Wine Festival Montmartre Paris 7-11 October 2015

While the arrival of Autumn is reminding us of its gradual presence in the early mornings and evenings, Paris has been enjoying a blue-skied Indian summer this past week. It has been a time for us to head outdoors us much as we can to make the most of it.  And I have an excuse for you to join in a great Parisian festival next week – all around the celebration of wine in Montmartre!

Sacré Coeur Paris Montmartre

Each year grapes are harvested from the Montmartre vineyard and made into wine. The locals have celebrated this tradition since 1934 – and so 2015 marks the 82nd edition of the Fête des Vendanges, or the Montmartre Paris Wine Festival which takes place around the second Saturday in October. Last year it attracted 500,000 visitors.

The Montmartre Vineyard

Montmartre was covered in vines in the Middle Ages (first evidence dates back to 944).  Just around the corner from Sacré Coeur (the second most visited site in Paris after the Eiffel Tower), you’ll see the Clos de Montmartre’s vineyard, rue Saint Vincent, on the hill or butte, with an altitude of 130 metres. 2000 vines were planted in 1933 in memory of the vines of times past with Gamay, Pinot noir and Landay grapes.

Today the grapes are cultivated without using any pesticides and about 950 bottles of Clos Montmartre are produced every year, elaborated in the cellar of the town hall of the 18th arrondissement of Paris.  Grape juice is also made for the children taking part in the events.

Autumn leaved vines in Montmartre, Paris

This year, according to Sylviane Leplâtre, wine expert for Paris vines, the climate has been more favourable than previous years and a rosé has been particularly produced to suit public demand. How is it? According to Leplâtre, it’s unique colour is salmon pink, it has floral and sweet spicy notes on the nose and the taste is light and delicate.

The grape harvest celebrations last for 5 days and festivities are full on.  Just looking at the programme reveals all sorts of workshops (art including Manga; a how-to guide for the local beehives; floral displays, etc.), competitions, concerts (including a singing-in-the-wine Bordeaux evening), tours and lectures (many of them need to be booked in advance online), and of course the wine tasting and Parcours de Goût (Tasting Journey of producers of hams, cheeses, oysters, wine, etc from all around France) from Friday to Sunday.

For a feel of the celebrations, check out Carol Gillott’s artistic ParisBreakfast view of last year’s event. She recommends you bring your own glass, save yourself for the truffled omelettes, and perhaps even wear a black jacket and red scarf …

Clos Montmartre vineyard paris october

Ever since the very first festival took place in 1934 with actor Fernandel as “Godfather” (Parrain) and actress Mistinguett as “Godmother” (Marraine), French celebrities are chosen by the mayors of Montmartre and Paris to lead the festivities. Next week actress/model Melanie Thierry and singer Raphael will take the lead.

Saturday 10th October marks the main events: the Ban des Vendanges, a gathering of the robe-clad Confrerie brotherhoods of local food and wine; the Clos de Montmartre wine auction, when the produce proceeds go to charity organisations in the district; the Grand Parade (Défilé), when 1500 participants leave the Mairie of the 18th at 3pm and arriving at 5.45pm at Place Saint Pierre; and at night enjoy a 15-minute firework display orchestrated by world firework champion, Joseph Couturier, at the foot of Montmartre.

steps to Montmartre Paris

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the chocolate (try the chocolate buttes and kisses!) and macarons from Christophe Roussel, who is in Rue Tardieu, just opposite the 2,280 steps and entrance to the Finiculaire cable car and say hello from me!

For more information, check out the 2015 Edition of the Montmartre Wine Festival

Metros: Abbesses or Anvers.

The Teatime in Paris Pastry Walking Tour!

It’s great to be back in Paris and settle into a good old routine! As I’m starting to get organised around a more serious school year’s schedule, this rentrée is different.

Thanks to my lovely colleagues at Context Travel, I’m thrilled to be leading a brand NEW macaron, pastry and chocolate walking tour to coincide with my new book.

Welcome to the Teatime in Paris Pastry Walk!

Macarons chocolates and teacakes in Paris for teatime

If you love Paris, pastries, chocolate, macarons and like to bake at home, then this walking tour is right up your street.

Just as I do in the book, I’ll be walking you around some of the finest pastry and chocolate boutiques, pointing out some of the lesser known spots along the way.

Madeleine area and rue saint honore in Paris

Don’t come after a large lunch: we’ll also be tasting many of the finest and award-winning éclairs, tarts, financiers, canelés, madeleines, macarons, chocolates and pralines, just to name a few.  With Autumn on us, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a taste of decadent hot chocolate too.  As we sample, we’ll talk about their Parisian history and how they’re made – so for budding bakers, your questions are welcome.

Patrick Roger Chocolate Madeleine

The tour will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays until end October – ideal for that long weekend trip – as these days are best for enjoying the boutiques at our own pace during 2.5 hours and avoiding the more hustle and bustle of the 8th arrondissement at peak times. And with no more than 6 people in the group, it’s a personal experience.

To finish off, included in this one-off exceptional tour is your own copy of my new cookbook and armchair sweet travel guide. For an idea what’s inside, see About Teatime in Paris.

Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy French Patisserie Recipes

For those of you not in Paris, don’t worry; it doesn’t stop here. With Teatime in Paris you can make your own Parisian-style hot chocolate, teacakes, macarons and pastries for a special teatime at home.  Thanks to Waverley Books, there’s a special offer until the end of September on Amazon.co.uk.

It’s also competition time in the UK over at Party Pieces. So hurry – you still have until noon on Monday 14th September to enter the Teatime in Paris UK giveaway. You could be one of the 4 lucky winners… good luck!

Teatime in Paris pastry recipe book and guide to patisseries in Paris

Have you tried these Chocolate – Earl Grey Tarlets with Orange-Liqueur Crumble Puffs yet from the Tea Party chapter? I’ll be continuing to make recipes from the book on my FB page or instagram feed.

In the meantime, I hope to see you very soon on the Teatime in Paris Pastry Walk with Context Travel .

Jill x

P.S. I forgot to tell you the most important part: it’s also simply great fun!

Le Bac Sucré – 16-21 June, Rue du Bac Paris

For the very first time, Paris’s most famous gourmet street is holding a festival this week, entitled Le Bac Sucré. From Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 June, the Rue du Bac will be demonstrating its glorious deliciousness to the public.

Situated on the left bank (Rive Gauche) south of the River Seine, the Rue du Bac is one of the sweetest streets of Paris, with an astonishing high concentration of high-end pâtisseries and chocolate boutiques. So it’s not surprising that it’s featured prominently in Teatime in Paris!

Rue du Bac Teatime in Paris

Naturally, the Mayor of the 7th arrondissement is proud to show off its area and share the savoir-faire of its talented bakers, pastry chefs, and chocolate makers.

Led by Philippe Conticini of the Pâtisserie des Rêves, six days will be centred around tastings, workshops and demonstrations open to the public, including animations for children.

Rue du Bac Paris Patisseries

Other stars of pastry and chocolate will be there, and I’m sincerely hoping to also get a glimpse of  Pierre Marcolini and Jacques Genin.

Participating artists include the famous houses of La Pâtisserie des Rêves, Angelina, Hugo & Victor, Des Gateaux et du Pain (Claire Damon), Eric Kayser, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, plus the historical house of Dalloyeau.

Download Le Bac Sucré programme here (in French).

For more information, visit www.bacsucre.com

I hope to see you there! Don’t forget to take along Dad next Sunday 21st June, for a tasty Father’s Day, or Fête des Peres!

Teatime in Paris Online Book Tour

What a fantastic week this has been with the Paris sunshine. The cherry on the cake is that Teatime in Paris has been lucky enough to continue its online book tour to Toronto and Vancouver in Canada this week!  It has then enjoyed being eaten in the USA, then flown over to Cornwall, England and returned to France, popping in to one of the cutest villages, near Le Touquet.  Although it would be wonderful being whisked on a magic carpet and sent to these places in person, I’m so happy that Teatime has continued its launch limelight, being featured by such wonderful writers.

Salted Caramel Macarons from Teatime in Paris

If anyone follows le blog and also on social media, you’ll notice just how many teatime treats I’ve enjoyed together in Paris over the years with my good friend, Mardi Michels.

