Browsing Tag

french style


Cake Vintage’s Paper Placemats

place setting placemat backdrop for a rich chocolate cake

place setting placemat backdrop for a rich chocolate cake

When I first laid my eyes on the 6-layer rich chocolate cake by Sweetapolita, I immediately recognized the style of the kitchen paper placemats by Cake Vintage. I received the Italian Scroll Placemat Pad at Christmas. The styled photos of Sweetapolita show this product in all its splendor.

What is cool with paper placemats is that you can enhance the design to fit the occasion by writing on the paper. You could write down the menu or use them to assign the place of your guests at your dinner table.

Italian scroll placemat pad by cake vintage

If you are having a bug party is an affordable solution to dress your buffet or dining table. Each 50-sheet placemat pad costs about $20. They are made with soy based inks and 30% recycled content. They make coordinating menu notepad. You can buy the Perfect Setting Placemat pad used for the cake shoots on Cake Vintage or at Anthropologie (they are called Fine Dining placemats on Anthropologie’s Web site).

fine dining paper placemats

Oh, and do not miss to check the recipe of the rich chocolate cake on Sweetapolita.

+ Kitchen  Papers Collection by Cake Vintage – $20 USD for a placemat pad, $10 for a menu notepad
+ Fine Dining Placemats $24 USD at Anthropologie
+ Campfire Delight: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake from Sweetapolita


Delightful Mondays: Pretty Cakes and a Baby Shower

cake by magpie's cake

cake by magpie's cake

The airy cakes from Magpie’s Cake are sublime. It is easy to imagine layers of tulle, lace and other luxurious fabrics when we look at them.

cake designed  by magpie's cake

Magpie used to be a ballet dancer before she started her cake making training with world-renowned chefs and pastry champions. Via Pretty Little Things.

provincial baby shower buffet table

That same charm, executed in a very simple way, can be found on this sweet table designed for a baby shower. This Provincial style party was lovely. I love how they use long wood board as servers. Get more details on Twig & Thistle.


Matcha Sablés, Chiffon Cake and Other Japanese Treats

matcha sables as seen on evan's kitchen ramblings

matcha sables as seen on evan's kitchen ramblings

I still have a craving for the fabulous matcha bakery treats I ate in Japan. One thing I like about Japanese desserts is that they are not as sweet as here. They mix traditional French patisserie with Japanese techniques and ingredients to create cakes and pastries that taste fresh and new.

Therefore, it will come to no surprise that I felt in love with the photography of Evangeline who runs the blog Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings and a bakery shop in Singapore called Patisserie dessert couture. She specializes in macarons, petits fours secs, tartlets and cookies.

I love sablés. The most memorable I ate lately were the sakura sablés and the matcha sablés we bought at a fancy bakery shop in Kyoto. Evangeline shared a Matcha sablés recipe from the Okashi treats cookbook written by Keiko Ishida. But do not search for the cookbook, it is out of print.

mini matcha chiffon cake by evan's kitchen ramblings

Another treat that brought back nice memories is the Matcha chiffon cake. Chiffon cakes are popular in Japan. I still have to publish a cool video I filmed about the making of these tasty cakes.

matcha treats :: matcha financiers and madeleines

Finally,  a Japanese version of  two French classic cakes. First, her homemade matcha financiers decorated with black and white sesame seeds. For a twist, why not bake your own matcha madeleines.

+ photography: Evangeline Teo of Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings


French Pantry Appetizer Plates

french pantry appetizer plates

Except for the William-Sonama printed signature (I would prefer something like Bon Appétit!), I really like the look of this white porcelain plates that are perfect to serve a sandwich, a single serving cheese plate or a small tray of antipasto.

The plates can also act as a message board. A customer commented on the W-S site that she writes notes or her menu on them with dry erase markers. A simple wash will clean up the remaining marks. It is a good alternative to the chalkboard.

And I would love to receive for Christmas a set for 8 of Laguiole Flatware in ivory ($79 for 5-piece place setting).

+ French Pantry Appetizer Plates $20 for 2


Sophie Conran Wallpaper Range for Arthouse

spectra pattern sophie conran for arthouse at B&Q

After making delicious pies and designing a popular dinnerware line, Sophie Conran created a line of wallpaper for Arthouse. Except for Spectra, which is part of a special line exclusively available from B&Q, all her patterns are traditional. Her main collection should be available through many retailers.

Main Collection

sophie conran for arthouse wallpaper collection

For her main collection, Sophie Conran was inspired by magic of fairytales and her childhood memory of summer where she stayed in a turreted chateau high atop a cliff in the Dordogne. Therefore, the patterns feel vintage and French.

