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Paris, je t’aime | Reflections on the Paris attacks

paris je t'aime reflections on the paris attacks patriciaparisienne

Saturday, November 14

Tokyo, Japan

We woke up blissfully happy on Saturday morning. It was our first day in Tokyo, and we were on our honeymoon in Japan, a place we’d both dreamed of visiting. I checked my phone, and the staggering amount of notifications on my phone instantly brought me out of my groggy state. “Are you okay?” “Are your sister and her family okay?” “Are you in Paris right now? Please say you’re not.” “Tricia, I heard about the attacks in Paris…”

What in the world?

We quickly learned the news of the terrible tragedies that had occurred in Paris just a few hours prior. John and I were both in shock. My first thought was of my sister and her family; I hoped and prayed they were all okay. Once we finally heard the news we were hoping for, that they were safe and sound, there were tears of relief. But I still felt like I couldn’t fully breathe. How could this happen to Paris, the world’s and my beloved city – again?

I felt glued to the news. Every time we could connect to wifi, we refreshed our feeds to see what more we could find out, the facts, what had actually happened and where. I have never been so thankful for Facebook’s safe check-ins; I was able to confirm that my friends were all safe. But the heartbreaking posts inquiring about the whereabouts of their friends and families were nearly too much to bear.

In the eleven days since the attacks, we have found out the details of the Paris attacks and the who, what, where, when and why they occurred. We have heard tragic stories about those who lost their lives too early, too soon. The mothers, fathers, daughters, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends, wives, colleagues, neighbors, and friends – the innocent people who were out on a Friday night, enjoying and living life. The people whose memories need to be kept alive and honored.

We’ve also learned how humanity is resilient. People around the world came together and showed their support, not only for Paris but also for the people who suffered losses in Beirut, and now Mali. And there are still many ways to help.

Paris and its citizens have decided that the best way to fight back is to not be afraid but instead to live life fully. Let’s join them in this endeavor.

Fluctuat nec mergitur. “Tossed but not sunk.”

PatriciaParisienne xx

P.S. I want to thank all of my family, friends, and you, my readers, for all of your kind messages. I so appreciate your taking the time to send love and positive thoughts. Merci beaucoup.

paris je t'aime reflections on the paris attacks peace for paris jean jullien patriciaparisienne

“Peace for Paris” by Jean Jullien

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Presenting | Usha Bora of Jamini Design

What brand can combine the iconic Le Bon Marché and rhino poop paper? Read on, reader.

As many of you know, one of my favorite topics is entrepreneurship. Combine that with another favorite, France, and you’ve got a plethora of interesting people and subjects to delve into. I recently discovered the brand Jamini on Instagram and went completely gaga for the incredible patterns, designs, and textiles. Owner and founder of Jamini, Usha Bora, and I connected, and I found myself even more fascinated by this powerhouse of a woman and her growing Indian-French chic line.

In thinking of ways to describe Usha, I find myself drawn to the words peace, strength, and intensity. She radiates this through her ballerina-like grace and kind eyes, yet you know that there’s an explosion of power hidden just beneath them, ready to be released at any moment. When I walked into her beautiful 10e arrondissement boutique, Usha greeted me like an old friend, and I immediately felt at ease with her as she showed me around the stunning showroom.

There are so many beautiful things in Jamini that it was difficult to choose where to start. (This is not a bad problem to have.) I wanted to take everything home with me, and I’ve resolved that I will, little by little! The green Agni bag is now a staple in my wardrobe, as is a darling gingham headband that makes me feel a little bit like Rosie the Riveter, giving me extra pep in my step. Papeterie-obsessed, I added one of her specialty notebooks (read more below) to my collection. I flitted between cushions and scarves, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, and Usha laughed as I filled my arms with Jamini treasures. Believe me, this brand is one that you want to get to know.

Interviewing this woman was an honor.  Usha’s story unfolds delightfully, and I think you will enjoy learning about her journey from Assam, India, to Paris, France.


1.  What was it like growing up in Assam, and how has Assam influenced Jamini?

Growing up in Assam was wonderful. I grew up with the fragrance of fresh tea from the tea gardens around the house, of jasmine flowers, lush greenery, watching deer, rare birds like hornbills from my verandah, and I spent a lot of time in the forest of Kaziranga. Kaziranga is the home to many endangered species of animals like the one-horned rhinoceros amongst others. I was chased (almost to death!!) by a wild elephant, went tiger tracking, and had so many adventures in this gorgeous part of India. Assam plays a big influence in my life and therefore is very present in Jamini’s DNA. Our logo comes from the hundreds of lotus flowers growing in swamps all around my home, the woven line of scarves and home items come from tribal influences in garments the women of the region wear, and our famous paper is made from rhino & elephant poo from the forests of Assam! The new candle I am working on will be based on the fragrance of the world famous Assam tea!


2. You went from Assam to France; how was that transition?

I got an MBA from India’s top business school – Indian Institute of Management, in Ahmedabad (set up in in parternership with Harvard et designed by the famous architect Louis Kahn) and went to work in a big American firm in Hong Kong – Emerson Electric. In HK, I met and fell in love with a dashing Frenchman and came to Paris!  I felt at home here almost immediately – the wine, the food , the museums, the music – everything was like a dream! The only thing I had a hard time getting used to was the weather – coming from a tropical climate, I had never seen snow before, and never worn a coat, or gloves…that had to change! And it took me a while to get used to the famous European grey skies. (editor’s note: I can relate!)

3. When did you decide to move from management to design?

After I had my first child, Deeya, I did a lot of hard thinking. I was working at L’Oréal Paris at that time. It became clear to me that I was not going to stay in a big corporation for very long – I had too much energy and was not really cut out for a very top-down hierarchical way of functioning. It was clear that I had to be my own boss!! So I had to find a way of doing that and decided to take the risk if going down a completely creative path – something that I always dreamed of doing, but never really thought about very seriously. Having a child makes you think about very important, profound things in your life, and you ask yourself hard questions. This is the moment when things became crystal clear, and I knew that I was going to leave the corporate life and take a huge risk by following my heart. I had no experience in design – only a passion for textiles and an eye for detail, and that’s how it all started!


4. What skills did you learn from your time at L’Oréal and other corporations that you have applied to your business?

I consider myself extremely lucky to have gone to the best schools and universities in India and Paris. I have a solid business background, great contacts, and enough confidence to recognize a good idea and make it happen. Understanding business risks and opportunities, analyzing financial requirements, professional methods of tracking results, marketing ideas, understanding the loopholes in production and quality control and addressing these issues – all these came from having worked with big corporations. I am so grateful to have had wonderful colleagues and bosses who trained the hell out of me and prepared me for the great big Jamini adventure!

5. How did your business start?

I worked as a product manager at L’Oréal, Paris for a few years, but I missed India terribly and had to create a work situation that would take me there often! So I started thinking about ideas and finally decided that I was going to start looking for beautiful things and try to use my wildly creative side to adapt them to suit French tastes. So voilà! I started scouting fabrics, embroideries and weaves for big brands like Agnès B, Dior kids, Bonton, and BA&SH. I did this for a few years, and it worked really well. In 2010, I decided that I wanted to launch my own line of accessories, so here I am! IMG_5338

6. Now let’s talk about the products. What can you tell us about the materials used in production?

All my products are handmade. I want to showcase the wonderful textile techniques from India and, above all, invite everyone to travel with me to different regions of India through my work! I have made collections using fabrics printed by wooden stamps from Rajasthan as well as products hand woven in Assam. I work with expert artisans with the hope that showcasing and promoting their work will allow them to pass on their skills to future generations. Jamini is also a family story. My father, after retirement, set up a small scale enterprise to make paper from Rhino and Elephant poo – this is the paper I use for our lovely notebooks. It is 100% natural and eco friendly and helps agains deforestation.

7. In a previous conversation, you mentioned the artisans who make the Jamini products. How did you find out about them, and what skills do they bring to the table?

The artisans with whom I work are experts in weaving and printing. I grew up in a region where weaving is economically very important for women. It allows them to have some degree of freedom (in villages where they would normally stay at home and not have any source of income) and also be less dependent on agriculture and the vagaries of the monsoon! These women have looms at home and work at their own pace. The skills they learn are passed down from one generation to another, and the designs and patterns are influenced by tribal practices and social conditions. They are a huge treasure trove in terms of anthropological information. I try to do my little bit to preserve their know how and adapt it to appeal to a modern and discerning market.

8. What were your first products when you opened in January 2013?

I made a range of scarves using a lovely hand woven quality of cotton (khadi), and it was a huge success in Japan!  That encouraged me to try new things and increase the product range.


9. It’s not easy being an entrepreneur in France! Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey. 

No, it isn’t! You are right. I have been extremely lucky to have met wonderful people who have supported and encouraged me. I think it’s very important to have a very positive attitude and not necessarily take things for granted. The French like to play by the rules, but when pushed, they are actually quite open to new ideas. For example, the store space that I wanted to rent was initially not worth my applying for. This space is owned by an offshoot of the Mairie de Paris (SEMAEST), whose objective is to change a certain number of Paris’s neighborhoods. In the 10th arrondissement, they specifically wanted to avoid textile companies (because this area of flooded with wholesalers of t-shirts, etc.). So when I sent my application in for Jamini, they said, “No!! No textiles!!” I persisted, sent them the story of the brand, a link to my website, development plans for the future, etc.! They came back [with] a BIG yes! Not only that, they help and encourage me every day and try to do their best to talk about me in the media. So my advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs is – DON’T take the first No for an answer. Push the limits and boundaries. The French are not necessarily used to that – it’s such an Anglo-Saxon thing! But they are not all that averse to it either. So with some persistence and a little bit of luck, one can do a lot of things here!

10. What are some of the challenges and benefits of being an entrepreneur?

The challenges are mostly financial – mainly taxes, hiring policies. France is really not an easy place for hiring people. The rules are really complicated and extremely disadvantageous for entrepreneurs. The benefits – so much creativity and inspiration all around! Ideas come easily, creative people are so easy to find, a million projects could be born every day! My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is having the freedom to try new ideas. Being able to trust my instincts and taking the plunge!

11. Your boutique is located on 10 rue du Château d’Eau, 75010. What influenced you to find a storefront versus being an online business?

I was actually looking for an office/showroom space when I moved to the hood in 2013. I saw the space and applied for it (story above), and when they said yes, it was so exciting! I love the 10th. It’s full of energy and creative people from so many countries. It’s really like the East Village in New York. Creativity is spilling out on every street – bakeries, florists, trendy stores, you name it. I am delighted to be here – I’ve met the most amazing and incredible people in the one year of our existence! Its very important for me to be able to physically showcase my products. The details, the tiny imperfections are so important to be able to understand the precious nature of what I make. It would have been very very difficult to do this 100% online. My e-shop is starting to work very well because customers (like you) who have touched and felt my products are now talking about them and creating a big buzz on social media! But the first step had to be a physical presence for the range.

12. What I find absolutely fascinating is your rhino poop line! How did it come to be?

My grandfather was the conservator of forests in the state of Assam, where we grew up. When he died, my family wanted to do something meaningful to keep his memory alive. He was so passionate about the forest and spent every second of his life trying to protect it. So my dad came up with the wonderful idea (it has never been done before) of killing two birds with one stone! His idea was to tackle the HUGE poaching problem of rhinoceros and deforestation at the same time. By converting poo to paper, we save trees and employ women from the villages surrounding the forests. We educate them about poaching and provide them with a livelihood that in some way discourages them from looking for other (often illegal) forms of earning revenue. My family has also set up a foundation that awards two prizes every year to the brave forest guards to fight against the poachers. This year, one of the winners was a woman whose husband, a forest guard, lost his life trying to kill a poacher.


13. Are there any new products coming in soon or collaborations in the works?

I am a desperate dreamer! Always pushing myself in terms of creativity and challenges. I am launching a line of jewelry with beads from India but assembled here by French artisans, a candle based on fragrances of tea and ginger in collaboration with a niche perfume manufacturer based in Paris…and hopefully opening a second store next year. (Editor’s note: It’s opening in September on rue du Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in the 9th arrondissement!)

14. What are your personal favorites at the moment?

The handwoven cushions are my absolute favorite at the moment!


15. Where do you see Jamini in 5 years?

I am looking for funding to open a second store in Paris next year (opening on rue de Notre-Dame de Lorette in the 9e arrondissement in September 2015!) and in 5 years will hopefully have a complete lifestyle brand based on French chic and Indian elegance that you will be able to find everywhere in the world! We are [now] at the Le Bon Marché starting this summer, and that will hopefully open the doors to the best stores worldwide as well. The adventure is just beginning!

jamini design showroom boutique chateau d'eau paris france 75010 patriciaparisienne design textiles rhino poop paper le bon marché

Jamini by Usha Bora

10 rue du Château d’Eau



Follow Jamini on Facebook and Instagram!

Jamini has many points of sale all over the world; have a look and see if you can find Usha’s products near you.


PatriciaParisienne xx


Gallery | 75006


One of the best parts of living in Paris is the inexhaustible list of places to visit and try. I’d walked by Gallery on the way to work, always noting how cool it looked. But it wasn’t until my sister and her friends hosted a ladies night soirée that I finally got to try it. I had a glass of their house red, while the others enjoyed the excellent cocktails and juices. The food was also fantastic; I only had a bite of someone’s but loved it.

The best part of the restaurant was the lighting, and in turn the restaurant’s ambiance. The blue tones gave it a lounge feel, remaining very intimate and inviting. Dim lighting tends to make me feel drowsy, but in this case, it only animated the evening.

This is a great place to go out for a relaxing evening with friends or on a date (without breaking the bank). Most people head north for an upscale bar scene but my fellow rive-gauchers, this is one for you.


PatriciaParisienne xx


90, rue d’Assas
75006 Paris

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Sugar Daze at KENZO loves Printemps | Interview with Cat Beurnier, Founder of Sugar Daze Cupcake Shop

It’s one of my favorite places in the Paris that you’ll often see on my Instagram: Sugar Daze, run by the incredible Cat Beurnier, an American expat hailing from NYC. She’s lived in Paris for the last ten years and has the most successful cupcake shop in the city. It’s no surprise that mega brand Kenzo has chosen to partner with her in their Pop-Up store, Kenzo Loves Printemps, open now through October 18 at Printemps Mode Haussmann, level -1 (64, Boulevard Haussmann, 75009). While you’re there, be sure to check out the Kenzo app exclusively created for the pop-up store that is available for download here.

Cat Beurnier

The Sugar Daze SoPi bake shop (South Pigalle) is a fantastic mix of eras, colors, and prints. It’s a bright addition to the city with its crisp blue façade. I love popping by for a cupcake and a chat with Cat; she is one of the loveliest people you’ll meet in Paris.

You often see Kenzo cupcakes in the display case, as they often work together for their various events. When I found out that the LVMH-owned brand had chosen to partner with Sugar Daze for this amazing capsule collection pop-up store, I was thrilled for Cat. This collaboration with the fashion house is well-deserved, as her cakes are simply phenomenal.

The speciality cupcake created especially for Kenzo Loves Printemps is called the Blue Velvet, a blue red velvet cupcake inspired by David Lynch. The film director was the muse behind the latest collection, plus he also worked with their team to create the set and soundtrack.

This project was so fascinating; I couldn’t wait to hear more details! Cat was kind enough to give us the scoop on this Kenzo x Sugar Daze collaboration, the journey that led her to Paris, and the exciting things in store for Sugar Daze.

 I hope you enjoy the interview with the fascinating Cat Beurnier.

PatriciaParisienne xx


Tell us about your story – from advertising in New York to a booming cupcake brand in Paris – how did you get here?

An age old story I’ve heard many times — I fell in love with a Frenchman! It’s true I worked in the advertising world for many years in NYC, but after having my first child, decided the hours, the travel, the stress of that work just wasn’t for me anymore. New York will always be my hometown and one of the greatest cities I’ve lived in, but it’s hard with kids. My husband and I felt we’d have a better quality of life in Paris and so moved here 11 years ago.

When we arrived, I would often bring cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc. to playdates for my son, people loved what I was doing, word spread and that is how I got my start as a cupcake baker in Paris. I’m grateful that I have been able to turn one of my passions into a profitable business –  that all those hours I spent peeling potatoes and chopping carrots in the restaurant industry when I was younger were not for naught – and had so much fun and gotten to work with some amazing people along the way!


Kenzo has long been a loyal Sugar Daze customer. How did this collaboration with the fashion brand start?

One of Kenzo’s Event Directors participated in a cupcake class/bachelorette’s party at Sugar Daze, and we met there.  She is adorable and has been very supportive of us.  It is largely due to her enthusiasm for Sugar Daze, that I have had the fantastic opportunity to work with Kenzo fairly regularly over this past year and a half, starting with their big July 4th bash in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, to frequent events happening in their shops.


How did this pop-up project come to be?

Kenzo is the designer of honor for the rentree 2014 at Printemps Haussmann.  They wanted to do something fun and unexpected, and so decided to bring in a couple of food partners to complement the pop-up shop they have installed in the Printemps Atrium.


What’s one of the things you love about the brand that inspired you to work on this project with them?

In all honesty, I was incredibly honored that Kenzo approached me to partner with them on this project.  They have been such amazing clients that I thought this would be a great way to demonstrate my appreciation and affinity for their work. I also happen to love their clothes and brand philosophy.  The collection they are showcasing at Printemps is filled with lots of black, neon colors and cool prints – it reminds me a lot of the fashion from the 1980’s when I was an adolescent saving up my babysitting money to go shopping at Fiorucci or Parachute in Manhattan!



You know I’m a huge fan of your cupcakes and love all of the flavors.  Tell us about some of the flavors you’re featuring, including your new Blue Velvet.

Thank you! We are featuring several of the best-selling flavors from the shop like Rapture, our chocolate-salted caramel cupcake, and Le 4H Gouter, a Nutella stuffed cupcake.  Our Red Velvet cupcake, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, also happens to be a customer favorite.  As the look of the Kenzo pop-up universe is inspired by the creative mind of David Lynch, we thought it would be cool to turn our traditional Red Velvet blue — in a nod to the Lynch film, “Blue Velvet,” and top it with an edible decoration that utilizes one of Kenzo’s prints from the current collection called Broken Floor – an abstract chevron pattern.

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What do you love about Kenzo?

The more I work with them, the more I admire their work ethic and brand culture. They have an extremely creative eye, and I like that they have made high fashion more accessible to everyone. We’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know the dynamic and delightful Kenzo team currently installed at the Printemps pop-up – a team assembled from their many stores around Paris.

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We’d love to know about a few of your favorite places in Paris!

I have 2 kids so it’s no surprise that many of my favorite places are kid-friendly. We spend a lot of time enjoying the many public parcs like Parc Monceau, Parc Martin Luther King Jr, le Jardin de Luxembourg and Jardin d’Acclimatation.

I try to walk a lot – it’s one of the perks of living in the city, and love to explore the side streets of le Marais, Montmartre or near the Canal St Martin area.

For the most part, I just love the architecture of Paris and so discovering little hidden gems like a private garden, or an ancient coach house tucked away inside a building’s street facade are some of my favorite things about Paris.

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What sets Sugar Daze apart from the rest?

The look, taste and texture of our cupcakes make the difference. I spent years perfecting each of our recipes and you really can tell with the finished product. We don’t take shortcuts! Sugar Daze cupcakes feature traditional American recipes, use premium, natural ingredients, are served fresh and are decorated with beautiful, hand-made decorations. All these things add up to make a delicious, high quality cupcake!

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Any exciting projects for Sugar Daze in the future?


So much to do, so little time!! We’ve recently ramped up our cake side of the business – layer cakes for weddings, birthdays and corporate events. I like to think we offer a great quality-value proposition in this domain, and clients are responding extremely favorably.

We’ve also been doing a lot more selling to other restaurants and caterers which I find to be an interesting way to get our products served in more places. And this goes beyond cupcakes to our lesser-known bakery line which features things like brownies, cookies and whoopie pies. This is definitely an area we’ll be focusing on in the year to come!

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Your Cupcake Camps have been hugely successful. Can we expect another event in 2015?


Bryan Pirolli, the event co-organizer and I are definitely hoping to do at least one more installment of this annual fundraiser in the next 6-9 months. We’ve had so many requests from cupcake lovers to hold another one, and have had so much fun running them, that it would definitely be a shame to not return for round 5.

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Sugar Daze

20, rue Henry Monnier


+33 9 83 04 41 77


Kenzo Loves Printemps Pop Up Store + Sugar Daze

Printemps Haussmann (Mode), Level -1

64, Boulevard Haussmann




Paris now has some of the most incredible breakfast places, which makes me happy because it’s my favorite meal of the day. It’s highly likely I’ll suggest a breakfast date when getting together with friends. Why do I love it so much? We all know that the early bird gets the worm – and the warmest croissant. But in all seriousness, my day just always seems a bit sweeter when I have had breakfast with a loved one. My fellow breakfast lovers and early birds, I’m happy to introduce you to Claus in the 1e arrondissement.

The girls and I visited Claus for an afternoon coffee date a few weeks ago, and while we were there, I posted a quick pic on Instagram. I actually ended up singing a few arias, as we happened to be the only ones there for a brief moment. Thank you, Claus, for letting me practice! Recently, I walked past it and thought I’d share a bit more about the experience on the blog.

I first fell in love with Claus when I saw a picture of its façade on Instagram. Isn’t it just darling?


As you walk in, you’ll see a grand selection of cakes, pies, muffins, jams, and tarts, aka all that is good in life, with the menu and plats du jour written above in chalk. You’ll see many a picture of that famous chalkboard on Instagram; it’s very photogenic and a favorite among the Paris bloggers, photographers, foodiesand Instagrammers!


Everything is good here. A perfect brunch spot, Claus has a few menus that are healthy and delicious, as well as rich and indulgent, to match whatever your mood of the morning may be. The coffee is sourced from Coutume and, therefore, fantastic. I also highly recommend their fresh juices to enjoy upstairs in the salon de thé, overlooking the beauty that is rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of Christian Louboutin himself, whose boutique is a few numbers down.

What I love about Claus is that it also is an épicerie, so you can buy many of the products there and recreate your own Claus breakfast chez toi. What I do wonder is, do they sell those cute little felt hats that they put on their hardboiled eggs? J’adore !


PatriciaParisienne xx


For daily updates on all things Paris and travel, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!


14, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau





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The French notion of a year follows the academic calendar. The year begins in September à la rentrée, not in January. This year is now ending; the mass exodus of Parisians and Paris-dwellers from the French capital has begun. Vacationing in the sud, la maision de campagne, or abroad, Parisians won’t be back in the city until late August to early September to begin a new year. I’ve had to say both temporary and more prolonged goodbyes to friends, which can be heartbreaking, but thanks to my snap-happy ways, it’s easy to revisit the great memories we’ve made and beautiful places we’ve visited throughout the year.

Our Friday coffee dates were the perfect way to end the week, see the girls, and catch up on any recent developments. I’ve mentioned it time and time again, but the support network I’ve found in Paris has been exceptional. Women here support other women, and it’s both a blessing and relief to have found these ladies!

Okay, moving on to the delicious part: our Ladurée pastries! One of the oldest tea rooms in the city, the Ladurée salon de thé is a pastry lover’s paradise. We enjoyed a variety of decadent tarts and macarons with tea and coffee. It took us ages to order, because every little cake looked divine. (Note: it’s better to choose first, then talk, or else the server gets a bit testy!) My raspberry tart was beyond words; how do they make them so beautifully and rich, every time?

We met at the Madeleine location, which was nice, but I would recommend visiting the Bonaparte location, which is quainter and has much better lighting if you’re interested in taking photos, or the tea room on the Champs-Elysées, as they have a lovely terrace for people watching and al fresco dining.

Looking forward to our Friday dates in the fall!

PatriciaParisienne xx




Basking in the Sun on the Westin Paris Terrace

Paris in the summer is glorious. Le soleil, rosé, people-watching – I can’t think of a better way to wind down in the city than on a terrace, basking in the sunshine. There are a million and one stellar articles on the best terraces in Paris – but this is not one of them. While I do plan on making my way through these various lists, this post is just about a phenomenal few hours at the Westin Paris’s terrace. It’s a winter wonderland en hiver, and a sun worshipper’s best secret for a hot parigot day.

Having friends in Paris for the day is the perfect encouragement to try something new. Tatyana was in town and had a break after lunch, so we met up for a coffee. She had the brilliant idea of choosing the Westin Paris, and it honestly couldn’t have been a better day for it. We thoroughly enjoyed feeling the warm sun on our skin, with a champagne cocktail (her) and a fantastic cafe gourmand (standard me) in hand. Though the hotel is just off of rue de Rivoli, the courtyard is quiet, calm, and relaxing. You almost don’t feel like you’re in Paris anymore because the hustle and bustle of the city has completely disappeared once you walk through the Westin’s doors. Luckily, the Hausmannian architecture of the hotel is there to remind you that you are indeed in the City of Light.

