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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Romantic Paris with Eurostar

31 October 2016
Romantic Paris Lindsey Tramuta

“Where can I go for a romantic afternoon/evening in Paris?” Few questions are as challenging to answer and yet I find myself confronted with it time and again. I struggle with the idea of city-specific romance, and more specifically Parisian romance, because it is so subjective and personal. And the weight of Paris as a place means the possibilities are truly endless. The very name of the city is enough to summon fantasies of a romanticized, bon vivant life: Seine-side strolls, languid meals with bottomless glasses of wine, picnics on the Champs de Mars as the sun descends and the Eiffel Tower begins its hourly sparkle. Romance in Paris hinges on a series of experiences that are contrived to fulfill an expectation. Like the way I once told myself that to feel Rome as lovers must, I had to whip around town on a ruby red Vespa. The reality is, I’m terrified of scooters and found myself more uncomfortable than romanced. I forced a scenario that I believed would produce a desired outcome. Instead of willing it to fruition, I believe in letting the city ensorcell with its own natural gifts. So when Eurostar asked me to describe my favorite romantic […]…

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24 Hours in Paris

26 October 2016
Seine River Cruise Paris

48 hours might be a good start. But 24 hours to experience Paris ? That’s like challenging a friend to a dare, knowing full well they’ll struggle to be successful. But sometimes, 24 hours is all you have to explore. I’ve spent that much time in other parts of Europe when work or other obligations made it impossible to devote more time. With helpful tips from locals and a firm plan, I’ve gotten memorable first, second and third impressions of a number of places and the same can be done for Paris. The real challenge is prioritizing what to see, do, eat, and drink in a city as experientially rich as Paris. So I’ve proposed two options for each of the below activities: one that leans more traditional (marquee musts for any tourist new to the city), while the other will be more local. Clement weather will be preferred/required for some of the experiences below. SEE There is a lot of ground to cover here so be strategic: if this is your first trip to Paris, focus on the center and western edge of the city which are the most dense in landmarks, shops and other places of interest (with convenient […]…

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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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Saint James: the best of Made in France

20 August 2016
Saint James Breton Stripe

In July, I spent several days traveling through Normandy and visiting landmarks in the region that, in one way or another, have informed and continue to inform the creative process and production of Saint James garments. I went behind-the-scenes at their atelier, met with the President, collections director and Managing Director for the U.S. and walked away blown away not only by the brand’s history but their upstanding sense of ethics. If there is a company to believe in, it’s this one. And if you find yourselves in the small town of Saint James, pop in! They’re happy to offer tours. Below, you’ll find a version of my story for Conde Nast Traveler that looks at the past, present and future of this iconic French fashion brand.  Peek into the closets of most French people and you’re likely to find at least one striped sailor tee or Breton wool sweater, as much symbols of Gallic craftsmanship as of style. Chances are high the left sleeve will bear the label Saint James, the 127 year old independent French ready-to-wear brand whose durable goods and timeless nautical looks have made it a national icon spanning generations. That the brand is experiencing two-digit growth today […]…

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