Archive for the ‘About Paris’ Category

L’Autumne Paris

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012






Omelets: Hotel Brunch, Laduree and Julia

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Laduree’s Traditional Omelet

I was brought up in a family that LOVED Sunday brunch.  We would wake up, go to church and then fill our bellies at a local hotel with the standard brunch buffet.  I am sure you know what I am talking about.  The salad bars, the seafood bars, the carving station and of course…the omelet bar.

Since I hadn’t eaten for 16 hours, by the time I got to the hotel, I was usually beyond starving.  I made a beeline for that omelet bar and the result was usually a pile of ingredients that I now know didn’t resemble an omelet.

This probably looks familiar, right?  My problem was that I wanted it all.  The “chef” would go down the line and ask, “Bacon?” Yes.  ”Cheese?” Yes. “Peppers?” Yes. “Mushrooms?” Yes. I don’t think I turned down anything.  He would then pour some egg mixture out a bottle, flip it all around and slide the stack onto my plate.   Most of the time I went back for seconds.

And then I grew up and went to Paris.

My first trip was punctuated with a lunch at Laduree.  I can’t remember my lunch order (I know I ate my weight in macarons) but my husband ordered an omelet.  When it arrived, I looked at it and wondered where all of the stuff was?  What I saw before me was a perfectly formed roll of eggs glistening with what I now know was butter.  (See the photo at the top for proof) It looked light, fluffy and heavenly.  They served it with the most golden, fat pomme frite and that was it.   Like all French cooking, it was pure and simple and delicious.

When I returned home, I became obsessed with the omelet.  I tried to make it on my own but something wasn’t right.  I turned to Julia Child for help.  In “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom“, the perfect recipe was found.  Then I looked on the web for a video of her actually making one, so that I could master the flip.  The recipe is simple:

2 jumbo eggs

a big pinch of salt

several grinds of black pepper

1 tsp of cold water (the secret)

1 Tbs unsalted butter

You whisk it all together and then cook

To really learn it, I suggest watching the video.  Plus it is just TOO entertaining!  Enjoy.

Julia Child – How to Make the Perfect French Omelette (1960s) from German on Vimeo.

Book Review: Paris in Love, A Memoir by Eloisa James

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

When I first starting doing book reviews for the CobbleStay blog, I depended on the local bookstore for my titles.   As the blog took off, I began to get suggestions from our guests and they haven’t steered me wrong yet!  I have been working my way down a solid list of books that either take place in Paris, are about food in Paris or contain breathtaking pictures of Paris.  I have just finished Eloisa James’ memoir, “Paris in Love” and it was fantastique!

Ms. James, her husband and their two children move from the US to Paris for a year.  The book is filled with short, Facebook style posts that give us a glimpse into the highlights of her life in Paris.  Often times books about Americans living in Paris are filled with tales of never fitting in with the Parisian locals.  I found this book to be quite the opposite.  Ms. James seemed to do just fine in Paris.  Her daughter may have felt differently, but those were the stories I loved the most.  Anna’s relationship with her nemesis, Domitilla, were so amusing to me.  Maybe it was because I could relate since I have a daughter of my own but mostly because they were just too funny!  Her teen son makes cameo appearances throughout the book and when he ignores her as his Metro train door closes and takes off…well, I can see my daughter doing the same thing!  Even in Paris, they will always be cooler than us.  A few dog stories, a trip to Italy and cute conversations about her husband (Italian) and his year in Paris make this a fun and easy read.

Like many of the books suggested to me by CobbleStay guests, this one made me want to live in Paris even more.  There is a short list of her favorite spots in Paris in the back.  I love when authors do this.  This book should be added to your Paris bookshelf, too.

Do you have a Paris book that you would like to share?  Send it to us!

