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Dee Poquette’s love affair with Provence began 12 years ago.

Dee on left with her girlfriends at a seaside bistro in Vieux-Port, St. Tropez, 2007

She and three of her friends attended cooking classes at Julia Child’s home in Placassier nestled in the hills above the Côte d”Azur.

(Julia Child and her husband built the house in 1967 and had it until 1992. You may remember seeing it featured in the movie Julie & Julia.)

It was here in Provence that Julia Child collaborated with Simone Beck to write most of the recipes for their international best-selling cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking!

Cooking in Julia Child’s Home In Provence

Dee and her friends took over the three bedroom home for a week (OMG can you imagine?).

They visited local markets while creating savoury French dishes under the skillful instruction of Kathie Alex, a three Michelin star chef – a woman who like Julia Child was still quite a rare thing at the time.

“The house was almost as if Julia had just walked out the door,” says Dee.

“Even most of her cooking utensils were still there!”

An American’s Passion for Provence

Dee is a personal trainer of 34 years who lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut. However, while on subsequent trips to the south of France, Dee also got the idea to start her own tour company (Jackdaw Journeys*) organizing trips to Provence specifically tailored for women of a certain age!

She now does three group tours a year in May, August and October for a maximum of 10 women each.

Group shot of Dee’s cooking school experience in Provence.

These trips offer Dee’s personal recipe for experiencing all that this Mediterranean region has to offer — with a special focus on local markets, cooking and fine dining.

Experience Authentic Provence

Arriving in Nice, Dee personally escorts every group to sights, towns and villages off the beaten track.

They include visiting Eze, Le Castellet and l’isle-sur-la-Sorque, which is known for it’s famous antique markets selling fine French linens, silverware, jewelry, furniture etc.

(Dee schedules time in the best places to shop so she tells her guests to bring an extra empty suitcase!)

So Provence!

A Two-Day Culinary Delight

A highlight of the eight-day tour is a two-day-cooking class in La Cadière-d’Azur , one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. You visit local farmers’ markets in the morning selecting ingredients for feasts you will learn to prepare under the tutelage of another Michelin star chef.

Dee adds a visit or two to a winery where the ladies have been known to chip into pick the grapes — rewarded for their efforts with an extra long tasting and sipping of some of the best wines in France.

Ladies with the grapes they picked!

“Like many of us, I am reinventing myself and living my passion,” says Dee. “And I have combined a variety of guilty pleasures that women our age are looking for in a vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

Dee on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Waiting for us to arrive?

Discover Provence with Dee!

You can find out more about Jackdaw Journeys at http://jackdawjourneys.com

There is still space available for the OCTOBER voyage! October 14th to the 22nd.

And if you book one of Dee’s tours, she is generously offering to

My Subscribers ONLY

A 20% DISCOUNT OFF THE PRICE!

Yup — just for the subscribers of a womanofacertainageinparis.com

Port town of Cassis where Dee takes guests on a boat tour of the stunning bays and rocky cliffs known as the calanques.

Thank you Dee for sharing your story.

I know we all dream of taking this trip with you!

*Dee called this business Jackdaw Journeys after the name of boutique she fell in love with in London, England. She just liked the name.

Tell us what YOU love about Provence!

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A favourite American writer of mine, Elizabeth Bard, recalls an episode when she went shopping with her mother in Paris. Elizabeth lives in Paris and her mother was visiting.

In one particular boutique, her mother barged in  eyeing something she wanted to buy.  She approached a salesperson to assist her and was subsequently given the cold shoulder.

Elizabeth whisked her mother out of the store before a diplomatic incident ensued.  And coming from a country where the customer is always right, her mother was bewildered so she asked her daughter — “What was that all about?”

To which Elizabeth replied — “You forgot to say bonjour.” 

Le Greeting! 

“Bonjour” will get you a long way in Paris.  And it is the polite protocol when you enter a shop or boutique.

In fact, in most places, the shop owner and/or salesperson will beat you to it, in which case, it is expected that you return with an upbeat “bonjour”  yourself.

That may be the only French word you use but it can work wonders.

