The Independent Traveler's Newsletter                                           PAGE TWO

Café Sitting is a Full-Time Job continued from page one

Jill Butler at work at LaduréeI love to draw food but this felt like an exam. Being a self-taught artist, I hoped I would pass the test. On Monday morning, I was "installed" upstairs in the newly renovated, smoke-free dining room and for three intense mornings silver trays filled with “samples” of every patisserie, Viennoisserie, et dessert was placed before me ~ to draw!

After making preliminary sketches, I choose to work with two illustrative styles: one a cut paper style (the façade and coffees ) and the second a more classic pen and ink watercolor style (the map, macaroons, Viennoisseries and pastries) as well as a mix of both (the salon interior). Things like capturing the whipped cream or the layers of a mille feuilles were tricky as were les macarons, Ladurée’s signature product.

The cherubs painted on the ceiling of the ground floor room alone are worth the visit. If you look closely you can see they are baking the bread by the rays of the sun. I choose to use the cherubs throughout the series of six cards. They also appear in the Ladurée logo. 

Eventually, every drawing was checked by the design director for accuracy and the text was bien regardé for spelling errors and inaccuracies. The last look was with David and the printer, and off to press it went.

I quietly smiled when I saw customers discovering the cards as they paid à la caisse. The enthusiastic mid-westerner that I am wanted to jump up and introduce myself ~ but I contained myself with being happy that they were being purchased.

For sure now, I knew that café sitting was ~ if not a full-time job ~ it was a job!

Jill Butler Postcard©

As a final note, what I learned was to go ahead and speak up in my less than perfect French, to enjoy the moment, to be slightly outrageous by French standards and to go ahead and put forth an idea when given the opportunity because who knows who's sitting next to you waiting to respond in the positive?

About Ladurée

Ladurée has a few locations in Paris in addition to 16, rue Royale (métro Madeleine or Concorde).
  The most notable is at 75, avenue des Champs-Elysées (métro George V ). 
Their original business, Chez Paul, was established in Lille, France in 1889. 
Shortly after taking over Ladurée in 1995, they began to seriously develop Paul 
as an international boulangerie / patisserie and restaurant group. 
In the USA, you'll find them in south Florida.

** Exclusive gift for FRANCE On Your Own readers**

A special offer was made to readers when this newsletter was sent on June 7 and 8.
The first 3 orders received for all three of Jill Butler's books received a free Collector's Set 
of the six original postcards ~ a $20 value ~ that Jill Butler designed at Ladurée! 

Because the three sets were scooped up immediately, the above offer is now closed! 
 Three lucky winners are being sent the set of Ladurée cards 
along with a big thank you for their speedy response! 

But, in appreciation, Jill has additionally offered to all purchasers of her three books
an assortment of six French-inspired postcards. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

Be sure that you mention FRANCE On Your Own !!

And, all books ordered from her online Bookstore, will be autographed by the author.


Jill Butler tells us, "At age five I had a dream. I was standing on the Left Bank looking across the Seine to the backside of
          Notre Dame Cathedral. Years later, I found my myself living next to Notre Dame on the rue du Clôitre.   Notre Dame and the bells
          awakened me daily.  Fourteen years of living in Paris and Normandy have given me an abundance of experience and design
          inspiration for The Jill Butler Collection of travel guides, dinnerware and tabletop accessories." 
You can reach Jill by email at or visit her lively web site at 

[Photos & illustrations ©2006 by Jill Butler]

Ici et Là

This column is intended to advise you about cultural events, news and happenings
in France or France-related events taking place in the United States
between now and the publication of our next issue.

In France. . .

o Paris Jazz Festival  At Château de Vincennes, visitors to the City of Light can enjoy a summer of jazz from June to July.  For details:

o Tous sur le Pont Festival   In the Centre département at Château de Blois, enjoy the festival of classical, jazz and contemporary music along with street theatre.  June to July.  For more information

o Normandy On June 6 the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day Landings will be commemorated with ceremonies at the beaches and in the towns of the Allied landings that took place June 5 and 6, 1944.  For more information please contact

o Deauville, Normandy  Attend the first international nautical event with many of the best sailing aficionados from across the globe.  June 7 - 11.  Details at

o Bordeaux Wine Festival  Don't miss the live entertainment offered honoring Bordeaux's Japanese sister city, Fukuoka, from June 29 to July 2.  You will be able to sample some of the region's finest vintages, visit wine châteaux and see the exhibition entitled Vintage Grapes.  For more information visit

o Reims in June  A celebration, Fête Johanniques, takes place each year in this cathedral city honoring the memory of Joan of Arc.  On June 10 and 11 enjoy the festival of shows and the recreation of a medieval market, highlighted by a musical pageant and a procession of 2,000 costumed players depicting the coronation of Charles the VII accompanied by Joan and other monarchs crowed at Reims.  Information can be found at

o Tee Off in Cannes  The Cannes Golf Festival takes place for one week in July offering visitors to play golf at some of the finest courses in the region in an amateur tournament.  The awards ceremony and gala dinner will take place at the Palais des Festivals where you can mount the stairs on the famous red carpet.  Visit for more information.

o Paris Plage  During July and August the very popular artificial beach (complete with sand and palm trees) is set up along the banks of the River Seine to give the locals the opportunity to 'escape' to the beach without leaving Paris.  There is also a boardwalk for cyclists and rollerbladers, a pool, beach volleyball and concerts in the evenings.  For details contact  Contact the same web site for information about Paris Quartiers d'Eté, the neighborhood festivals featuring theatre, dance and music.  The events take place from July to August at the Tuileries Gardens, the banks of the Seine, Buttes-Chaumont Park, Palais Royal, Arènes de Lutèce, La Villette and other locations.

