Laura and I adore Paris (we had an amazing time there in 2012 when we took a Paris Cafe Writing class), so for this week’s challenge we decided to bring the City of Lights home to us. Inspired by the stylish practices of Frenchwomen, who seem to live spectacularly and look amazing without effort, here are five things I tried this week and enjoyed beaucoup. To read about Laura’s experience click here.
1. Biked to the local farmers market with this pretty mademoiselle. (Parisians love to cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients and they bike or walk everywhere, naturally fitting exercise into their day.)
2. Cooked classic French dishes for my family. I made an easy version of Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine) and it was delish. The bacon, shallots and mushrooms combined with the red wine sauce resulted in a rich and satisfying chicken dish that was simply yummy over egg noodles. I also made Bon Appetit’s Tuna Salade Niçoise for a lighter meal. What better way to enjoy a culture than through its food?
3. Watched the Chanel Spring-Summer Ready-to-Wear Show on YouTube. The French are fabulously well dressed and Chanel is perhaps their best known designer brand. Other than a pair of sunglasses I don’t own any Chanel pieces, but their virtual runway show is a fun way to participate in the uber-exclusive fashion week and get excited about Spring clothes.
4. Ate a chocolate croissant for breakfast while unhurriedly looking out at the world. (The French indulge in treats in moderation and take their time over meals.)
5. Dressed like a Parisian and took a stroll. Paid no attention to my hair. Wore dark colors, flat shoes, red lipstick and understated jewelry. Tried to evoke an air of unconcerned mystery. Embraced my age. I wore this outfit to flâne (stroll) with my dog, but could I fit in at a Paris Jazz club? Je ne sais pas, but I had fun trying.
If you want to put some French flair into your daily life, here are some fun resources to consider. Enjoy and au revoir!
How to Live Like a Frenchwoman, by Leonce Chenal
10 Secret French Lifestyle Rules Revealed, Celine Concierge
How to Pretend You’re in Paris Tonight, New York Times