Thursday, March 29, 2012

Making an Impression

We are still giddily enjoying the gorgeous weather here in Paris. It's not forecast to last though so we have been making the most of the opportunity to get into Paris more often than usual. Last week however, on the first day of Spring, I had a day out a little closer to home.

Fournaise 1
Inspired by this post by Véronique at French Girl in Seattle we celebrated my friend's birthday at Le Restaurant Fournaise in Chatou, the setting of one of Renoir's most famous paintings Le Déjeuner des Canotiers.

Fournaise 5
I discovered Véronique's blog after seeing her comments on other blogs about French Life that I follow and her captivating post about the history of this restaurant and the nineteenth century artists who frequented it in its heyday was the first one I ever read. In it she concludes; "Next time you visit Paris, why don't you, too, follow la Seine all the way to Chatou? No need to wait until Sunday afternoon, or wear a canotier. The Canoeists and lovely Alphonsine may be long gone, but la Maison Fournaise is still there, by the river, waiting..." We didn't have to wait for a "next time" we live just ten minutes away from Chatou so as soon as we had an opportunity we took Véronique's advice and went to experience the place for ourselves.

Fournaise 3
The restaurant is an island amongst the office blocks now, but that sky is still worthy of a painting.

Fournaise 2

Fournaise 4
If you look carefully, you can see the American Express building where Véronique used to work reflected in the entrées!

Fournaise 6
This was my entrée. Gambas, the winning choice from a meal that we all agreed wasn't the best food we've ever had in France, but almost certainly better than we would have experienced in our U.S. suburban neighborhoods on a Tuesday lunchtime!

Fournaise 7
The food is secondary though to the experience of eating where Renoir and his Impressionist buddies once sat.

Fournaise 8
The building has been beautifully restored and there is a museum on site that we didn't have time to visit. A good excuse to go back.

Fournaise 9
There was time for a quick after lunch stroll along the river bank, past the boat house...

Fournaise 10
...then back home in time to fetch the kids off the school bus.


  1. Bonjour Nicola. Thank you for your kind email today. I was so thrilled to read it, and to visit your blog. You did la Maison Fournaise justice with this story and beautiful pictures (I particularly enjoyed seeing the reflection of the Amex building, bien sur ;-) I am flattered that you mentioned my blog. I might mention yours in my next post if the story takes me in the right direction. By the way, I have just become your newest Follower. Keep up the good work! Veronique, ex-parisienne/French Girl in Seattle

  2. Loved the post Nicky - brought me right back. It was such a good time - we must do something again soon!

  3. It was such a special day and I'm so lucky to have been there to share it with you. Looking forward to many more special french acitvities.

  4. Dearest Nicola,

    Lovely post and Véronique from French Girl in Seatle is the reason that I discovered you here!
    Good luck with your blog and life in France.
    Love to you,


  5. I have enjoyed sharing your journey and have become your latest follower, thanks to Véronique from French Girl in Seatle.
    Warm wishes.

    1. Bienvenue! Thank you so much for visiting and for joining my little band of followers!


Bienvenue chez les Berries!
Your comments bring this blog to life and make me happy.
Let me know you stopped by and I'll be sure to write back.
A bientôt! Nicola

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...