Champs Elysees – Avenue of dreams

Avenue Champs Elysees. The most recognisable and beautiful street in the world. And the second most expensive in Europe after Bond Street in London. The scene of many celebrations including Bastille Day and the Tour de France. Now you don’t have to leave your couch to visit, you can log on to the office website and get a 365 degree tour. But nothing can match the ambience and experience of promenading down the Champs.

Visit the office website of the Champs Elysees here

What’s your favourite thing to see or do on the Champs Elysee?

Paris Restaurant Guide – A world of choice

When you type in Paris Restaurant Guide you get 7,200,000 results. When you type in Paris Restaurants you get 163,000,000 results. How do you choose? I will be celebrating my 40th birthday in Paris in September with my husband and two well travelled teenage children. I want food that is beautifully prepared and tastes amazing. I want something authentic and something oh so very French.

I would love to hear from you about an amazing restaurant experience you have had? What would make my birthday dinner special?

Chocolate Dream @ Harrods Knightsbridge

The Food Hall at Harrods Knightsbridge is truly exceptional. The visual delights, the fragrant smells, the vast range of foods from around the world and the quality of the product. If you are like me and love chocolate, then the chocolate food hall is  chocolate heaven. The first attack on your senses is the smell. It fills the air and is sweet and thick, you can almost taste it. They have every flavour and combination, you could want for no more. Last time I visited I bought a small ballotine of Belgian chocolates. Devine. For store opening hours click here.

Have you visited the chocolate food hall at Harrods? What did you buy?

Look into my fries. . . in Amsterdam no less!

I had heard about these fries before going to Amsterdam. No-one had prepared me for the wonderful taste of the hot, crispy, oozy soft inside fries topped with smooth creamy mayonnaise. I had my first ‘cone’ of fries from one of the popular yellow hole in the wall vendors. In the Netherlands they are called Vlaamse Frites. You buy the base model (frites) and then add on sauces. Some vendors have 5 or 10 different varieties. For me, I went with the original, and the best. They are truly amazing and the flavour lingers on your lips long after the food is gone. I am going back to Amsterdam soon and I can’t wait to revisit this simple but yummy treat.

What sauces do you like on your frites?

Coins in the fountain…Trevi fountain Rome

5 things to know about the Trevi fountain

  1. The most accepted explanation for the word Trevi is that it derives for the Latin word Trivium that indicates a crossing of three streets.The Roman Goddes Trivia, epithet of Diana, the greek Hecate, was protecting the streets and often her statue featuring three heads was standind at the crossings. The three streets of Trevi are Via De’ Crocicchi, Via Poli and Via Delle Muratte.
  2. The fountain is 26,30 m high. Every day it spills 80.000 cubic meters of water.
  3. The design of the trevi fountain is based on three architectural elements: a façade made of travertine; statues of carrara marble; a see reef also made of travertine.
  4. The famous rite of throwing a coin in the fountain has two main explanations. First, the Ancient romans used often to throw coins in fountains, rivers or lakes to make the Gods of water favor their journey and help them go back home safely. Second, this tradiition has been invented to raise funds for the maintenance of the fountain.
  5. Another legend says that not only who trows a coin, but also who drinks the water of the fountain can be sure to come back to Roma. Today the water of the fountain is recycled but you can still drink from the cast iron pipes located on the steps. Emprees Charlotte of Austria, wife of Emperor Maximillian celebrated the rite using a precious cup donated by Pope Pius IX.

When I last visited the Trevi we were fortunate to stay at an amazing B&B around the corner. Every day we walked past the Trevi. Be careful of the street sellers who are persistent in trying to sell you something. They can be quite sneaky. One of the best times to visit the Trevi fountain is at night. There are not as many tourists of a night. It also gives you something to do when you are enjoying that after dinner gelato!

If you can’t make it to Rome you can enjoy the Trevi in the movies ‘Three coins in the fountain (1954) and La Dolce Vita (1960). Do you know any other movies that feature the Trevi?

Macaron anyone?

I love macarons. Laduree in Paris claims the invention of these double-decker sweet delights filled with creamy ganache. It is rumoured that Laduree sells over 15000 each day. You can enjoy them with a cup of tea or get the beautifully gift boxed to take home. Amazing and beautiful work Laduree.

Have you visited Laduree? What is your favourite flavour?

How do you pronounce L’Occitane?

The french beauty company L’Occitane hit the streets of New York City to ask their customers, “How do you pronounce the name of our store”. These are some of their responses. To clear up any confusion, Olivier Baussan, company founder, tells us how to properly pronounce L’OCCITANE. Just say Lox-ee-tan!