Monday, May 31, 2010

Gossip Girl Here: Tangoing In Paris

Teen drama, Gossip Girl, has been delivering a glimpse of exclusive Manhattan locales for three seasons. Come July, the hit CW show is kicking off the fourth season by shooting the first two episodes in Paris! After all, that's where Serena and Blair are spending the summer. While Ladurée is my go-to macaroon mecca, Pierre Hermé is Blair's. Don't be surprised if they film there!

Gossip Girl ended with a bang when Chuck Bass was shot and presumably killed, but even more drama was happening off screen. Tabloids report that Ed Westwick's real life break-up with his on screen co-star, Jessica Szohr, was so devastating that Westwick wanted off the show, hence the bloody ending. Since then, however, Ed and Jessica have kissed and made-up. Surprise, surprise. And, now Ed's character is headed to Paris. Will this be Blair and Ed's last tango? You know you love it. Bisou, bisou.

Determined to see Paris yourself? Marzetti is giving away various Visa gift cards, including one for $2,500. Bien sûr, you won't be able to travel like Blair Waldorf, but it will cover a ticket to Paris and some of the sites that wind up on the show this fall. XO,XO. Stop gossiping and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Marzetti American Fare Instant Win Sweepstakes:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Killer Trip to Nice, France

Singles fantasize about meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right on vacation. Katherine Heigl does just that when she encounters dashing and debonair Ashton Kutcher while visiting the French Riviera in the splashy new film, Killers, which opens June 4th. Want to see if you'll be equally as lucky? France Guide is giving away a trip for two to Nice. Besides winning round trip tickets for two on Air France, you'll spend 5 splendid nights on the Côte d’Azur at the stunning Hotel La Pérouse, a one-time prison which has been refashioned as a luxury hotel. Carved out of a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Baie des Anges, this unusual 62-room pillow palace is steps from the sea and a short walk to the historic center of Nice. You'll also be treated to a romantic dinner for two at the hotel's Restaurant Le Patio. 2 free French Riviera passes, good for 24 hours, let you discover the area from the top deck of the "Nice le Grand Tour" bus. Get on and off as you like, and visit all Nice has to offer. Don't miss the Matisse Museum on the hill of Cimiez, not far from the former Hotel Regina (now a residential building) where Matisse lived. Or, escape to Antibes-Juan-Les-Pins, Biot, Cagnes-sur-mer, Eze or Monaco, where all of their attractions are covered with this pass. Sure, Paris is the ultimate romantic destination, but Nice is a close second. To Catch a Thief, The Day of the Jackal, Never Say Never Again, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Golden Eye all feature spectacular scenery of the Côte d’Azur. Face it: it's going to be a killer trip! Put down your weapons, and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Killers Sweepstakes:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Yven - Yves St. Laurent Retrospective In Paris

From serving in the military for 20 days to a stint in a French mental hospital, followed by numerous fashion shows on Paris runways, designer Yves St. Laurent's life was as dramatic as his clothes. In the 60s, St. Laurent made his mark by creating a classic tuxedo for women, Le Smoking suit. While his Piet Mondrian shifts remain memorable to this day, St. Laurent's extravagant, $100,000 jeweled casual jackets caused a backlash when they debuted days after the stock market crashed in 1987. Loulou de la Falaise, Catherine Deneuve, and a Getty, Talitha, who overdosed on drugs in 1971, were counted among his muses. St. Laurent fought his own demons with alcohol and cocaine, ultimately succumbing to brain cancer in 2008. Now, Le Petit Palais is featuring a retrospective of St. Laurent's creations through August 29th. Spanning 40 years, this dazzling exhibit showcases 307 of his haute couture and ready-to-wear garments, along with photographs, drawings and films. Dress up and see it.