Mardi writes and cooks for EatLiveTravelWrite and also spends her spare time cooking up a storm with the petits chefs at school, teaching macaron classes in Toronto and regularly comes to Paris, keeping up-to-date with the latest gastronomic addresses. So it was an honour that she picked the salted caramel macarons to try. To see the recipe for the salted caramel filling and her review, please say bonjour from me over at EatLiveTravelWrite. If you’re in Canada or the USA, then enter the Giveaway for your chance to win a copy!

passion-lemon-meringue-tart

Heading west in Canada, Teatime ended up in one of my favourite cities, Vancouver.  I was thrilled the book made it just in time to conclude Teresa McCarthy’s Spring Book Reviews on her blog, OneWetFoot. She chose to make a family favourite of ours, passion and lemon meringue tarts – and if I understand, this recipe has now become her family favourite, too.  Please step over to enter the giveaway plus see the recipe and Teresa’s review at OneWetFoot.

In the USA, Teatime has been indexed by Eat Your Books! I was lucky to be interviewed by Jane about how the book came about and what discoveries were made along the way.  Please take a look. While reading the interview, don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win a copy and discover the online cookbook world there.

Do you love sweet surprises? Just a few days ago, as I popped in for my favourite fun fix on Instagram, I was bowled over to see that Cherita, on the other side of the world, had already started baking from the book – and has also chosen to star these passion-lemon tarts for her parents’ anniversary. It’s so exciting when people don’t just read the book but try out the recipes too!

passion fruit and lemon meringue tartlet

In the UK, it has been such a pleasure to see teatime featured by Choclette, who writes for Tin and Thyme. Normally, as her name implies, Choclette features the most chocolatey of treats and was going to feature the double chocolate tartlets.  As they were previously featured by French Village Diaries and FarmersGirlKitchen, she chose to make the Diamond Biscuits to go with her tea. I love that she added her own twist to them by replacing half of the flour with wholemeal spelt flour. To see the diamants recipe and her review, pop over to Choclette’s Tin and Thyme and say hi from me!

Diamond biscuits from Teatime in Paris

Back in France, teatime is featured by Janine Marsh who writes for The Good Life France.  I was so happy to have Janine join us for the launch event in Paris then review the book with her readers. Don’t forget to enter the international giveaway and hear what she has to say about Teatime.

If you have a copy of Teatime in Paris, please do join in the recipe fun and show us your creations by tagging me @madaboutmacarons and using the hashtag #TeatimeInParis. I’d love to see what recipe you make and I’ll look forward to sharing them.

A huge, heartfelt thank you for featuring the book on your websites and on social media.  Wishing you all a lovely week. Next up, I’m sharing a taste of a fabulous pâtisserie in Paris, with one of France’s most prized pastry chefs!

Hugs from a very sunny Paris

Jillx

Teatime in Paris! US Release and Online Book Tour

What can I say?  It may have been quiet here on le blog but, I can tell you, it has been a busy and emotional week. Following the release of Teatime in Paris in the UK, the launch event was last week in one of Paris’s most hidden, secret gems at the Treize café.

Teatime in Paris book event Treize Cafe

Photos thanks to Inez Forbes

A huge thanks to all of you who managed to pop in – it wasn’t the easiest of times to come by on a weekday afternoon so it was wonderful to see so many of you! Thank you to Laurel Sanderson and her staff at Treize for hosting the event and thanks to Inez Forbes for these photographs – I was so bowled over that I forgot to bring out the camera.

Some of you cleverly managed to grab Carol Gillott for a signing. Carol did this most delicious watercolour artwork for the endpapers and I’m so proud to show it off. She’s posted about the event on her famous blog,  ParisBreakfasts and now continues to enchant her followers with more beautiful maps of Paris.

pastry map of Paris by artist Carol Gillott in Teatime in Paris

Beautiful watercolour pastry artwork by Carol Gillott in Teatime in Paris – photo also by Carol

I love making new friends and so it was inspiring to meet Anne Penketh (author of Food Fight – have just ordered it, looks super), Paula and Catherine from Australia, a lovely couple from Oregon, discover a new tea companion, Céline Huet of Arthémiss who even posted exceptionally in English about Teatime (she’s also in love with Théodor Teas), and thanks to Cédric Bonnard who is the internet guru behind this new website design.

What a sweet coincidence to have met Nicola of Literary Ramblings, who was so taken with the idea of having Teatime in Paris that she stayed on from her lunch at Treize with her fans and even posted a book review! And I was also absolutely delighted to finally meet bubbly Janine who is behind the most popular online magazine, The Good Life France!

ONLINE BOOK TOUR

Meanwhile, the online book tour continues in Europe and is now kicking off in the US and Canada in anticipation for the release of Teatime on 30 May. Eeeeek!  It’s in just a few days. US bookstores and retailers will release the book on 30 June.

Diamond biscuits from Liv Life Teatime in Paris

Photograph by Kim of Liv Life

My lovely, sunny BFF Californian friend Kim Kelly, also known for the family blog at Liv Life not only shares the book’s recipe for diamond biscuits, but she has put together the most fun blog post I’ve ever seen to review a cookbook!  Check out the photo her super-talented daughter, Olivia, and the Californian Carlsbad dancers around it, and how the Honors Algebra Class also take creative photos of the lemon and grapefruit macarons. I feel like I’ve known Kim for so long and yet it’s frustrating not to meet her in person. Next time I need to ask if I can go in the envelope with the book! Thank you, Kim.

Back in Paris, it has been an honour to be interviewed by globetrotting Parisian-based travel writer, Lindsey Tramuta from Lost in Cheeseland. Her article includes 5 of my tips to stress-free French pastry baking plus some of my favourite pâtisserie and tea salon addresses for your next visit in the City.

Photo of Strawberry Elderflower Eclair by Brooks at Cakewalker

Photograph by Brooks at Cakewalker: Strawberry Eclair and Elderflower Cream recipe from Teatime in Paris.

A couple of days ago, I was bowled over by my sweet friend, Brooks Walker, aka Cakewalker. I’m sure you already know Brooks for his most exquisite designer cakes but this time he swapped the piping bag for choux/éclair dough and made this recipe of Strawberry and Elderflower cream éclairs from the book (it’s also on the cover) and carried out a most thorough review.  He discovered that Ikea sold elderflower syrup in their gourmet section, so that’s another alternative if you can’t find Monin or St Germain liqueur. Merci beaucoup, Brooks – I say that since he has been tweeting and commenting with the most delicious French accents!

Thank you all so much x

As French Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, I’m looking forward to making a few of the recipes again myself.  We took a breather for a while during the printing process, since the girls were protesting about far too many tartlets and éclairs and now they’re missing them! So the time is just right to get back into the sweet swing of things.

Geraniums at the french market

Including planting the geraniums.  If there are any left at the market, that is.

Teatime in Paris French patisserie easy recipes

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway to win a copy of Teatime in Paris! over at Cakewalker (until 30 May) and The Good Life France (until 10 June).  Or snap up your own copy on Amazon.com.

Teatime in Paris Now Released in the UK!

The big day has finally arrived. “Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy French Pâtisserie Recipes” is now released in the UK!

teatime in Paris book cover

It’s available in Waterstones and independent bookshops, and online stores such as The Book Depository and Amazon (who released it slightly earlier than planned, and in the US they’ve pushed release forward to 30 May). All this means that reviews are now open!

I’m thrilled to see lovely reviews come in today! A huge thank you to Jacqueline Brown of French Village Diaries and Janice Pattie of Farmersgirl Kitchen, who have both posted about making the double chocolate tartlets from the book and mentioned what they found inside.

double chocolate tartlets recipe teatime in paris

I would love to see your photos of recipes from the book. Just tag me and use the #TeatimeinParis hashtag when you send me photos of your French baking creations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (links top of this page).
As my sweetest cheeky Mum says, it always tastes better when you share!

THE PARIS EVENT!

I’m really looking forward to seeing old and new friends at the special French Afternoon Tea book signing event in Paris on 20 May. If you’re in Paris, why not treat yourself or a friend – or spoil your Mum for Mother’s Day – for a relaxed afternoon of tasting teatime pastries, fancy teas (or whatever takes your fancy) in one of Paris’s most trendy hidden bistro-cafés at the Treize Bakery. Ticket includes your copy of the book, too! Extra macarons and baking talk guaranteed …

Tickets are going like Parisian hot cakes so please do book your place now – more details are here.

Treize 13 Bakery in Paris, 16 rue des Saint Peres

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the website for the latest recipes (including the speciality rubric for egg yolk recipes) and food adventures around Paris – I’m continuing to taste delicious pastries for you and mention my favourite tearooms in the city, as well as restaurants and museums.  Plus I’ll post a slideshow of my pics of Paris in the Spring for Mother’s Day.
So that you don’t miss them, don’t forget to sign up to receive the latest blog posts by email ->

The sun has come out today!
A bientôt and hugs from Paris. 

Jill x