Thinking Of Paris…Le Coude De Fou
22 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking Of Paris…Le Coude De Fou

  There are many reasons to spend time in Le Marais, the third and fourth arrondissements of Paris on the right banks of the Seine. Shopping, shopping and more shopping, history and museums, taking tea at Mariage Freres, a coffee at Le Petit Fer a Cheval or dinner at Le Coude Fou, all perfectly good excuses

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Thinking of Paris And How To Get Around
16 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking of Paris And How To Get Around

There is public transport and then there is public transport. I would be untruthful if I told you I was a fan of the London tube or the New York subway but I am absolutely telling the ‘cross my fingers, swear on the lives of the children’ truth when I say I love the Parisian

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Thinking of Paris: Department Stores
12 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking of Paris: Department Stores

  Paris should be less about shopping and more about beauty, art and culture. We all know that, but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do. The most famous Parisian department stores are the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps on the Boulevarde Haussmann. They are grand buildings full of good stuff

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Chez Julien
10 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Chez Julien

Chez Julien goes with Paris and romance; mention one imagine the other.  I think Paris has to be the most romantic city I know – even on the most freezing of nights the Parisian streets throw a glow that melts most hearts.  The restaurant Chez Julien is one of the prettiest and romantic dining rooms.

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Thinking Of Paris And The Macaron
9 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking Of Paris And The Macaron

I don’t think there has ever been a gateaux more talked about than the French macaron. A day does not go past that I don’t read about these delectable little morsels. These light as air cookies seem to conjure up all that is romantic about France. They might not be an official symbol of the French capital

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Thinking Of Paris And The Cligancourt Flea Market
5 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking Of Paris And The Cligancourt Flea Market

Everyone who loves the hunt for trashy treasure has their own flea market story. My fabulous finds have more often than not taken place at Cligancourt in Paris or Ile sur la Sorgue, a small town about 20 minutes away from Saint Remy de Provence. I love the hunt. Antiquing (that’s what I call it) has

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Thinking of Paris: Best French Fragrance
3 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking of Paris: Best French Fragrance

Thinking of Paris and’Best French Fragrances’ not ‘Best Friends Forever’ although I think I would be very happy to call Paris a BFF. There are many, many superb French fragrances and each one is special to those who wear them so my small list is simply those fragrances and perfume houses in Paris that I

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Thinking of Paris… Gare de Lyon
2 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking of Paris… Gare de Lyon

  Le Train Bleu is the reason I want to visit the Gare de Lyon in Paris. This restaurant, upstairs in the train station, was built around the same time as the Grand Palais, Le Petit Palais and the Alexandre III bridge to celebrate the Universal Exhibition in 1900.  It is totally over the top and

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Thinking Of Paris
1 February 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking Of Paris

 Who isn’t thinking of Paris?  Paris has been on my mind particularly in the last few days because one of my daughters is moving there for a few months to concentrate on her language studies. I know that she is the one who is moving…and that I must remind myself that it is not me

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Eat Like A French Girl, Exercise Like An Aussie
25 January 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Eat Like A French Girl, Exercise Like An Aussie

This is going to be my new mantra…she says with fingers crossed.A new year and particularly a new decade automatically means a little quiet time reflecting on the battle of the bulge. I generally shy away from over loaded promises and impossible goals because past experience would suggest that I am only setting myself up

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What Makes a Room Memorable?
24 November 2009 | VA Notes Lifestyle

What Makes a Room Memorable?

  I have come to realise that the rooms that grab my attention have a similarity about them. Decoratively they may not be of the same style or the same period yet the key elements will have something in common. These certain features that I gravitate towards are what I consider to be the foundations

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Do these jeans make me look fat?
14 November 2009 | VA Notes Uncategorized

Do these jeans make me look fat?

  How many times have I asked myself that question? I have just made the calculation and I figure it must be just under 2000 times. If I have been wearing jeans since my teenage years and I am still wearing them and I am still asking this question about once a week then that

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The French Doctor
10 November 2009 | VA Notes Provence

The French Doctor

The fact that my French doctor is charming does not bias me in any way; I must disclose this before I start. I find him cute I will admit but I have never made an emergency visit without a reason and I have certainly never demanded a house call without just cause. I promise.  The

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The Guest Bedroom
4 November 2009 | VA Notes Provence

The Guest Bedroom

I often think that the guest bedroom is the most important room in the home because more often than not it is occupied by nearest and dearest.

It is a room that does not have to be entirely practical but should be supremely comfortable. It is a room that must be friendly but private and above all it should be a room that expresses the host’s taste and style.

I believe that staying in a person’s home is the ultimate compliment and it is for that reason the guest room should be as welcoming as possible.

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The Joys of Travel with Easy Jet
23 October 2009 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The Joys of Travel with Easy Jet

Other than reaching your destination safely I am not sure what the joys of airline travel are anymore. Flying is a means to an end, a way to get from A to B; it is no longer something to look forward to nor is it something to be prolonged. Flying requires courage and strength of

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