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It’s been awhile since my last post. With Christmas, the arrival of our latest container, and travelling to France, I’ve had little time to do much else.

I hope this finds you well, and recovering nicely from the festivities of the season.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy successful and healthy 2014 with all of your dreams and ambitions fulfilled.

We are currently in France preparing for our next buying trip scheduled to begin the middle of next week.  We came early and decided to spend New Years Eve in Paris. It was nothing short of fabulous. We did NOT join the masses on the Champs Elysees for the spectacular fire works display. No doubt it was over the top as usual. We preferred to spend it dining in the company of great friends who had invited us for dinner.

Larry and I brought the dessert. A buche Noel that I had to wait in line for over 30 minutes to get!

A line up that extended down the street that consisted of only in the know Parisians.

A line up that extended down the street that consisted of only “in the know” privileged 16th Arrond.Parisians.

This particular patisserie was only producing Buche Noel’s which after having it for dinner knew why people were lined up around the block just to get it.

These fabulous cakes were as light as a feather filled with meringue, while chocolate mousse, and pastry. Fabulous!

For dinner, we had something served to us that we’d never heard of before. Chapon! Chapon is a ‘castrated Rooster’ and it’s considered a delicacy and alternative to Turkey which the French find a bit commonplace and not too exciting.

chapon1

Chapon are not easily found. (notice the body type difference between a chapon and chicken.) Jeff and Helene were right! It was really tasty and very different than either turkey or chicken. A different texture (richer and beefier ) and no shortage of flavor. It was Jean Francois who was the chef de la nuit and he deserved accolades for the excellent dish prepared perfectly. He made a ‘champagne sauce’ that was the gravy. I said “Oh Champagne Gravy, how glamorous” to which he replied ‘Gravey ( he pronounced it grevy) what is it this gravey?)

Our wonderful friends Jean Francois and Helene always delight in introducing us to the exotic mysteries of French dining and culture. The last time I was there Jeff introduced me to ‘Oursins Vivant’ or live sea urchins. ( Larry had returned to Vancouver by that time

Jean Francois and Helene

Jean Francois and Helene

I can spend hours listening to Jean Francois about everything French. From cuisine to culture, Jean Francois or “Jeff” as he prefers to be called, is one of the most interesting people I know.

We all ushered in the New Year by kissing under a large bouquet of mistletoe hanging from a doorway. It’s a French tradition and considered very good luck on New Year’s Eve.

It was a delightful surprise also to find that my dear old friend from Vancouver (during my years in the fashion biz) Ann Coombs has been here in Paris for the entire month of December. We’ve just been on the phone for literally an hour going over how much we adore the eccentricities of the French and of course the city of Paris.

Ann writes a blog too. For all of you that would like to read it, she goes into great detail about her discoveries and likes about the great city of Paris. Check out her blog at Pixie in Paris

Unfortunately we won’t be hooking up as Larry and I leave for Belgium tomorrow on a buying trip. And my dear friend Ann is leaving for the south of France then departing for Vancouver on the 8th of January.

Anyway, next time Ann! And a bientot in Vancouver.

Well, nothing much to report from France. We’ve only been here a couple of days. I hope to be sending you some great information from Brussels over the next week or so.

Cheers,

Mark

www.antiquewarehouse.net

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