Un cadeau pour vous... - une femme d'un certain âge

Un cadeau pour vous…

As I mentioned last week, I loved this Talbot’s “Day in Paris” silk scarf so much that I purchased another to share with one of you.

To enter to win this lovely foulard, write a comment before 11:59pm on 8/31/09, describing your favorite day in Paris. If you have never visited Paris, describe how you’d imagine a perfect Paris day. Next Tuesday I’ll draw a name from the entries. Bonne chance!

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  1. Anonymous
    August 25, 2009 / 1:39 pm

    ‘Bonne chance’!

  2. August 25, 2009 / 1:43 pm

    i had a 2 week trip to paris scheduled for november. it was snatched away by budget cuts…..
    thanks for making the scarf available.

  3. August 25, 2009 / 1:45 pm

    I must win this for my new bag!!

    I spent my ideal day in Paris about 10 years ago, though it did not start out that way and didn’t even feel that way for me until after it was over.

    We had spent the previous week in Barcelona, as my Dad had an apartment there for working 6 months out of the year. We decided to use his bounty of frequent flier miles to take the family for Easter break during my Senior year of High School. Barcelona was great, but I was itching for my early graduation gift…an overnight trainride to Paris.

    We only had one day, so we had to pack it. We started by taking a tour bus around all of Paris. We saw the Arc, stopped at the Eiffel Tower and at Notre Dame.

    It was great…until the tour bus left us at Notre Dame. They left 15 minutes before they were supposed to!

    And then it started to pour.

    Well, my family started bickering and getting upset. I was a little panicked as the Louvre was about to close and I just HAD to see my favorite sculpture…The Kiss of Love, by Antonio Canova.

    I had to take action. I stepped into the middle of the street, hailed my first-ever cab, and shoved my still-bickering family members inside.

    I had absolutely no French vocabulary at the time, so I just said ” lay loo-vra” to the cab driver and we were there within 10 minutes.

    With 5 minutes to spare, I ran into the Louvre, almost in tears because it was so huge and how was I going to find one scultpure?

    I ran into the first room, turned around, and there it was. The first sculpture in the room was my Kiss of Love. I couldn’t believe it, what luck!

    I stared at it, touched it when no one was looking, and had my mom take a picture of me standing behind it.

    After about 2 minutes it was time to go. I saw no other pieces of art, not even the Mona Lisa, which was supposedly in the next room. I didn’t care, i was euphoric.

    Walking down the street a little later, we saw a miniature of Kiss of Love in a gift-shop window and my mom ran right in and bought it for me. I still have it’s own special little shelf in my bedroom.

    We didn’t have any dinner reservations and were walking around, wet and tired, when we spied a little restaurant down little side street. Called ‘Le Souffle’, it was apparently a reservations-only kind of place, but seeing us poor Americans all wet and hungry, they let us have the table of a cancelled reservation.

    It was the best meal of my whole life. I don’t know what my dish was called, but it was some kind of lobster-asparagus creamy casserole concoction. It was amazing. The waiters were so gracious and kind. We all ended our meals with the house specialty, the chocolate souffle.

    Still euphoric and a little but drunk from my 2 small glasses of wine (my brother and I were each allowed 1 glass, but he didn’t want his), I floated down the streets of Paris.

    We ended the evening with a night-time cruise of the Seine. It was the most beautiful thing. There was a tour-audio recording that you could listen to on headphones, but I didn’t want them. I layed down on my bench and just absorbed the lights, the buildings, the sounds and the smells of Paris.

    It was the longest, most tiring, frustrating, beautiful and incredible day.

  4. August 25, 2009 / 1:53 pm

    Shar, that was a very nice story. I think you deserve the foulard.

  5. Lisa
    August 25, 2009 / 2:35 pm

    I’ve never been to Paris. I imagine my perfect day to be getting up for an early walk and watching the City wake up. Cafe au Lait and a crossiant at an outdoor cafe near a fountain. Browsing at a flea market and finding treasures for my home and wardrobe. A long lunch with wine and my husband. An afternoon of museum visits. A nap at my beautiful hotel. A late light dinner with a decadent dessert. BLISS

  6. August 25, 2009 / 3:18 pm

    I have never been, but I would like to go some day….

