Haiku: A Room of Her Own

This artist’s studio, a room preserved as it was at one time at the Museum of Montmartre in Paris, inspires me. I knew when I first saw it that I wanted a room like this.

a room of her own
(where the self can be known)
is a treasure


More to come on this topic as the room of my own becomes a reality.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Wedding Photos in the City of Love

On a very cold walkabout in Paris last Sunday, I saw newlyweds being photographed along the banks of the Seine on the magnificent steps of the Pont Alexandre III (a bridge).

Enchanted, I stopped, and watched, and imagined their life together. Parisians out walking went about their day.


I love Paris.

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens

Hospitality at Café Louise in Paris

Brrrr! I’m in Paris this week and took a very long power walk the day I arrived to shake off the airplane doldrums. By power walk, I mean almost 6 miles.  That’s a lot for lil ol’ me! I started out east of the Arch de Triomphe and made it all the way to St. Germain – in sub-40° misty gray weather.

It was the first Sunday of the month, and that meant that L’avenue des Champs-Élysées was closed off to auto traffic and super-open to pedestrians. I didn’t know about that and wondered why all of the police vehicles were blocking the road, and the military personnel were checking the bags (including mine) of folks who wanted to walk down this most famous of Parisian avenues. I though maybe a terrorist had created a semi-lockdown situation.

But no! It turns out that first Sunday is actually big for family outings in Paris, even on this most cold and wet day. The people-watching was magnificent. The experience was magnificent. Walking down the middle of this historic street with no cars on it was magnificent. Children and dogs were…magnificent.


I was bundled up, but it was super-cold!  I needed to warm up in a café with a cappuccino. I got near Café de Flore and Le Deux Magots, expecting one of them to be my solace place. My son and I visited this area on a trip to Paris (click here) where an experience motivated him to write an award-winning essay, and I was eager to warm up in this area. Les Deux Magots was closed for renovations and Café de Flore was packed and on a waiting list, so I took my frozen bones over to Café Louise across the street.  I made a great choice!

Ordering a sparkling water and a cappuccino, I admitted to the waiter that I was very, very cold. I was so very impressed with the hospitality that he and Café Louise provided:


The sparkling water came with a very heavy, beautiful crystal glass. The cappuccino warmed my hands after I removed my gloves. The waiter came right back after delivering the beverages and gave me a complimentary snack, “quiche bites”. Oh. My. Gosh. Rich, simple and delicious, I was cold-no-more after devouring them.

The waiter visited often and made me feel like an important guest that they were just hoping to host that day…as though I was expected. I just love that Parisian hospitality.

Thank you, Café Louise. You made me feel at home on a cold, foggy, gray Paris day.

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens

Comfort Food Alert: The “Best Gratin in Paris” (or maybe anywhere)

Bistro Des Augustins - Sign
Bistro Des Augustins is perfectly situated on the Left Bank at the Corner of the Pont Neuf and the Seine River, in the middle of the action without seeming the least bit touristy

Amazing gratin!

Most satisfying meal in Paris!

The best gratin, bar none…

Read the online reviews of Bistro Des Augustin in Paris and you’ll be hooked.  There’s no way to overstate the simple deliciousness of the gratin at this humble little restaurant at the corner of the Pont Neuf and the Seine river in Paris, on the Left Bank.

Also billed as a wine bar, Bistro Des Augustin is known primarily for its gratins and provides a nice selection of them, from vegetarian with tomatoes or eggplant, to duck breast or chicken, to smoked salmon. But the one that four of my colleagues chose on a recent summer evening after work (on a business trip) was the Bistro Gratin.

Bistro Des Augustins
My colleague was gracious not only with regard to letting me snap a pic of his Bistro Gratin after he had already dived into it, but also in giving me a taste and then letting me finish the last few bites; the others cleaned their plates and wouldn’t let me anywhere near them!

As you can see, this dish is swimming in creamy, cheesy goodness, browned to perfection on top and sprinkled with extra herbs of Provence.  Bits of bacon dot every bite of the perfectly cooked potatoes. All four of my colleagues who ordered this meal were close to swooning with the goodness of it.  I realized after begging a bite that I had made a huge error in judgment by ordering a (very good) smoked salmon and goat cheese salad, copying our only French colleague in the group and trying to eat healthy.  Mistake! The salad was lovely, fresh and flavorful, but the Bistro Gratin far surpassed it – it was downright heavenly.  You know those dishes your grandmother made waaaaaay back when you were a child and no one has ever been able to reproduce, no matter how hard and how often they tried? That’s the taste in this gratin; it’s grandmotherly good, an instant and permanent deep-seated taste memory.

The menu lists the ingredients for the Bistro Gratin: potatoes, cream, egg, bacon, herbs de Provence, garlic and Emmental cheese.  I haven’t been able to find a recipe with this precise mix of ingredients on the internet, but I am on a mission to recreate this cheesy, rustic masterpiece.

Bistro Des Augustins - Menu
Diverse gratin selections
Bistro Des Augustins - Salmon and Goat Cheese Salad
The smoked salmon and goat cheese salad was beautiful, light and very tasty, but paled in comparison to the gratins my colleagues ordered
A photo of the duck gratin from the Adventurous April blog post, Three Days in Paris; she said: “Bistro des Augustins, amazing duck au gratin dish. Magnifique!”

I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough, and noticed in the online reviews that many of the testimonials include a mention of eating there two or more times during the same vacation! In addition to the mouth-watering, jealous-making (if you didn’t order it) gratin, Bistro Des Augustins has a Parisian homey charm and an authentic, true sense of place.  Did I mention that it is tiny? There are perhaps a dozen tables, half inside and half out.

Bistro Des Augustins - Bartender in Mirror
Folks stop in for a quick beverage while walking the Left Bank 
Exterior shot from the Bistro Des Augustins Facebook page

Here’s one final shot of the Bistro Gratin, until I can replicate it at home and share it with you here.

Bistro Des Augustins - Bistro Gratin Up Close
The grandmotherly good Bistro Gratin, with its browned, cheesy top and the smattering of herbs of Provence – heavenly!


Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook ~ with thanks, again, to my colleagues for sharing their time, their photos and those bites of gratin (from just the one) ~

Haiku: Open Window

an open window,
the soul outlasts the body:
eternal spirit

This single open window at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris inspired my haiku.  It is a very peaceful and comforting place.  Dad is not gone, just in a different form.


Travel is so illuminating and inspiring.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook