Category: Lyon

Lyon, France: Behind Closed Doors

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

Lyon is truly one of the most beautiful and interesting cities the Barefoot Blogger has visited in France. Aside from its magnificent river views, churches, and extraordinary food, Lyon hides some of its best features out of sight, behind closed doors.

Secret passageways or traboules du Vieux Lyon, were created shortly after the Romans left this area of France, the aqueducts failed, and the citizens moved to the river Saone. The hidden, enclosed walkways were intended to provide protection from the elements to those living nearby as they made their daily treks to gather water. 

Later, the traboules were busy passageways for the silk makers of the city. Their long rolls of silk were much too precious to transport by ordinary means through the streets.

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

Traboules in Lyon, France

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

 

 

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

 

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

When wars raged in and through Lyon, traboules were used as hiding places and hangouts for locals who knew how to find their way from one place to another. Today, traboules act as hallways and elaborate entrances that lead to shops and apartments. 

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

 

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

 

Some even open onto elevator entrances.

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

 

Lyon Behind Closed Doors

While wandering through a traboules, I ran into a most interesting shop. Medieval wear at Mandragore. Imagine the fun going through the racks of gowns and robes and imagining times gone by in Lyon.

More about Lyon

What Does a Southern Gal Think of Lyon? “Hog Heaven!”

Lyon’s Musee des Beaux Arts: “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

Lyon: A Feast For the Eyes

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and New Chaussures


Lyon Behind Closed Doors

Why Do We Think France Is So Romantic?

Why do we think France is romantic?

Is it because of glamorous and exquisite French movie stars like Catherine DeneuveBrigitte Bardot, Louis Jourdan, Gérard Depardieu, Charles Boyer that we think France is romantic? Even  Maurice Chevalier?  

Or because movies like “A Man and a Woman” with Anouk AiméeThe English Patient and Chocolat with Juliette Binoche; and Amelie with Audrey Tautoo are imprinted on our hearts?

Perhaps we think of “love” and “France” because of the romantic cities 

 

 

… and fairytale palaces

The castles

 

The storybook villages…

 

 

Then there’s the art …

France is romantic

 

… the food 

Let’s not forget, champagne — the elixir of lovers — and it comes only from France

France is romantic

If there was a poll for the “World’s Most Romantic Country” and you could cast only one vote. Which place would you choose? 

I’d choose “France.” 

… and seal it with a kiss …

France is romantic

“The Kiss” by Rodin

For a closer look at the castles, chateaus and villages of France, click here and enjoy browsing! 

France is romantic

 

Lyon bouchons

What Does a Southern Gal Think of Lyon? “Hog Heaven!”

Lyon, France is famous for its bouchon restaurants. In the southern states of the US, we call it “home cooking.”

Lyon bouchons are known for their modest food made from inexpensive ingredients like organ meats. We have chitterlings, tripe and hog’s feet served in restaurants throughout the southern states of the US. We call them “innards” and “parts.”  Bouchon takes “parts” to a new level — cow’s foot, veal nose, veal paunch (stomach) — just to name a few tasty bits.

Lyon bouchons

Bouchon restaurant menu

 

Lyon Bouchons

Bouchon gastronomes in Lyon were where the silk merchants frequently ate during the day. Now there are so many restaurants that serve bouchon there is a rating system to help differentiate the “authentic” from the “tourist-traps.”

Lyon bouchons

Since 1997, Pierre Grison and his organization, L’Association de défense des bouchons lyonnais (The Association for the Preservation of Lyonnais Bouchons), bestow annual certifications to restaurants as “authentic” bouchons. These restaurants receive the title Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais and are identified with a sticker showing the marionette Gnafron, a Lyonnais symbol of the pleasures of dining, with a glass of wine in one hand and a napkin bearing the Lyon crest in the other.” (Wikipedia)

 

Bouchon de l’Opera 

Bouchon de l’Opera is a little restaurant with a big heart. When I arrived without reservations I was seated at one of the two small tables the owner’s wife designated as “unreserved.” Looking around, it was obvious all the other settings were for groups of six or more. Soon the place was filled with couples and friends who seemed to know the place well as a friendly stop after work.