You will, as a result, be a person of interest, worthy of some consideration and any assistance that you might require.

The alternative — well, Elizabeth’s mother soon found out.

Like kissing friends on both cheeks (“faire la bise”), the French like to connect to their potential customers as soon as they come in the door. This does not mean that they will follow you around or hound you to buy something. In fact, quite the opposite, most salespeople want you to approach them and be asked about their knowledge.

“What cheese would you recommend to have with champagne?”

“How would you prepare that cut of meat?”

“What colour scarf would go well with this blouse?”

Surprisingly, sales in France are not about the purchase.  They are about respect for  “la vendeuse|”le vendeur”, and their wares.

Quick Lesson in Using “Bonjour”

“Bonjour” can mean “hello”, good morning and good afternoon. “Bonsoir”|“good evening” is used after dusk.

 You might also hear “Salut”, which is also hello but more informal and used between friends or people that you see often.

If you frequent the same bar a few times, you can certainly greet your waiter with “Salut.”

If you want to get more complicated, when you enter a smaller store or boutique, do a quick scan —

  – is there just one salesperson, or are there more? Then greet them accordingly in an enthusiastic tone.

“Bonjour Madame!” or “Bonjour Mesdames!”

 “Bonjour Monsieur!” or “Bonjour Messieurs”

You will also notice that you will be greeted this way when you arrive at a restaurant. If you have a gentleman with you, you will hear “Bonjour Monsieur Dame”, which sounds odd because they do not use the pronoun  et|and  in between Monsieur/Dame.

And yes, they will likely always address the man first. It’s a long tradition, what can I say!

Love to hear about your interactions with salespeople in Paris!

PERFUME WINNER! AND YES, I DID Two BONUS DRAWS!

And the Winner Is…

I am excited to announce the WINNER of my SUMMER GIVEAWAY  for a bottle of Chanel Perfume.  

It is Luci Rizzo from Toronto, Canada who has won the draw and will be receiving a 50ml bottle of Chanel o5

or of Chanel’s Gabrielle.  Luci’s choice.

Bonus Winners

However, I was so thrilled with the number of entries for this Giveaway that I decided to do

a Second and yes, even a Third draw for some bonus gifts which include some small Paris-themed items!

Those WINNERS are Timmithea Leeds from San Diego, California and Michelle Kimenhour from Chester, Virginia. 

Both of these ladies became New Subscribers to my blog as a result of this draw!  Thank you ladies.

Thank you All

I want to thank all of you who entered, either by becoming new subscribers, or by making at least 3 comments on my

various blogs over the last month.  I have so enjoyed hearing from you and your stories about Paris.  I hope you will continue to

contribute.

More GIVEAWAYS are coming I promise!

Let’s say Congrats to our WINNERS!

Gift purchases brought to you by www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

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“In travel we explore who we are. Through jewellery we reveal who we are!
Isabelle Fish, Founder of Rue Pigalle

When someone told me I had to connect with Isabelle Fish, and that her business was called “Rue Pigalle”, I was definitely intrigued.

Rue Pigalle refers to the red-light district of Paris. And so I wondered what could this business be about?

Unique Jewelry Trips

Isabelle is originally from Grenoble, France and her passion is jewelry and travel. She has cleverly combined the two to offer (and sincerely tempt us) with what she calls “journeys through jewelry.”

Jewelry Art created from a single strand of continuous silver. By Designer Ute Decker

Isabelle takes women on one-of-a kind trips to cities, such as, London, New York and, of course, Paris, where jewelry crafted by renown and emerging designers is showcased as part of the adventure.

Ladies trip to Paris organized by Isabelle. Stopping for a group photo on the Seine!

Ladies visit textile artist Marta Mantovani (face hidden) in her home near the Arc De Triomphe. Marta specializes in handbags and works with Dior and Balmain.

“I called the business Rue Pigalle because jewelry (like sex) is the forbidden fruit,” says Isabelle.

“Women desperately want to treat themselves but feel guilty about it.”

And Isabelle is all about giving women permission to feel good about themselves.

Dinner Parties

Once a month, Isabelle  hosts a dinner party at her gorgeous home in Toronto where she invites 10 or so female entrepreneurs who have never met before.

View of the hallway and dining room at Isabelle’s home.

The evening operates like a “French Salon” where Parisians congregated for intellectual discourse in the 1800s.

Isabelle picks a topic of interest and the evening is spent discussing that subject.

How French!

Wouldn’t you love to be invited?

Place settings at a Rue Pigalle dinner

Impossibly Chic 

Isabelle, herself, has been dubbed “impossibly chic” (by The Toronto Star) with a style for which French women are revered but for many of us who are not French seems impossible to imitate.

“In North America when you go to a dinner party you are given the dress code. It’s a very strange concept to French people,” says  Isabelle.  “Why would you need someone to tell you how to dress? We know instinctively what’s appropriate and more to the point, we want to be able to wear what makes us feel good, attractive, beautiful. It’s a way to honour the host.”

“Even after 30 years in North America I can’t get used to the concept (and I usually ignore the given dress code which drives my husband (who is not French) completely crazy – he cannot go to a dinner party without knowing the dress code.)”

A French Women’s Perspective…

And Isabelle’s advice to those of us who like to be more French —

“Stop dressing for others, you need to stop worrying about what others will say about your dress.You need to connect your inner self to your outer self. Dress is an expression of who you are, it’s a communication tool, it’s not a uniform that aims at blending everyone and making you disappear.”

Do French women make more effort in how they dress as they age?

“We put the same amount of effort into our appearance no matter the age,” Isabelle says. “It’s rather that we don’t stop putting effort into our appearance just because we are of a certain age. French women are coquettes to the grave!”

Check out Rue Pigalle’s upcoming adventures! You will love them!

Ladies enjoy an aperitif at the restaurant Beau Regard in Paris

Rue Pigalle. https://ruepigalle.ca

Not too Late to Qualify to Win Chanel Perfume!

If you are just hearing about my Summer Giveaway DRAW for the first time,  I am giving away a 50 bottle of Chanel perfume to a lucky Subscriber of my blog.

All you have to do is COMMENT on Three Of My Blogs, this one or even past blogs.

There is a space for comments at the bottom of  each blog post.

The Draw is only one week away on July 7th and is open to my subscribers anywhere in the world.

Refillable Spray Chanel No 5

Chanel’s most recent new perfume — Gabrielle!

Brought to you by www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Once the winner has been selected and received the Chanel Perfume in the mail, they will be asked for a Short Interview, and to take a Selfie or Photo holding the perfume. 

The content will be used to promote interest to my blog and posted on FB, Instagram and Twitter. I personally purchase my Give-away products and do not derive any commission from the products or services promoted on this page.

Good Luck Ladies!

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“I empower women one bottle of champagne at a time!”

Cynthia Coutu, Founder of Delectabulles

Paris, France

What is more French than champagne?

WOMEN drinking champagne — in Paris.  At Cynthia Coutu’s Champagne Club for Women.

Cynthia calls her business Delectabulles and it offers visitors a diverse array of classes, activities and even retreats where French champagne made by women is the star attraction.

But you don’t have to be a club member to attend her events.

Champagne is sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France!

Champagne Events In Paris

Imagine a Chocolate and Champagne workshop where you learn to make chocolate bonbons with a famous pastry chef and then pair them with champagne.

Imagine a day tour to one of Cynthia’s favourite Woman-Owned Wineries while enjoying a fabulous lunch.

Or how about this? Yoga and Champagne! Not at the same time of course. You do some yoga with a certified instructor and once relaxed and melloooow, enjoy a champagne tasting while Cynthia imparts her vast knowledge of sparking wine.

Cynthia promoting her Yoga and Champagne event.

“Only the big champagne producers can afford to export their champagne abroad,” says Cynthia. “But some of the best champagne is made by the smaller producers, and it is very affordable, so I encourage visitors to take advantage while they are here.”

Cynthia’s Story

Cynthia as a student in Paris!

Cynthia Coutu is a Canadian expat living in Paris. She arrived as a “starving student” and never left. She spent much of her career working for the OECD (Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development) where she stayed for 16 years.

