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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon bag
I have always been incredibly fascinated by the fashion sense of French women, standing out from the mediocrity of aesthetic excesses so very welcome by our era. 
One of the basic accessories which represent the flair for elegance and style possessed by French women is the famous Longchamp – Le Pliage Nylon bag.
Without throwing out a big stereotype, it is undeniable that at least every third woman in France owns a Longchamp tote, since, as a French brand, it obviously gets special support within the French communities. But it is also true that this model is an affordable, simple and practical option featuring on shoulders of many women all over the world. 
When creating Le Pliage, Longchamp drew its inspiration from origami, and the result was a light, foldaway bag, that has since become a cult object worldwide thanks to the fact that it is ideal for everyday use.
The line comes in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours. 
Personally, I bought Le Pliage in two basic colours and sizes and accessorised both of them with matching pouches:
the Black Small model, which I mainly use as a travel / gym bag to keep all essentials close at hand; 
the White Medium model, which I mainly use as a beach bag, since I find that it adds extra-elegance to my beachwear, especially when worn with a pair of matching mules; not to mention that the possibility of folding it away to a smaller size allows me to store it in the front pocket of my LV trolley and to save space inside my full luggage.
My Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon bags 

Original Club Organizer
for Longchamp Le Pliage S
Unfortunately, the nylon body, in spite of being water-resistant, should not be cleaned in any way, since it is trimmed with embossed leather handles and a press-fastened flap for classic contrast. 
So, to optimise the interior of both models and avoid either messiness or spillage of liquids that could leave permanent stains on the delicate interior, but also to keep the bags in shape, I bought seven-compartmented organisers from Original Club in matching colours and sizes, which beside being functional, enhance the essential elegant lines of the bags.

Longchamp Boutique
Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon bags
I hope that this week's post will be inspirational for your sometimes difficult search of the right accessories, and if you are, like me, fond of classic simple style inspired by French women, let's join millions of fans worldwide and make Longchamp's iconic Le Pliage tote your trusty on-the-go companion! 

Sunday, August 27, 2017


On weekend mornings, I like to abandon any healthy eating of my daily routine to indulge in an eating habit that is less regimented and makes me a bit nostalgic for the richer breakfasts heavy in carbs, sugar and caffeine I have whenever I travel to France, where the typical continental breakfast is based on buttery croissants, coffee and some toasts and jam. 
However, in order not to worry too much about how much sugar I am ingesting, I usually distribute these delicious staples of the French food culture into two different weekend mornings, rewarding Saturday mornings at home with warm buttery croissants, fruit juice and coffee, while leaving toast sand jam, fruit juice and coffee for Sunday mornings.
Useless to say, it is very difficult to get croissants with a buttery, layered, flaky-textured dough outside France, so, whenever I have a trip there, I stock up on the best croissants from the numerous "pâtisseries" such as La Tarte Tropézienne, and put them in the freezer, when at home, so that I can oven-bake one per Saturday for several weeks.

Breakfast with Croissants


As for the provisions of Sunday jam, I am lucky enough to profit of the wonderful old French-style recipe of "Confiture de Mirabelles", home-made by my partner's mum with the delicious slightly sour fruits harvested from an ancient tree found on their lands. And this kind of smooth jam, spread over buttered toasts is a real healthy titbit, since it does not contain any preserves !

Home-made "Confiture de Mirabelles"

Home-made "Confiture de Mirabelles"
Home-made "Confiture de Mirabelles"

So, what is my philosophy of life and bottom line of this post ?  Eating things that make you happy, in moderation, of course, might just be one of the most nourishing things of all. Très bien!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


A short post to celebrate a present my partner has just given to me for our engagement anniversary: a personalised treasure bought at Merci Maman Boutique, which, in spite of the French name due to the origin of its founder, is a British brand headquartered in London and selling online, which has recently been awarded "The Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category".

