privately and savour the experience.


Even the packaging is perfect!

Delicate.  That is what it is.  Physically and in taste.  The flavours of cherry, chocolate and chilli are delicately balanced to create a feast for the taste buds as well as for the eyes.  Not overly sweet, just perfect.  Not overpowering, just perfect.  It’s so light and delicate that it melts in your mouth and is like nothing I have ever tasted before.  It’s…just perfect.


Picture perfect.


Conflicting emotions – dying to taste it but not wanting to destroy it’s beauty.


Perfection! Bon appétit!

It truly is an experience to enjoy from start to finish.  Such a high-end product comes with an expected high end price tag – €17 to be exact.  Not an everyday treat but one of life’s little pleasures that I highly recommend you partake and indulge in at least once.

Situated at 6 rue de Castiglione, 75001 it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 until the last cake is sold.


Bisous de Paris 💋


In the Beginning…

About me


“There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.” – Ernest Hemingway.

My love affair with France and all things French began as a four or five year old child while watching Walt Disney’s ‘The Aristocats,’ a fantastic Disney classic set in Paris in 1910, (about a mother cat named Duchess and her three kittens, Berlioz, Marie and Toulouse – which could possibly explain my love for cats too!) and was cemented at the age of thirteen, when I took my first French lesson in High School.  As a teenager I was enamoured with the language, culture, food and of course Parisian fashion and French perfume.  What’s not to like?  By the end of the first lesson, I was determined that I would get to Paris someday.

I had to experience it firsthand.  I had to take in the ‘visual overload’ of Paris with my own eyes and see its beauty up close, to hear the natives speak French as they walked by me in the streets and hear the strangely comforting sound of sirens in the background. I had to taste the exquisite pastries, the fresh, warm, buttery, flaky croissants and its many delicious, traditional dishes. I wanted to smell Chanel perfume at 31, rue Cambon and to inhale the heady aroma of hot coffee whilst sitting  on the terrace of a brasserie and to run my hands over structures built hundreds of years ago and imagine a life long gone.   And I have!

I decided to begin writing this blog whilst sitting on my balcony, watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in all her glory.  It was a moment I will never forget – how could I?  Watching her sparkle on the hour can literally bring tears to my eyes.  That view never gets old!  It occurred to me that if I love France so much, then there must be other Francophiles out there who would be interested in reading my blog and at the same time, allow me to indulge in my passion.  A famous Hemingway quote that resonates with me is: “There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.”  It sums up how I feel and what this blog is about perfectly!  So here it is: my blog, my way, sharing my love of France with you, sharing ‘That French Vibe’.

Bisous de Paris 💋