wanderings: south of france

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Better late than never, I suppose. I’m finally paying some attention to photos i took in the south of France back in June of 2013. I spent a few days in Paris (see more about that here) before heading to Cannes for a week and taking a couple solo day trips. One was to Grasse, where I wandered the town and took a tour of legendary perfumery Fragonard. I’m still hooked on their Etoile scent. Another morning, I took a spur of the moment train ride to Antibes (I think it took all of 9 minutes) and walked by the water, peeked around the small but lovely Musée Picasso, (lots of Picasso’s food illustrations!) and had a croque-monsieur to die for before heading back to Cannes and its famed croisette. The day before coming home, we took a  ride over the border to a seaside town in Italy for lunch. Wait, did that all really happen? It’s nice to dust off these old photos and recall memories from this trip – hope you enjoy them, too.

photos 1-7: grasse  |  8-11: antibes  |  12-14: bordighera, italy

explore: paris, part one

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so finally… some paris photos! i love taking photos, i just hate dealing with them once they’re uploaded. this part always takes me a while.

in june i spent three glorious days in paris before heading south to cannes for one week. it was my first trip to france since 1999, and so much was different. last time, i was about a year out of school. i stayed with my sister, who was there as a student and had way too many roommates in a strange apartment filled with inflatable furniture. it was still great, but… this time i was with mk, we stayed in the marais (here; see photos from the neighborhood above) and my goal was simply to eat eat eat, shop a bit, and relax.

well, we were super successful at eating. (and the other stuff!) but mostly at the eating. i’m talking gold medal. (translation: i made myself borderline ill.) it was totally worth it.

i’m not super at-ease, though, taking photos with my big camera in restaurants. it seems so obtrusive to me…plus there is the small fact that i’m really a hobbyist when it comes to photography, not a professional. i like to experiment and learn about my camera outside, where i’m not bothering anybody, but inside… i know i don’t have the right equipment and i’m guessing at the settings more often than not. so i stick to my iphone and instagram for those moments in a restaurant when i just absolutely have to get a photo, and have re-capped some of the food centric pics below. (and you can always follow me on instagram for more…)

as for where we ate? i’m really proud of what we fit into three days… it started with a stunning lunch at Le 6 Paul Bert, (chosen after reading this) after which i decided i really needed to get four eclair from L’Eclair de Genie. not one, to just savor and enjoy. four. a sampling, if you will. i took a bite of each back at the hotel room, decided i might die, and took a nap.

later we found ourselves at the wine bar of Frenchie, drinking a great white wine and holding out for a table, which we finally got! (at the wine bar, not at the restaurant itself – another time.) tip: get there around 7pm, and you might only wait around 90 minutes for a table. but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable wait! our table ended up having a view into the kitchen, and the food was excellent.

another day, another lunch… at Le Meurice, located within the very fancy Hotel Meurice. this was a three-star Michelin meal, and in a word, superb. the kind of meal that makes all subsequent meals suck. this three-hour affair involved duck, foie gras, pasta, octopus, a fried oyster…. and a lot more. needless to say, dinner at the very lovely Spring restaurant underwhelmed – but simply because it followed Le Meurice! judged on it’s own merits, it’s excellent. i believe this day also involved a chocolate pistachio croissant from Du Pains et Des Idees, the best cappiccino of the trip at Ten Belles, and ice cream from Amorino. i also believe this is the day i started to feel like i might be overdoing it. no wonder i could barely eat by the time we got to spring…

i don’t want to make this post too long so i’ll save shopping bits for another time. i also, for the first time ever, created a google map specifically for the trip. i’m obsessed with making maps now, and might post it here if anyone is interested…? there’s a lot of stuff on there i didn’t have time for, so it’s kind of a wishlist in a way, but i love looking at it.

paris_food_IGrow 1: the meal and the scene at Le 6 Paul bert

row 2: snippits from Le Meurice… how amazing is that “apple” dessert?

row 3: inside L’Eclair de Genie, the Frenchie bar menu, and a huge line of people outside a falafel shop in the marais. i was tempted.

row 4: snaps from the newly redone food hall at Le Bon Marche

row 5: pistachio chocolate croissant, the best cappuccino, and great packaging at one of the many sweet shops i poked into.