    Would wake up early and go to a little cafe for coffe & pastries. Then I would spend the day sightseeing. Not your normal Paris sights, but all those out of the way little streets and corners that the locals love.

  7. Anonymous
    August 25, 2009 / 3:32 pm

    What a lovely prize. I have never been to Paris, but I can dream. One lovely day of strolling the streets, eating at outdoor cafes, museum and shop visits, lovely food and a beautiful hotel. What more can you ask for?


  8. Anonymous
    August 25, 2009 / 4:26 pm

    I have not been to Paris yet, but my perfect day would be 13 years ago when my father, suffering from cancer was there for a “last trip” with my mother. I would magically appear in this scene, spend a glorius day with my parents, then savor the memory through my life after losing my father 4 months later. A bittersweet fantasy, but mine. From SSB

  9. Anonymous
    August 25, 2009 / 5:11 pm

    My ideal day in Paris took place on my first trip. It started out badly: apparently I cannot keep duck, I can only rent it. After a delicious meal of confit de canard, later that afternoon I had to leave the tour bus to violently lose my lunch, over and over again as I walked back to the hotel (under the Eiffel Tower, trash cans on the way . . .). Yet, later that week, when my roommate wanted to nap, I braved the city on my own went by myself to the Musee D’Orsay. It was cold and rainy and I fell in love with the city and the people. I stood on the bridge over the Seine and said to myself: I could live here and be happy. I have only been back once, but it is always on my list.

    Let someone else have the scarf – but to use a cliche, I’ll always have Paris.

  10. August 25, 2009 / 8:35 pm

    Of course I’m not participating, that wouldn’t be fair.

    But. . .

    Every day I have been to Paris — and I am now at the point where I can’t even count the times — I have never had anything but a perfect day. Paris makes me happy, never ceases to surprise and amaze. It’s impossible not to be happy in Paris, even when one is miserable. There is something inexplicably magic about Paris even when one is triste. What other city understands and commiserates with a broken heart?

    Paris understands our moods, flows with them, picks us up in its splendor and makes us realize how wonderful life can be. We’ll always have tomorrow. We’ll always have Paris.

  11. Marsi
    August 25, 2009 / 1:54 pm

    My favorite day in Paris was 4-1/2 years ago when my husband, then 8-year-old son, and I were there. We had a fabulous lunch at the Rotis’Bar, a tiny little rotisserie a few steps away from St-Jacques le Pauvre (which itself is just a few steps from Shakespeare & Co.). I had the prix fixe: an avocado half with grainy Dijon vinaigrette, roast quail with tarragon sauce, and ile flottante for dessert. It was the best salad, best entree, and best dessert I’ve ever had in each of those categories, ever.

    Following lunch, we happened upon a little jeweler called les Metamorphoses, specializing in Art Nouveau antiques jewelry. I got this wonderfully stylized bat (which is a prominent Art Nouveau symbol) bracelet from the turn of the century.

    I just remember it being a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful, happy day.

  12. Frugal Scholar
    August 25, 2009 / 3:05 pm

    A few summers ago. Drizzly day. Walking through Jardin du Luxembourg. Sun came out. A rainbow! (And we have pictures)

  13. August 25, 2009 / 11:09 pm

    October, 1986: My ideal day began with a croissant in the chambre de bonne that belonged to dear friends who lived just around the corner from the Jardin des Plantes. Strolling through the Jardin, I realized I had lost track of time during ten busy days in Paris.

    While I quietly recalculated, we walked, breathing in every street, nowhere special to go, every turning a delight.

    There was a stop for lunch in a café I no longer remember, a glimpse of Notre Dame from its terrace. While my husband hunted in the bouquinistes’ stalls, I made a detour at a pharmacie.

    I do remember the exquisite white burgundy our friend Roland served as an apertif, and a raucous evening with Roland and Danielle at Chez Pauline, near the Louvre.