The necklace is gold-plated and inspired by the brand creation that the Duchess of Cambridge received from her sister after Prince George's birth. 
My customised treasure is made with a flat golden disc engraved by hand with the dedication "Love and Love again" on the front side and the date of our engagement on the reverse, accessorised with two tiny heart-shaped charms bearing our own initials. 
This present, with such a precious meaning was packed in a lovely Merci Maman signature orange gift box with a white bow and an interior protective velvet cushion and delivered to me on the special day as a token of our mutual feelings.
Thank you, darling! This lovely, lovely necklace is the prettiest little thing on earth, and I am going to wear it for long...
Merci Maman signature gift box
My customised necklace by Merci Maman

My customised necklace by Merci Maman

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


During these last weeks of summer, when the fashion world is already focused on fall trends and more sombre colours, I would like to indulge on a category of accessories I am fond of: summer jewellery. 
I identify summer jewellery mainly with French jewellery, since I find that it better embodies the carefree, colourful, boho-chic inspiration which is the quintessence of heated up days, when more is a must on bared skins and ornamental choices become more distinct and personal.
Hand-made jewels from the French Riviera's markets
These range from dainty anklets, gold hoops, ethnic-style earrings, layered necklaces, piled up bracelets that tell a story. Personally, I think it is better to be bling-wise and size down in scale, without cutting back on quantity, since I believe in investing in pieces that can be worn everyday for several years. 
So my collection of summer jewels increases every year with purchases at mono-brand shops such as Gas Bijoux in St-Tropez, whose jewellery is the embodiment of a refined bohemian spirit, and Satellite Bijoux in Cannes, whose pieces reflect a more ethnic glamour.
And it is cool to mix and match these refined jewels with other cute findings from the numerous summer markets, offering more affordable, original, hand-made merchandise that still possesses that ineffable French chic I like so much, and is reminiscent of an "invitation to the voyage" towards exotic destinations...

Earrings & bracelet by Gas Bijoux
Earrings & bracelet by Gas Bijoux
Lively coloured bracelets by Gas Bijoux

Ethnic-style necklace & earrings by Satellite

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


St-Tropez - The old centre and the harbour

Some places belong to the heart more than others and St.-Tropez, certainly, belongs to mine.
For several years, my partner and I have been spending our summer holidays there, in a wonderful neo-classical villa, a secluded spot surrounded by pine trees, palms and oleanders, representing for us a familiar refuge from daily stress, a special, relaxing cocoon from which admire the wonderful view of the bay and the old fishing port with its pastel-coloured clock tower and houses varying their shade of colour at every hour of the day.
Certainly, St-Tropez has all the ingredients of an exclusive seaside resort: the series of wonderful beaches along Pampelonne Bay, the turquoise and sapphire blue sea, the luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation, the glamorous nightlife, but it possesses also a special timeless quality that 

St-Tropez - Landscape

I have always appreciated and is expressed in an impalpable carefree attitude pervading lifestyle and fashion, a French "joie de vivre" indissolubly linked to the marine vocation of the place.
In fashion, this attitude is expressed by an effortless and legendary "Boho chic" style I find so flatteringly becoming and the embodiment "my holiday style".

St-Tropez - Loulou's evening "Boho chic" style

St-Tropez - VIP's Boho chic style by Pinterest
St-Tropez - VIP's Boho chic style by Pinterest

French Riviera - VIP's Boho chic style by Pinterest
Whenever I go shopping through the alleys of St-Tropez, I am invariably surprised at the refinement of clothes and accessories in the shop windows, among which my favourites are jewels by Gas Bijoux, silk tunics, rompers and long lace dresses, to be worn with flat sandals and straw hats or other stylish findings that can be bought in the picturesque market held in Place des Lices on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.
St-Tropez - Gas Bijoux 
Of course, shopping in St-Tropez evokes images of designer boutiques and celebrities strolling with their bags through the narrow cobblestone streets and shaded squares of this legendary fishing-village-style seaside resort. Doing it in the mesmerising mornings, when the seagulls fly above your heads from La Ponche towards the open sea is certainly an exciting experience, and when in need of a break, you can always grab some exquisite sweet delicacies by La Tarte Tropézienne or other refined "pâtisseries".
St-Tropez - La Tarte Tropezienne
The rest of the day is to be spent on the beach, until late afternoon, when the air is full of an awareness of night long before evening falls. So the hours glide effortlessly towards dinner time, when it is pleasant to be surrounded by the legendary golden and rosy light of sunset fading into a promising twilight.
Nightlife in St-Tropez is sparkling and offers a wide choice of glamorous restaurants and lounge-bars. Spending the night in one of the the famous places in the harbour area with a view on the luxury yachts is certainly a must, but I advice you to take also the opportunity of discovering some alternative chic spots such as the lounge-bar of the Hotel White 1921 or the Dior Café, where if you are lucky enough, you can assist to refined live concerts that will accompany your happy memories during the long winter months...