Decorations in the homey cafe are vintage kitchenware with a big emphasis on “piggy” collectibles. 

There were only two people working in the restaurant — the owner/chef and his wife.

Lyon bouchons

Owner/chef at Le Bouchon de l’Opera

The chef was chopping away on salad fixings, then he’d turn to stir a pot on the stove. It was all open to view if you peered into the back.

His wife was scurrying around the front of the house with menus and carafes of water and house wine.

“English menu?” she asked, figuring quickly that the tall blonde she’d seated didn’t appear to be French.

Fortunately there was a menu in English. The items would have been hard to explain in French.

 

Yes! I ordered the Bouchon de l’Opera salad…

Veal’s nose and cow’s foot and all…

It reminded me of the andouillette at the markets in Uzes. Unlike the cajun variety of andouille, the French sausage is made from pork intestines (chitterlings) and stomach (tripe). It was just a bit more unusual to see it served here with pieces of herring.

Lyon bouchons

Bouchon de l’Opera salad 

 

My main course, or “plat,” was another extraordinary taste-test: home-made pike quenelle — a mixture of creamed fish, bread crumbs and egg served in a cream sauce.

 

 

Lyon bouchons

Pike Quenelle

 

 

Lyon bouchons

Tripe with cornichon “mayonnaise”

Tripe: another bouchon plat choice 

Tripe (cow’s stomach), breaded and pan-fried. It was served with a cornichon (gherkin) “mayonnaise” that tastes much like tartar sauce.

 

Served with vegetables

Although it was quite in disguise, pumpkin was a side dish. Alongside, a French variety of potato pancakes. Lyon bouchons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert …

There was no way that I was going to finish the night without a dessert. Below are just two of the choices –terrine glacée au chocolat noir and the tarte tatin et sa confiture de Beaujolais nouveau. Fabulous!

12 Things You’ll Miss in France This Year

The Barefoot Blogger’s “Must” Hit List
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In case you haven’t heard, this is the year to visit France. The euro to US dollar is at a twelve-year low. If you don’t already have your bags packed, here are a few things you’ll surely miss staying at home.

#1

Sunset on the French Rivera

Sunset on the French Rivera

 

#2

 

Un-shuttered windows and flowerpots

Un-shuttered windows and pots with bright flowers

 

#3

 

Narrow, winding, ancient village streets

Narrow, winding, ancient streets

 

#4

 

Morning breaking over stone skycaps

Morning breaking over stone skyscapes

 

#5

 

Vineyards and poppies and chateaus  with tile roofs

Vineyards and poppies and chateaus with tile roofs

 

#6

 

Bright lights on sparkling water

Brilliant lights and sparkling waters

 

#7

 

IMG_0016_2

Quiet walks on sleepy canals

 

 

#8

 

Finding wonder through peepholes

Finding wonder through peepholes

 

#9

 

Music in the streets

Music in the streets

 

#10

 

Busy sidewalks and Saturday Markets

Sidewalk cafes and Saturday Markets

 

#11

 

Majestic cathedrals

Majestic cathedrals

 

 

HISTORY

HISTORY

Where will it be?

2015-03-30 09.35.02

 

 

 

 

Lyon’s Musee des Beaux Arts: “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

The Barefoot Blogger finds “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved movie stars. My make-believe world included screen legends like Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Betty Davis and Grace Kelly. They exuded glamour and style in their work and their real lives.  If France had been within the realm of my imagination while growing up, surely Jacqueline Delubac would have been close to the top of my list of idols.  She was known in France as “the most elegant woman in Paris.” During her reign in the theatre in the l930’s and beyond, she had it all — actress, Paris socialite, fashion icon.

elegant woman in Paris

Jacqueline Delubac

I came to know about Delubac on my recent visit to Lyon. An exhibit dedicated to celebrating her life and her contributions to the art world as a collector is featured at the Musee des Beaux Arts. Much like “lucking” into a retrospective of Princess Diana and her fashions several years ago at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, I was thrilled to get a “fashion fix” during my day at the museum.

