Broken Biscuits

Julia Willard - Broken Biscuits Paris, bicycle Paris
Moi

Coucou, Everyone! Just had to share one of my favorite photos and its accompanying story…

A year ago, a friend of a friend told me she had a friend (are you following?) that I just had to meet, as she was about to move to Paris. Great, I thought, I love to meet others with a shared love for Paris. Patty and I agreed to meet in the neighborhood she had chosen to live in for the next 12 months: the 11th. Of the 20 arrondissements in Paris, a handful of them hold much less interest to me than others, and the 11th is one of them. I can’t say I know why this is, but something about it has never had much draw for me. I know there are many loyal onzième-ers out there, so please don’t be offended! Anyway, the good news is, Patty – even before moving to Paris – loved the 11th, so she was totally prepared to share her knowledge of the neighborhood with me.

We made plans for a morning date on what ended up being a rather wet day. I stopped over at her place near a charming small park, then we headed to the nearby and newly-opened Broken Biscuits. We chatted briefly with the two employees then ordered our goodies and settled into the front two seats. As you can see from the exterior photo, it’s a very small space, so we were lucky to get the best seats in the house.

Not too many people stopped in in the time we were sitting there, but the story that goes along with the shot of me in the window is one of my all-time favorite photo stories. You see, a woman with the red grocery cart walked up first, and parked her market purchases right out front. Seeing this, I interrupted Patty, and hopped outside to take a photo. What a cute shot, right? Within a couple of minutes, though, a man on this lovely blue bike parked it right in front, and perfectly, too. You see, it’s not leaning, it’s not locked up, it’s just perfectly positioned in front of the shop front.

At this point, Patty was 100% in on the impromptu photo shoot as well, and we knew we had to be quick about it because these customers would be served within minutes. We both jumped up and shot each other sitting poetically in the front window in what had been an already-darling scene, but the elements that came along just made it that much better.

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Pâtisseries and tea goodies
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Scones and hot tea

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography

Photo taken a year ago by Ms. Paris On a Dime

Address: 
10 Passage Rochebrune, 75011 Paris
Hours: 
Wed-Fri 8:30am-7pm
Sat-Sun 11-7pm

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Waterlogue Wednesdays: Christmas Spirit in Paris

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, Paris, Paris 2eme, rue Montorgueil, Julie Willard, Christmas tree, sapin de noel
Gras
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, Paris, Paris 2eme, Galerie Vivienne, Julie Willard, Christmas tree, sapin de noel
Lumineux

Christmas in Paris should last at least a month, in my opinion! The places where businesses and the City have taken care to do something beautiful all just ooze with charm. I can’t help but want it to stick around. I even had lunch a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant with a beautiful advent wreath on a large round community table. It’s the attention to detail and the tastefulness of the decor that makes it all so beautiful.

Today’s Waterlogue includes a photo from Le Compas on rue Montorgueil, where I caught many people having a morning coffee and checking up on news in their journaux. The second image is one that I found after making a special detour to see if there were any decorations in Galerie Vivienne. I’m so glad I went there, as I ended up shooting this scene from every angle!

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Montmartre

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, Paris photographer, Montmartre, Waterlogue, watercolor
Natural
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, Paris photographer, Montmartre, Waterlogue, watercolor
It’s Technical
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, Paris photographer, Montmartre, Waterlogue, watercolor
Illustration
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, Paris photographer, Montmartre, Waterlogue, watercolor
Profilé

Beautiful Montmartre as seen during my Discover Walks Paris Tour taken back in May. I used four different Waterlogue styles on with this group, and I think they all look fabulous.

Weekend Social Atrium Hotel Stay II

As promised, here are a few more photos from my stay at the Atrium Hotel in Suresnes. One of my favorite spaces was the cocktail bar and lounge, which for some reason made me think of Oscar Wilde and one of his former residences in Paris. I find this room super charming.

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris
Hotel study and cocktail bar

The low sun cast long shadows on the surrounding buildings and brought color to the surrounding façades.

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris
View north toward La Défense
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris
View of Montmartre, the Sacré Cœur, and the Arc de Triomphe
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris
Those Paris rooftops…

L’Atrium Hotel
68/72 boulevard Henri Sellier
92150 Suresenes, France
+33 1 42 04 60 76
info@latriumhotel.com

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Red Balloons at the Eiffel Tower

Waterlogue, Julia Willard, red balloon project, Eiffel Tower, Falling Off Bicycles

Happy Waterlogue Bastille Day! How better to celebrate this country I love so much than with a blue sky, some red balloons, and the Eiffel Tower (+ some fireworks). How did you celebrate?

Weekend Social Atrium Hotel Stay

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking advantage of a promotion put on by the new-in-town Atrium Hotel. I was offered a night’s stay at the Atrium Hotel just west of Paris, in Suresnes. Never mind that the hotel isn’t in the city center; Suresnes is a lovely town and I had heard there is quite an impressive view from the hotel making any distance from the center of Paris well worth the trek.

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris

I checked in on a Sunday evening, just in time to take in the sunset from the rooftop terrace with my friend. We grabbed the signature green apples that are placed around every one of their and their partner hotels, and grabbed a seat outside. It had been a hot day, so the sun was strong as it set just behind us as we faced the Iron Lady. Suresnes, which sits atop a hill, is known for its fort at Mont Valerien and is also home to the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial. An hour atop the small but lovely rooftop terrace was the perfect end to my Sunday. We watched the sun set over not one but three top Paris monuments, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Sacré Cœur sitting upon Montmartre. (Unfortunately, all the photos I got of the rooftop terrace have my friend in them, so I will have to return for proper photos of it. Check it out now at the hotel’s website.)

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris

The staff members were all friendly and accommodating with any question I had, and the little time I was able to spend in the hotel (I had to leave very early the next morning for a meeting in the 2nd arrondissement) was really lovely. The stylish yet simple décor is a welcome change to the oftentimes-ornate typical French furnishings. Everything in the hotel was pristine and in place, including the billiards table, on which the balls were racked and ready to go.

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Atrium Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Suresnes, Paris

Stay tuned for another post featuring this chic hotel, coming soon.

L’Atrium Hotel
68/72 boulevard Henri Sellier
92150 Suresenes, France
+33 1 42 04 60 76
info@latriumhotel.com

Thankful Thursdays – Menu Diversity

Nanashi Paris, Paris Japanese food, bento Paris, Juli Willard, Falling Off Bicycles

Am I writing about food too much? Haha. Sometimes I just flip through my photos and find pictures of such memorable meals that I had to capture them for posterity. I have now been to Nanashi in Paris several times (sigh, why wasn’t it there when I lived around the corner from one in 2007?!), and it still stands out to me as one of the most fun healthy and fresh dining options in Paris. In my travel consulting work, I get asked about the best restaurants in Paris, usually by people who are expecting an epic meaty meal the French have mastered over centuries (or so they say). I have a list of places that I’ve heard about over the years or have been to with meat eaters, but otherwise I have to direct them elsewhere for guidance, as my main dining list is one of my favorite spots in Paris for fresh meals like the one above (and yes, Nanashi has non-veg meals, too). As I mention often, the culinary scene in Paris is breaking open to include more than just entrecôte or parmentier de confit de canard, and I for one welcome it with open arms.

Nanashi – Bento Parisien
57 rue Charlot
75003 Paris
Phone: 09 60 00 25 59

31 rue de Paradis
75010 Paris
Phone: 01 40 22 05 55

Discover Walks Free Paris Tour

Last month I had the good privilege to join a tour of Montmartre that made an embarrassment of me. You see, I have lived in Paris for seven years and thought I had a pretty good grasp on the history of Paris. Yet I found myself thinking frequently throughout my recent Discover Walks Tour “oh really?!” In the days following, I found myself questioning friends, “Did you know X,Y, or Z about Montmartre?”

