Some of My Old and New Favourites in Paris

30 May 2008

I seem to keep apologising for the lack of postings lately – things have been hectic (in a good way) but I’m glad I managed to squeeze in a few days for a short trip to Paris this month. It was lovely to see my friends as well as catching up with some fellow food bloggers (thanks again everyone), I really should try to cross (or go under to be precise) the channel more often, the train takes just 2 hours from London (and don’t forget to take Clotilde’s new Paris book when you go – it’s packed with great ideas for places to visit).

Matthew and I are off to Cuba tomorrow, but before I leave I wanted to share some of my favourite places in Paris.

Some may recognise these beautiful ceramics – they are from Astier de Villatte, one of my absolute Paris favourites for a long time. I can’t remember when I first visited the shop, but since then it’s been a ritual to collect some of their gorgeous pieces (a couple at a time, I can’t afford more than that) every time I’m in the city.

I’m a sucker for delicate organic lines and shapes when it comes to crockery or art pieces (especially glasses and ceramics) – I don’t know why, but I always seem to get attracted to fragility in lots of things…

You can actually get their stuff in the UK (and many other countries too) – Petersham Nurseries, Liberty, Designers Guild, Summerill & Bishop and Mint (they are all my favourite spots in London :)) have good selections, but you just can’t beat the variety at the Paris shop and they always have some new stuff.

They have not only gorgeous details on each piece but also have a unique glaze which lends a beautiful, slightly grey colour. I love the way they look when you serve food in them – it adds character without being too showy. They are all handmade so each piece has a different shape and texture – I always end up spending hours in the shop deciding which ones I’m going to take home!

Their plates and cups have appeared in my blog posts many times and I’m sure they will do again – they certainly have pride of place on my prop shelves too :) I haven’t been able to afford them yet, but their new glass & cutlery collections are beautiful too.

Here is my new favourite place in the city – it’s called Le Petit Atelier de Paris, tucked in a small street in the Marais, I instantly fell in love with the place as soon as I stepped into the door.

This charming shop/studio is run by ceramic artist Jae and her husband Stephane who is also a designer. They have a workshop at the back of the shop and the place has such a warm atmosphere – Jae’s ceramics have a lovely ivory colour with beautiful organic lines and some of them have a playful, quirky design which I loved too. Some of her ceramics are complemented by beautiful wooden trays and accessories made by Stephane, which really add warmth to them.

I bought some of her espresso cups this time – since I came back I’ve been using them every morning for my doppio macchiato fix :) Oh and when I was there, I couldn’t help noticing a super cute doggy enjoying sun-bathing in their courtyard – Jae kindly let him (found out later that he’s called Pompon) in the shop for me and let him sit on his beautiful four postered bed which Stephane made specially for him – he was such a sweetie!

They have many cute accessories too – I especially loved the little alphabet made with porcelain, and the mobile modelled on Pompon… They regularly collaborate with other artists – so check their site often to see what’s new.

On another ceramic note – I’ve been working with a great artist called Ali Drew. She contacted me a while ago asking if I would be interested in collaborating with her by taking pictures of her work – I was thrilled at the chance!

Her beautiful pieces can be found in some of the hippest London restaurants including Alan Yau‘s Hakkasan and Yauatcha – I told her that her pieces have a kind of Japanese feel to them and that’s partly because I love them – she agreed and told me that maybe that’s why she liked my pictures :) We’ve been bouncing ideas back and forth – it’s been great fun, it’s also nice not to have a tight deadline which is the usual way for me to work…

I recently had a chance to visit her studio in the lovely little town of Betws-y-Coed in north Wales. It was fascinating to see her working – for me, it was just magical watching a block of clay turning into a gorgeous cup on the wheel so (seemingly!) effortlessly (and I actually fell in love with her wheel too – it was a piece of art itself).

Ali now has some great new pieces out which were recently featured in The World of Interiors (one of my favourite mags) – her site is currently being updated, so check back again soon!

OK, I should start packing now – hopefully I can share some snaps from Cuba when I get back. I’m sorry it’s taking so long to get back to all your comments, I’ll try to write back on my return. Hope you are all enjoying the early summer, see you in a few weeks!

Places    Misc    47 comments    Permalink

  • Always nice to see your photos and read from you!
    I’m enjoying the early winter here, it’s great, cold sunny days.
    Have a nice trip!

    Posted by Marcela | 31 May 2008 #
  • Wonderful post. I can not get over how cute that dog is. :-)

    Posted by Jeena | 31 May 2008 #
  • Always inspiring!

    Posted by tut-tut | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko san!
    Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful pictures in Paris.
    I love thease pottery.
    I am looking for your pictures everyday.

    Posted by P57 | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko!
    First, I want to tell you, as far as I can give you my point of view, that there is no reason to apologize if you always come back with such a great post!
    Then, I have a quick question… Do you plan to publish a book with your so-amazing-and-beautiful photos??? Maybe you did and then, sorry to have not yet noticed.

    Posted by g. | 31 May 2008 #
  • No pictures of that big bag of pastries you were carrying in the Marais? : 0

    (Love the tea cup photo…and the tea cup itself, too)

    Posted by David | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    How lovely you visited so many fascinating places and I am so excited to read this as i love ceramics too.

    And… Pompon, oh… what can I say! I want to have a cap of tea and biscuits with him :) Enjoy a trip in Cuba!

    Posted by kitsch-en | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko-san, I’m glad you had a nice time in Paris.
    The dog is so cute!
    I’m looking forward to seeing your photos from Cuba next time.
    Hope we can work together again (with not so tight deadline ;-).
    Have a lovely holiday!

    Posted by mami | 31 May 2008 #
  • Great photos! The dog ornament is adorable.

    Posted by AppetiteforChina | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog alot. Looking forward to your story and pictures from Cuba.


    Posted by L | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    It was an absolute pleasure meeting you too, Keiko. Thanks for taking the time to pop by La Cocotte .

    Posted by Rachel | 31 May 2008 #
  • Wonderful post. thank you for sharing this with us even when your life is hectic… I wish I could hop on a plane to Paris tonight!

    Posted by Aran | 31 May 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Just a short note to let you know that you have been nominated to IFP (Inspiring Food Photography poll) that takes place on my blog during the whole June.

    Have a nice day, Margot

    Posted by Coffee and Vanilla | 1 June 2008 #
  • You have just given an amazing tip to visit next time I am in Paris. And as usual, your pictures capture the atmosphere and the pieces beautifully! Thank you so much. :)

    Posted by Kharina | 1 June 2008 #
  • Who knew a photo of a teacup could be so sublime? So beautiful? Your photos are just incredible.

    Posted by Ann Langlois | 1 June 2008 #
  • 太美了!

    Posted by bryan | 1 June 2008 #
  • merci for this post..i’ll be visiting astier soon..
    im in pari for a while and its nice to hear peoples favourite places!

    Posted by marie | 1 June 2008 #
  • Awwwwww I couldn’t find le Petit Atelier de Paris when I went even though I had the address. And such a lovely Shiba-inu I could have met as well.

    Posted by tommy | 1 June 2008 #
  • hey there keiko,
    it’s been awhile…yes, I caught up with you too here ;-) gorgeous pictures are given, aren’t they? it makes me happy when i see your collection of photos, thanks indefinitely.

    cuba? wow…i’ve been there once in 2003. havana and cayo largo are the two destinations we got to enjoy. scuba diving was wonderful there, not to mention the fresh lobsters we ate on the boat for lunch while waiting for the afternoon dive. malecon is so romantic…those crashing waves! salsa dancing is a must…maybe you’ll get a chance to see the cuban all stars band- featuring members of the buena vista social club. but the food? i’m curious what you could find there that’s worth eating though…cause we didn’t have many good meals (expected) besides the variety of rice, beans, plantains…fish, seafood. well i guess i’ll wait for your cuba reviews and photos here next ;-)

    enjoy to the fullest and see ya next time. thanks again, keiko…

    Posted by Maya | 3 June 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko! Thank you for sharing your travels—lovely photos, as always. All of the ceramics are so fun in that organic, simplistic way… So pleasing to look at. Thanks for posting and enjoy your trip!

    Posted by Mindy | 3 June 2008 #
  • Keiko,
    I’ve found your website when visiting david’s and I am speechless! You are amazing, fantastic photos, brilliant in choosing recipes, good writing…etc….
    Have a save trip to Cuba.

    Posted by elra | 3 June 2008 #
  • oh such wonderful post as usual :D

    enjoy your trip to cuba, and looking forward to more gorgeous photos!

    Posted by Lil | 3 June 2008 #
  • At last – You posted again!

    Keiko – I just adore your photography – can’t wait for your pics from Cuba!

    Thank you!

    Posted by The Bitter Foodie | 3 June 2008 #
  • Thanks for sharing the information!!! I am a great fan ceramics!!!! Things at Astier de Villatte look amazingly beautiful!

    Posted by mycookinghut | 3 June 2008 #
  • Thank you for sharing some great addresses for us to visit! I’ll check out Wigmore street for Mint next time I’m in town – I’ve been meaning to go there to check out Margaret Howell.
    And hey, the world of Interiors mag is one of my fave too, although I’ve been shying away from buying it lately because it’s expensive…

    Posted by tamami | 3 June 2008 #
  • Hello Keiko san!

    I always enjoy visiting your blog! Lovely photos, which really describes your personality!

    Have a safe trip in Cuba and look forward to visiting your blog again!

    Posted by junko | 4 June 2008 #
  • It was lovely to meet you Keiko! We had fun!
    Now I cannot wait for another time, and also discover all about your Cuba trip!

    Posted by bea at La tartine gourmande | 4 June 2008 #
  • hi keiko, i’m thinking of making a trip to Paris this summer and your pics remind me of how elegant the city is :)
    have a great time in Cuba with Matthrew, enjoy the holiday :)

    Posted by shereen | 5 June 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko san,
    I really enjoy to see your beautiful pictures because I’m planning to visit paris on next month as well♪

    Posted by Noriko | 5 June 2008 #
  • A shiba-inu in Paris, how wonderful :-)

    Posted by Janet | 5 June 2008 #
  • Keiko you are such an inspiration… hopefully July am back… have a great time in Cuba. and please photos to come along with great stories.
    love always…xxx

    Posted by shalimar | 6 June 2008 #
  • Such lovely photos Keiko! You are always an inspiration. I thought some of those ceramic pieces looked suspiciously like the stuff at Petersham Nurseries – just lovely. And as for Ponpon – I want him!! Is he an Akita??

    Posted by Jeanne | 6 June 2008 #
  • I often visit your blog, your photos are so beautiful!

    Posted by La Curieuse | 6 June 2008 #
  • I was blown away when I visited Le Petit Atelier de Paris last week as well…absolutely the highlight of my trip!

    ...this is a lovely post, following all these wonderful ceramics links will keep me busy for a while. I am so happy to have found your blog! :)

    Posted by Abigail | 8 June 2008 #
  • wonderfulls pictures… J’adore!!

    Posted by Miss Bebop | 9 June 2008 #
  • Thanks for the hints for paris. I will be going there in July and my best friend will be Clothilde’s book. As always wonderful photographs. one can feel your appreciation for things through the lenses, this is very impressive!
    Best regards from vienna,

    Posted by carolina | 10 June 2008 #
  • Keiko, your photos are so lovely!

    Posted by Imbir | 10 June 2008 #
  • I love all the ceramic things….U got so many lovely photos :D
    Have a nice Cuba tour…

    Posted by Lotte | 12 June 2008 #
  • dearest keiko, beautiful pictures, as always – i am transported! thank you so very much for sharing your love of AdV (and all your precious new finds!) – i can’t tell you how much joy their things have given me everytime i look at them…thank you, thank you, thank you! have a lovely trip and look forward to hearing all about it soon…

    Posted by Joycelyn | 12 June 2008 #
  • Keiko-san,

    Gorgeous photos as usual. I may be moving to France in the near future, so I’m reading up on your past entries.

    Your collarobation opportunity with Ali Drew sounds fun and exciting. I look forward to reading updates on that project and will be checking your blog often.


    Posted by cocopuff1212 | 13 June 2008 #
  • The white of that ceramist’s work is superb… I also admire your work. It is outstanding.

    Posted by Louise (Gato Azul) | 22 June 2008 #
  • Un travail tout en délicatesse, une simplicité exquise merci de nous faire découvrir ces créations que tes photos mettent merveilleusement en valeur.

    Posted by bcommebon | 26 June 2008 #
  • Hi everyone, thanks so much for all your kind notes.

    Margot – thank you for the kind mention!

    Tommy – hope you can have another chance sometime!

    Tamami-san – Mint is my absolute favourite, I can’t afford most of the stuff though! The mag does 50% off subscription offer sometimes, that’s how I got it :)

    Jeanne – I think he is Shiba, we’ve been thinking about adopting a dog too, just hope our cat will get on with him/her…

    Abigail – I absolutely loved your post about the petit atelier!

    Posted by keiko | 1 July 2008 #
  • It’s very beautiful ! Really !
    I also create white ceramics and I love it !

    Posted by Mrs M. | 13 August 2009 #
  • I just returned from Boston and while there I went into a store called DoraFlora. The store had beautiful Astier de Villate ceramics. I had never seen any pottery that was so beautiful and I could not leave until I admired each piece. Then, when looking for information on the internet about the ceramics, I discovered your site. I am stunned by the beauty of your photographs. I feel I’ve found a rare treasure which I will savor each time I visit your site. Thank you.

    Posted by Cinda Clay | 19 October 2009 #
  • Great photos from Paris !!!! If you look at my blog (started yesterday), you ‘ll see Paris for Xmas..
    Congrats on your job !!! Just stunning!

    Posted by Cristina | 17 December 2009 #
  • I simply love your photos! Gorgeous. Please post more :)

    Posted by veronica | 20 June 2011 #

Commenting is closed for this article.