British Airways First class.

Finally a real warm, chic and friendly First class {cheaper than the others).

British airways offers four different classes on most of their long haul flights. Economy, premium economy, business that they call “club world”, and First class. 14 or 8 suites will welcome you with this pure British charming comfort, but never the horrible too much of bragging stuff ( I am not telling the names of these airlines…)

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Awesome Trianon Palace, hotel and restaurant in Versailles.

Trianon Palace Versailles, an exceptional woodland retreat nestled on the edge of the tranquil Royal Domain. Steeped in tradition yet thoroughly contemporary, this high-design hotel features gourmet dining and an exclusive spa.

Witness the splendour of France’s leading luxury retreat at Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Situated less than a mile from the world famous Chateau de Versailles, and only 20 kilometers outside Paris, this fashionable Chateau de Versailles hotel recently benefitted from an artful, full-scale redesign, adding an air of tasteful, modern elegance to the atmosphere of regal luxury. Find solitude among centuries-old trees and lush, vivid gardens, newly updated by famous landscape designer Louis Benech. Experience a splendid reflection of the palatial surroundings within the sumptuous style and decor. Enjoy indulgent features, from lavishly appointed accomodation and an exquisite French restaurant by famous Chef Gordon Ramsay, to the Guerlain SPA with a hammam, steam rooms and a beautiful, heated, indoor swimming pool. Yet even with these special comforts, it is our personalised level of service that sets us apart from the standard Paris Versailles hotels.

Under the direction of renowned Scottish multi-starred chef Gordon Ramsay, the restaurant at Trianon, awarded two Michelin stars, invites you to a feast for the senses. You will succumb to this innovative French cuisine, that combines tradition in a beautiful, refined and intimate environement. This stylish hotel is synonymous with gastronomic joy and inspired by the eponymous restaurant of chef Ramsay in London, which has three Michelin stars.

Relax with friends or simply unwind with a drink at Bar Gallery for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Warm and casual, bathed in the soft glow of antique chandeliers

The famous bar of Trianon Palace Versailles, has created for us an exclusive menu with snacks and delicious salads. You will enjoy and savour it on the terrace, with a refreshing drink, a cocktail, or a glass of awarded wine.

In a friendly atmosphere you will live a culinary meal, surrounded by delightful and vast gardens.

1 Boulevard de la Reine • 78000 Versailles • France.

My Secret corner of Paradise, Hotel de l’Orangeraie.

On the French Riviera, away from the busy Saint Tropez, This Hotel is a 1900 Mansion, that was an old Covent, and did not loose his original charm.

Hotel de l’Orangeraie, is peacefull with such a nice view overlooking the Mediteranee sea.  The swinming pool is awesome, surrounded by old palm trees. Enjoy the blue sky, the sun and the islands away. This is an adorable and romantic spot on the Riviera.

Take your Breakfast on the terrace , in the shade or in the sun, as you want. Enjoy the lovely restaurant specially for dinner. I love it.

The rooms and the suites are very different and all nicely equipted. I love the sea view suite (photo).

For the season, July and August, they host, three times per week, some wonderful live music. Its a dream to have a cocktail enjoying the flowered park. Nothing is snobich there, just a wonderful place where confort, elegance and good service is offered for a lucky few. This is not for braggers like in Saint Tropez, but for romantic people who are looking to enjoy a beautiful stay full of charm.

This is my secret paradise (heaven).

Gevrey Chambertin, a dream coming true.

Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest wine-producing village in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, with its vineyards spilling over into the next door commune of Brochon.

Located in the far north of the Côtes de Nuits above Morey St Denis, classic Gevrey Chambertin is typically deeper in colour, firmer in body and more tannic in structure than most red Burgundy. The best can develop into the richest, most complete and long-lived Pinot Noir in the world.  This is largely thanks to the iron-rich clay soils, though much depends on whether the vineyard is located on either the steeper slopes or the richer, flatter soils.

Whereas in the past there have been numerous underperformers in Gevrey-Chambertin, exploiting the reputation of this famous village and its iconic Grand Crus, today there are many fine sources to choose from, and overall quality is higher than ever.

Gevrey-Chambertin’s greatest Grand Cru is named after the field of the monk Bertin (Champ de Bertin). In 1847 Gevrey appended the name of this illustrious vineyard, Chambertin, starting a trend for the other main villages to follow. Le Chambertin may not be quite as sumptuous as Musigny or Richebourg or as divinely elegant as La Tâche or Romanée St Vivant, but it is matched only by the legendary Romanée-Conti for completeness and luscious intensity.

In all Gevrey boasts an impressive 9 Grands Crus, with the name of Chambertin retaining a regal omnipresence throughout its finest vineyard names. The other truly great Grand Cru is Chambertin Clos de Bèze which has the right to sell its wines simply as ‘Chambertin’ and is the only wine allowed to put the Chambertin name before, rather than after, its own.  Situated slightly further up the hill, the wines are fractionally less powerful but are full of sensual charm and finesse.

Quality-wise the next best are generally acknowledged to be Mazis- (or Mazy-) Chambertin and Latricières-Chambertin. The former is incredibly concentrated and very fine but its structure is a little less firm than Le Chambertin. Latricières is less about power, although it can be explosively fruity, and more about an entrancing silkiness.

Situated slightly higher up the slope, Ruchottes-Chambertin is impressively rich, stylish and slightly angular. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, which owes its name to the grill-pan shape of the vineyard rather than the wine’s Griottes cherry aroma, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit reminiscent of Chambertin itself. It is generally better than the lighter although wonderfully fragrant Chapelle-Chambertin and Gevrey’s largest Grand Cru, the pure and seductive (if variable) Charmes-Chambertin.

Gevrey also has some outstanding Premier Crus on the south-east-facing slopes above the town. Les Cazetiers and especially Clos St Jacques produce some exceptional wines. Indeed Armand Rousseau, who pioneered domaine bottling here in the 1930s and is still one of the region’s very best producers, often sells his Clos St Jacques for more than several of his Grand Crus.

Drinking dates for these wines vary, but Grand Crus are generally best from at least 10 to 25 years, Premier Crus from 8 to 20 years and village wines from 5 to 12 years.

Not as know as the most expensive producers, Harmand Geoffroy is a host when you visit his cellar. A product of ancient vines, this Gevrey-Chambertin has a brilliant, majestic nose which is hauntingly fine and expresses exceptional detail as well as great power. Magical little red fruits dance across the palate, but there’s no doubt that there is a granitic structure beneath the silky surface too.

It is hard to see how this wine could be any better than this !

My favorite Patisserie in Paris, Gerard Mulot.

Everybody will tell you, that these places where only Parisians go, are the best.

Gerard Mulot, Pâtisserie in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, is the very best pastry shop in the city. It is a bit hard to understand the way to purchase there. It is always full of customers. First you queue to choose what pastries you want. Second, you queue to pay at the register. And then you queue to get your pastries. But believe me it is worth the trip.

Everything is homemade of course, with the best ingredients. The “savoir faire” is unbelievable. It is so looking perfect, so fresh and so tasty, you will dream for sure.

A very few could have lunch there. But you could buy some catered food and go back home with them. Daily new dishes are on display. Fantastic Quiches or Tourtes will make you pleased. If you are in a hurry, just get a sandwich. Their Croque-Monsieur are divine.

Then you have a look at the pastry side. Wow ! If you can resist with none to purchase, you must be unconscious.

Macarons are awesome. I prefer the Macaron Nougat. You will not find it anywhere else.

You MUST try the “tarte au Chocolat”, This chocolate tart, is probably the best in the world. the fruit tarts are awesome. If you are lucky, you will may be find, the “Milles feuilles au nougat”, please try this one as well… just divine. You can go for any of their pastries, you will not believe it is real.

Staying in Paris and not going to Gerard Mulot, is a crime.

76 rue de Seine
75006 PARIS

Nice restaurant “Madre Tiera” in Playa del Carmen

french ideas

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There we are in the center of the city, right on the Quinta (avenida 5), and a calm restaurant appears on the second floor, “Madre Tiera”.

On the street level, a cute hostess welcomes you very nicely. You can as well check the menu there.

The dinning room is on the second floor. It is very nice and a bar takes place in the center. You are above the very busy Quinta, however in a quiet place.

We ordered a bottle of Mexican wine. This one we did not know before and that as been a very good surprise.

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While waiting for our main course, we decided to have some Guacamole. I can tell you that one for two is enough. The waiter comes with a trolley and prepare it for you next to your table. He did a very good job, we loved it.

