Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Monday, June 29, 2015

Let The Birthday Celebrations Begin - Paris Style

Though my birthday is not until December ... My friend E. decided since it will be a milestone birthday it required a a few months of PRE-Birthday celebrations leading up to the actual date (and it certainly didn't take much convincing for me to agree) and what better way then to kick it off than while on our trip to Paris!!!

E. made all the arrangements ... all I knew was the day and time to prepare for.

and I was informed a dress would be suitable for the outing ... and heels!!! Ladies you'll note I'm not wearing heels ... but remember Handbag that could hold lots was part of my 3 Essentials for strolling through Paris - (if you missed it you can read it here) ... ballerina flats are much more practical for Metro traveling and walking.

When we arrived at our destination ... I assumed it had something to do with the Eiffel Tower  ... since I could clearly see it (kinda hard to ride the tower ...LOL) 
But I still had no IDEA!! what was about to happen.

We arrived a little earlier than required ... and that was the only excuse we both "needed" to find a seat along the Seine and sip a Chocolate Chaud ... (it was a little cool on this day) 
until all would be revealed....

At the magical hour just like Cinderella my little ballerina flats transformed to:

Dolce & Gabbana patent leather shoes ....

And an Invitation to Le Jules Verne!!! along with them...

Note: I was so excited that I forgot to take photos of us changing shoes before entering - these shoe photos were taken afterwards.
(as a side note there is a little bench inside the private entrance that would have been much easier to use and switch shoes).
We were not going for just a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower ... 
We were taking a PRIVATE ELEVATOR to the top ... and going to have lunch at Le Jules Verne. Miss E. had certainly planned ahead and definitely surprised ME!! Making my pre-birthday celebration kick off one for the memory books.

Cheers! let the SALIVATING begin ... I mean celebration ...
From the bread and butter to the dessert and the service - attention to detail was brilliant!
after cleansing our pallet - we enjoyed:

E. - preserved duck foie gras, apricot-almond condiment, toasted brioche
Moi: Delicate crustacean royale, crab and pickled vegetables

Main Dish
E. and I both enjoyed the peppered beef tenderloin, tender vegetables, seared pigeon, fava beans and green peas 'a la francaise'

E. - Baba with Armagnac according to your choice , lightly whipped Chantilly
Moi - Mara des bois strawberry and orange blossom contemporary vacherin

The Wines
Champagne - selection Alain Ducasse
White Wine - 2009 Chassagne -Montrachet 1 cru Les Chenevottes Chateau Genot - Boulanger
Red Wine - 2010 Pomerol , Manoir de Gay
Dessert Wine - 2011 Santenay Champs Claude, Lucien Muzard & fils

YES!!! ... there were 4 wines!!!

And if the dessert wasn't enough ... 
there were macaroons, truffles, chocolate bites and yummy pink MARSHMALLOWS!! ...
Cheers ... 
MERCI Mon Ami E. for such a fabulous surprise and the wonderful memories created !!!
You have certainly set the bar high for pre-birthday celebrations - can't wait to see what the next 6 months leading up to my milestone birthday brings!!

After all that wonderful food, sweets , bubbly and wine .. 
time for a little stretch and some fresh air ...
 what better way than with an aerial view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower!!! 

As you can see it was a little windy ...
(there was no wind machine provided for the photos)

What I wore: dress - Mexx; sweater- ; shoes - (flats): Sam&Libby , (heels):Dolce & Gabbana; leather handbag - B. Makowsky; sunglasses - Gucci; 

Have you been to Le Jules Verne for lunch or dinner? 
What has been the most your most memorable (pre-) birthday surprise?

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nina's not just another Salon de Thé in Paris - It' truly a Royal Experience

On my recent trip to Paris I was introduced to Nina's by friend Mimi, many may already know Mimi via her blog Bonjour Romance and as the founder of the digital magazine  Belle Inspiration celebrating la joie de vivre.

Tucked in on a quiet side street (29 Rue Danielle Casanova), next to La Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris, and easily accessed by Metro station: Opéra, PyramidesNina's is truly a place not to be missed by any tea loving gal or Marie Antoinette fan (such as moi)!!! 

A Little History:

It's history dates back  to the seventeenth century with "La Distillerie Frères", founded by Pierre Diaz in 1672.  The company specialized in perfumes and essential oils and was renowned for its expertise in the art of blending fragrances. Known as the Magicien des Arômes ("Wizard of Aromas"), Pierre Diaz  became the preferred supplier of the prestigious Versailles court of Louis XIV, and a few decades later Marie Antoinette, who particularly enjoyed the scents of rose and lavender.

Drawing on this exceptional expertise, which was passed through the Diaz generations, exploration in blending of flavors and fragrances to create a unique line of flavored teas resulted in a tea which, today still remains one of the most unique teas in world. L'Original Marie-Antoinette is a very delicate tea, flavored with apples & rose, which gains strength from the Ceylon tea base. The fresh hand-picked apples and roses come from the King‘s Kitchen Garden of Versailles. 

image via Nina's
In 1778 Nina Diaz created the recipe of the cake "Ninasette" for Queen Marie Antoinette. This recipe was passed down exclusively to women in the Diaz family over the centuries.

image via Nina's
NINA'S is the only official partner of the Potager du Roi (Kitchen Garden of the King) to make exclusive products from rare fruits of the gardens at Versailles. Along with it's flavoured teas, jams and jellies, Nina's also offers a sweet, rich apple juice and a luxuriously flavoured sparkling wine made from rare, fresh fruits from the King's Kitchen Garden at Versailles. 

Now that you have a little background on Nina's let's step inside and enjoy a cup of tea.

The moment you step through the door your senses alert you "This is a magical place". The tea salon is petite and very cozy. Tranquil and the perfect spot for writing, catching up with a friend(s), or just sitting and enjoying some "ME" time while sipping a heavenly cup of tea.

The attention to detail and service was brilliant! 
Our hostess was amazing from the service to explaining about the various teas and products.
the choice was unanimous ...  Original Thé de Marie Antoinette 

Truly paradise in a cup!!! it brought my senses to life ... 
Just like L'Original Marie-Antoinette tea the Ninasette cake was delicate, moist, 
full of flavour and absolutely DIVINE.

You really do have to eat cake - at Nina's !!! you will thank me.

At the back of the tea shop is this beautiful staircase
which I'll leave for you to discover what is up there on your own visit to Nina's.

Mon ami Mimi merci! merci! so much for introducing me to Nina's
It will definitely need to be part of the Paris project I'm considering (yes, my dear readers I leave you with a little teaser). 

What was the last fabulous place you discovered while on vacation? 
do share in the comments below.

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Stay in Step with High Heeled Life ...
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