Tuesday, July 31, 2012

French Fable by Jean de la Fontaine

Most French children learn (and can recite) this classic, French fable (written in 1668) around the tender age of 6-8 years old. The author, Jean da la Fontaine, applied human-like qualities to the animals/principale characters in his poems; the morale of this one is to not trust fake flattery, meant only to deceive.  His work was recognized and appreciated by Louis XIV and his court.

LE CORBEAU ET LE RENARD   (English version below)
Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l’odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce language:
“Hé ! Bonour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli ! Que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix de ces bois.”
A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie ;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s’en saisit, et dit: “Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute :
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute. “
Le Corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’on ne l’y prendrait plus.

The Crow and the Fox
At the top of a tree perched Master Crow;
In his beak he was holding a cheese.
Drawn by the smell, Master Fox spoke, below.
The words, more or less, were these:
“Hey, now, Sir Crow! Good day, good day!
How very handsome you do look, how grandly distingué!
No lie, if those songs you sing
Match the plumage of your wing,
You’re the phoenix of these woods, our choice.”
Hearing this, the Crow was all rapture and wonder.
To show off his handsome voice,
He opened beak wide and let go of his plunder.
The Fox snapped it up and then said, “My Good Sir,
Learn that each flatterer
Lives at the cost of those who heed.
This lesson is well worth the cheese, indeed.”
The Crow, ashamed and sick,
Swore, a bit late, not to fall again for that trick.
(Translation Source:

Restaurant in Villefranche

I hadn’t been to Villefranche for a while, so decided to have dinner there! It was such a lovely evening, that I sat outside at a corner table, to also enjoy the classical guitarist playing nearby. Good ambiance and good food – especially the dessert!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Théoule-sur-Mer: Beach day

I am not a sun worshipper, nor strong swimmer, so I don’t frequent the beach that often – pretty ironic for living where there are around 300 days of sunshine a year! However, when I do want to be up close and personal with the sun and the sea, I choose Théoule-sur-Mer for it’s sandy beach and off-the-beaten-path ambiance. Although it was crowded the day I went, I find it a more intimate experience – smaller beach and being close to the water’s edge. I had a blowout in my air mattress, so found out the water was refreshingly cool, too, that day!

View of the Chateau

Friday, July 27, 2012

Visit to Villefranche-sur-Mer

I decided to visit Villefranche – not far from the city of Nice – for a change of scenery, to meander the narrow streets, and have an aperitif at the Port. I am always amazed at the size of the cruise ships that dock there, being a popular Mediterranean cruise stop for tourists.

I also enjoyed people watching, while sipping a classic “Kir” made with white wine and cassis syrup.

I took a relaxing stroll, while taking in the sights. The port was packed with boats and yachts of all sizes, maneuvering around the others. There was even a water taxi service boat, which brought back memories of the Batobus in Paris.


Sea view Restaurant in Nice

The other evening, I had dinner at La Terrasse, the rooftop restaurant at the Plaza Hotel.  Of course, there was a beautiful, panoramic sea view to provide the relaxing backdrop for a very pleasant dining experience. One side of the hotel terrace is the restaurant, and the other is a relaxed-atmosphere, lounge/bar. I found the menu a little pricey, but considering the spectacular views, setting, and the fact that it’s tourist season, it was not unreasonable.

While having an aperitif, I suddenly felt a pair of eyes on me, and surprisingly, saw a ‘voyeur’ pacing back and forth, while watching people eating – amusing!


Wanting a handout

Cotelette de veau


Steak tartare ingredients
Steak tartare


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mediterranean Sunset

The beauty of this sunset leaves me speechless! What caption would you add?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moustiers Hotel: A guest blog

A friend of mine happened to be taking her mother to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, but they were staying at a different place than the B&B I had written about. She sent some information and a few photos to me for sharing on my blog.

Le Clos des Iris Hotel (Moustiers-Sainte-Marie)
“Charming little place and ideal for mum as all on one level.
Reasonable price too: 68 euros per room for 1 or 2 persons – low season 75 high
Rooms in the garden all with table and chairs outside to relax have a drink
and breakfast.
We were recommended a lovely restaurant nearby with easy parking because village impossible for mum. It was a beautiful place and food excellent.

Very reasonable, Michelin recommended too.”
Restaurant “Ferme Ste Cécile
Rte des Gorges du Verdon
04360 Moustiers Ste Marie
Tél. :

Nos formules :
* 27 € = 1 Entrée ou 1 Plat, Fromage et Dessert.
* 36 € = 1 Entrée, 1 Plat, Fromage et Dessert.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nice Summer Fruits

At my local farmer’s market, there is a luscious variety of berries: apricots, cherries, lemons, melons, peaches, red currents, raspberries, and strawberries.

For a refreshing summertime drink, you can put slices of lemon and mint leaves and some of the berries into a pitcher of water, let it infuse, and then enjoy. You can also blend some berries with yogurt and a frozen banana to make a healthy and refreshing smoothie.

To make a summertime “Mojito” aperitif, just press some berries, mint leaves, and fruit or sugar syrup in a glass, then add juice from 1/2 a lime and some light rum. Top it off with seltzer water and some ice. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find new and refreshing beverages — Santé!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Restaurant near Nice Port

I had just done an exercise class with some friends, when one of them recommended having lunch at a restaurant I had not heard of before: “l’Atelier du Port” – what a great, new find!

 Located on the corner of rue Bavastro and rue Bonaparte, just behind Nice’s Port, it is easily accessible and has a very welcoming staff. Our serveur, who had lived in the U.S. and spoke excellent English, was very friendly and joked with us, making it a lighthearted and fun experience.

The lunch menu was varied, so it was difficult to choose, but I finally decided on the “Ravioli citrons confits de Menton” and of course, some Rosé wine. The service was excellent, and the meal was wonderful, light, and delicious – a perfect selection on a warm, summer day!


I will definitely be going back to this restaurant, next time to try their dinner menu — I’ll keep you posted!

Location: 45, rue Bonaparte, Nice
Tel: +33(0)9-83-34-88-44

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beauty Center in Nice: A personal recommendation

The other day, I had a 3-in-1 special at my favorite beauty center (Centre de Beauté Renaissance) in Nice: a facial, body exfoliation, and a massage – nothing beats a scrub, rub, and polish, especially at a reasonable price!

The owner, and Margo (the technician, are both welcoming, friendly, and courteous. I especially like that Margo explains the products she uses (by the way, the “Ice Lift mask” feels great!), in case you want to purchase something, but without the hard sale feeling of being obligated. Plus, you are given a list of what was used, for future reference or purchase. I try to go every couple of months, preferring to spend my money on having another treatment, rather than for buying products.

French woman, in general, feel “bien dans leur peau” based on their natural beauty, which is probably helped with regular visits to their favorite beauty center!

(This is a NON-paid personal recommendation)