St-Tropez - Concert at lounge bar of Hotel White 1921

St-Tropez - Lounge bar of Hotel White 1921
St-Tropez - Dior Café

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I’ve been attracted by the French Riviera since my first reading of the novels by F.S. Fitzgerald, with his refined descriptions of the vivid landscapes and the narration of the life lead by glamorous American expatriates during the Roaring Twenties. When I first holidayed there many years ago, it was love at first glance, and I have never been disappointed since then. The Riviera is a chain of enchanting resorts, like a long string of pearls, and I am going to write about my favourites, which I visit often, whenever I spend some days there.

Nice - Promenade des Anglais
Nice is generally my first stop, since I like wandering through the alleys of the old town, whose ochre buildings are enhanced by the exceptionally clear sky and the summer glare. And what to say of the lively coloured Flower-Market, or the Sunday’s "Marché aux Puces", or the magnificent palaces adorned with sumptuous iron-wrought decorations and reminiscent of a glorious past. 
Shopping in Nice is never disappointing: whenever I stop there, I like buying home accessories at La Chaise Bleue, new items for my collection of Lampes Berger at the Home department of the Galeries Lafayette, chocolates at one of the numerous "Maîtres chocolatiers", olive products at Alziari's clothes and accessories at French mono-brand shops. Of course, also internationally famous brands have their flagship store in the shopping area, so I also enjoy visiting the shops of French luxury brands to plunge into their universe of opulence.
At lunch, I like having either a light meal based on the "Cuisine Niçoise” dishes, or a brunch based on lemon crêpes and fruit juice in the restaurants and the cafés of the market area, before strolling along the Promenade des Anglais, feeling the balmy breeze in my hair, with an eye on the moresque cupola of the Negresco. 
But the most exalting experience of the day is to admire the enchanting golden sunset from the quiet neighborhood of Cimiez, where I always sojourn, when in Nice, and wait until it glides slowly into a late twilight.

Nice - Old center
Nice - Cimiez

The following stop is at Grasse, a lovely sunny village inland, surrounded by a landscape made of olive trees, cypresses, oleanders, bougainvilleas, and the flower fields that have contributed to its fame and its prospering perfume industry. Because the main reason for my visiting the place is the purchase of perfumes in the world's perfume capital. Several excellent local "parfumeries" have their headquarters there, bearing the names of the respective founders; my favourite supplier is Fragonard, with its delicate unique perfumes for woman & man, or home fragrances unmistakably suggestive of holiday-making on the Riviera. Their alluring, refined southern French style pervades the shop, factory and museum, which certainly deserve a visit.

Grasse - The village and its surroundings
Grasse - Fragonard Parfumerie

Then the itinerary leads up toward Cannes, set like a jewel inside the bay of the same name, with its creamy old fortifications and its magnificent hotels, among which my favourite is the luxurious Carlton Intercontinental, unforgettable set of "To Catch a Thief", starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant.  Useless to say, shopping in Cannes is a treat I never give up: I generally buy bijoux at Satellite, macarons at Ladurée, whose pastel old-style confectionery shop is the epitome of French taste, but there are so many shops for any type of goods in Rue d'Antibes and adjacent streets, that it is almost impossible to choose which ones to visit, not to mention the most famous French and Italian brands as well as jewellers' shops, with their sparkling windows on the Croisette.

Cannes - La Croisette

Cannes - Going on shopping
Cannes - Going on shopping

Cannes - Hotel Carlton Intercontinental

Our final destination is St.-Tropez, to which I'm going to dedicate my next post. There, I generally spend a fortnight each year with my partner, but not before enjoying both the dramatic landscape offered by driving along the Provençale" highway, admiring the vivid red of the Estérel rocks enhanced by the surrounding greenery, as you journey back through time, as well as the winding road along the low range of Maures towards the littoral, still intact and densely forested with cork oaks and chestnut groves.