French ponderings.....

French ponderings.....
Dreaming of France in The Land Down Under.......

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A taste of France in Melbourne / Un goût de la France à Melbourne

I've decided that I love Melbourne. As a very young adult I lived in several different suburbs of Melbourne, Brunswick, Coburg, Airport west, Kew, to name a few. I can remember it being busy, sometimes fun, sometimes lonely, and of course multicultural. Fast forward  35 years ( omg. Is it really that long???) and having spent most part of 23 years in sunny Queensland, I have found a new appreciation for the lovely old city. ( old in Australian terms, anyway)
Last week I holidayed in Melbourne. Whilst hubby headed to work , I fossicked around the city centre, even being daring enough to use the trams!  I went very prepared, with a lists of places to visit and things to see, and of course, they were mainly of a French flavor.

First stop :

 A coffee at Shannon Bennett's  Cafe Vue, Normanby Chambers, 430 Little Collins St, Melbourne. Shannon is an acclaimed Australian chef, who offers several french dining experiences around Melbourne.

Even at the Melbourne International Airport.

I came across this very french pattisserie in  458 Little Collins St... Le petit Gateau, but being a little too early to indulge, I continued on....

I made my way toward Bourke Street Mall, wanting to check out the current Myer window showcase....I was tickled pink  to find an over-sized  Eiffel Tower postcard taking front position....surely addressed to me :)

Being in town, I thought I would catch up with a former work colleague, who happens to be the counter  manager for Guerlain...ohhh how french! I was treated  to wonderful creams and perfume.I'm especially loving 'La petite robe noire'  (The little black dress) ....soft and feminine.

One evening we  went for a stroll down Swanston Street, where we came across this gorgeous flower ....well I'm going to call it a flower boutique... just because I want to! It was in full bloom, beautiful and of course reminded me of all the alluring flower stores in France.

What's this??? mean to say Australia has  historical architecture???.. I do believe I have been living  on the Gold Coast waaaaaaaaayyyy too long!!

The beautiful St Paul's cathedral, Flinders Street.

The entrance to Flinders Street train station. (sorry for photo quality)

After having had a couple of 'pub' meals, it was time to take it up a notch. I had done a little research and decided on  Le Bergerac in King St.  What a treat! We found the food sublime , although I could be a little biased, it is french after all, and I soaked up the authentic french  atmosphere.  For those of you unfamiliar with Bergerac, it is a city in the Dordogne area of France, well known for its wonderful wines.

Le Bergerac restaurant

Part of our stay was at  Seasons Heritage apartments on St Kilda Rd. Lovely outlook, comfortable rooms, convenient to everything and helpful staff, pity it has a slight 'faulty towers' feel to it! Mainly the television would keep switching itself off...something to do with  ' power savers',  plus once I got the air-conditioning working I couldn't turn it it basically counteracted the saving on the tele :). but I would definitely stay there again, simply for its entrance.........

I can not resist a beautiful chandelier!

 In a recent blog I posted, Parisian Passages , there were some gorgeous photos of the Royal Arcade in Bourke St, Melbourne, so I just had to take a stroll down this very european 'passage'.  Guess what I found sitting prettily in the middle of the arcade............none other than a macaron store! Oh yummy yummy, or as the french say  Miam Miam!

So,  I would have to say that I definitely found  sufficient french flavour in  Melbourne to see me through for awhile :)

A bientôt, Gigi

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A favorite store/ Une boutique favorite

One of the stores I always try to visit when in Paris is 'La Vaissellerie'. The word 'vaisselle' means 'crockery', and 'faire la vaisselle' means to wash the dishes. I'm not so keen on washing dishes..but I just LOVE fossicking through all the goodies this store has to offer, inside and out, plus it's for both tourists AND locals.

Lots of  gorgeous colourful pieces...but I'm partial to the frenchy  blue and white at the bottom....


Multi-coloured or clear tumblers


There is something wrong if you can't find an item to take home here! I like picking up some quirky souvenirs, and, of course, something for myself too :)

Classic white in all shapes and sizes.....

Pretty tins for all tastes............


I was pretending to be a 'local' one visit...but after buying this Metro place mat...well...I think they were onto me!  But I love my place mat.... everyone needs to know the Metro lines, don't they?


Feeling dotty????????

I would love this dinner setting on MY table...

and of course you'll find all sorts of cutlery choices to bring home and show off...

Busy little hot spot! 

I have only been in the store situated in Le Marais, 92 Rue Saint Antoine, but La Vaissellerie can be found in several arrondissements throughout Paris. Check  out their website here.

Best be dois faire la vaisselle!

A bientôt, Gigi x