I’m all about the little things – a smile, a brightly painted window, or a little chocolate. That’s why I must tell you about the Westin’s chips. Most places that offer cocktails will serve complimentary peanuts or bar mixes; the Westin serves chips. Not just any chips, but the best chips I have ever had. I’m a bit of a chip (or crisps, if you’re from the UK) connoisseur, and I have to say that I’ve never tried better chips than at the Westin. The server even brought us a second and third helping of them, which is slightly embarrassing but mostly amazing.

Tatyana and I had such a lovely afternoon at the Westin; I will be sure to be back with more friends soon. Thank you also to the brilliant staff that day that was ever-so-attentive; the extra chips and your kindness won’t soon be forgotten.

PatriciaParisienne xx


The Westin Paris – Vendôme

3, rue Castiglione


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Native Native Teams Up with Les Nouveaux Fromagers at Ô Chateau

There’s nothing better than a good wine and cheese night. In France, we are spoiled with some of the best of both categories. My most recent W&CN was not any ordinary evening, thanks to Native Native.

Native Native, a new collective for international bloggers in France, organizes blogger events every month in Paris. Launched this year by the talented London phenomenon Imogen Bailey, it’s been a huge success with the blogosphere – and she’s just getting started. Upcoming events include a collaboration with trendspotting magazine Soon Soon Soon at the brand-new La REcyclerie, which is already making waves in the hipster, bobo, and branche parigot circles.

June’s event was held at wine bar Ô Chateau in the 1e arrondissement. We were led to the back tasting room, which you will see below. The design, from the choice of the wood paneling to the plush stools, is old-school chic. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful setting for a wine tasting. The table was set and dotted with bright floral arrangements in the center of the table, as well as our Les Nouveaux Fromagers boxes. I couldn’t wait to open them!

Olivier Birade, co-founder of Les Nouveaux Fromagers (LNF), led the cheese tasting. Along with fellow business school grad Arthur Bernard, he founded LNF in October 2013, a monthly subscription box that delivers a variety of cheeses to your door. Each month is themed; we enjoyed the June idea of cheese and chutney pairing, “Fromage et Confit: l’union fait la force!” The Fauchon fig and olive chutney they included was to die for! It truly complemented the four glorious cheeses we enjoyed that night. For a full description of the June cheeses and Les Nouveaux Fromagers, I invite you to check out their site here.

Justin, our sommelier for the night, paired the cheese with three white wines. (I made sure to take pictures of the bottles for my wine lovers out there!) Half French, half American, he presented the wines well, providing interesting facts about the different regions where each wine is produced. I recommend booking a tasting with Ô Chateau (they’re offered in English, as well), or at least stopping by for a lovely glass of wine or champagne. I know I’ll be heading back with some girlfriends for a ladies night!

Many thanks to Native Native for hosting this beautiful event and for inviting me, to Les Nouveaux Fromagers for sharing their delicious cheeses with us, to O Chateau for the wine and for allowing us to enjoy their tasting room, and to my lovely fellow bloggers for their company that evening.

PatriciaParisienne xx

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Sunday Afternoon in Paris | Pierre Hermé Brunch

As you may have gathered from my Instagram, I am guilty of having an incurable sweet tooth. I can’t resist a delicious pastry! Luckily, my friends feel the same way; the girls love a good patisserie. To indulge in our guilty pleasure, Faye had the brilliant idea of hosting a Pierre Hermé brunch.

Famous for his macarons, Pierre Hermé is a well-known French pastry chef whose creations are edible works of art. My first PH experience was when Lauren so sweetly gave me the vanilla tart for my 25th birthday. I’ve been hooked ever since. I have to stop myself from getting a macaron every time I walk by one of his shops. My favorites are his intense chocolate and salted caramel flavors, but I do enjoy tempting fate by trying the different mystery flavor each month. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! (P.S. Macaron ≠ MacaroOn)

Right, back to the brunch! The day of the brunch was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The sun was out, and it felt like summer had finally arrived. Some of my favorite ladies and I enjoyed yummy granola from Soul Kitchen, fresh juices with fun straws, and a colorful fruit salad, courtesy of our hostess. We had a fun time ooh-ing, ah-ing, and photographing the beautiful cakes, but the best parts of the brunch were the company, of course, and the tasting! And yes, they are just as amazing as they look. I almost didn’t want to eat them! …almost 😉

It was such a perfect end to the weekend. Merci les filles for the wonderful company and to Faye for being such a fantastic hostess!

PatriciaParisienne xx




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