February 21st, 2013
As Fashion Week winds down in New York and continues on, escape to Paris, the city that is home to Chanel, Hermes, Dior, and Louis for your own Fashion Week experience.
Hôtel du Petit Moulin, designed by Christian LaCroix and located in Paris’ trendy Marais district, is offering the “Ooh Là Là Vintage Fashion Masterclass” package. This experience evokes a bygone era with custom-made vintage clothing matched with a decadent champagne and tea service. Ooh Là Là Vintage, a top purveyor of retro fashion, first consults with guests to pinpoint their favorite vintage looks. Then, following a fitting, dressed in their chosen attire, guests enjoy a grand afternoon tea. And for true fashion enthusiasts, sister company Madame Tra La La is on hand to custom-design vintage pieces to be taken home as a souvenir.
Rates from €335 (approx. $440) per night (minimum stay of two nights), including daily breakfast. The package is offered through December 31 (perfect if you want to avoid the hub-bub of Fashion Week).
To book visit www.hotelpetitmoulinparis.com or call 33 (0)1 42 74 10 10
August 23rd, 2012
At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.
Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:
Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.
It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.
Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”
While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime. Now, be inspired!
Oléron Raspberry Tart
1½ c. sifted flour
¼ c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted
¾ c. sugar
3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. raspberries
2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.
Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.
Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.
Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.
Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.
Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!
Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.
June 15th, 2012
Alice Marshall Public Relations now represents Hôtel du Petit Moulin in Paris, France. The boutique hotel designed by Christian Lacroix joins the family of hotels owned by Jérôme Chevalier, that includes Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres.
The 17-room Hôtel du Petit Moulin is located on the corner of Rue du Poitue and Rue de Saintonge, nestled in the chic shopping scene that is the city’s hip Marais district. Housed in a 17th-century building, behind the historic façade of Paris’ oldest bakery, the eclectic Hôtel du Petit Moulin opened in 2005. Each of the rooms were individually designed by Christian Lacroix, and the interiors reflect the designer’s vivid imagination and signature palette of vivid colors; room themes range from opulent Baroque to spare Scandinavian to a slightly sci-fi lunar look to zebra everything, and more. A virtual design kaleidoscope, rooms are decorated with blown-up sketches from Lacroix’s own notepads, and antique chairs upholstered in bold, modern fabrics, while bathrooms feature intricate mosaic tiling in a variety of designs, and lawn-green hallways are paired with black-and-white polka dot carpet.
“It’s like couture,” Christian Lacroix has said of Hôtel du Petit Moulin. “Where the harmony is created from a puzzle of inspirations, where the feeling of the moment is nourished with elements from the past, where modernity lives in the tradition of the present.”
After a day of strolling around the historic Place des Vosges and exploring nearby sites, such as Notre Dame and the Bastille, unwind in the hotel’s stylish bar, that features “scrap book” walls and modular, 60s seating in luminous Liquorice All-Sort shades of yellow, orange, lime, and pink. You may even catch a glimpse of Christian himself.
Rates start at 250 euros (approximately $313 USD) per night. For more information visit www.paris-hotel-petitmoulin.com.