Sorry, this entry is only available in Français.
Jules loves serving pastries to his guests, but he always has regrets when they cannot take any because of allergies. As Jules has the art of finding tasteful solutions, he has managed to track down a little place, quite new, to put a smile back on those who are gluten intolerant: it’s Helmut Newcake’s a “Delipâtisserie” which is both a rather stylish boutique and tearoom.
Jules met the owners there, Marie and François, barely thirty years old, married, both of whom studied at the same catering college before leaving for England for four years. Helmut Newcake is their triumphant return, their first project, the first completely gluten free patisserie in France! Marie is allergic to gluten, just as an estimated 1% of the population, but has been passionate right from her early childhood for pastries, and after stays at Lenôtre in particular, she has developed recipes, tested by her non-allergic husband, which are no doubt in competition with his distinguished colleagues. The idea succeeded, and they have made chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, and for Jules’ vintage side, old style profiteroles ‘religieuses’ and other delicious cakes with organic flour (rice, corn and potatoes) bringing more to the recipes a personal touch: for example replacing the butter cream in the “religieuse” with some meringue.
For Jules’ friends, Marie also prepares daily specials, either to eat in or to takeaway, which change from day to day: fried Saint-Jacques, pear and rice (8.50 €) or coconut lemongrass prawns (7.50 €)…
A small grocery section also offers dry goods (cereal, pasta, flour, buiscuits) gluten-free, and not found anywhere else in France.
With classic prices in the patisserie (1.40 € for cannelés, 3.50 € for financiers, up to 4 € for “religieuse” and from 15 to 35 € for large cakes) and above all a taste of paradise which makes Jules’ taste buds tingle, as well as those of his guests who suffer from allergies, Jules has without doubt found a delicious address!
Helmut Newcake, open Tuesday to Saturday 12.00 to 21.00
Sundays from 10.00 to 18.00, 36 rue Bichat, Paris 10ème Telephone 09 82 59 00 39
Jules is in the mood for travelling. He is a real connoisseur of accessories, particularly those custom-made ones which always feel that extra bit special, and he does get a little bit carried away sometimes. Jules wants this chic but also nomadic spirit to leave its mark on the vintage bedrooms in his hotel. The result – marvelous – hung on the vintage style tiles in the bathroom, looking slightly bohemian but just as elegant as if it were in a large cosmopolitan ancestral home, the Vanity made from leather is simply a divine surprise! Jules’ guests fall under the beguiling charm of such a unique piece. Jules commissioned this luxury designer accessory from Tristain Auer and his interior design company IZEU, made by a French leather goods producer in a limited series. The Vanity, exclusive as it is, with its chrome buckles and rivets that sublimate the dark leather, has a round edged mirror and contains charming cosmetics. In short, its precious beauty seduced Jules so much that he has made a few more pieces. Those in love with the Vanity (because that is the feeling that it inspires in some people) can even buy it at Jules along with many other ‘made in Jules’ accessories: the famous lips, also the lips box, the iPhone case, or sunglasses case in leather…
Vanity in leather 1450 VAT inc. On sale at Hotel Jules.
It’s atmospheric-oh yes! The Canal Saint Martin, made famous by Arletty, when, after a play, standing next to the Hotel du Nord (which dates back to the time of the studios), she sarcastically asked if her face resembled that of her surroundings… Surroundings of the populist atmosphere, which the canal has not entirely lost, due to its hundreds of onlookers sitting on the edge of its waters at the slightest ray of sunshine. It, nevertheless, has that sacred touch of bourgeoisie, all the while remaining bohemian.
Charming little shops and boutiques have flourished on the embankments of Jemmapes and Valmy and in the adjacent streets. One of the pioneers of the genre is, without a doubt, Antoine & Lili’s boutique, a shopping paladin of fashion and ethno-chic décor. In fact, there is neither an Antoine, nor a Lili, but there is a Martine, who opened her first fashion boutique in 1997(capturing the spirit of the times in a very colorful style, which has been replicated again and again) and 16 others since, namely this décor boutique on Valmy quay.
Here it’s Ali Baba and the forty explorers: The colorful items, from around the world, like the essence of the brand, have been brought here by suppliers from a variety of places, and Martine has tastefully chosen them all, and then dropped them off here, in this museum of color. It’s not always cheap, but it’s always a good find. Time for a little bit of shopping:
Painted metal Indian canteens ( €45 small, €56 large)
Antoine et Lili, 95 quai de Valmy, 75010, et partout ailleurs dans Paris.
Jules, and this isn’t a big surprise, absolutely loves local produce. And even more when they are prepared by the best local producers. This is why he braves the steep winding road up to Montmatre to seek out the real gems from Virginie, a local cheese producer whose trade has been passed on from father to daughter.
She has a nurtured her trade in her small store sized 25m2 with its own cellar which she has owned since 1995. As a daughter of cheese makers, Virginie, had started a career as a translator, but turned her back because she had a real passion to continue in her parents’ profession.And she also has a real way of doing things which Jules likes. For example she sells cheeses which are full of flavour and character which she has bought directly from small scale producers, carefully picked and therefore more rarely available. Her range is becoming a more and more refined choice, which is becoming less and less common, despite what some people might claim.