 

(all photos by laura kinsey for bklynprairie.com)

 

paris!

so here’s some news: i’m leaving for paris and cannes in nine days. the last time i was in paris it was 1999, and since things have undoubtedly changed a ton, i am so, soooo excited. even though it was a beautiful weekend here in nyc, i totally fell down the rabbit hole (aka the internet) doing an astonishing amount of paris research. ninety-eight percent of it food based, of course.

here are a few things i’m really looking forward to:

HiP-Paris-Blog-Carin-Olsson-Éclairs-7

HiP-Paris-Blog-Carin-Olsson-Éclairs-111. so forget macaron, everyone is ga-ga now for éclair, and i’m dying to try them at L’Eclair de Genie, which happens to be right down the street from the our hotel. danger.

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2. okay, i guess i’m not immune to the charms of a macaron. i know Ladurée is just wonderful and all, but it’s fussy image has never resonated with me, so i don’t feel that concerned with going there. plus, we have one in new york now if i ever change my mind. i do, however, want to try the selection from Pierre Hermé. the flavor combinations are supposedly vast and extremely creative.

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3. i admit this sounds a little strange, but i keep reading that the roof bar at the Holiday Inn, Le 43, is fantastic. and it’s reservation only. what? am i crazy to want to try it? supposedly the view can’t be beat and the cocktails are killer. i like both of those things… so we’ll see.

frenchiewinebar4. frenchie! i hear it’s impossible to get in, but i am going to give it my best shot. at the very least, i’ll elbow my way into the adjoining wine bar. i’m good at that.

5. well, the fifth thing was going to be the Musée Picasso, but it is closed for renovation till the end of the year. i can’t cry too hard, though. it’s paris, and there is always another museum, right? maybe the Musée de la Poupée, which has over five hundred antique dolls on display. no? (even their website is totally creepy!) okay, maybe Musée d’Orsay or Musée de l’Orangerie will give me my art fix.

(image credits: top two photos by paris in four months, via HIP Paris; third macaron photo by linternaute.com; fourth macaron photo by du-sacre-au-sucre.blogspot.com; fifth photo via HIP Paris; sixth photo courtesy of the Frenchie website.)

picture yourself here: the british virgin islands

bkp_villaaquamare_2virgin gorda, to be specific. the villa aquamare looks pretty spectacular. it has to be, since it rents out for 7k a night during the holidays. (with a 10 night minimum stay!) but as long as we’re just imagining things, i say… why not!

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Tokyo!

I’m in Tokyo! Traveling laptop-free, (too heavy) I decided this morning I’d try a post super on-the-go style and am using my mobile phone.

Can I just say how much I love the Tsukiji fish market? Amazing. Supposedly tuna eyes are just delicious…

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happy weekend…

…a day early! i’m headed out of town today. not to venice… but doesn’t it look pretty? i’m going to cleveland, ohio to visit some friends and family. see you next week!

in the meantime, let’s all eat one of these:

dream dining… 1.0

whenever i travel, the thing i’m most excited about is eating. so starting today, every tuesday we’ll take a look at a dream dining experience…it might be somewhere fancy, it might be a food cart. i think i’ll mostly feature places on my “must-eat-here-someday” list, but once in a while i might sneak in a place i’ve actually been to. hope you guys like this!

and speaking of lists, i started keeping a list of restaurants and bars i want to try as a word doc on my desktop a few months ago. anytime i read about a place that sounds great, or even pass by a place on a walk or in a cab, i jot it down and add it to the list. i just recently organized the list by category and neighborhood. i started with new york city but have a section at the end for los angeles and international must-eats too. it’s great and i consult it often… and it’s working out so much better than just trying to remember everything!

first up: mistral in stockholm. i love the philosophy, the design of the space, and the city it’s in. take a peek…

(photos by Erik Olsson, from mistral’s website)