Chantal

Chantal

Bonjour, my name is Chantal. I’m often told that I’m “so French”. This is, in part, due to my traditional upbringing in Versailles, one of the most conservative cities in France, famous for its chateau, good schools and large families. I have three daughters. They’re model children, cheerful, nice and really fashionable. I’m in Paris almost every afternoon for my charity work and I still work part-time as a dance teacher. When the occasion presents itself, I teach etiquette to children at school. I’ll try and explain why my children get so many compliments.    

“Tomorrow’s Christmas! Paris has been getting ready for three weeks. From the Christmas lights on the Champs Elysees, to elaborate window displays at the capital’s most famous department stores, everything is magical and enchanting. “C’est TELLement magnifique”, says Mom. My name’s Emmie. I rewrote my letter to Santa Claus five times. It’s not because I kept changing my mind about what Christmas presents I wanted; it’s because I couldn’t find the right words to get him to stay an extra ten minutes at our house so I could give him a hug and talk with him. Daddy said not to be too hopeful. Santa has a lot to do on Christmas Eve and probably won’t have a second to spare.

You don’t need to have, or to be, a baby to appreciate Bonpoint, the French-based, ultra chic baby apparel brand that all the celebs run to when they find out they're expecting. Regarding the number of celebrity mothers spotted at the flagship-store of Bonpoint, the label is a must: Michelle Obama, Claudia Schiffer, Katie Holmes were here. When Brad Pitt showed up with two girls of the tribe, the magazines went crazy. Bonpoint is a brand that is rich with emotion...

Are French children, quieter, more polite and pleasant than others?  I can assure you that young Parisians also have bad marks at school, from time to time, do not really like going to bed at night and have an artistic bent not always to our tastes when they do street-art in their bedrooms. So then, between the young mother always impeccably dressed and her model children, what is the key to the success of this French-style upbringing? …

It’s the new French paradox: we, the French, complain a great deal, don’t have much faith in the future or in institutions and yet, with an average of two children per woman, France, along with Ireland, is Europe’s champion. And this isn’t all. When French women are interviewed, 32% of them dream of having three children… A great many experts correlate the birthrate with the rate of growth and the record French fertility rate is certainly enviable …

How can I thank you, all of you who were able to understand the immense grief of the French people after the attacks in Paris, showing us your support and your amazing love of Paris by the countless messages sent.  During these horrible days in January, I was in New York visiting the 9/11 Memorial and new museum devoted to the intolerable attack in 2011.  While my first reaction was sadness, I was gradually comforted by my admiration for these incredible tokens of love and solidarity that arrived from all over the world, often from strangers, distant relatives and from artists who expressed their grief in their works.   My friends from Canada, Rose and Herb come to Paris twice a year for a long three-week stay. Their love affair with Paris has lasted for more than 20 years and the City of Light, continues to fascinate them. The way they talk about it is one of the nicest things I’ve read these past weeks…

There are several differences between the French table manners and American dinner etiquette. Table manners in France are fundamental to every public dining situation. And every essential skill has to be built on a solid knowledge base. For French’s dining is more than just consuming calories, it is an Art de Vivre, a part of the partimoine culture. There is a proper technique for eating everything from asparagus to fish or dessert… 

Are French children calmer than other kids? Honestly, I have no idea. But I do hear a lot of North American Moms saying how well-behaved French kids seem to be. “How do you get them to sit still like that for an entire  family meal?” they ask. Well, childrearing in France is certainly more laid back than when I was a kid, but it’s still pretty strict about lots of things, and that includes bedtime rules. Preschoolers, for instance, are supposed to be in bed by 8pm at the latest (earlier if they’re sleepy), and too bad if Mom or Dad (or both) aren’t home from work yet. Like all children, after a long tiring day at school, French kids may be cranky, anxious, or rambunctious. How do you get them to sleep under those circumstances?

If you’re moving to Paris with teenagers, your teens will be mixing with French teens, which means some pretty strange words will be coming out of their mouths  French teens, like teens everywhere, have their own special language. Don’t panic. We’re here to help.

There are several differences between the French table manners and American dinner etiquette. Table manners in France are fundamental to every public dining situation. And every essential skill has to be built on a solid knowledge base. For French’s dining is more than just consuming calories, it is an Art de Vivre, a part of the partimoine culture. There is a proper technique for eating everything from foie gras to salad…

Elegance is a quality of a person presenting a certain refinement and ease in form and movement and, by extension, a person dressed with care as well as sobriety in a non-exaggerated style. However, elegance involves a great many other aspects based on relations with others and the outer world. For example, elegance is the ability to convey strong emotions without being invasive, or show interest in people and things without turning it into a narcissistic curiosity by a desire to stand out, or even to avoid exhibiting ones own abilities and talents. The philosopher Giacomo Marramao tells us more…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change this and find out more by following this link.