To briefly describe Jacqueliine Delubac, she was daughter to a wealthy industrialist and choose Paris and a job in the theatre over an aristocratic life in Lyon. In Paris she met and married Sacha Guitry, a popular French producer and actor twice her age. With Guitry, Jacqueline starred in numerous romantic comedies, such as Bonne Chance and in  Faisons un Reve (Let’s Dream Together).

In the theatre and in her high society life in Paris, Delubac was admired for her beauty and elegance — much like those actresses of 1930’s and 1940’s in Hollywood. Her opulent life with Sacha Guitry included the best of everything, especially a world-class collection of couture and art, both of which are part of the Museum exhibit.

elegant woman in Paris

 

 

                             elegant woman in Paris

elegant woman in Paris

Jacqueline Delubac, Fashion Icon

After her divorce from Guitry, Delubac faded from the big screen. Yet her passion for art grew until she became totally devoted to building her holdings of fine paintings, sculptures and Impressionist art. She was known for having an “eye for talent” and she possessed some of the earliest works of Picasso, Miro and Bacon.

The Most Elegant Woman in Paris

Living with Art

To me, the most impressive part of the Musee des Beaux Arts exhibit is how it captures the total persona of the legendary Delubac — from displays of her glamorous wardrobe to photographs of the interior of her Paris apartment.  Surrounding each photo of her home are the pieces of art that are shown in the picture.

elegant woman in Paris

 

elegant woman in Paris

 

.

 

elegant woman in Paris

Sitting room of Jacqueline Delubac

 

elegant woman in Paris

 

 

 

elegant woman in Paris

elegant woman in Paris

 

 

 

elegant woman in Paris

 

The multi-floor Museum exhibit featured rooms recreated precisely from Delubac’s apartment.

elegant woman in Paris

 

elegant woman in Paris

Jacqueline Delubac died in 1997 with no heirs. The Musee des Beaux Arts in Lyon is custodian of more than 3o of her paintings and pastels by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Bonnard, Vuillard, Léger, Braque,Picasso, Miró, Bacon and others.

Due to the contribution, the Lyon modern art museum possesses the largest Impressionist collection in France, outside Paris. 

elegant woman in Paris

The Most Elegant Woman in Paris

More about Lyon

Lyon: A Feast For the Eyes

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and New Chaussures

Lyon, France: Behind Closed Doors

Travel Diary for Foodies

Travel Diary for Foodies
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There’s no better way for a “foodie” to recap a year’s travel than to revisit meals and favorite foods devoured along the way.

Enjoy the journey!

Macaroons from Christmas Market, Uzes

Macaroons from Christmas Market, Uzes

Christmas Market, Uzes

Chicken Stewing at Christmas Market, Uzes

Appetizers in Turkey: Calamari and Mixed Seafoods

Appetizers in Turkey: Calamari and Mixed Seafoods

Salmon Salad, San Quentin La Poterie, France

Salmon Salad, San Quentin La Poterie, France

Meat Pies, London, England

Meat Pies, London, England

Fruit Tray for "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fruit Tray for “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fresh Greens and Homegrown Tomatoes, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Fresh Greens and Homegrown Tomatoes, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Cappuchino, Port Vendres, France

Cappuchino, Port Vendres, France

Wine! France!

Wine! France!

Garlic! L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France

Garlic! L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France

Ham Biscuits for "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Ham Biscuits for “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Coffee at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, London, UK

Coffee at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, London, UK

Lobster with Penne Pasta in Nice, France

Lobster with Penne Pasta in Nice, France

Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in Sete, France

Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in Sete, France

Fresh Greens with Lardon and Goat Cheese in Uzes, France

Fresh Greens with Lardon and Goat Cheese in Uzes, France

Bruschetta in Florence, Italy

Bruschetta in Florence, Italy

Street Vendor Paella in Arles, France

Street Vendor Paella in Arles, France

Seafood Starter in Lacoste, France

Seafood Starter in Lacoste, France

Greens and Chicken Salad, Roussillon, France

Greens and Chicken Salad, Roussillon, France

Punch with Fruit Ring, "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Punch with Fruit Ring, “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fish and Chips, London, UK