Learning that her position was going to be eliminated Cynthia decided to re-invent herself at 50 and do something that made her heart sing.

A connoisseur of wine, she became a certified wine expert specializing in champagne and other sparkling wines.*

At Delectabulles, Cynthia showcases sparkling wines from women-owned wineries or from operations where women have a prominent role.

“Women make the most wine purchases (70% in France, 86% in the U.S.) but only 27% of wineries in France are managed by women. In my small way I am dedicated to supporting and promoting these women.”

And so am I.

Going to Paris this summer? Click on the hyperlink — Delectabulles to see Cynthia’a website and the events she has planned. I hope to see you there!

Note: Many people use the word champagne as a generic term for all sparkling wine but in France, it actually refers to sparking wine produced only in the Champagne region of France. If it is not from Champagne, it is not champagne!

Champagne and a game of Boules!

P.S. THIS IS COOL! Cynthia is planning a summer event that she calls Bulles et Boules. It takes place in a local park where you sip champagne while engaging in the bowling-type game called Pétanque or Boules as it is also called.

Now that would be really different! (Bulles is French for bubbles, champagne bubbles in this case)

*All photos were provided by Delectabulles – https://www.delectabulles.com

If you would like to get regular tips about champagne, you can follow Cynthia

on Facebook at www.facebook.com/delectabulles

Read more about Cynthia’ story at  https://www.globalfemaleleaders.com/blog/blending-business-and-passion/

Don’t Forget to Comment And Win Chanel Perfume!

If you are just hearing about my Summer Giveaway DRAW for the first time,  I am giving away a 50 bottle of Chanel perfume to a lucky Subscriber of my blog.

All you have to do is COMMENT on Three Of My Blogs after you have read them. There is a space for comments at the bottom.

The Draw which will take place on July 7th and is open to my subscribers anywhere in the world.

Refillable Spray Chanel No 5

Chanel’s new perfume — Gabrielle!

Brought to you by www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Once the winner has been selected and received the Chanel Perfume in the mail, they will be asked for a Short Interview, and to take a Selfie or Photo holding the perfume. 

The content will be used to promote interest to my blog and posted on FB, Instagram and Twitter. I personally purchase my Give-away products and do not derive any commission from the products or services promoted on this page.

Good Luck Ladies!

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How did I find myself “French kissing” an Italian man I had just met in Rome? I knew that would get your attention. I was in my early sixties (so a few years ago) and no one was more surprised than me because I had been not been kissed in a very long time, let…

The post French Kissing appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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Where I come from people generally shake hands when they meet. French people “faire la bise.” Pronounced “fair la bees.”   The first time I went to France many many years ago,  I can remember being slightly alarmed when, after being introduced to someone for the very first time, they leaned into kiss me on…

The post French Kisses appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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Margaret Ann Gendreau from Vancouver, Canada, was the winner of my Giveaway Draw for the beautiful travel-themed pink and gray silk scarf from Green Scarf Boutique. This week her gift arrived in the mail and it wasn’t long before Margaret Ann was posing for pictures! It looks great on her doesn’t it?     Paris…

The post Meet The Winner … appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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Don’t you love French bistro chairs?  They are such an integral part of the ambience of the imitable Parisian terrace. And you could spend days photographing them without seeing two restaurants that have the same ones.     HISTORY OF THE PARIS OUTDOOR TERRACE   The Parisian terrace first began when families offered food and…

The post The Paris Bistro Chair appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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But if she had, I know she would have felt right at home, because my mother embodied everything that Paris represents–grace, exquisite beauty, dignity and strength.     If my mother had lived beyond her 76 years, she would have been 94 this month. It is hard to believe that she has been gone from…

The post My Mother Never Made It To Paris! appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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  I don’t cook much as you all know,  so attempting something as finicky as the classic Cheese soufflé felt like a tall order. However, one rainy and cold Sunday, when frankly even going out to a museum or having lunch in a cozy café seemed like too much effort, I decided to stay home and take…

The post Diana’s French Recipe Test Kitchen, Recipe #2 appeared first on Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.

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