Fashion in Paris-Fall 2012

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

September and October are definitely the MOST fashionable months to be in Paris.  The Parisiennes are back from summer holidays and still have their sunny glow.  Paris is warm with cool evenings so you don’t need to bundle up quite yet.  The city gets all gussied up as the world’s most fashionable people descend into Paris for Fashion Week.  The shops are stocked with the latest fashions.  Parties are going on just about every night.  It is an electric time to be in Paris.

Besides the fashion shows that run early in October, there are many ways to take part in .  Here are our choices to get you fashion fix this fall:

Vogue’s Fashion Night Out  Book your airplane tonight because this event happens September 6th.  Okay, you can’t make it to Paris that fast…check the website for events happening all over the US and feel very en vogue.

Chloe. Attitudes  Chloe. Attitudes is the first exhibition dedicated to the 60 year old fashion house.  It takes place at Palais de Tokyo and runs September 29 – November 18.

La Nuit Blanche  The White Night happens on October 6th.  And, although it is centered around art, it is right at the end of Fashion Week.  It is guaranteed to be filled with the glamaratti.  What is it?  A night where numerous museums, galleries, city halls and swimming pools will stay open all night.  There will be special exhibits, concerts and parties.

Centre Commercial  My fashion sources tell me that this store is the newest, hippest and not to be missed.  I have added it to my list.

Garance Dore  Speaking of fashion sources…I am 99% sure that Ms. Dore will be in Paris capturing the fashionistas during fashion week.  If you cannot make it to Paris in early October, check in with her site daily to see all of the amazing pictures.  Totally inspiring.

Jennifer Lopez  She isn’t French but she sure is a fashion powerhouse and she will be in concert on October 16th at the Paris Bercy.  Break out the sequin dress and high heels.

Mademoiselle Fashionista  We love Paris fashion and have a board dedicated to it on Pinterest.  At the very least, you can sample what we think Paris fashion embodies.

All of this sounds exciting, oui?  Grab an extra suitcase (you’ll need it for the shopping) and book your Paris vacation rental today.  We still have a few properties available through September and October.  Have you ever attended Fashion Week in Paris?  We’d love to hear about it.  Drop us a line at

Things to do in Paris: Salon Du Chocolat

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012



If your heaven is a warehouse full of chocolate, look no further than the Paris Salon Du Chocolat. From the moment you walk through the door, every turn you take you are surrounded by every imaginable variety of chocolate treat. Shoes, dresses, and sculptures of chocolate in every color abound, and Bolivian dancers bring the cocoa-harvesting culture to life. Take in a chocolate cooking class, or simply wander through hundreds of booths and collect free samples.

Our Guest Blogger, Lisa


Salon du Chocolat

The festival, hosted in Porte de Versailles convention center on Metro Line 12 is open from October 31st-November 4th 2012. The enormous convention space transforms in to aisles and aisles of chocolate vendors and craftsmen displaying their creativity and talent. Tickets are available online or at the door of the exhibit, and are 13 Euros for adults (6 Euros for children under 12) 

Lisa Gabrielson is a current undergraduate student at American University in Washington, DC. Before attending college, she spent a gap year abroad as an Au Pair and fell in love with Paris. When she’s not in the classroom or daydreaming about the city of light, she can be found sailing for the university sailing team or working as President of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. You can find Lisa on Twitter @Lisa79

An Exhibit a Month *Art in Paris 2012*

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

As summer comes to an end, we are reminded that fall in Paris is filled with excitement.  Cooler weather, the Parisians are rested, Fashion Week and art…a lot of art!  Here are our top choices of art exhibits for the rest of 2012.  One a month, from September to December.  Plan your trip now!


Travel to Paris and learn about China!

The Seductions of the Palace, Eating and Cooking in China
This exhibit will showcase Chinese cooking and dining traditions in Chinese history through 100 works from the National Museum of China, presented for the first time outside of China. 


If you are a fashionista, you are crazy to come to Paris and not see the Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs exhibit.  Take note: It ends on October 4th (just as Fashion Week closes).  You are bound to see Paris’ finest ladies and gentleman in it’s closing days.

Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs
Presenting the history of fashion icons Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, this exhibit will showcase both of their creations in terms of chronology, analyzing fashion trends during industrialization and leading up globalization, while showcasing how fashion techniques and the industry have changed over the years.


Often times you spend hours looking at framed paintings in Paris.  We love this exhibit that features everything else.

Trompe-l’oeil: Imitations, Pastiches and Other Illusions
Four hundred rarely displayed objects are on display, depicting different forms of optical illusions, from furniture to mirrors to clothing, etc.


In September we took you to China, now go to Rome…

Raphael in Rome, The Mature Years, exhibition at the Louvre  ”Once upon a time in Rome”
The Louvre presents an exhibition dedicated to the great Italian Renaissance master Raphael and his work in Rome.

5-Star Food on a 2-Star Budget

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Our Guest Blogger Lisa and her brother in front of Bistrot D’Acote Flaubert


Paris may be the city of light, but it is also arguably the cuisine capital of the world. Of course, with the incredible edibles also comes the unbelievable price tag. While restaurants like Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, Guy Savoy near the Champs Élysées, or Restaurant Lasserre may serve up some of the best food, the prices put them far out of reach of mere mortals.

Years ago, my mother came across a gem of Parisian cuisine that at first sounds too good to be true, but after a taste of their lobster mac n’ cheese a few years ago I can tell you that it does indeed exist. Bistrot D’Acote Flaubert is one of Paris’ best-kept culinary secrets.

Right around the corner from Michele Rostang, one of Paris’ priciest spots, the Bistrot sits in quiet obscurity. Those who choose to forgo the golden doors of Michele Rostang and instead venture into Bistrot D’Acote, owned by the same family, are in for an experience like no other. The charmingly small bistro, with its collection of beer steins and Michelin Tire Co. artifacts (a nod to the coveted restaurant grading system), is the last place you would expect to have a mind-blowing dinner.  Yet, the fact that the Bistrot shares its kitchen with Michele Rostang is a good indicator of what is to come.

Between their Gratin de Penne et Crème de Homard (my favorite) and their rotisserie veal for two, you’ll be lucky if you have room for their out-of-this-world Petits Pots De Crème. Perhaps the most satisfying part of the meal, however, is the after-dinner stroll down the block to see the posted menu of Michele Rostang, and noticing your 30 Eur. Entrée et Plat would barely get you a glass of wine there.

The Bistrot was recently featured as a set in the movie “Sarah’s Key”, but on our last visit still seemed blissfully undiscovered. Even so, reservations here are a must on the weekends, and the Bistrot is only open certain days during the week for lunch or dinner, so be sure to check before you go! Reservations can be made through or by visiting the restaurant’s website:

Bistrot D’Acote Flaubert

10 Rue Gustave Flaubert

75017 Paris, France

Lisa Gabrielson is a current undergraduate student at American University in Washington, DC. Before attending college, she spent a gap year abroad as an Au Pair and fell in love with Paris. When she’s not in the classroom or daydreaming about the city of light, she can be found sailing for the university sailing team or working as President of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. You can find Lisa on Twitter @Lisa790


J’ Adore Fifi Flowers…it is a contest!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

You can win this print! 

We first fell in love with Fifi Flowers on Facebook.  We were captivated by the colors in her artwork and of course, her subject….PARIS!  We are thrilled that she is contributing this month’s Facebook Contest prize and we want you to learn a little bit more about  Fifi and what inspires her.

