Babalou

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Yesterday was a very action-packed day indeed. I met Georgia at Galleries LaFayette – our favourite and most beautiful department store, and we went to see the Topshop popup store. I think they were trying it out with a view to opening a proper shop if it was a success, but it was very small. They had an exhibition on on the 2nd floor about this ‘creator’ Henrik Vibskov a Danish fashion designer. We thought that the exhib would be about fashion/his collection but it turned out to be some rather weird art that seemed like a load of experimentation with materials. There were these weird giant wool circles on the walls, and then long thin black flamingo/swan heads dangling down from the ceiling – all a bit quirky, but funny!

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We then met up with the boys and went to Les Arts Decoratifs to see the final exhibition there – French Touch, all about french electro and house music. But we weren’t that impressed by it, it wasn’t very well laid out and quite boring. Afterwards we walked over to Angelinas. I resisted the urge to buy something as I know Jessica and Sara are keen to go there when they visit the week after next! We went to Abbesses and walked around Montmartre and up to the Sacré Coeur which was lovely as ever – although it was quite cloudy so the view wasn’t as good as usual. Then in the evening we went to a pizza place which is apparently very popular called Babalou. It was a very small and what seemed like a family run restaurant, a mis-match of table and chairs, decorated with old lamps and an array of pictures/posters/books. But the food was delicious! We had some antipasti to start, olives sun dried tomatos, mozzarella. Then we all had pizza. I chose a creamy-base one, and had mozzarella, mushrooms, parma ham and ricotta called Speck. It was very tasty! Would definitely go back.

★★★★

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La Jacobine

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Last night we went to experience another of Paris’s restaurants. It was in the 6th arrondissement and rated number 87 out of 8,992 restaurants on Trip Advisor! It was called La Jacobine. For starters I had this rather odd pasta dish with coconut and curry sauce, but the snails and the onion soup looked good. For main I tried the Coq au Vin, (I originally went for the duck, date and almond tangine but they didn’t have any left) which was tasty. It came in a big earthen dish with potatoes and veg. We were too full for pudding, but it did look good. The restaurant had a nice ambience and was down a little ‘passage’ Cours du Commerce Saint-André which was very idyllic with its cobble stones and little Parisian restuarants/cafés.

★★★

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Gyoza and Linder ‘Femme/Objet’

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Today I met Claudia at Grands Boulevards, and we went to Gyoza Bar and had the most amazing gyoza. It was a very small place and soon after we had arrived a queue was forming out the door, so also very popular! They had a kitchen in the middle with three women frying the gyoza and serving them up and a bar round the edge. We each had a plate of 12 gyoza. (It was that or 8 and we were both hungry!) and I also had a cup of green tea. We were unsure on the flavour as they just had one standard type, I think it may have been pork and vegetable. But whatever it was, it was delicious, fried on one side, served with dipping sauce and bean sprouts in sesame oil.

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We then caught the metro to Iéna and went to the Musée de l’Art moderne. We looked at the free permanent exhibitions which were mainly pieces by Matisse, then we went to see an exhibition by an artist called Linder Sterling called Femme/Objet. She is a british activist/artist and an emblematic figure of the post punk age. The subject of the exhibition was the female form both seen as an object and merged with objects. Some of it was just plain weird (like the video of her on stage with her band wearing a meat dress and singing/screaming) but some was interesting and we both enjoyed it. It was mainly pictures of women with objects/flowers superimposed on their bodies. Some of it worked and some didn’t. I took loads of photos but will just select a few. This afternoon I made carrot cake cupcakes due to popular demand!

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Raclette

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On monday night we did a Raclette chez Rory. His housemate had had a raclette party the day before and had loads of spare cheese. It was traditional raclette with potatoes, charcuterie, baguette and of course loads of cheese, but with a more modern raclette grill. Instead of having to wait to scrape off the melted cheese from a cheese round, you put a slice onto a little dish under the heat and keep replacing the slices. It was much quicker and more practical. The cheese was delicious and accompanied with some sweet white wine. I was so ridiculously full afterwards though!

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Liu Bolin, ‘Hiding in the City’ et le Musée Fragonard

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This afternoon, as there was a beautiful blue sky, I decided to go out into Paris. I went to see an exhibition at Galerie Pairs Beijing featuring an artist called Liu Bolin. It involved pictures of him painting/camouflaging himself into the background. At the supermarket, in front of a magazine stand, a statue, a picture, lanterns. It really was very impressive, there were a couple where it took me a few seconds to find him, these ones worked really well. It was quite a small exhibition but there were books for sale which showed him in hundreds of different scenarios. It was very clever and the place was very busy – everyone was loving it!

Spot the man:

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I then got the metro to Opéra as I wanted to visit the Fragonard Museum. Just as I arrived a french tour was setting off so I joined in, standing near the front so I could listen and understand. It was interesting to learn about how they make the perfumes. We saw lots of old perfume bottles and learnt about the different scents. Apparently the most popular scent in the wold is J’adore Dior and was made by a german woman. Chanel N.5 is the second best. Then they lead us to a big shop downstairs where I smelt some of the most lovely perfumes, and spritzed them all over myself before I left! I sat outside the beautiful Opéra and listened to a busker as the sun started to set.

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Mannequin le Corps de la Mode

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A couple of weeks ago Marie Laure gave me a ticket for two to an exhibition on fashion and models. I went last night with Georgia. It was at Cité de la mode et du design. A very modern Fashion museum near Le Gare D’Austerlitz. The building is on the river, and is quite iconic. It has a staircase on the edge of the building which is bright green, and looks like a caterpillar, so it definitely stands out. The exhibition was quite small, just two rooms, but was interesting. It was all about models and how they have changed over the years, as what is considered to be ‘beautiful’ has changed. The mannequins above had the tiniest waists! There were a lot of Parisian fashionistas there, but Georgia and I were also surprised at how many men were there and how keen they were!

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‘Les Sept Péchés capitaux’

 

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Today Paris was very cold and rainy, but I still managed to get myself to an exhbition. And it turned out to be very odd! It was showcasing an artist called Antoine Roegiers. The exhibition was called  ‘Les Sept Péchés capitaux’ – The seven Deadly Sins. It took me a while to find the place, as to the unsuspecting eye it looked like the courtyard into someones house (The second exhibition I wanted to go to I couldn’t even find!) But I eventually found a door which opened, asked if this was the exhibition and a woman said yes and I went in to this small room with white washed walls and 7 tv screens. Made by a 32 year old belgium artist, its a series of drawings of men, women, animals, monsters and machines set into motion in 7 videos representing each of the deadly sins. They were about 3 minutes long and put to eerie music. The whole thing was very weird, I can’t really explain what it was like, so I found this trailer for it on youtube which shows bits of it. Vraiment BIZARRE!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scNxBy5cZ98

 P.S  ♥ Happy Valentines Day ♥