Good news for UK readers, you can participate in a giveaway where five lucky Livingetc readers will win £160 worth of Sophie Conran wallpaper.

Styles from Other Designers

arthouse wallpapers:: the teal eco paper and the vintage radiance pattern

More great wallpapers are produced by Arthouse. The blue and silver Divine paper at the top is an eco-friendly wallpaper made from recycled paper and water-based inks in factories that have environmental improvement policies in place. The yellow paper is the Radiance pattern from the Vintage collection. They are both equally pleasing to the eye.

+ photos via Arthouse

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Shopping at Madame de Pompadour in Westmount

french style tableware and home accessories :: madame de pompadour store in westmount

After my radio interview, I went for a shopping trip. Since I wanted to visit Zone, I headed to Westmount. Luckily, I discovered an adorable new store filled with an eclectic mix inspired by French style.

I talked to Danielle, one of the co-owners. The store is the labor of love of two girl friends. We even talked about our respective wedding photographers. It turns out that her wedding photographer trained with my photographer.

My wedding photographer Angela Campanelli opened the trail in Montreal for the updated style in wedding photography. Angela is so busy that she does not update her Web site very often.

What is in the Store?

Opened since May 2008, Madame de Pompadour proposes a small collection of tableware, home accessories, linens and kid clothing. Their catalog is updated frequently.

Madame de Pompadour is the place to find special and tasteful gifts for the hostess. Write down this store for your girl friends’ birthdays or when you are invited to a housewarming party, a baby shower, a bridal shower and a wedding.

I bought the floral yellow and pink picnic quilted blanket shown on the middle row. It is cute and soft. I cannot wait for next week picnics.

I almost grabbed the entire Erasable Ceramic collection. The cheese markers, place cards and the note board deliver a charming and green solution for entertaining in style. The Erasable Ceramic note board is perfect to write down the menu and the rest of the time, it can act as a message board over the counter. Each set is sold for $35 CAD, if I recalled correctly.

You have a good selection of cake stands, all available in two or three sizes. Cake stands make adorable wedding present. Two of my favorite dinnerware brands, Rosanna and Match are featured at Madame of Pompadour.

A little history

Madame de Pompadour symbolizes style. Her taste in architecture and décor is notorious. She was able to influence her time as a main mistress of King Louis XV.

They do not have a Web site yet. So if you wish to add a French accent to your décor or your table, visit

Madame de Pompadour
4910 Sherbrooke Street West, Westmount, QC | p 514.670.6632

Subsequently, I went to Zone. I will report on my finds later.


Elixia Hand-Crafted Lemonade

Elixia Hand-Crafted Lemonade

Ever since my friend Nathalie brought a bottle of this delicious lemonade at a party to make mojitos, I am craving for more. This French lemonade tastes amazing. Her mojito was memorable too.

I felt sad last weekend since I failed to find any at the European and specialty shops in my neighborhood.

I invited a few friends tonight for an apero, the French word for a simple before-dinner drink served with something small to eat (see recipe at the end). I am thrilled that Nathalie bought me a bottle of Elixia Lemonade as a hostess gift.

As I started mentioning on my post about the Apple Sainte-Catherine store opening, the most cherish gifts fit the desires of the recipient. The Elixia Hand-crafted Lemonade is the best hostess gift I ever received because it was on my most wanted list.

About Elixia Hand-Crafted Lemonade

The oldest lemonade making company in France produced Elixia since 1856. In 2000, the sixth generation took the reins and introduced the new packaging. Great move!

The packaging blends a modern vibe with a traditional bottle style. The packaging makes the inside even more desirable. The bottle can be reused to serve homemade flavored water, ice tea or your own lemonade. The distinctive mechanical bottle stopper looks so adorable. The bottle cap plays a big part on the visual appeal.

Update: I read on The Gazette that Elixia is available at La Maison des Pâtes Fraîches located at 865 Rachel St. E., Montreal, QC – phone 514.527.5487. My friend buys her at the Farmer’s market in Lachine.

Baguette Port Grilled  Cheese recipe

If you are curious, we drank a Marques de Caceres Rioja Rose wine and ate Baguette Port Grilled Cheese. Count 1 to 2 pieces per person.


  • Aged Cheddar infused with 10 Years Port Wine – we used Perron or you can ripe your own a week in advance
  • 1 fresh baguette, sliced at a 45-degree angle
  • Little bit of Olive oil

Make 3/8 inch slices of cheese on the longest side. Put the cheese between two bread slices. I forgot to mention to lightly brush the grill with some olive oil (my husband uses a paper towel). Heat the panini grill to a medium-high temperature before grilling. The Baguette Port Grilled Cheese is ready when you get nice grill marks.

+ Elixia by SARL IMAGRAM


Tea Towels and Serving Trays by Atelier LZC

Tea Towels and Serving Trays by Atelier LZC :: bunny waxwell

The French designers master the art of creating fun yet stylish textile patterns. And Atelier LZC continues to prove it.

We all need a few extraordinary sets to supplement our everyday tea towels. When placed on the right display, tea towels add visual interest to a simple room design. Tea towels often replace placemats and cooking mitts in the kitchen.

Entertaining Accessories

Why not put a tea towel instead a hand towel in your powder room when you entertain? Their latest Japon (Japan) and Souvenirs (Memories) models would compliment nicely an Asian party theme.

Bunny Maxwell sells a few items from Atelier LZC in the United States. They do ship internationally but you must call them to get the rates and timeframe.

The Parisian Gold Tray and the Nocturne Tray will add a definite French flair to your party. The trays are made from melamine.

My next post will be about a vintage hostess bridal party. I found the initial inspiration on Bunny Maxwell.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Les Petits Plats Tea Towels at Bunny Maxwell – price: $38 USD for set of 2
Buy online: Folklore Tea Towels at Bunny Maxwell – price: $38 USD for set of 2
Buy online: Parisian Gold Tray at Bunny Maxwell – price $45 USD
Buy online: Nocturne Melamine Tray at Bunny Maxwell – price $45 USD
Via: Atelier LZC: Creative Service [Hostess with the Mostess]


Apéritif à la française around the World on June 5, 2008

aperitif a la francaise 2007 Montreal edition

Four years ago, the first edition of Apéritif à la française was held in 13 countries and 17 cities. Since then, more cities and countries participate in this culinary experience. Montreal and Toronto in Canada plus New York City are the three North American participating cities.

The event always happens on the first Thursday of June. This year, it is today. It promotes the French art de vivre through a tasting of French food and drinks.

Big Bash in Montreal

I am thrilled since I am going tonight. I am thrilled because past events were a huge success.

These pictures were taken at the 2007 edition. The event is taking place at the Centre des sciences de Montréal in the Old Port. I purchased my tickets a month ago. Usually, Apéritif à la française is a sold out event.

I will tell you about the range of French products: breads, dairy products, cheeses, deli products, meat products, cookies and cakes, cold meats, foie gras, seafood, fruits, vegetables, champagne, wines, spirits, other soft drinks that I tried.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Apéritif à la française
Photo credits: Apéritif à la française 2008 Facebook group photo album


January Sale at Arthur Quentin and Bleu Nuit | Shopping Alert

Arthur Quentin _January sales

The sales start January 10th, 2008. Exceptionally both stores will be open on this Sunday, January 13.

Since 1975, Arthur Quentin sells European tableware, kitchenware and home decor items to those practicing the art of gracious living. They mostly carry high end French Country style and Italian pieces. Bleu Nuit shares the same philosophy but for bed and bathroom linens.

It is time for me to get that fabulous pure linen hemstitched table cloth and matching napkins that I saw last fall. Arthur Quentin has in store one of the largest selections of Gien’s dinnerware.

You got until January 26 to save up to 50% of specified products, 30% of others and 20% on everything in the store.

3913 Saint-Denis Street, Montreal, QC H2W 2M4
p 514.843.5702

3960 Saint-Denis Street, Montreal, QC H2W 2M2
p 514.843.7513

Learn more: Arthur Quentin – only in French


Starting the Year with Seasonal Delights


One of my New Year traditions is to hang the new calendars around the house. 

For my kitchen, I went for a culinary calendar from Éditions du Désastre. The recipes and pictures should inspire me to try new recipes and food presentations all over the year. Amongst the French cooking recipes on my calendar, here are my suggestions for the next time you are having guests over:

  • Salmon tartare with herb sauce
  • Onion soup au gratin to keep you warm on a winter day
  • Cherry Clafoutis
  • Beef with shallots
  • Lyon-style Leg of Lamb
  • Roquefort and pepper Rostis as an appetizer
  • Tarte Tatin, a classic recipe that can be bake as individual crème brulée dishes
  • Provencal-style tart with tomatoes and anchovies, perfect for a casual outdoor dinner on Sunday
  • Carpaccio of scallops in oyster sauce

Looking at these delicious recipes makes me hungry; we did not eat dinner yet. But I am lucky that my husband is cooking us a pasta dish right now. Tomorrow, I will go back to my usual blogging schedule.

Learn more: Calendrier 30×30 Saisons de la table 2008 par Éditions du Désastre