Virginie, just like Jules for that matter, is a real advocate of unpasteurised cheese and seasonal cheeses. Finally the partners agree on a weakness for old local cheeses ’My shop is small, Virginie explains to Jules so I have very particular ideas and I’m a little bit biased. I offer cheeses just like I enjoy them: well refined, with lots of character. I push them as much as possible to show all their flavour and all the variety of local produce. When some of my colleagues are working downstairs I love it when it drips. A small teaspoon of coulommiers makes me laugh even more. So for those cheeses which are always playfully trying to escape their packaging, Virginie offers some very nice containers. Inside she puts some real cutting edge products: very creamy goats cheese, alpine Tommes, or even ‘old beasts’ hay refined Tomme picard, Cantal bleu, Comté matured with dried flowers, pecorino ‘à la myrte’…And of course the essentials. Between the ‘small series’ and those products in season, Jules finds around 100 different varieties which change each week, a bit of farm cream cheese, a radius of very high end charcuterie, bellotas, specks, coppas, chorizo, and even a lardo di colonatta refined in Carrara marble! It is high end, but as Virginie reminds Jules, ‘it takes time, just like weight loss or with cheese which lose their sweetness as they ripen. I buy from small producers who do everything by hand apart from the transportation. I don’t negotiate the prices with them seeing as they earn very little.
When Jules isn’t in the mood for spending, Virginie always has a cheese board for 6 people at 7.50€. And best of all Virginie organises visits to her cellar with tasting, which Jules’ foreign friends love, and she is a real specialist in cheese buffets. Jules takes a lot of ideas home from his visits, like just how to present canapés of Roquefort on gingerbread!
54 rue Damrémont Paris 18, Tuesday to Saturday from 9h30 à 13h et de 16h à 20h and Sunday morning from 10h à 13h Tel 01 46 06 76 54. www.chezvirginie.com.
Jules loves enjoying the sunshine on the south side of Velvet Restaurant: in full view of the Golden Triangle, but still keeping prices at a very reasonable rate, this Mediterranean restaurant is the perfect refuge for Jules when he ventures on this side of the Champs Elysées.
Foremost because there is plenty of space and lots of natural light illuminating the restaurant and the tables are positioned far away from each other allowing you to feel right at home.
Furthermore the service is a delight, something which makes Jules feel as if he is at home, with an additional elegance which he loves. And then the kitchen, it’s everything that Jules loves: excellent produce, full of freshness and flavour, prepared with such natural beauty. The menu is designed by Alain Parodi, Michelin starred chef, who also is the head of the famous ‘bistrot d’Antoine’ in Nice. Jules meets up with Alain to chat with him when he comes to Paris to put his own stamp on the restaurant for which he has created all of these delicious dishes, and to check on the best possible suppliers… Alain is just like his restaurants, fastidious, but at the same time warm and simple. Jules indulges in these guilty pleasures. Of course the menu varies from time to time according to the market, but Jules can never say no to a cod tartare with pine nuts as a starter at the bar, one of the best raw fish recipes that you can find (without breaking the bank as well !) in Paris that Jules knows !
If this is not available his preferred alternative is thin slices of veal prepared in a ‘vitello tonnato’ way. Furthermore, Jules often hesitates between, cod slow cooked in a casserole with chorizo and sun ripened vegetables, or a generous pluma of Iberian ham ‘à la plancha’ or even the squid, because he loves seafood, very fine a risotto.
For dessert he generally chooses the Rum Baba, whose chef is constantly refining the recipe which is the best in Paris, he says with a smile (but Jules knows very well that he is being serious). The moistened soft, lightly whipped creme lightly, scented dough, Jules comes back with stars in his eyes. He often comes back with one of those fabulous cold tins of sardines sold by the restaurant.
With menus around 30 euros at lunch and 50 in the evening, for a high-class occaision, but which knows how to keep it simple, Jules does not go home disillusioned !
Velvet, 20 rue du Colisée, Paris 8ème, Tél: 01 53 89 59 10
Jules isn’t the only Parisian who loves vintage clothes, and because of this trend, premises dedicated to vintage fashion are springing up all over the capital. Among these boutiques, there are very few who have a real charm. That’s why Jules likes FrJp. Nobuko Nishimura is a Franco-Japanese former stylist and the boutique is restrained but full of little gems.
Nobuko is very kind to Jules, as she is with all her customers. When she opened in 2004, she had some Japanese designs but mainly vintage clothes. These days her stock is mostly French and with some American pieces ranging from the period 1900 to 1990. Not necessarily certain brands (former military uniforms from the Algerian war) and casual, workers blue from the 40s, jeans and converse form that period (‘made in the USA that’s become more and more rare!’ cries Nobuko) Adidas made in France (‘a real collector’s item’ because Adidas nowadays is made in Asia much more), and old Levi’s…
And for Jules’ girlfriends there are delightful pieces – dresses from Courrèges from 1969 (1200 to 1500€) or a Chanel ensemble from the 1960s dress/petticoat/stole (3850€). No reason for panic, for those with slightly smaller budgets, there are also dresses for 120€. There are also original non designer bags, a must have cult vintage item for girls, and the renowned Birkin (the famous bag belonging to Hermès) up to 4500€ depending on what state they are in. And then a brief stroll into designer’s world, with a charming feminine lingerie range, designed by Maria Reina with lace which was once new but are now vintage.
Generally speaking, Nobuko caters more for smaller sizes, and dresses several men. Jules really likes the simplicity of the interior, and the cult collector’s items, taking into account the little stroll around the extremely chic Place des Victoires.
8 rue de la Vrillière, 75001, PARIS Tel: 01 42 96 11 48 open Tuesday to Friday from 11hr to 19hr30, Saturdays 14hr to 19hr and by appointment. www.frjp-boutique.com