    But mostly I remember sitting on that plush red banquette, savouring my secret even more than the poulette de Bresse. At the pharmacie, I had bought a kit, and in the toilette à la turque, I watched the strip turn blue: we would be parents.

    I’ve had many other delightful days in Paris, but this was unforgettable. DH said, if a girl, we’ll name her Geneviève… but we had twin boys.

  14. August 26, 2009 / 1:04 am

    My favorite day in Paris was fresh strawberries, the Eiffel Tower and sunshine. It was most wonderful day.

  15. August 26, 2009 / 2:16 am

    2003- high school trip. breathless gasps of wonder as le tour eiffel lit up- first sip of wine, first cigarette, first taste of life outside alabama.

    2008- university trip, fresh off a semester in grenoble. holding hands with a charming young boy, taking pictures and flirting shamelessly. shivering together, 8 of us huddled around a bottle of wine as we drifted down the seine on a bateau mouche. he wasn’t the love of my life, but it was a lovely little french affair.

    2009- i’d already been living in france for 6 months (teaching english in l’academie de grenoble) when a college friend came over during my vacances d’hiver. he was a good old southern boy on his first trip outside the us. we stayed in a damp hostel that smelled like urine, even under a fresh blanket of snow; we plodded around paris in boots- mine were suede and french, his were of the cowboy variety. but i taught him about art and we discussed poetry over un café…

    over côte du rhône and raclette i realized that there’s never a perfect day in paris.

    un jour… c’est jamais assez, hein?

  16. Lindy
    August 26, 2009 / 2:40 am

    My favorite memory of Paris is shopping on the Champs-Elysees and buying a beautiful gold stain glass window charm. P.S. I love the scarf and think you tied it exquisitely.

  17. August 26, 2009 / 3:57 am

    I can’t wear scarves, so don’t enter me in the drawing. I am just here to say how much I enjoyed reading everyone’s stories.

  18. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion
    August 25, 2009 / 11:55 pm

    I’ve never been to Paris….yet. My perfect day in Paris will be the one when I wake up and say, “I’m in Paris!”

  19. August 26, 2009 / 11:44 am

    what a lovely prize! i just had my ideal day in paris last april during my first “adult” trip there- perfect weather, a trip to the flea markets outside the city, a lovely dinner at a restaurant we just happened upon, and a stay and christain lacroix’s hotel bellechasse – it didn’t hurt that we ended the trip to france with a cross country drive into italy 🙂

  20. metscan
    August 26, 2009 / 4:46 am

    I have never been to Paris, although the flight is very short and affordable. I keep wondering, what is it with that city, that charms all you people over there? Is it the history, the scenery, the culture, the possibility just to walk on the streets and step inside stores/shops, the atmosphere ? Maybe even all of this together? What about other countries near France; Italy, Germany, Spain ?

  21. August 26, 2009 / 1:46 pm

    damp and cold February morning, the entire city seemed gray, or perhaps it had that beautiful black and white sort of feel to it, strangly it felt cozy to be sitting among friends, sipping coffee and seeing the city as if it was a still photograph and I was that bit of color with my red coat on.
    I would love to win that scarf, its gorgeous, black and white with a bit of color…hummm, matching my favorite Paris morning

  22. August 26, 2009 / 4:39 pm

    I remember a warm day, picking my way through the dog droppings on the ile Saint-Louis. (I loved watching the city workers on their cleaner go karts, vacuuming up the dogshit. That only happened on the main streets though.)

    Bought an ice cream cone at Berthillon. I remember the flavor: prune armagnac. Fabulous.

  23. August 26, 2009 / 7:44 pm

    my perfect day in Paris happened this past June: morning at the Musee D’Orsay, afternoon at the Bouevard Raspail market,concert at Saint chapelle, and dinner and ice cream on the Ile St. Louis

  24. August 26, 2009 / 9:34 pm

    it was cold, it was wet, it was drizzling in a steady, dulling stream. it was our first few hours off the plane, and we had walked in jet-lag fogged circles all around the Left Bank, with no idea where we were going to turn up.

    my carefully drawn up battle plan for storming the city of Paris was quickly going the way of Napolean’s army at Waterloo.

    for any port in a storm, we ducked into the Pantheon, near closing time. inside it was dry, but cold, dim and frankly, a bit disappointing. as the rain had eased a bit, we decided to leave.

    and as we came out into the open courtyard, my companion tugged vigourously at my sleeve and pointed.

    shining against the cloud dark sky, was the Eiffel Tower. we looked at each other and exclaimed (out loud): “Oh. My. Gawd! We’re in PARIS!”

    rain, cold and hard stones made no difference after that. the rest of the trip was heaven.

