Posts Tagged 'wh smith'

The Sweet Life

David Lebovitz is such an amazing pastry chef, that he can bake even with a vanishing left arm! (Or, erm, that's just a blurry photo)

Last night, pastry chef, cookbook author, and blogger extraordinaire David Lebovitz spoke to the largest crowd WH Smith has ever seen. Chairs were dispensed with, the crowd simply standing in any available space on the ground floor while David spoke from the stairs.

It was my favorite kind of author event – the writer speaking off the cuff, relating stories and anecdotes as they arise. Of course, as he himself noted, you can’t exactly read a cookbook aloud. But more than that, the format fit his personality: informal, funny, and not afraid to tell it like it is.

I won’t give a blow-by-blow of the evening. Frankly, I like Lebovitz, but I’m not a devotee (of which there were many in attendance). I don’t even own an oven, for heaven’s sake! His recipes are something I scroll through, intimations of sweet dreams that have nothing to do with my reality (plus, I can just go to the patisserie).

The crowd waiting for their just desserts (Lebovitz's new book is called 'Ready for Dessert')

I did meet up with two other Paris bloggers, Res I(p)sa and Karin, An Alien Parisienne. It’s always fun to match a face to the writing (and in Res’ case, a real name to the writer!)

One seemingly unrelated tidbit I learned is that Cafe Etienne Marcel will host two weeks of ‘Sex and the City 2’ launch events starting next Monday for any of you fans out there. Why do I know this? WH Smith is a partner and hosting several author events. The bookstore’s marketing director explained that there would be classes on ‘mixology’ (the perfect cosmopolitan, anyone?), making cupcakes, and walking gracefully in heels. Lebovitz seemed surprised to learn that he was programmed for an event there, too.

After the book talk/signing I joined Karin for a birthday drink (hers, not mine. I’m a Scorpio, baby!) I tried a ‘violette’ kir which I had never even heard of before. (The basic kir is white wine and cassis liqueur.) Seemed a propos to sample something new – we had stumbled onto the Carpe Diem cafe.

Me + kir in matching colors! Faux sexy edition! (Be careful: the violet kir causes controversy. Love it or hate it). Thanks, Karin, for the photo.

All in all, it was a great evening, with elements I imagine people populate in any dream of Paris: pastries, posh drinks, hours passed in classy cafes.

The fact that I don’t actually bake, wear sneakers instead of heels, and am more shabby than chic doesn’t change the fact that all of these things could be a part of my life. On certain warm May evenings like last night, I find myself drinking pretty cocktails that a cute waiter has just delivered with a smile. Sometimes it’s fun to pretend.

P.S. That would have been a nice place to stop, right? I can’t help myself, though. As I sat writing this, a group of teenagers walked by and started laughing at me maniacally for no reason I can discern. And so my new persona – Sex and the City, City of Light version – evaporates in a fury of self-consciousness. Just like that 🙂

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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