September 6, 2016

French Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

What better way to prepare for la rentrée than a relaxing afternoon spent at the Ritz Paris?

Since my first visit after it reopened, I have been longing to return for a special occasion.

Serving afternoon tea from 2:30-6pm, the Salon Proust is an exceptionally cozy parlor with plush seating, warm woodwork and an exquisite display of desserts.

Unlike the more commonly enjoyed English tea (served elsewhere in the hotel), you won't find savory sandwiches or scones here. The thé à la française in the Salon Proust proposes an impressive spread of classic childhood sweets, with a refined twist: madeleines (a Ritz specialty), marble cake, cannelés, meringues,...

Amidst the grand decor and divine menu, an extremely knowledgable and accommodating staff shines, delivering an exceptional experience. Each pot of tea and pastry is its own small work of art.

As the mellow sentiment of summer begins to fade away, the Salon Proust is the perfect place to spend a few leisurely hours and prepare to brave the busy season ahead.

Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Madeleine amuse-bouche at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Afternoon tea at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Pastires at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Famous madeleines at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Tea at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris
Decadent desserts at the Salon Proust, Ritz Paris


Ritz Paris
15 Place Vendôme
75001 Paris

August 25, 2016

Rockin' Rochester

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity, with one of the highlights being a trip back to the US to see family and friends. 

Between visits and relaxation, my husband and I took a day trip to Rochester, NY (the state's third most populous city, after New York and Buffalo...and home to Kodak!). Not being too familiar with the city, we had a lot of fun discovering some of the wonderful things it has to offer.

Check out a few of our favorite stops below!

High Falls, Rochester, NY, USA


TRATA - The Restaurant at the Armory
145 Culver Road
Rochester, NY 14620

USA

TRATA is "an upscale-casual,'all American' bar and restaurant". This hip industrial building provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy an innovative menu featuring everything from duck quesadillas to a tower of buttermilk fried chicken and biscuits.

TRATA, The Restaurant at the Armory, Rochester, NY, USA
Duck quesadillas, TRATA, The Restaurant at the Armory, Rochester, NY, USA
Buttermilk fried chicken, TRATA, The Restaurant at the Armory, Rochester, NY, USA


The Genesee Brew House
25 Cataract St.
Rochester, NY 14605

USA

The Genesee Brewing Company is one of the largest and oldest operating breweries in the United States. Just next door, at the Genesee Brew House, you can explore the history of 'Genny', through dedicated exhibits, a pilot brewery, restaurant and gift shop. Don't miss the free guided tours of the pilot brewery and $3 beer flights!

Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA
Genesee Brewing Company, Rochester, NY, USA
Flight at the Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA
On tap at the Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA
Exhibit at the Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA
Pilot brewery at the Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA
Beer at the Genesee Brew House, Rochester, NY, USA



Ontario Beach Park 
50 Beach Ave
Rochester, NY 14612
USA

Ontario Beach Park is a surprisingly fantastic summer destination. Take a refreshing dip in Lake Ontario (sandy beach and lifeguards included!), stroll to the tip of the seemingly never-ending pier, savour a picnic lunch in an open air pavillion, or ride the historic Dentzel Carousel (a park staple since 1905).

Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, NY
Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, NY
Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, NY




June 22, 2016

Bon Voyage With Embryolisse

Summer is officially here, which means it's time to start thinking about vacation! Luckily, one thing you won't have to spend time thinking about is your skin care routine. The experts at Embryolisse have put together the perfect package of travel size products to meet your nomadic beauty needs.

Embryolisse Pack Voyage

The "Pack Voyage" (pictured above) contains 3 multi-function favorites that will keep you fresh and flawless while on the go.

But that's not all, Embryolisse has created 3 additional summer packages to accompany you this season.
Choose from Fraîcheur, Jouvence and Douceur.


Products compliments of Embryolisse. All opinions are my own. 

June 14, 2016

Maison Chaumet: Une Education Sentimentale

Founded in 1780 in Paris, Chaumet holds a special place in French history. This now world-renowned jeweler was once the official jeweler of Empress Josephine, and for over 200 years, has been crafting jewels, tiaras and timepieces to commemorate life's most important occasions.

Since February 6, 2016 and until September 24, 2016, you can discover Chaumet's rich history through a collection of exceptional photos and pieces at their Musée Ephémère* in Place Vendôme. Titled "Une Education Sentimentale", the retrospective offers a fascinating look into the world of Haute Joaillerie.

Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"
Chaumet Musée Ephémère, Paris, "Une Education Sentimentale"

Chaumet
12 Place Vendôme
75001 Paris

*Free entry and guided tour. Plan around 20 minutes for the full visit.


June 12, 2016

Puttin' On the Ritz

This past week, the legendary Ritz Paris reopened its doors after 4 years of renovations. The reopening comes a few months later than initially planned due to a damaging fire back in January, however, the results are incredible.

Stepping into the iconic 5 star hotel, the lobby alone radiates French luxury and glamor. As you wind through the ground floor, each hallway, restaurant, gallery and seating area exudes sophistication. It's no surprise that this was once the favorite haunt of Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway and many other notable figures.

Currently in the "soft opening" period, the hotel will be fully operational and open for booking in the coming days. Until then, you can get a sneak peek below.

Ritz Paris entrance
Ritz Paris hallway
Ritz Paris hallway
Ritz Paris Gallery
Ritz Paris seating area
Ritz Paris staircase and seating area

Ritz Paris
15 Place Vendôme
75001 Paris

June 6, 2016

Inside the Château de Malmaison

Lately, Paris' weather has been downright awful, contributing to flooding, damage and spotty public transportation. This past weekend, we were looking for a family outing that would allow us to avoid the chaos in city centre.

Our search led us to the Château de Malmaison in the suburb of Rueil-Malmaison. Once the private estate of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine, this now museum makes for a wonderful day out. Many of its rooms, furnishings and artifacts are right up there with what you can find at the more well-known Château de Versailles (also worth a visit).

Entry is free the first Sunday of every month, and even with this advantage, we were surprised to see that we didn't have to wait in line or fight off hordes of tourists to get in. Aside from a small group of young students and a few other families, we nearly had the place to ourselves. It was nice to be able to take our time in each room and snap photos at our leisure.

The weather, albeit a bit gloomy, did not put a damper on the day. We also explored the château's fragrant gardens before concluding our short stay.

Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France
Château de Malmaison
Hallway in the Château de Malmaison, France
Hallway in the Château de Malmaison
The Billiard Room, Château de Malmaison, France
La salle de billard (The Billiard Room)
The Gilded Room, Château de Malmaison, France
Le salon doré (The Gilded Room)
The Dining Room, Château de Malmaison, France
La salle à manger (The Dining Room)
Dinner service at the Château de Malmaison, France
Dinner service
The Emperor's Bedroom, Château de Malmaison, France
La chambre de l'Empereur (The Emperor's Bedroom)
The Empress' Bedroom, Château de Malmaison, France
La chambre à coucher de l'Impératrice (The Empress' Bedroom)
Painting of Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, Château de Malmaison, France
Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by the Great Saint Bernard Pass
The Library, Château de Malmaison, France
La bibliothèque (The Library)
The Frieze Room, Château de Malmaison, France
La salle de la frise (The Frieze Room)
Garden of old roses, Château de Malmaison, France
Jardin des roses anciennes (Garden of old roses)

Château de Malmaison
Avenue du Château de Malmaison
92500 Rueil-Malmaison

Tip: If visiting with small children, strollers must be left at the welcome desk. Consider bringing a carrier or wrap for a comfortable, hands-free visit.