Fish and Chips, London, UK

Gnocchis au Chèvre et Aubergine in Nice, France

Gnocchis au Chèvre et Aubergine in Nice, France

"Four Seasons" Pizza in Uzes, France

“Four Seasons” Pizza in Uzes, France

"Bouchon de Lyonaisse" Salad in Lyon, France

“Bouchon de Lyonaisse” Salad in Lyon, France

Everest Beer, Kathmandu, Nepal

Everest Beer, Kathmandu, Nepal

Oysters, Shrimp, Tapenades at Artists' Fete in Uzes, France

Oysters, Shrimp, Tapenades at Artists’ Fete in Uzes, France

Entrecote and Frites in Avignon, France

Entrecote and Frites in Avignon, France

Sherpa Biscuits in Pokara, Nepal

Sherpa Biscuits in Pokara, Nepal

Saucisson in Uzes, France

Saucisson in Uzes, France

Brioche with Caramel Glace

Brioche with Caramel Glace in Lyon, France

Tuna Steak in Collioure, France

Tuna Steak in Collioure, France

Grilled Octopus, Nova Siri, Italy

Grilled Octopus, Nova Siri, Italy

Pork Medallion, Uzes, France

Pork Medallion, Uzes, France

Fresh Fruit, Brie and Lavender Honey on Crusty French Bread for Lunch!

Fresh Fruit, Brie and Lavender Honey on Crusty French Bread for Lunch!

IMG_3764

Lyon: A Feast For the Eyes

Beautiful Lyon

Now that you have seen some of the foods that make Lyon one of the world’s great pleasures, here are a few of the sights that make beautiful Lyon a true world treasure.

beautiful Lyon

View from the bank of the Rhone

beautiful Lyon

Rubin sculpture in the entrance garden to the MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE LYON

Beautiful Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere

Beautiful Lyon

Boat residences on the Rhone  

Beautiful Lyon

MUSÉE DES BEAUS ARTS DE LYON

Beautiful Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere

 

Beautiful Lyon

Another view of Lyon from the Rhone

Beautiful Lyon 

Beautiful Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere

Beautiful Lyon

Lyon’s Hotel de Ville

 

Beautiful Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere

Beautiful Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere

Thanks to Mon Fils for allowing me to steal some of his photos for this blog post.

More about Lyon

Lyon’s Musee des Beaux Arts: “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and New Chaussures

Lyon, France: Behind Closed Doors

Beautiful Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and New Chaussures

Les Halles de Lyon

Day Two in Lyon was a rainy day so a perfect time to do some shopping. Not that I need an excuse to shop! First stop was the city market in Lyon , known as “Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse.”

Les Halles de Lyon

The outside of the building is less than thrilling; the 50 or more merchants inside, however, make it colorful and more upscale than most city markets I’ve seen. Perhaps it’s Lyon’s reputation as a “foody” town that makes the presentation of meat, poultry and regional items look so interesting.

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Some things French will never be appetizing to me…like lapin (rabbit). I guess my boys raised too many cute bunny rabbits for me to detach myself from serving them as a meal.

 

Les Halles de Lyon

 

Many of the “innards” served in bouchon cafés were displayed in the meat cases. Fortunately I ate them before I saw them.

Les Halles de Lyon

Next Stop: New Chausseurs

Afternoon on the rainy day was spent where so many others decided to go, too — the shopping mall. Like its counterpart in the US! The mall in Lyon is big, multi-leveled and modern. Santa displays and other “Joyeous Noel” decorations were everywhere. Stores with French and American national brands were intermixed with movie theaters and eateries. If people around me weren’t speaking French, I might have been in any large city in the world.

My mission for the mall was to buy shoes (chaussures) for Nepal. After a day and a half following my six and a half foot son (2 meters) around Lyon, I knew I needed some help for hiking in Nepal.

By the way, in case you’re wondering about the physical training plan? Let’s just say I’m walking at least five miles a day…with lots of the trekking up hills. I had no idea that everywhere we’d go in Lyon would be up or down a hill. Hopefully the walking is helping to offset the wine and rich food diet

Finding hiking shoes in the big mall was no problem. Finding them to fit my size foot, stuffed with the recommended two pairs of socks, was an ordeal. Mon Fils suggested I try a men’s size shoe. Setting aside my female pride, I tried and bought a pair of Merrill’s men’s hiking shoes. Really? Who cares!

