Tag Archives: Fontainebleau

Fantastic French food

I took my first food picture at breakfast on day one in France, and then another at lunch and another at dinner. “At this rate,” I thought, “I will be photographing every meal I eat,” so I started being more selective. I want to share just a few to give you an idea of the abundance of great meals.

Barbizon is an artsy village with galleries and museums. We had a scupting class–my first time working with clay–and visited the Besharat Museum and Gallery which houses an eclectic collection of art and is also a boutique hotel. Lunch at Le Royal was this exceptional tuna nicoise salad, bread (of course) and beer.

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Tuna nicoise salad, bread and beer at The Royal in Barbizon.
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I had my first mussels in Fontainebleu and my last in Paris (with a few more along the way). These were at Les Cascades in Honfleur (and perhaps my favorite). Here, I learned the trick of using the shell instead of a fork.

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Mussels in Honfleur
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Les Cascades, Honfleur–serving my favorite mussels in France.

I usually like chocolate for dessert, but I had many excellent desserts in France that did not include chocolate.

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Apple tart
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The pastry selection at a outdoor stand.

Noticing light

One of the first things I noticed in Fontainebleau were the light fixtures and the decorataive ironwork on many of them. I wondered if people differentiated their homes from their neighbors by the artwork on their outside lights.

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The light at the entrance gate of Chateau Fontainebleau (the gold on the gate reminded me of the garden gates at Powerscourt in Ireland)
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Light fixture at Chateau Fontainebleau

As we walked the streets of Fontainebleau, and really throughout my time in France, I noticed the light fixtures and thought about light.

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Ornate light in Barbizon

We are so accustomed to flipping a switch and, voila, light. But before electricity, when many of the buildings I was passing were built, there was no electricity. I pondered light and darkness.

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Light in Honfleur (also, notice the heart shape in the brickwork)
Light in Honfleur

On that first day in Fontainebleau, as light fixtures caught my eye, two friends came to mind, two women who are facing health challenges, and I wondered how I might bring some light to their lives.

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Light over the pedestrian bridge in Carcassone.

One great thing about touring in France is that there are churches everywhere, so I began in Fontainebleau, and continued throughout my trip, visiting local churches and praying for people who need light (I included myself in that group). I lit candles and joined my prayers to those of all the people who had prayed in these churches over the centuries; I felt I was a part of the communion of saints.

First to Fontainebleau

From Ireland, I went to France for the beginning of a three-week tour which began in Fontainebleau–and each day began with pain au chocolat (I love a Country that offers chocolate first thing in the morning!).

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Pain au chocolat

Chateau de Fontainebleau dates to the 12th century and has been added to, updated and modified over the centuries. It was a favorite of King Henri II, King Henri IV and Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Chateau de Fontainebleau
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The lake at the Chateau.

Although it was early spring, flowers were beginning to blossom.

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Spring flowers at the Chateau de Fontainebleau
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Spring flowers at the Chateau de Fontainebleau