1.  We read on your website that life should be full of whimsy and fun…what do you do besides paint that keeps your day fun and whimsical?
First… I am the mother to to teenage boys and they add FUN to my life everyday!  Andddd… I find a bit of whimsy in everything I see and do.  Being an artist I think I view my surroundings as a possible painting… and I constantly snap photos throughout the day… inspiration is everywhere!
2.  Obviously we LOVE that you paint such colorful scenes of Paris, can you tell us when and how you fell in love with our favorite city?
I visited Paris only ONCE but it NEVER left moi… I hope that one day I will return to that AMAZING City… Until then I will paint my dreams of Paris!  What is not to love about the City… The history, the architecture… the incredible way it makes me feel knowing my favourite artist lived and created… How wonderful it would be to paint everyday in Paris… Ooh la la!
3.  People send you their favorite Paris photographs and commission you to paint it for them.  What is the most popular setting that is sent to you?
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most popular.  Many times the Eiffel Tower is NOT in the photos they send, but they want it added. Some many views I paint of Paris do not real exist… they are a dream, a fantasy… they are a bit of whimsy!
4.  Do you have any secret spots in Paris that make for a great photo background that you can share with our guests?
When I was in Paris I had no itinerary… my mother and I simply walked the streets… oui oui oui… there were places that we visited that everyone knows about but basically we just threw ourselves into the streets to experience the City! Everywhere we roamed we found a treasure… a FAB cafe, a chapeau (hat) shop, art exhibits at tiny museums, chocolat… There is not ONE secret spot but a multitude!
5.  We were thrilled to find your other website since we are voracious readers… what is your favorite book about Paris?
I don’t believe I’ve actually ever read a book about “Paris” but I’ve read many books set in Paris both fiction and nonfiction. We’ve featured books and interviewed a few authors who have written novels based in Paris on Reading is Fashionable… such as Kirsten Lobe, Corine Gantz and Paula McLain to name a few.  I have also been inspired to paint bookmarks after reading Paris based books… Hard to pick just one that stands out they ALL make moi yearn to be in Paris.
To see more of Fifi Flowers artwork visit her website.  To purchase one of her paintings or prints, visit her shop.  You can also follow her on Twitter @FifiFlowers.
Now…to get details and enter the contest click HERE!!!!
A Bientot!

What is La Rentrée?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Many of you may know that the people of France receive four to six weeks of paid vacation each year.  It is commonplace for Parisians to vacate the city for the entire month of August.  They want to escape the heat and the tourists and travel somewhere exotic.  As a traveler to Paris during this time, you will find many shops and cafes closed for the month of “vacances”.

September marks the beginning of La Rentrée.  Everyone comes back from their fabulous vacations and enters back into their usual routines.  It is kind of like the feeling of the first day of school.  You are wearing your new school clothes, brand new sneakers and carrying a new backpack and excited to meet your new teacher.  In Paris, the shops are spruced up, inventory is replenished and most people are refreshed and ready for the September season of travelers.  The weather is usually perfect; still warm with cool evenings.  The sun is still setting a little late to give you just enough time to get back to your apartment before dark to prepare for a night out.  It is a wonderful time in Paris!

Recipe: Crepes

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

This summer, we have been hosting a French foreign exchange student.  Although she is pretty shy and her English is about as good as my French, she knows her way around a kitchen.  This morning she taught us how to make crepes.  And, OH MY!!!!  They were heaven!!!  I think there are three reasons that they turned out so good.

1.  We have a very nice crepe pan that we bought at William Sonoma

2.  We made the batter the night before.  This allows all of the air bubbles to dissipate, leaving us with a smooth batter.

3.  A real French girl gave us the recipe.

This morning we served them with butter, sugar, bananas and Nutella.  You can also serve them with savory toppings.  In my opinion, they are best served and eaten pretty quick.  I can’t see storing them for any length of time.  We would love to see how you served yours.  Send us a picture! Here is the recipe:


1 cup cold water

1 cup cold milk (full fat)

4 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups of flour

4 Tbs. melted butter

Put liquids, eggs and salt into a blender.  Cover and blend for one minute.  Scrape down sides of blender.  Blend again for 2-3 seconds.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum but best overnight.  Take out the of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you are going to make crepes to bring to room temp.   To cook: follow instructions on your crepes pan of choice OR using a crepe pan, take some melted butter and brush all over pan.  Pour a small amount onto the pan and swirl around to cover.  Flip gently.  Repeat process.