  25. Sher
    August 27, 2009 / 2:33 am

    I have never been to Paris, but I would like to experience the TRUE Pari. The little unexplored nooks of the city, that tourist don’t know about.

    I hear on Sundays there is a Market of a hundred stalls set up at March’ d’Aligre near the Bastille. There Merchants sell cheeses, meats, fruit and spices.

    After a morning of perusing thru there walk over to a little hole in the wall place named LeBaron Bouge. There the locals gather. No reservations are needed. It’s a boisterous crowded place, like the Paris of old. Enjoy, mingle and have lunch.

    With a full belly, who could pass up a jaunt to the Eiffel Tower. I would be terrified of the height, but my husband would insist you could not do Paris and miss the view. So taking my scarf off my handbag, he would tie it over my eyes as I boarded the elevator. But when we reached our destination would gently remove it and the view would overshadow my fear.

    Wandering back through the streets wearing my flats of course. We would wander the many shops. Once again after all that walking, my stomach would be crying for attention. I would insist on finding a local wine tasting retreat named La Cremerie. There I could satisfy my craving for chocolate fondant while sampling assorted wines from all over France.

    Giddy by the events of the day. We would head back to our place exhausted.

  26. August 27, 2009 / 1:40 pm

    I thought every day in Paris was perfect. My daughter and I went earlier this year and had the most wonderful time.
    The day that was my favorite began with breakfast at Angelina’s and then across the Seine to Quai Voltaire. It was raining as we made our way to Magasin Sennelier. When I stepped through those doors…the same doors that Picasso, Cezanne, Gauguin had entered, I was back in the 19th century. The cabinetry and counter-tops were old and beautiful. The stairs wound up to many small rooms of supplies. One room was filled with just easels. I bought some small sketchbooks and a travel watercolor tin filled with Sennelier colors. I could have bought the same items at home, but wouldn’t have treasured them as much.
    Back out into the rain and on to the D’Orsay, one of my favorite museums. Lunch was at the Cafe Voltaire with a delightful waitress and delicious quiche and salad. We took pictures of all of our meals. At this cafe, they had small potted hydrangeas on each table.
    I’ve painted with my little Sennelier set since I’ve been home. Each time I am brought back to the rainy wonderful day of art and my daughter.

  27. EdinburghGirl
    August 27, 2009 / 1:16 pm

    My ideal day in Paris would start with breakfast with Daniel Auteuil (draw your own conclusions!), a morning’s shopping at Chanel with Catherine Deneuve, lunch at Les Deux Magots with Juliette Binoche, an afternoon at the Louvre alone or a stroll in the Tuileries, and then dinner at some cosy bistro with Gerard Depardieu…

    Ah, Paris…

  28. Jade Wombat
    August 27, 2009 / 1:56 pm

    My favorite day in Paris was on October 25th, 2007. That was my first day in Paris, and nothing was so wonderful as knowing I was there at last. The day ended at a Brasserie where “Deux Croque Monsieurs et deux vin blanc” got us dinner.

    We took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower and went all the way to the top. Woth the city lights spread out around us, I never wanted to go home.

  29. Sara
    August 28, 2009 / 11:33 am

    I haven’t been to Paris yet, but what I look forward to the most is eating delicious cheeses, drinking wine, and staring dreamily at people walking nonchalantly along streets that people have traversed for hundreds of years.


  30. August 28, 2009 / 11:40 pm

    I’m passing on the scarf too, although I love the postwar graphic aesthetic. It would look a tad too “ironic”, not only when I’m in Paris but here in Montréal, and Duchesse had wise words about middle age and irony in the key of fashion.

    Best day in Paris would not be appropriate content for this very decorous site…

    I don’t even know which other day to choose. I’m thinking of an utterly pleasant one where nothing much happened. It was in the very hot summer of 2003, and I was staying for three weeks in Paris between two conference events; one in Netherlands, the other in the south of France. I was staying in a flat lent by a friend of a friend, high up on les hauteurs de Belleville/Ménilmontant, in the 20th arrondissement. I was higher than the leafy rue des Pyrenées, in a modest but pleasant neighbourhood. I enjoyed being “up in the hills” after flat-as-a-playing-field Holland. And especially the welcome breeze. It was a dreamy day of thinking of the sweetheart I had seen again, just a week before, doing my daily shopping at small neighbourhood supermarkets, the boulangerie, at the street markets the days they occurred. No street market this day, but I had fresh salad greens and a few vegetables from the one the day before. Breakfast was coffee, some cheese and good bread. Those of us who live in cities where quality croissants are readily available know better than to buy them every day, as they are really a scarcely-sweet but rich pastry…

    I spent the morning painting at nearby Père-Lachaise cemetery. Two people I had known in life are buried there, and I did watercolour sketches of the area around their graves, and some other famous ones that struck my imagination.

    Later in the day I took the bus down the steep Ménilmont hill “into town” to visit museums and wander around le Marais; pleasant but hot. The vista at the top of the hill is impressive indeed, a different angle from the better-known view down from Montmartre.

    I had a lovely time in the evening with a friend who lives nearby; she dropped in and we chatted for hours, drinking chilled rosé I’d bought at the nearby supermarket and eating cheeses, tossed green salad, a baguette and other yummy bites. In all honesty I don’t remember all of them; I’d imagine and elaborate them if need be.

    A picnic was planned for the next day in Parc de la Villette, a modern park in a vast area that had been the slaughterhouse district decades before; the main Halle is now a venue for conferences and other events. Ardent urban cyclists, we were to meet under the huge buried bicycle statue!

    I sent a watercolour sketch of Le Mur des fédérés, where the last redoubt of Paris communards were slaughtered at Père-Lachaise, to sweetie, along with some sketches of gentler things.

    I returned there for another event in the late autumn, though the weather was remarkably clement at first and there were sunny days. Not every day in Paris is lovely; this stay involved fraught cohabitation among people who simply didn’t get on. But it was also my meetup with sweetie, and nights and a day best imagined. But unlike Duchesse, fortunately for me – no progeny. Sweetie has a grown daughter, and I had zero desire for children in middle age. The gap of over 40 years with my own mother was too great.

  31. August 29, 2009 / 8:37 pm

    I had a scarf like that once, from a visit in 1974, only it wasn’t silk. Years later, I cut it into strips, planning to make something else with it but then I forgot what.

    Our big (25th) anniversary trip last year was to Arles but we spent 3 days in Paris too and walked everywhere. I loved watching my husband enjoy the city, as he had never been to Europe before then. My best hour was spent in the refurbished Orangerie, sitting and looking at the Waterlilies. We also met a Brooklyn blogger who I had never met before and she took us to her Parisienne friend’s apartment for a real, Parisien dinner, with real Parisiens.
    And I got to see Durer’s self portrait in the Louvre, which I knew from my art history degree was tucked into a back corner there.

    You can enjoy some of my husband’s pix at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeriders/collections/72157605286932384/
    if you like.

  32. August 30, 2009 / 5:07 pm

    So many wonderful days we’ve had in Paris, but I suppose they could be enhanced if we stayed in luxury digs, so if I’m fantasizing. . . Or even just our own little rented flat, perhaps in the Marais. We have coffees and pain au raisin at a nearby café but for other meals we choose from the market stands nearby, taking our finds home to cook.
    Or perhaps my perfect day in Paris will be some years in the future when I show my granddaughter some of the quirky statuary we’ve discovered and let her play in some of the waterparks, line up for Berthillon’s ice cream, ride the long, long escalator up to see extravagant wild art in the Beauborg or check out the unicorn tapestry in the Cluny. I’ll probably leave my Paris scarf at home, but who knows? on my perfect Paris day, perhaps I’ll want a reminder of another who knows how to savour this city!

  33. August 31, 2009 / 12:28 am

    I was fortunate enough to visit Paris for the first time last September. Every day was amazing…but there was one day that stands out in particular.

    We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at our hotel, then took Le Metro to visit Pere Lachaise.

    It was so beautiful there. Mainly, I wanted to see where Edith Piaf was buried. After visiting her grave, we moved on to visit Moliere. On the way, we were stopped by two elderly gentlemen who asked “Ou est Edith Piaf?”. I tried to explain it to them using my rudimentary French and pointing. It was memorable to have someone ask me, in French no less, where was the Sparrow…a French icon. It felt as if I belonged there.

    That evening we dined at a restaurant near the hotel. It was L’Ardoise at 28 rue du Mont Thabor. We enjoyed the most amazing bottle of Sauvignon Blanc there. Le Petiot Sauvignon Blanc.

    That night I went to the business center of the hotel and emailed the Chef, Jay Pierre, to ask from where the wine came. He advised that it was from Domaine du Ricard.

    When I got back to the States I searched high and low for the wine. It was difficult to find because Domaine du Ricard is an artisan vineyard. I finally located an importer in Virginia.

    Viola, I ordered a case of Le Petiot Sauvignon. Whenever I share a bottle with friends it reminds me of that magnificent day in Paris.

    Of course, I want to go back…soon.

  34. Stafford Wife
    August 30, 2009 / 6:03 pm

    I just found your site and I’m a new follower. : ) My favorite memory of Paris was 4 years ago when my daughter and I were visiting London and decided on a whim to hop on the train to Paris. I made train and hotel reservations at a London internet cafe and we left for our visit 2 days later. We had no idea how to speak the language or where anything was (we even had trouble getting on the Metro to find our hotel) but it was my favorite vacation. We walked everywhere and got lost quite a bit but the people were wonderful, the food was amazing, and the sites were breathtaking. I miss everything about Paris and it is a city that I will never forget!

  35. ~Tessa~Scoffs
    August 30, 2009 / 9:34 pm

    What a beautiful scarf!

    My ideal day in Paris takes place AFTER all the days of exciting galleries, museums, restaurants and shops. Only four items are needed for my perfect Paris day:
    1. my husband
    2. bed with luxurious sheets
    3. bottle of champagne
    4. “do not disturb” sign on door.

  36. August 31, 2009 / 10:24 pm

    My favorite day in Paris would start with me finding a parking space really near the train station in plenty of time to catch my direct train into the city! I would then go to the Musée d’Orsay with my best friend and visit my favorite paintings in the permanent collection after having checked out what’s going on at the temporary exhibits. We’d wander over to the sixth arrondissement (the weather would of course be beautiful, since it would be my perfect day) in search of a plat du jour in a little café. The afternoon would be spent moseying around the little shops on the left bank because what would a good day in Paris be without a little retail therapy? I would then kiss my friend goodbye (three bises) and run to meet my husband at the Hôtel Six in the Rue Stanislas for a drink before a show… followed by a romantic dinner in the garden of la Maison d’Amérique Latine (this perfect day could only take place in the summer). Then back to le Six, and curtains drawn until the following morning, which would find us skipping breakfast at the hotel in favor of the best café au lait with organic tartines at the wonderful café down the road across from the brasserie La Coupole…

  37. September 1, 2009 / 3:15 am

    I’m so enjoying reading everyone’s version of a perfect Paris day! Thank you all for entering and I’ll be announcing the winner at 9am Eastern time tomorrow!

  38. marie*jolie
    September 1, 2009 / 1:31 am

    I hope I am not too late (it’s before 12:30 where I live). I have not yet been to Paris, but I’m going for the first time on Sept 22nd and would LOVE to win a lovely scarf to take with me! I imagine my perfect day to include fabulous foods and walks through gardens, laughter with friends, and people-gazing at a cafe. In case I win, my email is leafygreenes at gmail.com

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