Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Family of chosen friends

Chers Amis du l’Uzege,  Bonjour de la Louisiane!!  We all know well what a special “wealth” we have in the relationships we have built up over the last several years in our lives in Uzege.   To describe this wondrous “wealth” in words to someone out side the circle is not easy, though those within the circle feel it strongly every day.  I found the attached quote that begins to express in words some facets of this “wealth” .  I look forward to many delicious experience of our communal “wealth” during this next winter season!!

JTETF  Robert






Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This is "Bon Gout" too?!?!?!

Chers Amis du l'Ecole du Bon Gout, Bonjour d'Uzes !! You may think the hot sun here in Provence has fried Professor Smith's brain when you read this, but I actually have been wanting to address this touchy subject for some time. Artificial flowers!! I think they can be "bon Gout"!! They are not a modern occurrence SVP!!

M. Denis Diderot , saw the necessity to address the fabrication of artificial flowers in his master work " L'Encyclopedie" published 1751 to 1756. He devoted numerous pages to this subject, two of which I have pictured here. In New Orleans, there were adds in the first decade of the 19th C in the news paper "The Bee", offering interested parties lessons in making artificial flowers. Today one can find extremely realistic artificial flowers, some of which even feel quite real to the touch!! My advice for success when using artificial flowers begins with their careful selection. Choose flowers and leafy greens in textures, colors and color variations that reproduce accurately those of the "real" species they are meant to reproduce. i.e. : No blue roses SVP. After a careful choice of the container, in scale with its final location, I begin the arrangement with the leafy greens, followed by the flowers, starting with the smallest blooms and progressing to the largest blooms. A few petals or single bloom "fallen" to the table below the arrangement, can add a convincing and poetic touch. Scenting the arrangements with the essential oils is also a very nice idea. Even though I have numerous artificial arrangements about the house, I still very much enjoy having some fresh cut flower arrangements too. 

After you have installed several time saving artificial arrangements about your home, perhaps you will have the time for a visit to Au Vieux Paris Antiques. After the photos regarding the subject of artificial flowers, find some photos from the shop to further tempt you out for a visit!!

Merci cordialement, Robert
















Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com






Sunday, June 3, 2012

Elixir: Chocolate Chaud

Chers Amis du l'Ecole du Bon Gout,  Bonjour!!  Hot chocolate, which the Spanish conquistadors discovered was Montezuma's favorite drink, has had a colorful history ever since!

Originally this exotic new drink, bewitched all who drank it.  It was thought by some to have been a health drink, an aphrodisiac, ( banned by the Catholic church for a time!!), and a medicine, but always a very special somewhat magical elixir to be savored.

I have been enjoying making, not to mention drinking hot chocolate, especially since 1996 when I stayed in Provencal B&B where Mme. Florence Hospital taught me her art of making hot chocolate! 

Today my version is:  For two cups of finished chocolate, place into a pot: two cups of water, two heaping, large, French soup spoons of "Van Houten" unsweetened coco powder (this chocolate is available at all stores in France, however in the US you could use one double square of "Baker's Bittersweet Chocolate" for each cup) and a generous dusting of very finely milled cinnamon. I use "Adams" brand cinnamon . The cinnamon adds flavor but more importantly it thickens the drink considerably.  Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk as it heats. It is best to get this part done 1 or 2 hours before drinking or the night before. When you are ready to serve, reheat and add one to three of the following flavorings : almond ,vanilla, orange, mint, or anis extract, ginger tea ,coffee, red pepper ( Montezuma's favorite additions were red pepper, vanilla and cloves.  He is said to have drunk  50 cups a day!! When he wanted to be dramatic, he drank it from a solid gold cup and when finished, he tossed the cup into a very deep lake for effect, much to the consternation of the onlookers!!)  When the hot chocolate is in its preheated cup, I like to add a bit of honey or unrefined sugar and a bit of evaporated milk.  I also have had great success adding fresh thyme in flower (this is exotic), orange or kumquat confiture, mint leaves.....so you just need to be creative!!

In case you don't have the proper chocolate cups and other serving equipage, I have attached here, some photos of antique items available from Au Vieux Paris Antiques, which can help you to fully appreciate your creative chocolate experiences.              I look  forward to reports of your successes with this 17th &18th century "bon gout" craft: "chocolate chaud"!!!!

Cordialement,
Robert E Smith    337 332 2852


Family imbibing in the elixir: chocolate chaud , painted by Pierre LeMazurier, 1772


Think creativity and alchemy!! 

Cups to suit your personality or that of a friend. (These make great gifts!)! 


President Jefferson acquired this pattern in Paris for later use at Monticello.



Instead of "Tupperware" for your boat, one could have this set with a nautical decor!! 

A "bon gout" and "not on the run" breakfast is one of the great luxuries in life!

If you weren't "born with a silver spoon in your mouth", I can fix that!!


Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com




Monday, March 26, 2012

Is less really "more" ??????

Chers Amis de l' Ecole du Bon Gout!!!   Bonjour!!  The April issue of Vanity Fair magazine had two adds which came as a delightful surprise for me to see in a contemporary magazine!!   What made them surprising was their use of very bon gout 17th and E.18th century French antiques in deluxe 18th century architectural settings.   Evidently the stylists for these two bastions of "bon gout", Chanel and Patek Philippe, realize that maybe the antique deprived, "less is more", "industrial modern" look one sees featured in most home décor magazines today is not their choice to promote their high end couture creations.  Since I no longer subscribe to any décor magazines, I have more time to read, look at and really enjoy my books on antiques, period architecture and gardens.

Find attached here photos of the two adds followed by photos of the covers of some of my top favorite books. Some books are fairly new and in print and the others you can find inexpensively on used book sites like  amazon.com  or  overstock.com  or  abebooks.com .      Why have "less" when you can have "more"!!!!  More what ??  Decors using antiques include more interesting, diverse and tasty materials , more historical associations and regional context, more long range investment value, more intellectual content, more possibilities for true personalization of your home, more........joie de vivre et bon gout !!!!!!

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith

















Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tower at Lake Martin, Louisiane

Bonjour!! Find here some photos that give an impression of the exterior and interior of my tower at Lake Martin, Louisiane.  Enjoy!!

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith























Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com