5 o'Clock Tea with Anne Barone

A tranquil spot, a cup of tea, a book, and something to nibble. Afternoon tea is my favorite time of day. Please join me for Thé de 5 Heures.

 (left) card featuring the painting La Vierge au Buisson de Roses. (right) cover excerpt Paris Street Style A Fashion-Focused Tea

thé du jour / today’s tea

Tarajulie Estate Assam. Not your usual Assam. Lacking the hearty, malty, wake you up in the morning taste of many black teas from the Assam region of India, Tarajulie Estate tea has a lighter flavor that works well for afternoon tea. Especially nice with something chocolate.

le casse-croûte / the snack

Brioche au chocolat. What a lucky find. Shopping the special holiday foods section in my supermarket I found baked-in-France brioche au chocolat. Tasted like the real thing to me. It's a St. Pierre product. The company is sending over several types of pastry to the USA, but this is the first I have tried. The last time I ate real French brioche au chocolat, was in Colmar. So it makes the perfect accompaniment for our correspondent's card from Colmar.

la musique / the music

French Christmas music ancient and modern

à lire / to read

PARIS STREET STYLE: A Guide to Effortless Chic by Isabelle Thomas & Frédérique Veysset.

The beautiful card above featuring La Vierge au Buisson de Roses, Madonna of the Rose Garden (1473), by Martin Schongauer looks like a Christmas greeting. But it was sent last August by our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat when she was visiting Colmar, France. The Madonna painting is installed in the Cathédrale Saint Martin in Colmar. Among Kat's comments (some of which I have previously shared with you) about her fashion observations in that part of France, she also wrote:

Have you read a book “PARIS STREET STYLE”? This really supersedes “French Chic” (beginning to show it’s age!) and features lovely pictures & interviews with current French designers/stylists/hairdressers. It’s what Paris fashion is about now and it’s great.

On Kat's recommendation, I did buy the book — a used copy for $3.50 plus shipping. While I can't quite generate the enthusiasm for this book that Kat has, I will say that Paris Street Style does have lovely pictures. The photos are of very lovely, very young, very tall, very thin (about 2 ounces short of needing an appointment with an eating disorders clinic) professional beauties dressed in very trendy outfits. But if you are NOT very young, very tall, and very thin, don't look like a professional beauty, and if you don't dress for life in a trendy fashion-focused urban center, you might not find much practical inspiration in the photos.

The text of this book surely would be more useful. The book follows the format of the very popular "French Chic" published by in the 1980s that was for a long time the ultimate guide to French chic. PARIS STREET STYLE give readers much more up to date information of what constitutes French chic. Lots of practical advice. I was amused to see a section titled: Shopping Your Grandmother's Closet and realize that those recommended items were clothes I had bought and worn in my 30s ! The ruffled blouse went to Goodwill years ago, but I do still have a wonderful Ferragamo handbag — and the shoes to match.

image: (left) card featuring the painting La Vierge au Buisson de Roses. (right) cover excerpt Paris Street Style


Other 5 o'Clock Teas with Anne Barone

A Woman in Black Tea

A Margaret's Hope Tea

A Cotterstock Hall Tea

A French Tea