Tag Archives: Paris

Where did Baudelaire Buy Shirts? And More!

Paris is loaded with fascinating public spaces that have historical interest. Few cities have more, and fewer still embrace their traditions the way Parisians do.

One of those historic establishments is the shirt maker Charvet.

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Wikipedia has this to say

The world’s first ever shirt shop, Charvet was founded in 1838. Since the 19th century, it has supplied bespoke shirts and haberdashery to kings, princes and heads of state. It has acquired an international reputation for the high quality of its products, the level of its service and the wide range of its designs and colors. Thanks to the renown of its ties, charvet has become a generic name for a certain type of silk fabric used for ties.

BTW, the founder’s father had been curator of the wardrobe of Napoleon. That gave Christofle Charvet a great head start. But there was something else going on

Christofle Charvet created the first shirtmaker store in Paris, for which the new term chemisier (shirtmaker) was coined. Previously, shirts were generally made by linen keepers with fabric provided by the customer,but in this store of a new kind, clients were measured, fabric selected and shirts made on site.[The development of this specialty trade was favored by a change in men’s fashion, with more importance given to the waistcoat and the shirt collar, which called for more propositions for the shirt front and a technical change. Previously, shirts were cut by linen keepers entirely of rectangles and squares. There were no shaping seams and no need for shirt patterns. The new interest for a closer fitting shirt led to curving the armhole and neckline or adding a shoulder yoke, by application to the shirt of tailoring techniques. The new kind of shirt was called chemise à pièce (yoked shirt).  Alan Flusser credits Christofle Charvet with the original design of a collar that could be turned down or folded, much in the manner of contemporary collars, and the concept of the detachable collar.

In those days, the most elegant men belonged to the “Jockey Club”. Charvet advertised himself as shirt maker to the club. Who could resist that?

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And if stories like the above interest you, check out this list of other Parisian destination locations! Most important, enjoy!


Sipping the Good Life at Septime La Cave in Paris

We all want a place to go. A place that we know will welcome us. Will nourish us. Will connect us with people we want to know and care for. A place that we care for, and that is always waiting for our return.

What places give you those feelings? In Ireland and England, I found it mostly in pubs. In Brooklyn, there are some coffee shops and small restaurants. In know at least one bar in New York that I would always meander over to. And in Paris, one finds quite a few.

One of them is Septime Cave.  It was made by the folks who created Septime, the restaurant. And this is written

“If Septime is the mothership, exerting a gravitational pull on diners citywide, Septime Cave is the dinghy : a little escape pod for tasteful rue de Charonne locals seeking a random weeknight tipple.”

Here is a peek at what you might find

On any given evening a mixed crowd of locals and tourists – some waiting for tables at Clamato, others just enjoying apéro-hour – perch on bar stools and repurposed grocery crates, mingling to a soundtrack of reggae and vintage jazz classics. For years more a way-station than an outright destination, Septime Cave has since summer 2015 been open for business on Sundays, rendering it all the more indispensable to the rue de Charonne neighborhood.

Here we are!

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Paris Cafe – Ibrik for “Weird Coffee!

Outside, Ibrik looks like this

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Inside, you will fin very fine Middle Eastern food, and beverages. And the coffee?

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Dave Lebovitz writes

Riding the wave of places focusing on good quality coffee in Paris, Ibrik serves traditional coffee drinks (even though the sign outside says “Weird coffee for weird people,” which may be why I like it), but also makes “Café Ibrik,” Turkish coffee brewed up in an ibrik (or cezve) the traditional metal pot that it’s made in.

But how is it made?

After mixing the coffee together, the pot is buried in hot sand whose slow heat helps coax out flavors of the coffee.

Very cool! And btw, Dave writes that the food here is outstanding.

Choosing Your Big Mamma in Paris

Before you get the wrong idea

The Big Mamma Group was started by Tigrane and Victor, two Frenchmen with a love for Italian food. They opened their first restaurant – Mamma Gorda – in the south of France but quickly aspired to break into the Parisian dining scene. While Italian restaurants are a-plenty in Paris, the Big Mamma Group brought something different to the table: a 100% Italian trattoria, with fresh products brought in from Italy, and a 100% Italian staff’. They even rented 20 apartments to house their staff!

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To put it mildly, the Big Mamma Group has been successful. So much so, that you have a choice of big mamma places in Paris. The Hip Paris Blog offers guidance on this tricky topic.

Here is a view of their Pizzaria Populare

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Italian food in Paris? Why not?

I’ll Have a Kouign-Amann with My Renovation

A Houign-Amann, if you didn’t know is

… a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.

It looks like this

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So, what does it have to do with renovation? It was a staple of the Dave Lebovitz kitchen while he didn’t have a kitchen.

Yes, we are talking renovation. That process of slow torture that many of us have endured. But not so many have endured this in Paris. Dave has written a book about how it went.

Clue: It was not easy.

Art Deco? Paris? Then Hotel Bachaumont

Not everyone likes art deco. Some think it over done. Too much style.  Not “lived in”.  Then again, in certain institutions, like a hotel, and in certain places, like Paris, art deco seems normal.

Enter Hotel Bachaumont. Here is an image

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I could see myself toddling down that hall. And I would be comfortable here

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Food Republic has a positive review.

Traveller lists it as one of the best new boutique hotels in Paris.

Time to give it a try?


Paris: The Return of the Brasseries!

BI informs us that

Unfortunately, brasseries—informal restaurants where iconic French dishes are served alongside a wide selection of drinks—have fallen off the to-do lists of traveling foodies in recent years, who now gravitate towards the city’s chic bistros, wine bars, and even the rising street food scene.

Hmmm …  I am glad to know that not all is lost. Here is a list of a few brasseries that merit a place on a foodie’s to do list.