Swiss Premium Tea
is giving away $5,000 for a no-worries vacation. That ought to cover a trip to Paris to see this retrospective with, well, no worries. Stop fretting and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Swiss Premium Tea In the No Sweepstakes:

Monday, May 24, 2010

L'apéritif Flash Mobs in Paris

A a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal is called a l'apéritif in France. For the past six months, l'apéritif flash mobs, where tens of thousands of people converge for massive outdoor apertifs, organized through Facebook, have been sweeping the Gallic nation. At least count, 58 of these giant cocktail parties have already taken place, with plenty of what the French refer to as le binge drinking. Curious to experience this new phenom yourself? 32 more gatherings are scheduled for the future... that is if they don't get banned like the one on the grounds of the Eiffel Tour.

Now, think of this blog as a small bite to stimulate that dream trip to Paris. To make you even hungrier, Atout France USA, the France Tourism Development Agency, is giving away round-trip tickets for two on Air France, a three-night stay in a 3-star hotel, including breakfast, and two France Rail passes in their L'apéritif Sweepstakes. Ironically, the prize does not include any drinks with meals, but you can cover your own l'apéritif, with or without the flash mob. Drink up and enter.

Voilà - the link to the L'apéritif Sweepstakes:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Racing to Le Mans

24 Heures du Mans, better known as the Grand Prix of Endurance, is the world's oldest sports car race, which has run every year in France since 1923 near the town of Le Mans. Years ago, film director Lee H. Katzin went for reality by shooting footage during the actual 1970 24 Heures du Mans auto race to add authenticity to his action movie, Le Mans. Steve McQueen, who starred in the film, intended to actually race a Porsche 917 together with Jackie Stewart in Le Mans, but the #26 entry was not accepted. As a result, McQueen is shown in the movie starting the race in a blue #20 Gulf-Porsche 917K, which in the real race was driven by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman.

Revved up to catch the action in person? General Motors is running a Race To Win Corvette Contest, to give away a trip to Le Mans for two, which includes two plane tickets to Paris with air transfers to Le Mans, four nights in a hotel in the Le Mans area, two tickets to the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans Race, including trackside meals and hospitality, and an $800 travel allowance. Back in the States, you'll also drive away with a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport! Start your engine and enter.

- the link to the Race to Win Corvette:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Haute-cuisine Heaven in Paris

After watching Top Chef for numerous seasons, you're quite the armchair culinary queen. Time to learn by doing. O Magazine is running a delicious Paris Culinary Extravaganza Sweepstakes. The winner receives two roundtrip business seat tickets to Paris from OpenSkies, along with two nights in a deluxe room at the luxurious Hôtel Plaza Athénée, where the likes of Josephine Baker and Rudolph Valentino have stayed. Your room will face Avenue Montaigne, so watch the film named after this fashionable street before you go. Start each morning with their complimentary breakfast (including champagne) before you hit the rue to shop. Save time for one private meeting/lesson with Hôtel Plaza Athénée's "Champion of Pastries." Sweet! Now you can discover how to make delectable French desserts. You'll also be treated to dinner for two in the private dining room of the acclaimed Alain Ducasse, where the prices are as outstanding as the restaurant.

And if that isn't enough, you will be transported to the opulent Hôtel Le Meurice, where Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Jodie Foster, have all slept. Now, you and your significant other can bed down for two nights in a Charles Jouffre redesigned suite with a view of Les Tuileries. After breakfast, which includes champagne each day, you may want walk it off in the gorgeous gardens built by Catherine de Medici. Then, return to the hotel for a private visit of the kitchen and a meeting with Yannick Alléno, the three-Michelin-star chef of Hôtel Le Meurice. Alléno will gift you with a signed copy of his book, so you can try his recipes at home. You will also be treated to lunch for two at the Restaurant Le Meurice, which could easily pass for Versailles. Indulge your taste buds with the Terroir Parisien menu, featuring wines selected by their sommelier. In the evening, people-watch as you sip complimentary cocktails in Hôtel Le Meurice's plush Bar 228, where the fashion crowd rendez-vous after work. Think this sounds heavenly? Butter up and enter.

Voilà - the link to the O Magazine Paris Culinary Extravaganza Sweepstakes: