Basic French

March 1, 2006

Basic FrenchFrench will forever be the magical language of love, a language admired by so many, flowing words from lips of stunning pencil-thin ladies in sweeping cashmere scarfs and big red hats.

Parlez-Vous Fran?ais? Me neither. I was far to busy passing notes to cute boys during French class to actually learn anything. O? sont les toilettes, where is the bathroom, is about the extent of my vocab. However, I do shop in French. Quite well, in fact. From fashion to furniture, perfume to paper products, I can talk about French shopping until your head has hit the table, smack into your foie gras.

There’s this shop I found that you’re going to simply love. Basic French. With a store in Red Hook NY, and an online marketplace, prepared to be charmed by exquisite gilles dewavrin candles, claire fontaine notebooks, la compagnie de provence linen water, and a lovely collection of housewares and linens. What I like is that the site is easy to navigate, and isn’t tightly packed with products which makes it a breeze to get in and get out rather quickly – great for those of us on the go!

Psst: The store owner and ex-New Yorker, Carol, even has a blog documenting her ‘other’ life in France. It’s a great journal, if you have time to read it, click here.

Fresh finds from Basic French, tr?s fantastique!

address books, teacups, and postcards.
napkins, prints and books. What fun you’ll have!

Basic FrenchBasic FrenchBasic FrenchBasic French
Since we’re speaking French here, let’s talk travel for a moment. If if you are
dying for a good read, I highly suggest Almost French, one of my favorite travel books about an outsiders guide to living in Paris, written by Aussie journalist Sarah Turnbull. While on assignment, Sarah falls head over heels with a fabulous French laywer, Fr?d?ric, and makes a dash to reside in the city of lights. Her memoir sheds unexpected light on the paradoxical quirks of French character, highlights how having a pooch is quite the status symbol, and is laugh out loud funny as she describes her head-on collisions with the French. Another great travel story in top ten position on my list is One Year off by David Cohen, a successful businessman from California who sells it all, packs up his wife and 3 young children, and takes a complete tour around the world for one year. It’s amazing, especially for times when your soul feels somewhat tortured by the mundane day-to-day. If you want to simply gain more of an education about French fashion, food, and the glam life, pick up a copy of The Essence of Style. For a fun coffee table book in a vintage postcard-style look of black and white, pick up a copy of An American in Paris (see top photo) with photos from celebrity photographer Veronique Vial or simply, Paris (I own this) as seen through the eyes of German photographer Heiko Lanio. So….has anyone been to France? Care to share? Comment! Comment!

(top photo from an american in paris taken by photographer veronique vial. all other photos from basic french.)


  • Reply angela March 2, 2006 at 12:10 am

    mais oui… paris!

    i have a promise to the self to visit paris at least once each year… just for a weekend.

    i am so in love and in awe with that city. and the next visit in late spring i believe.

    actually, many of the photographs at susan’s gallery [www.artstreamstudios.com] are taken in paris.

    and then of course, i christened my company with a french name too…

    mais oui… paris!


  • Reply decor8 March 2, 2006 at 7:59 am

    You are soooo lucky to live just over the border in beautiful Germany! I’d be in Paris every year if I were so close – especially by way of a relaxing train ride. Oh Angela, you have the life!


  • Reply nadejda March 7, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    thank u for the basic french link love your blog

  • Reply Ami F. March 26, 2006 at 1:46 am

    I’ve been to this Basic French store — it’s sweet, especially when looking for items for the bath or kids. Nice to find it mentioned in a blog. Another site I really like for French products is http://www.splendidpalate.com. On the gourmet end they’re just delicious. All sorts of French yummies. I plan to browse your blog now for more French finds… hopefully there are more! Being a Francophile to the core…

  • Reply Fanny April 9, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    it’s funny to see which products you like from France (i’m french)!! i suppose it would be the same for you if i tell you what i ‘d like to buy in your store (but i can’t grrrrr ;-)!)
    PS : about the notebooks : the name is “Clairefontaine”….it’s the name of the product, not the name of a woman (;-)!)

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