Change is tough, and loosing the print version of La Belle France is a big change. Honestly, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am to our hundreds of subscribers who have been so very supportive and understanding of this.
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Thank you for all of your continued support!
After 30 years of publishing La Belle France, we’ve decided to stop our print edition. We will keep our website up and running and all current subscribers will have access to our website for one year beyond what their current subscription end-date is. We are sorry to see the print go by the wayside, and have dearly loved publishing LBF for so many years. Though traveling to France and experiencing all the wonders of the hotel and restaurant scene has certainly been fantastic, it has really been about the subscribers we have met either over the phone, email, and regular mail that has made this experience special. So many kindred spirits have contacted us over the years, whether to discuss recent experiences, ask advice, or just chat about France. We also are very proud of the loyalty our subscribers have shown us. We have many Francophiles who have been with us since the beginning. We thank each and every one of you for your support. It has been wonderful sharing our experiences with you!
Please email if you have any question about your login or password and enjoy another year of La Belle France online. You can access hotel and restaurant reviews, and we will continue to add to this database each month. We’re sorry that we couldn’t keep the print version going, but then all good things come to an end.
Enjoy the bright spots of color in the Tuileries Gardens this month as the Musée du Louvre — in partnership with the Gagosian Gallery — presents 15 floral “Flowers that bloom at midnight” sculptures by Yayoi Kusama to coincide with the celebrated Japanese artist’s retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. Corinne LaBalme
We’ve put together a special double issue for the end of the year. The changing Paris skyline leads us off, and then we return to our wildly popular “Best of” which rounds up the best and worst of 2012. The issue wraps up with the winter cultural calendar. A not-to-be-missed issue!
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In This Issue:
The Auberge du Jeu de Paume in Chantilly
Paris Hotels with Design Emphasis:
Auberge de Flora
Hôtel La Maison Champs-Elysées & La Table du Huit
Antique Lodgings in Bordeaux and Burgundy
The first time I visited Champagne was on a cold, dreary fall day just after harvest. It wasn’t the best time to visit, but we had the BEST time! Today is a dreary fall day in Virginia, and for some reason, I thought back to that weekend in Champagne.
Driving around tasting Champagne can make one light-headed pretty quickly… that’s when a chauffeur comes in handy! Reims-based “Routair” has chauffeured cars available for just this type of thing. Tel: 03.26.40.38.28. Fax: 03.26.97.70.78.
And for the easiest way to get to Champagne, just take the (relatively) new TGV from the Gare de l’Est. This has cut the Paris/Reims commute down to 45 minutes… and just 30 minutes from the TGV terminal at CDG airport. A first class roundtrip ticket costs roughly 110€. However, the “slow” TER train from Paris to Epernay (one hour and ten minutes) is only 39€ round-trip in second class… and the seats are roomier than those on the stream-lined TGV. Frequent rail connections between Reims and Epernay take 30 minutes and cost 6€.
Our September issue is online now and ready to tempt you with wonderful restaurants, hotels, and the much anticipated Fall Cultural Calendar for the provinces… Here’s where you find out what to do and when. You can hardly go to France without this in your suitcase! We also list our “Musts” of the season… another “must” read!
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Our July/August double issue features Blois and the Les Festins de la Renaissance. Plus the don’t miss of the season in Paris, a great little wine bar called Bakkus, and our Autumn Calendar for Paris. Can’t leave home without it! Login or Subscribe for full access!
Founded in 1920, the Ecole Ferrandi technical school has been turning out élite chefs (as well as garden-variety steak/frites flingers), bakers, pastry chefs and front-of-the-room staff for nearly a century. Recent Michelin star-crossed graduates include Mathieu Viannay (La Mère Brazier, Lyon); William Ledeuil (Ze Kitchen Galerie, Paris) and Adeline Grattard (Yam’ Tcha, Paris).
The school board consists of more than thirty renowned chefs including (President) Joël Robuchon, Anne-Sophie Pic, Eric Briffard, Philippe Etchebest, Alain Dutournier, Eric Frechon, Pierre Hermé, Régis Marcon, Thierry Marx, Olivier Roellinger, Michel Roth and Guy Savoy.
“We’re more ‘hands-on’ than other cooking schools and that gives our students an edge,” explains Adrienne Burton Lorite, International Project Manager. And what an edge: 96% have jobs six months after graduation. The school’s emphasis on time-honored recipes like oeufs à la Florentine is balanced by weekly visits from innovative chefs like Yannick Alléno and Philippe Mille.
Ferrandi state-of-the-art professional kitchens, generally populated by high school/college-age French students, open for older and international gourmets for intensive, three- to ten-day sessions, taught in English, during the summer. The classes include French regional cuisine, bread-baking and snacking, pastry, French wines, and two separate sessions (3 or 5-day) devoted exclusively to macaroons.
These classes do have a professional spin, so check with Adrienne Burton Lorite, or international student coordinator Stephanie Curtis, to make sure you’re not going to get lost in your first millefeuille. These classes are serious and award a Ferrandi certificate. Longer and more intensive English-language courses with restaurant internships are available for people with a motivation to cook professionally.
It’s possible to get a taste of the next generation’s flair at the school’s in-house restaurants. On the week we visited, the students were preparing a meal influenced by the two guest-star chefs – Akrame Benallal (Akrame) and David Toutain (Agapé Substance) — who had given demonstrations the day before. Lunches or dinners are 25€ to 40€, but this is not a ‘secret’ bargain. Tables are hard-to-get.
28 rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 75006. Tel: 01.49.54.28.00. Fax: 01.49.54.28.40. www.ferrandi-paris.fr M° St-Placide
More from our June issue… online now!
This corner of the 11th arrondissement – young, fun and gritty – has more than its share of cool. How does it compare with Pigalle, the other Right Bank bastion of cool? Pigalle has more movie stars, prettier architecture, and more potential Michelin-starred chefs; Oberkampf has the edge on fashion models, photographers and hip wine bars. Speaking of the latter, check out La Pharmacie (22 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; www.lapharmacie.net) which is just a few steps away from these neighboring hotels. If it’s too cute for you, walk around the corner. Brouilly beckons on every block around here.
Open since 2009, the Gabriel claims to be the first ‘detox’ hotel in Paris, although several other establishments cashed in on the “Bio-Zen” movement at the same time…
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