o July Jazz in Antibes  If you are on the Riviera in July, be sure to catch Jazz à Juan, he annual jazz festival featuring both famous jazz musicians and up-and-coming musical artists.  Past performances have included Sonny Rollins and Ibrahim Ferrer.  Information at

o Nice Jazz Festival  Perhaps the most important European jazz festival, this event hosts over 500 musicians and presents 75 concerts in the Roman ruins and gardens of Cimiez.  From July 19 to 26.  Details at

o Women's Golf  The Evian Masters is an International Women's golf tournament and one of the most important, both on the American and European tours, featuring 70 of the world's best players.  July 26 to July 29.  Visit and/or

o Corsica Celebrates!  In Ajaccio, a feast in honor of Napoléon, the Fêtes Napoléoniennes, takes place in August.  The native son was born in Ajaccio August 15, 1869.  There will be parades, historical pageants, and other festivities.  Information at

o Fêtes de Bayonne  Make your way to Basque country to participate in the fiesta from August 2 to 6 ~ five non-stop days of celebration with music, bull running, Basque-influenced cuisine and much more.  Visit and/or

o Honoring John Lennon  La Cité de la Musique honors the 65th birthday of John Lennon and the 25th anniversary of his death with a presentation that follows the musical, artistic and humanistic development of this leader in 20th century music.  Beginning with his childhood in Liverpool to his untimely death in New York City on December 8, 1980, the program will explore the various aspects of his career.  Through June 25.  Information at

o Tête à Tête  The Centre Pompidou presents an exhibit of front views and profiles of carved, drawn, painted and filmed heads.  Through September 4th.  Details can be found at

o Rousseau  Self-taught artist, Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes are exhibited at Paris' Musée d'Orsay through June 19.  entitled Le Douanier Rousseau, Jungles, the paintings will be contrasted against self-portraits and portraits, views of Paris and its suburbs and more.  Information from

o The Horse in the City and in the Arts  This is an exhibit at the Musée de l'Armée at Hôtel les Invalides in Paris through June 18, highlighting equitation under the Ancien Régime and presents the Equestrian School of Paris.  Works from Brongniart are unveiled.  Contact

o Vach'Art  This exhibit was very successful in New York, London, Chicago, Sydney, etc., and it is finally reaching Paris through June 25.  Known as the 'Cow Parade', it makes its French debut with 150 life-size cow sculptures in what is one of the greatest artistic expressions of contemporary art.  Maison de la France (of the French Government Tourist Office) is sponsoring a cow to be painted in the bleu, blanc et rouge of France.  The sculptures will be interspersed through Paris' streets.  For more information visit and/or [see photo accompanying article on French Classes on page 4]

o Gala Concert  The American Church in Paris celebrates Fred Gramann's 30th anniversary as Director of Music with a gala concert on Saturday, June 10 at 8 PM. The program features the ACP Choir, the amazing French children's choir "Sotto Voce," the fabulous US community handbell choir "Embellish" from Michigan and a variety of prize winning soloists and instrumentalists. The concert will be followed by a champagne reception with 30 cakes for 30 years. General seating is 10 euros; reserved seating 25 & 50 euros. Proceeds will benefit the ministries of the American Church. Info: 01 40 62 05 00 or

Also. . .

o Air France   was named the Best Transatlantic Airline by the readers of Global Travel Magazine through an annual survey conducted in 2005.  The 'Sky Team Alliance', of which Air France is a founding member, was voted the Best Alliance.  Air France was also recognized by Orphans International for its humanitarian efforts for its contributions to  humanitarian causes as a global citizen.  As a footnote, Air France just celebrated its 40th year of flights between Boston and Paris. 

o Galeries Lafayette  celebrates its grand reopening at its famous Boulevard Haussmann location in Paris this year.  Pay it a visit on your next trip and see the new Lafayette Enfant department on the 5th floor, Lafayette Maison, the home store, located across the street from the main Galeries Lafayette, and see the new Lafayette Sport on the fourth floor.  Remember that there are two times each year in France for 'soldes' (sales) January/February and June/July.  The store also runs other specials throughout the year, but those two times are the largest. 

o Museum Openings:  Musée de Quai Branly (see the photo we took last September on our Carte Postale web page) on 15, rue Jean-Baptiste Berlier ( is a collection of works from the Musée des arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie and the Musée de l'Homme ~ as of June 2006 the Musée du Quai Branly.  More than 3500 works from Africa, the Americas, Oceana and Asia will be on permanent display.  Musée de L'Orangerie, Jardin de Tuileries, reopens In June 2006, at which point Monet's Waterlilies series can be viewed as it was intended by the artist ~ in natural Les Arts Décoratifs, Grand Louvre, 107 rue de Rivoli, reopens on September 15, 2006 after having been closed for 10 years.  Its permanent collection will be presented in chronological order from the Middle Ages to present day.

o France Guide Travel Planner 2006   is free for the asking from Maison de la France at the French Government Tourist Office.  This 96-page magazine offers Americans insight into all of the special celebrations taking place in France in the coming year. Be sure to mention FRANCE On Your Own when requesting it ~ call 1.514.288.1904.  Allow 3 - 4 weeks for delivery.
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