08 février 2016

James Joyce is alive and well and living in Paris

The next meeting of the cercle is this Wednesday evening at 7.30pm when we have as our theme James Joyce is alive and well and living in Paris...

Our speaker is Anne Taylor, who has led many tours in the footsteps of Joyce and his characters. This amply illustrated talk in English promises to be an informative and entertaining evening for fans of the writer and his work.  As usual the Dark Horse Coffee House in the Cathedral Quarter will make its own distinctive contribution by evoking a little of that 1920s Parisian atmosphere.

And you could contribute to the atmosphere also as we will extend a special bienvenue to anyone dressing in period style...

So please come along, bring a friend and by all means share news of the event.

See you there!

Wednesday 10 February 2016 at 7.30pm
Dark Horse Coffee House, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast BT1 2LB

06 janvier 2016

Fête des rois 2016

Our annual bal musette to celebrate the Fête des rois took place on the sixth!
The now traditional blend of music and dance, provided by Bal Feirste, got everyone into party mood.  This band of musicians and dancers have been sharing their passion for French music and dance in Belfast since 2011 and tonight they were in fine form.

Letting musicians and dancers take a breather, it was time to share out portions of galette. Taking advantage of the break, Claudine explained the practice of family, friends and colleagues getting together throughout January to share a galette and the crowning of a king and queen for the evening - this latter decided by the declared discovery of a bean hidden in the galette.

The galettes, more this year than last, had been baked to perfection by Amelie and were helped on their way with a small glass of cider.  The feves did not remain hidden for long and Our King and Queen were crowned and this year we decided to honour a Princess as well !

Then it waa back to more music and dance...
We'll let these pictures convey the atmosphere of another very successful evening. 

Bonne année 2016 !

18 décembre 2015

Caféfrancophilo: Le luxe

Our second caféfrancophilo of this season was a very successful event. This time proceedings were animated by Isabelle CHABOUD who addressed us on the theme of luxury: Le Luxe, c'est quoi ?

Isabelle displays her present of a Hermes scarf
She started the evening by showing us a foulard given to her as a gift by her grandfather on her 18th birthday and treasured safely in its distinctive orange cardboard box.  This immediately identified it as a Hermès product and led us into a brief presentation on the luxury brand, exploring its early beginnings in quality leather goods associated with l'équitation - horse riding.

Isabelle's presentation prompted a series of questions on the nature of luxury and participants felt that rather than cost, luxury's characteristics had to do with exclusivité and rarité. Members had strong ideas and were very forthcoming in their views.  It was also very pleasing to see that some had brought along items that they considered suited our theme.  Bravo !

Angela, for example, had brought an item that was as unique as it was beautiful. It was her daughter's wedding bouquet that was made up of fragments of cherished, personal jewellery items from the maternal line, daughter, mother, grandmother:

Angela describes the unique significance of the bouquet

Leo, another participant, brought along several items of luxury clothing designed in County Down by his partner, Maria, a tailleur/modiste specialising in Irish linen couture at  www.mariacardenas.com 

Leo explained that L’idee de luxe, patrimoine et durabilité were important to them. He presented some beautiful items which participants were able to view at close quarters and the quality and craftwork of which still shone through their protective covers. Leo reinforcing a link with France pointed out that Maria was invitée exceptionelle at this year's Festival du Lin et de l'Aiguille 2015.
The festival takes place in July each year in Normandy. Here is a link to the upcoming 2016 festival, now in its 25th year.

Our animatrice, Isabelle, moved busily among her audience seeking views and opinions, questioning our own interpretations of luxury and what it signified for us. She facilitated a sustained exchange of views and suggestions and then brought us to a conclusion in a most interesting way, letting an online video explain a further initiative from the house of Hermès - Le petit h.

Here is a link to the video:  It's the first in a series of five short films, each of a few minutes duration.  It is an interesting watch as it shows how nothing is discarded at the famous luxury house and how even off-cuts can be reused in creative ways.

Our evening concluded with grateful thanks to Isabelle who it must be said brought her own unique brand of quality to the proceedings.

Un très grand merci !