Super Marché: An Online Shop for French Vintage

12 December 2017
Super Marché by SFGirl by Bay

Few French things inspire awe in foreigners like its many culinary gifts, its fashion designers and its great thinkers, save for perhaps its home goods. Every out-of-town visitor I’ve ever hosted has wanted to pick up vintage table linens, antique dishware and cutlery, and especially armchairs, China hutches, weathered mirrors and other decorative pieces that they wouldn’t be able to find at home. Fortunately for those who can’t make it to France but want to integrate French lifestyle touches into their own homes, there is Super Marché, a new project and online shop from Victoria Smith, bestselling author and creator of the popular blog SF Girl by Bay.  As she explains it, she’s long been a flea market fan and often peruses the markets near her home in the Bay Area on the weekend. “My mom used to have an antique store so I guess my love of vintage treasures is kind of in my genes!” she told me. The collection currently available on Super Marché is the result of a massive shopping trip to France with her friend Laurie Furber of Elsie Green. They teamed up to curate a selection of items specifically with Victoria’s readers in mind and […]…

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French Summer Recipe from author Brian Defehr

15 August 2017
Rouget recipe by Brian Defehr

In their new book “Les Marchés Français”, author Brian Defehr and photographer Pauline Boldt, explores the boundless gifts of French open-air market culture — by season. With recipes (gluten-free, too!), stunning photography, and helpful background on the Paris markets and terminology, Defehr and Pauline remind us how much beauty comes from the simplest of traditions. Here, Defehr shares a recipe from the book that would be particularly well-suited for your summer table. Enjoy!  The Perfect Summer Market Dish Ask most people to conjure up the hot and dreamy days of summer and what they’re most inspired to cook, and I would bet you that an overwhelming majority – certainly of the males – would immediately go off on an elegy of their BBQ and the many grilled and smoky ribs, burger, steaks and skewered vegetables that are their go-to dinners when the kids are out of school and the sun is scorching the lawn. The backyard BBQ keeps the heat out of the kitchen, keeps the mosquitoes at bay (at least when there’s enough smoke billowing from it) and allows Dad his moment of glory, one eye on dinner and the other on the kids in the pool. That’s all […]…

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The Air France Experience

11 May 2017
AirFrance Business Class Cabin

If I was a functioning and coherent speaker in the first leg of my tour, it’s entirely because of Air France. As a partner for my tour, they offered me a chance to slip into the front of the plane — you know, that section behind the curtain where Champagne is free-flowing, the seats recline fully and the cutlery isn’t plastic — and experience their new business class cabin.  With an 11-hour flight to Los Angeles, I knew that sleeping for a solid 6-7 hours would be my only hope for minimizing fatigue upon arrival. I’ve always had positive experiences on Air France over the years, both in economy and premium economy (which I flew often for several years for meetings in Geneva), and I knew I’d be in good, capable hands for this journey. Service in all AF classes soars above the American carriers I have flown with most and I was pleased by how effortless the experience was from check-in to boarding. The biggest difference this time was the much-coveted lounge access in Terminal 2E, which comes with an array of cold and hot dishes, and endless supply of drinks, coffee, excellent reading material, loungers and quiet zones […]…

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A night in Champagne at Les Crayères

18 February 2017
Les Crayeres Reims

Working through the winter holiday came with one benefit: rest and relaxation once the rest of the world had returned to work in January! While it wasn’t a long break, my husband and I boarded the high-speed train to Reims in mid-January for a bubbly-infused change of scenery. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t a true holiday either. I was on assignment for Relais & Châteaux’s magazine Instants, for which I previously documented a visit to Crillon le Brave in 2015, testing Les Crayères for the first time. A historic property situated across the street from Maison Pommery, the classically designed hotel is most known for its double Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant led by Meilleur Ouvrier de France chef Philippe Mille which I was eager to try ever since my first visit to the region last summer. The experience was royal, from the palatial room dressed up in country chic furnishings to the English bar kitted out in English plaid. We napped, we read, we wandered the property’s expansive green grounds and ate as much as we could in such a short period of time. While my lifestyle hews more closely with the bistronomy style of cooking — which is to […]…

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Facebook Live with author Lauren Collins!

13 September 2016
When in french, lauren collins author

This is a big week! Not only is my sister coming to visit for the first time since I’ve lived here (a decade, people), but I am hosting the very first Facebook Live on the Lost in Cheeseland Facebook page! I’m extremely excited to chat with Lauren Collins, a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of “When in French: Love in a Second Language“ which landed on bookshelves TODAY. To say I am enamored with Lauren’s book is putting it mildly. While she is known for reporting on subjects ranging from Michelle Obama to the political undertones at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris, she turned her attention to a much more personal story — her own journey from North Carolina, to London (where she met her French husband Olivier) and to Geneva, where they lived for several years before arriving in Paris. It is at once a hysterical account of the seemingly endless series of hurdles, adjustments, sacrifices and head-scratching moments inherent to expat life and an edifying look at the linguistic implications that run through all of them. She explores identity formation across cultures with an abiding focus on language (and even linguistic theory) — […]…

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