Happy Feet

Les Halles de Lyon

More about Lyon

What Does a Southern Gal Think of Lyon? “Hog Heaven!”

Lyon’s Musee des Beaux Arts: “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

Lyon: A Feast For the Eyes


Les Halles de Lyon

Lyon Day One: Hog Heaven

Lyon Day One: Hog Heaven

It didn’t take long for for Mon Fils (my son) and I to settle into our hotel and find a restaurant in Lyon that’s worth writing home about. We arrived by train at five in the afternoon and we were ordering “bouchon lyonnaise” style at the Bouchon de l’Opera by eight.

Lyon, France is famous for its bouchon restaurants. In the States we might call the fare “home cooking.” Many restaurants here offer the same type of “country” food, But the quality and flavor vary widely because of different family recipes.

Early bouchon gastronomes in Lyon were the silk merchants who frequented the downtown café. Now there are so many restaurants that serve bouchon there is a rating system to help differentiate the “authentic” from the “tourist-traps.”

IMG_0252

Since 1997, Pierre Grison and his organization, L’Association de défense des bouchons lyonnais (The Association for the Preservation of Lyonnais Bouchons), bestow annual certifications to restaurants as “authentic” bouchons. These restaurants receive the title Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais and are identified with a sticker showing the marionette Gnafron, a Lyonnais symbol of the pleasures of dining, with a glass of wine in one hand and a napkin bearing the Lyon crest in the other.” (Wikipedia)

 

Bouchon de l’Opera 

Bouchon de l’Opera is a little restaurant with a big heart. Mon fils and I arrived without reservations so we were seated at one of the two small tables the owner’s wife designated as “unreserved.” Looking around after we sat down, it was obvious all the other settings were for groups of six or more. Soon the place was filled with couples and friends who seemed to know it well as a friendly stop after work.

Decorations in the homey cafe are vintage kitchenware with a big emphasis on “piggy” collectibles. 

Within a few minutes we saw there were only two people working in the restaurant — the owner/chef and his wife.

Owner/chef at Le Bouchon de l'Opera

Owner/chef at Le Bouchon de l’Opera

The chef was chopping away on salad fixings, then he’d turn to stir a pot on the stove. It was all open to view if you peered into the back.

His wife was scurrying around the front of the house with menus and carafes of water and house wine.

“English menu?” she asked, figuring quickly that the tall blondes she’d seated didn’t appear to be French.

Fortunate for us there was a menu in English. The items would have been hard to explain in French.

 

IMG_4321

Yes! I ordered the Bouchon de l’Opera salad…

Bouchon de l'Opera salad

Bouchon de l’Opera salad 

Veal’s nose and cow’s foot and all…

It reminded me of the andouillette  I’ve bought at the markets in Uzes. Unlike the cajun variety of andouille, the French sausage is made from pork intestines (chitterlings) and stomach (tripe). It was just a bit more unusual to see it served with pieces of herring.

My main course, or “plat,” was another extraordinary taste-test: home-made pike quenelle — a mixture of creamed fish, bread crumbs and egg served in a cream sauce.

 

Pike Quenelle

Pike Quenelle

IMG_4323

 

Tripe with cornichon "mayonnaise"

Tripe with cornichon “mayonnaise”

Mon Fils totally enjoyed his plat choice…

Tripe (cow’s stomach), breaded and pan-fried. It was served with a cornichon (gherkin) “mayonnaise” that tastes much like tartar sauce.

 

Served with vegetables

Another unusual dish caused us to ask what it could be. “Pumpkin.” Alongside were a French variety of potato pancakes. IMG_4318

 

 

 

 

For dessert …

There was no way that I was going to finish the night without a dessert. Just as the other courses were extraordinarily prepared, the Terrine glacée au chocolat noir and the Tarte tatin et sa confiture de Beaujolais nouveau were fabulous.

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