Then, that night we…

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Coba, for a stunning visit of the Oldest Mayan Ruins.

I always love to visit this wonderfull site of Coba, in the Yucatan region of Mexico. It not far from the lovely city of Valadolid that you should visit to.

I do prefer those places where there are not too many people. It is a long distance between the entrance and the pyramide itself. This is why you can rent a bike or take a tricycle with a “chauffeur”. It will be such a great experience and I am saying: this is a must if you visit Yucatan. Not as known as Tulum and Chichen Itza, but its older. Archaeologists believe the Mayan ruins of Coba were an incredibly important city for the Maya people. However, due to its location, the site is not as popular with group of tourists as other ruins in Mexico.

Because Coba doesn’t see as much tourism, you can actually still climb some of the structures for a totally different and unique perspective.

Mysteriously no one really knows how the Maya transported goods along these roads. While scientists believe the Mayan knew about the existence of the wheel, there’s no evidence they actually used them.

One of my favorite reasons to visit Coba is that it isn’t as excavated as other sites, so you feel like you’re wandering through a forest, with many structures still covered in trees, and walking in the Jungle is part of the charm of this stunning site.

The largest pyramid of Coba is called Ixmoja, part of the Nohoch Mul group of buildings. The pyramid is 42 meters (138 feet) tall and was the heart of the city. Unlike other Maya sites, you can still climb this one, if you dare!

This is why there’s a thick rope in the middle for safety. But the view from the top is totally worth the climb. A light breeze cools you off from the summit while gazing at the lush jungle landscape stretching out in all directions. Plus, there are not many places where you can climb a Mayan pyramid anymore. As a site gets more popular and tourism increases, authorities eventually restrict climbing to preserve structures.

Coba is estimated to have had a population of over 50,000 people at its peak. There are many tall stone carved monuments at the complex, called stelae.

There are two well-preserved ball courts on the site too, used for playing “ōllamaliztli”, the traditional Mayan ballgame. Specific rules differ depending on the time period, but basically players attempted to bounce a heavy rubber ball through stone rings using their hips. Sometimes the Captain of the winning team was sacrificed to the gods.

The Mayan city of Coba was first inhabited around 100 AD and was eventually abandoned when the Spanish conquered the peninsula around 1550 AD. However, the city was once the most powerful in the region, controlling farmland, trading routes, and important water sources.

For me, Coba is the most charming Mayan site and it is the most agreable visit to make.

Visit the Governement Palace in Merida.

The current Government Palace had its antecedent in the Royal Houses, used for the colonial government. It served both administrative office business and government as room for governors and representatives of the Crown. Once independence was called, the Government Palace and the late nineteenth century was destroyed to build the currently know as such, and this elegant green building trone next to the Cathedral.

It was first inaugurated on 15 September 1892 in order to concentrate on the new building the Executive Branch offices for the governement of Yucatan.

It has 2 floors adorned with portals, courtyard and arcades. It has a staircase and stone quarry, a replica of the bell of Dolores, built on the central window of the building. It currently houses the offices of the state government. On the top floor is the auditorium, which presents the history of Yucatan beautiful and large paintings by the artist Fernando Castro Pacheco, which are spread over two floors of the building: galleries, living history and nature of the ladder. The Government Palace embodied the political life of the State.

The Government Palace is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and receives constant visits of tourists, for which the main entrance is a tourist information booth offering services: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm with a free entrance, Monday through Sunday.

Alone for dinner ? Treat yourself …

A nice dinner setting on a small table and there you feel more confortable.

For a long year, I was living on my own in a vast appartement in the contryside next to the Loire valley. However I enoyed to discover new recipes that I was improving before cooking it for my guests.

I had such a great time to take this opportunity to use the different chinaware, silverware and glasses that I have. It was a very good moment for me to feel happy even on my own.

From Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, I used to force myself at the beginning and soon after it came naturally that a nice table setting and good cuisine with some nice wine were the things I needed.

So please lets consider this and please yourself, I am sure you have a dishwasher so do not worry…

During my carreer, I always had to take care of the others and suddenly it was time to take care of me and to enjoy what I had purchased during so many years. I was able to use my service dishes in Sterling silver as well as my fine China. My delicate glasseware was going to be used !

If you ever feel kind of sad to be on your own, do it and then you will see how life is beautiful. Force yourself to the best.