Renoir – Museum & Film

I recently visited the (re-opened) Renoir Museum, after it had been closed for renovation. Article & photos HERE

I also recently was in Cagnes=sur-Mer village, where I randomly chose a seat, later finding out that the man, who was sitting next to me and to whom I spoke briefly, is the great grandson of the famous painter, Auguste Renoir.  Sadly, 143 Renoir works are being auctioned against his wishes – article HERE

I now anticipate seeing the film about this talented artist who lived on the French Riviera. See newspaper article HERE

Social Media – Friend or Foe ?

This is an interesting video & concept about technology in today’s world. Most of us spend a lot of time promoting a blog, website, products, or company on social media, which has become vital for growing one’s business. I, too, have found that most days I end up sitting (alone) at the computer and have actually started to re-structure my ‘work’ time; however, I don’t feel lonely. So, what’s your take on being “Alone Together”?

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.

Marquis de Sade & Ice Cream in Lacoste

My visit to the town of Lacoste, home to the former castle of the Marquis de Sade, was indeed flavorful!  One of many perched villages in the Luberon: Gordes, Menerbes, and Roussillon, Lacoste is small, with a population of only about 400 habitants.  But don’t let that fool you – this town is host to the Savannah College of Art & Design, which offers classes in fine arts, architecture, design, fashion, film, photography, sculpture, and theater.  This town is also home to the fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, who bought the chateau and surrounding area.

There are art studios and cafés, one being the Café de Sade where I ate lunch.  IMG_0017What I first noticed was the art-sy placemat and the great selection of menu items – wait, is that lavender ice cream?!   Lunch was delicious, but I ws looking forward to tasting this flavor of dessert.  It was very creamy and full of lavender flavor – not even Fennochio in Nice compares (which I tried after returning home).  It was absolutely the best flavor of ice cream I have ever tasted (my opinion)!

(hover mouse over photo for caption)

2nd Starbucks in Nice

The initial inception of the iconic American coffee house, Starbucks, took place in the Cap 3000 shopping mall, to the west of Nice Airport in St. Laurent du Var in June, 2012 (my article here).

Starbucks will next be opening sometime this Fall in the shopping center, Nice Etoile, located in the city center of Nice.  Since it is a chain, I wonder if and how many more will be opened on the French Riviera within the near future – stay tuned!

Nice Matin video HERE


Riviera boasts some of France’s best beaches

According to the Riviera Times:

The shimmering waters that gave the region its namesake have landed the Côte d’Azur with four top 10 positions in TripAdvisor’s latest review of French beaches. From wild beauty in Pampelonne and city chic in Nice and Marseille to the glamour and celebrity of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat’s Paloma Beach, the diversity and richness of the region’s coastal destinations has triumphed once again.

Paloma Beach in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat came in fourth position. Copyright: Nicolas Timmermans

Biarritz’s Côte des Basques took first position in the recent poll, but Pampelonne and Paloma weren’t far behind in third and fourth spot respectively.

Both beach locations were applauded for their casual class and style, but TripAdvisor voters also gave the beaches a nod for their celebrity client base, describing them as ideal places for people watching and spotting the international A List.

Nice’s Blue Beach secured ninth position, with beachgoers praising its cleanliness and city centre location as well as its in-house restaurant.

Despite not being a city particularly known of its beaches, Marseille managed to squeeze into the top 10 with Parc Balneaire du Prado.

The list covered a variety of locations in metropolitan France, with beaches in the north, on the Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean all featuring. The white sands of Plage de Saleccia in Corsica also won a mention in the shortlist.

Credit: Elsa Carpenter for The Riviera Times

Antibes Market & the Quest for a Tomato

Maybe our memories are exagerrated and tastier than the reality, but one thing I really miss is the lusciously red, ripe, meaty beefsteak tomato found in the U.S. at the farmer’s market.  Oui, France has its version, bien sûr, but does the IMG_0034“coeur de boeuf” in France equal the garden variety “beefsteak” tomato?  I was on a quest!

I went to the marché en plein air in Antibes and scouted the vendors’ stands for tomatoes: all shapes and sizes were available – I bought two different varieties that looked similar to beefsteak – one was priced at a hefty 9,50€ per kilo (about $6 per pound) but it looked like the real thing.  I have tried “coeur de boeuf” and found them a little bland tasting, comparatively speaking, so maybe this would be ‘it’!

After slicing the tomatoes, I realized they weren’t the same red or as meaty, but it would be the taste that counts, right!?  IMG_0037IMG_0036
So, what was the verdict? Well, it tasted like a tomato and was good, but it still lacked that deep, rich, full flavor I was craving.

So, my quest continues during the current tomato season, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to smuggle one from the US! 🙂

Photos from the town of Antibes & its market (hover over photo for caption)

Three Nationwide Events in September


To promote public access to private historic sites, monuments, buildings, estates and domaines. Check local tourist office for information.



Special menus and prices to promote dining at restaurants during this period – you will need to reserve online.



To promote & celebrate the quality, diversity and rich history of French cuisine and its recent addition to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

What’s Your Passion? (A Test)

Anyone who has read my book, “Solitary Desire”, knows what my passion is!  What’s yours?

The 10 Question Passion Litmus Test

“The questions that I am about to share with you are not from me, but from a book that I highly recommend that you read called the Passion Plan. In the book, Richard Chang outlines 10 questions that you should answer about your passion.

The more that you answer yes, the more certain you can be that you have discovered your passion. The important thing to remember here is that you must be truthful. It is better that you answer no and think harder about what your passion might be instead of falsely moving forward with something that you really are not all that passionate about.

1. Do you lose track of time when engaged in the activity?

2. Do you perform beyond your normal capabilities when engaged in it?

3. Is your energy level higher when engaged in it?

4. Do you get excited in anticipation of engaging in it?

5. Do you dream about the activity?

6. Is your enthusiasm for it consistent over time?

7. Do you feel more confident or empowered while engaged  in it?

8. Do others notice you based on your involvement/performance in it?

9. Do others rally around you or want to be involved with you in the activity?

10. Do you feel energized after engaging in it?

So, how did you do? Remember you do not have to answer yes on all 10 for something to be your passion. This is not an exact science, but it should provide some insight and confidence that you are heading in the right direction.”

(Reblogged from


Maybe this recipe will render a smile & a peaches and cream complexion, as well.  Bon appetit!

Yield: 8 servings


1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

Pinch of salt

5 cups thickly sliced, pitted (but not peeled) peaches (4 to 5 peaches)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 cup heavy cream


Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch pie plate, or a tart pan with a removable bottom.*

In a bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add flour, ¼ cup sugar and salt; work with your hands until all the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture feels like coarse sand. Spread mixture into prepared pan and press down. (It will not really come together as a dough until it is baked.) Lay the peaches in a decorative pattern on top. Sprinkle with ½ cup sugar. Bake for 20 minutes.

Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon sugar and the extracts. Whisk in cream and carefully pour over peaches, making sure you don’t let the liquid overflow the pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and return to oven. Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden. Allow to cool and set before serving.

*Note: I recommend a 10-inch pie plate. I used a tart pan with a removable bottom, and the liquid began to seep through. If you use a tart pan, put it on a baking sheet, pour in the liquid, sprinkle with sugar, and move the sheet and pan quickly into the oven.

CREDIT: Recipe from: “Cuisine Nicoise: Sun-Kissed Cooking From the French Riviera” by Hillary Davis; Gibbs Smith, 2013