France Virtuelle

France Virtuelle: Mid-Winter 2023

Tired of feeling Jack Frost nipping at your nose (and your heat bill)? Me too! Though we are having a few merciful days of snow-melting weather in Denver—finally!—winter will keep on keeping on for a bit longer. Since we can’t fight it, let’s embrace it!

Food First

Food is always a priority in my world, so we’ll begin with some tasty options!

Winter Foods in Paris

The adorable couple of Les Frenchies brings us another gem with their winter foods tour of Paris.

All of these look so good (barring the seafood, not a fan). If had a table in my tiny apartment, I would definitely do raclette or fondue at home!

I had never seen an at-home raclette appliance before! But low and behold there are several available on Amazon. Should you need to melt cheese and pour it all over your food (as you should!), the Swissmar Cast Iron Raclette has good reviews and looks similar to the video [Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases].

Croissants & More Croissants

Jay Swanson has set out to prove or disprove Vogue’s list of Best Parisian Croissants in this tasty video. Good thing he is an avid runner, he consumes a LOT of butter in this one!

I admit that I hadn’t heard of most of these places. And that I usually skip the croissant in favor of the pain au chocolat, AKA The Croissant of Champions.

Julia’s Bûche de Noël

In the holiday podcast episode, I shared a video/recipe for a modern Bûche de Noël recipe. But, if you’ve ever made a jelly roll cake, you know that the experience is far from easy. So, for the dark side version of Chef John, check out the Jamie the Anti-Chef attempting Julia Child’s Bûche de Noël.

Warning: Things do not go smoothly and his language occassionally reflects this. But I so admire his perseverance!

Jamie’s dedication to the cause, including the garnish, is most impressive. I think I would have given up and just mushed together a layer cake!

Nocturne à l’Hôtel de la Marine

Pianist extraordinaire Sofiane Pamart recently performed a gorgeous concert at the Hôtel de la Marine. Filmed at night in several stunning locations within the hôtel and with additional footage showing off the beautifully restored building, we get to just sit back and soak in Sofiane and his music.

I must confess I was unfamiliar with Sofiane before this video showed up in my YouTube feed a few weeks ago. But I happily grab any chance to see the interior of such a landmark monument (check out the history in the Theft of the Crown Jewels Episode!). And was even more happily surprised at discovering such a talented artist. The music is his own, though you can hear his influences. And his career so far spans multiple genres and an eclectic mix of collaborations. I look forward to hearing what he does next!

The last piece’s performance is a literal trip!

In Hôtel de la Marine news, it recently suffered a fire! On New Year’s Eve, a fire broke out in a mechanical room. It destroyed the mechanical room and took out 30 sqm (~323 sqf) of the roof. Thankfully no employees nor the museum areas or artifacts were harmed in the blaze. After a brief closure, the museum is now back open again!

One More For The Road

Is it even a France Virtuelle without something from ART VISION? 😁

In a fun video, we have him (I assume he is the driver) driving around Paris one evening in January. And what a ride it is! On top of all the beautiful scenery, we get to experience driving almost first person in Paris. Very different from the back of a cab or Uber!

I’ve never driven in Paris and this did not allay my fears at all! He makes it look effortless but more than once I had no idea what exactly was happening at the intersections. I’ve been in scarier traffic but I usually had my eyes closed. I would rather not see it coming. 🙈

If you would like to see the freeway drive into Paris leading up to this video (interesting in a less scenic way), catch the ride here.

The (Silly) Sun King

It’s always hard to choose which IG post to highlight in the France Virtuelle. But this one made my day! I doubt the Sun King would have approved, though it is on his IG Account! 😉

I like that we can see either a woman or a painting of a woman in historic costume reflected on the balloon’s surface. Louis would have at least appreciated the level of detail!

Til Next Time

Which video was your favorite? What types of videos do want to see more of here in the France Virtuelle? Food Tips? Walks and drives around Paris? Cultural Events? History (just realizing I skipped history this time unless we count Julia Child! 😂)? The Sun King riding a balloon poodle? Let me know below!

À bientôt!


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