Air France Inaugural Flight Vancouver to Paris

image1March 29, 2015. Air France makes its inaugural flight from Vancouver to Paris.

Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) welcomed Air France’s inaugural flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The non-stop flight marks the beginning of a new, highly requested non-stop service between Paris and Vancouver.

“Bienvenue Air France! British Columbians have been asking for direct service to Paris for some time, and we are very excited to welcome Air France to YVR,” said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.

“The new service will boost tourism and business, provide more choice for Canadian travellers, and have a positive impact on our economy,” said the Honourable Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the Minister of National Revenue, Government of Canada.

Celebrations for the inaugural flight began as the Air France Boeing 777-200 taxied into YVR with French and Canadian flags waving from the cockpit windows. Inside the terminal the event was celebrated with speeches, an Eiffel Tower cake, and a variety of French food, music, and entertainment.

This is a very important service for British Columbians who travel to France and to Europe, as it has been over 15 years since we have had non-stop scheduled service to Paris from Vancouver. France is the most visited country in the world, and the number of Canadian travellers to France continues to increase, reaching over million Canadian visitors to France in 2013, which was a 15% increase from the previous year. This new convenient direct service between Vancouver and Paris will expand opportunities for British Columbians to discover and explore France.

Service between Vancouver and Paris will operate three times a week until May, then expand to five times a week for the summer months.

L’Isle sur la Sorgue Art and Antique Festival April 3-6

FMAPAC084CDT0003151_3After London and Saint-Ouen/Paris, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has the third biggest antique fair. Visit one of the most charming villages in Provence to find unique antique treasures at the International Antique Fair April 3-6 in L’Isle sur la Sorgue.

At the fair you will find antique furniture, decorations, boutis, ceramics, rare finds, must-haves, and collectibles from the south of France and elsewhere. The International fair began in 1966 with 14 exhibitors, and now over 200 exhibitors display antiques along the winding streets of this picturesque town.

FMAPAC084CDT0003151_2Full-time antique dealers will open stands in over 10 clusters through the town, conveniently grouped according to theme such as Contemporary Art, Antique Books, Design/Decoration etc. Many of these exhibitors are normally open on weekends only, but will be available throughout the Fair days.

A wonderful experience awaits as you wander the streets of this beautiful town hunting for treasures and enjoying the exquisite selection of pieces on display.

In addition, to celebrate the Easter holiday, there will be 3000 eggs hidden among the antiques on Monday 6, April 2015 10 am at Park Gautier (for children from 3 to 11). The fair returns to L’Isle sur la Sorgue August 13-16, 2015.

La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel March 20, 2015

An outstanding event at the Eiffel Tower March 20, 2015!la-verticale-de-la-tour-eiffel

For the first time in 120 years the Eiffel Tower will host a vertical race in which 60 athletes will ascend the 1,665 steps of the iconic landmark. The open architecture of the Eiffel Tower provides an uncommonly excellent view of the event, unlike most vertical races that take place in enclosed stairwells.

La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel, will be dedicated to climbing the monument: a 279 meter race from the ground floor to the top of the Eiffel Tower, with 1665 steps to climb!

This event will be held on Friday March 20th 2015 at 8:30pm in the evening. 

For the first running of this unique competition, the number of participants is limited. Only 60 experienced athletes will be allowed to climb the stairs of the three levels of the famous landmark, which has not happened for over 100 years!

If you are in Paris for spring break, don’t miss this exciting event.

Solidarity and Peace for Paris

Paris holds a special place in all our hearts, and we have all been following the events in France recently. The world has been focused on France as it rallies from the terrorist attacks that touched at the very heart of country’s dedication to free speech and liberty. The outpouring of support from all corners of the world has helped to bring peace and healing.

It has been a remarkable experience to see the Paris and the country stand strong and come together. And this culminated in the massive Unity Rally on January 11th where over a million people filled the streets of Paris. With this unprecedented gathering, Paris demonstrated that it’s not only the City of Light, but also a city of peace – united by a desire to defeat terrorism of all kinds. It was a moving display of support for France and for every country around the world that has been, or continues to be, shaken by terrorism. Major cities and small towns around the world also held unity rallies as a reminder of how important it is to remain united and to stand strong and together.

Paris is in our hearts more than ever, and the city has shown us that solidarity can be a positive influence to change the world. As daily life continues; with shops, museums and restaurants open as normal, the Parisians are, perhaps even uncharacteristically, warm and welcoming. Its in moments like these when differences fall away and what unites us stands out clearly. Paris is in our hearts always and forever.

Cèpes mushrooms

cepes4Cèpes mushrooms, also known as porcini, grow wild in France and Italy, In the autumn, these prized mushrooms are fresh and widely available in markets and restaurants. Cèpes are one of the tastiest wild mushrooms, and are popular on many menus in the fall season.

Cèpes are low in fat and digestible carbohydrates and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietery fiber.  Although they are sold commercially,  cèpes are difficult to cultivate. However, they are found wild in autumn and are often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. Fortunately, cèpes keep their flavor after drying, and are then reconstituted and used in many recipes.

Sautéed fresh cèpes and wild mushrooms with herbs and cream IMG_8056

Serves 4 as a side dish. Excellent with roast chicken and potatoes.

500g (2 cups)  of fresh cèpes and wild mushrooms (chanterelles, trumpet, brown button)
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf parsley, thyme, and any other fresh herbs
cream or sour cream to taste

cepes2Clean and prepare the mushrooms (see below). Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms, cook in batches, and don’t over salt the mushrooms (see tips below). Sauté the mushrooms until golden brown on one side. When the first side of the mushrooms are cooked, add the shallots, garlic, and sauté the mushrooms on the other side. Make sure the mushrooms are cooked through. Add 1 tablespoon of butter per batch. When all the mushrooms are cooked, deglaze the pan with white wine, then add the velouté and cream (see below).

Tips:

  • Cook mushrooms on a high heat so the moisture will evaporate quickly
  • Cook mushrooms in a large pan in a single layer and in batches so that moisture will evaporate.
  • Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms or too much water is released at once, and the mushrooms will be soggy and won’t brown
  • Don’t disturb the mushrooms until they have stopped “singing” in the pan. Do not stir the mushrooms or swirl the pan until the mushrooms are golden brown on one side.
  • Cook different types of mushrooms separately, as some will require more or less cooking than others.
  • Season cèpes with salt as soon as you start to cook them, but don’t add too much salt when cooking because the mushrooms will shrink. More salt can be added later if required.
  • If using dried herbs, add the herbs to the mushrooms with the garlic and shallots. Fresh herbs will lose their flavour when cooked, so should only be added at the last minute to preserve their flavour.

cepes3Cleaning cèpes is simple: use a knife, a soft brush, a damp cloth or a potato peeler, but do not wash them in water, because they are like sponges.  Cut off the tip of the mushroom’s stalk, scrape off as much earth as possible, peel a single layer of the stalk. You can wipe them with a damp cloth for a proper final cleaning. If you want to store cèpes, wrap them in a cloth and store in the refrigerator. Never put them in a plastic bag.

Velouté:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken stockIMG_8057

In a separate saucepan, whisk the butter and the flour together over medium heat. Cook the roux without stirring until it smells like hazelnuts and is golden brown. Add the chicken stock and salt and stir over low heat until the sauce thickens.

Add the velouté and cream to the mushrooms and simmer until heated through. Add fresh herbs and serve hot. If preparing in advance, turn the heat off, then reheat and add fresh herbs before serving.

Air France announces non-stop flights between Vancouver and Paris

IMG_8148As of next spring, Air France will fly non-stop between Vancouver and Paris up to five times a week. The new service between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) will begin March 2015.

Flights will be operated by Boeing 777-200 with 309 seats: 35 in Business, 24 in Premium Economy and 250 in Economy. The non-stop seasonal service will operate:

  • From March 29 to May 3, 2015, flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • From May 4 to September 13, 2015, flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • From September 14 to October 24, 2015, flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Flight schedules (in local time):

  • AF 379: Leaves Vancouver at 14:00, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 8:35 the following day
  • AF 374: Leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 10:35, arrives in Vancouver at 11:50 the same day

In addition to Air France’s co-carrier KLM’s daily flights between Vancouver and Amsterdam, the opening of the Vancouver-Paris route five times a week now offers customers greater choice for connections to 55 destinations in Europe. According to Air France representatives, the new YVR-CDG flights will also contribute to develop trade and tourism between France and British Columbia, and add $13.7 million in Gross Domestic Product, $8.8 million in wages and 248 jobs to the B.C. economy.

YVR representatives are “… thrilled to welcome a premier carrier like Air France to YVR’s growing list of business partners. Our customers have long been asking for Air France’s non-stop direct flights to Paris. We recently surveyed Metro Vancouver residents and results showed Paris as the number one requested destination from YVR.”

Tickets for the new Air France Vancouver-Paris service are now available for purchase. For booking information, visit www.airfrance.ca

A Great New Find in Paris

IMG_8027
We love to find small intimate chef-run restaurants with great food and ambiance. During our stay in Paris, we discovered REED restaurant: a small charming restaurant tucked away on a small street in the 7th arrondissement.

Reed-Cooking-Class-in-Paris
The restaurant is owned and operated by Catherine Reed, a Canadian from Quebec City, who was a private chef for 17 years in Switzerland and France. Catherine is a talented chef, and a warm host, and will ensure you are well taken care of.

Her small cozy restaurant accommodates about 16 diners, and offers traditional French food in a friendly and leisurely atmosphere.  All the dishes on the menu are home made using the freshest ingredients personally selected from the neighbourhood markets, and the French wines are carefully selected to add another dimension to your Parisian dining experience.

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The restaurant has an open kitchen concept, which is perfect for the cooking classes that the chef offers on Wednesdays.
The cooking classes are taught in English and feature seasonal ingredients and techniques cooks can use at home. Classes are limited in size to provide participants with an intimate experience.

IMG_8046No matter how experienced a cook you are, this class encourages beginners and the more skilled alike to experience a new twist on cooking. You will learn useful tips, basic techniques and classic French cooking principles.  The class menu (starter, main course and dessert ) is set according to fresh seasonal products and technical interest.

IMG_8052We thoroughly enjoyed the morning preparing an outstanding menu, beginning with a three cheese soufflé served with a side salad of mâche lettuce with sundried tomato and balsamic vinaigrette. The main course was an outstanding combination of herb stuffed free range chicken roasted in a salt crust served on a bed of crushed herbed potatoes with a medley of sautéed fresh mushrooms and a wedge of baby romaine lettuce. For dessert we created a divine fresh strawberry shortcake. IMG_8043

After the hands on class, we sat down to enjoy our delicious dishes with a glass of wine or two! The class was a highlight of our stay in Paris, and highly recommended.

Reservations are required for the class and friends can join later for the lunch.IMG_8050

Cooking classes are €135 per person from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm on Wednesdays.

Reed restaurant is open for dinner Tues-Friday (closed Sun & Mon). Dinner reservations are recommended.

 

Reed
11 bis rue Amélie
75007 Paris
01 45 55 88 40