Best of June

Paris Courtyard Fountain

The pretty fountain that greeted me in the coolness of a Parisian courtyard at the height of our June heatwave.

• In June, we celebrated Father’s Day with lunch at brasserie La Mascotte, one of our neighborhood favorites, where Maxence shared mussels and fried smelt with his two adoring boys.

• If you’re curious to know what I eat in a day, you can find out over at MindBodyGreen! I am starting a collaboration with this site, which I love, and they’re asking me to cover all kinds of things people want to know about French women’s approach to health, beauty, and lifestyle. If there’s a question you’ve been dying to ask, please let me know and I’ll add it to my list!

• German newspaper Die Zeit also did me the honors this month and featured a few of my recipes around the theme of French picnics. If you want to practice your German, it’s right here.

Related: My Best Picnic Recipes.

• I developed a serious restaurant crush on Pink Mamma, the new restaurant from the trailblazing Big Mamma Group, which just opened in my hood, mere steps from Place Pigalle. Like all restaurants of the group, they serve pizzas and pasta and antipasti, but the star of the show is the meat, which is French and raised by them directly.

I shared a photo of Maxence’s rib steak below, but I confess I didn’t feel like eating meat, so I got the gorgeous caprese salad instead. The place is a total knock-out, especially the top floor under the glass roof, and every detail is carefully chosen, every square inch thoughtfully decorated. Reasonable prices, and not yet as crazy-crowded as the others, so now’s a good time to go!

Pink Mamma

• My former assistant and dear friend Anne interviewed me for her blog, and we had a pretty deep conversation, if you’re curious to know what I discuss with my assistants!

• And this final interview link, in French, which relates more to my podcast on personal development: Bien dans mes pompes. (As an aside, the woman who interviewed me for this went to the same middle school as I did, and we “found” each other again because she now lives a few blocks from me in Montmartre, with same-age kids as I do.)

• The poem I memorized this month is L’Homme heureux possible by Élisabeth Guibert, an 18th-century poet who wrote this surprisingly modern poem:

La vie est un instant, il en faut profiter ;
Rejeter avec soin tout préjugé nuisible,
Croire un Dieu bienfaisant, croire un ami possible
Et connaître le prix du bonheur d’exister ;
Caresser la folie, estimer la sagesse,
Aimer un seul objet, en être un peu jaloux,
Etre toujours fidèle et jamais n’être époux,
Effleurer les talents, les aimer sans faiblesse,
Paraître indifférent sur le mépris des sots,
Avoir le cœur ouvert sur ses propres défauts,
Etre content de soi, mais sans trop le paraître ;
Enfin se croire heureux, c’est le moyen de l’être.

A translation has been published in this great-looking anthology of French Women Poets of Nine Centuries, and you can read it online here: The Happiest Possible Man.

• As part of my Monthly Museum Challenge, I chose the Rodin: The Centennial Exhibition at the Grand Palais. I was fascinated and inspired, and loved sketching a few of the pieces that most caught my eye. At the same time, I am reading the magnificent book Je couche toute nue (“I sleep naked”), which documents the love story between Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin through their letters and journal entries. Such beautiful language! Such romance and tragedy!


Learn French this summer!

If you have long and leisurely days ahead of you this summer, wouldn’t it be a great time to work on your French? I have partnered with Frantastique, a fun and well-crafted online French course, to offer you your first month free, no strings attached.

The courses are delivered by email daily, you can customize them to your level and preferences, and that one free month should give you a good idea of what it would be like to learn or improve your French for the rest of the year. Ça vous dit ?

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