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, France, Montmartre

Discover Walks has a unique format in that the company welcomes people to join and learn about the city they are visiting without an official obligation to pay. Of course, the assumption is that those who partake will compensate the tour guide in a manner that is reflective of the quality of service he or she has offered.

Without giving all the fun and juicy details away, a few things I picked up on the tour that struck me are:

  • The origin of the name Montmartre (and the accompanying speculation about it)
  •  There are three windmills in Montmartre, although there were many more once upon a time
  •  The hill used to be covered in vines. The your passes by one you won’t want to miss.
  • It used to be completely separate from Paris (annexed in 1860), and was seen as highly debaucherous (even more than I had thought!)
  • There’s a place called Le Bateau-Lavoir for artists to bunk and hang out still in use to this day. We stood for several minutes in front of this historic place, as there is so much to learn about it and all the artists who have passed through its doors.

Discover Walks offers tours in many cities across Europe including Madrid, Rome, London, as well as St. Petersburg, Russia, and even San Francisco in the USA. I look forward to trying out another one of their tours (there are many others offered in Paris, alone) in various places across the world.

Paris, France, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Montmartre, Paris, France

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Montmartre, vineyard, Paris, France Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Paris, France, Montmartre Falling Off Bicycles, Julia Willard, Montmartre, Paris, France

Thankful Thursdays – When One Shop Brightens the Whole Block


Grange aux Belles, 10 Belles, Bleuet Coquelicot fleuriste

Once upon a time, I lived on this block. In fact, in May 2013, I arrived loaded down with luggage at 8 rue de la Grange aux Belles, that red door at the far right of the photo. I had been to the 10th arrondissement plenty of times before, but committing to living there wasn’t easy for me. My experience with the 10th was that it is run down and rather uninteresting, despite the lovely (albeit green-tinted) Canal Saint Martin that runs through part of it. Nevertheless, I signed the paperwork and took the plunge to live there, my to-be landlord assuring me with the help of this document that the neighborhood’s Bohemian crowds and new boutiques popping up, that his neighborhood is the new “it” quartier. The unwelcoming paint-chipped decrepit door and grungy tabac and bar just steps away notwithstanding, he was right… our neighborhood, and even most of our immediate neighbors were nothing short of charming. This area represented a Paris I did not really know yet and was suddenly eager to discover.

Still, there are improvements to be made here and there in the neighborhood. I always appreciated the beautiful florist Bleuet Coquelicot and how they literally spread the beauty up and down the block. What’s not to love about a row of colorful façades and plant-filled pots lining the street? It gives people reason to sit outside the neighboring establishments on even the grayest of days.


**Note: Bleuet Coquelicot, Myrthe Epicerie & Cantine, and Ten Belles are appearing in the latest Airbnb ad.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Cité Florale

Julia Willard Falling Off Bicycles Paris photography, Waterlogue

Julia Willard Falling Off Bicycles Paris photography, Waterlogue

Well, I’ve just arrived back in Paris, this time staying at a friend’s place in the 13ème. One of my best friends used to live in the 13ème, but apart from her I’ve never had much of a reason to come to this quartier. It hadn’t made much of an impression on me years ago, so I haven’t kept it high on my list of places to return to. However, this Waterlogue Wednesday calls for a proper tribute to my temporary neighborhood, where the smalls streets are named for flowers (Rue des Glycines (Wisteria Street), Rue des Iris, Rue des Liserons (Bindweed Street), Rue des Orchidées, (Orchid Street), Rue des Volubilis (Morning Glory Street), Square des Mimosas (Mimosa Square)). I missed the hanging wisteria in this area, which I have reason to believe was spectacular, but the roses have started to bloom, adding to the picturesque look of this charming little part of town. Do you spot the bike?

Stayed tuned on Instagram for an exciting collaboration with Waterlogue, coming soon!