Just in time for Bastille Day, I thought I’d share some photos from the two nights I had in Paris recently with the day job. Which is no bad thing, when in between the work stuff you can stumble across all kinds of great stuff en route to the next work thing.
So, just a few snaps to remind you why any time spent in Paris is a treat for a food lover. I mean, this was the local bakery just along the street from my friend’s apartment:
Fab chocolate displays for Father’s Day, which could have been very tempting.
I stopped in this store because their air conditioning was great (it was a fabulously warm day, about two days after they were moving paintings out the basement of the Louvre). They also had some great food based gifts.
And then back to the bakers, to discover why Parisians don’t bake. I mean, why would you when this was on the doorstep?
And that was about all I had time to fit in. Well, that and drinking champagne in the Tuileries Gardens until late with good friends. Which is probably the best thing to do during any trip to Paris.
Been feeling jealous recently, as lots of friends and colleagues seem to have been heading off to Paris for a few days R&R. I don’t even particularly love Paris, but I envy them the food possibilities! And then killing time in Foyles at St Pancras, I found a few food guides to Paris, that made me yearn for the trip so I would have a reason to buy them.
Whether you’ve got a trip planned, or want to plan a trip, here’s five I’d be thinking of:
The Authentic Bistros of Paris by Francois Thomazeau – for me, you can keep the Michelin Guide, I’d rather eat in places like these in Paris. In fact, some of my most memorable meals in Paris have been in good bistros. Of course, some of the worst have been in bad bistros, so I’d want a reliable guide. Helpfully organised by arrondissement, this has great photography and evocative descriptions. Perfect.
Parisians’ Paris by Bill Gillham – get an insider’s view on some of the places I guess they’d prefer we didn’t know about. Seems fair, there’s parts of London we don’t want to share, right? Whilst not consistent by area, you’ll get some interesting thoughts on things like cheese shops, places for breakfast, coffee stops, dinner stops, and places to recover and get a good night’s sleep!
Of course, if you don’t want to lug a guide book round, then I would just have read of everywhere that Edd Kimber visited, as they sounded amazing. And he knows a good cake when he tastes one! He also recommended some of the tours available from Meeting the French. For example, get to see the inside workings of a bakery and pastry shop or, as Edd did, visit Gerard Mulot’s chocolate shop. Sounds a great treat for an inside track on Paris
This week’s Friday Five has a particularly Gallic flavour, as by now our housesitters (aka Gran & Gramps) will have moved in to tend the house and garden, and we’ll be en route to France. Which of course means two weeks of over-indulging in great food and wine. Although given the exchange rate, we may be cooking a lot more of it ourselves!
2. Rick Stein’s French Odyssey – this is still one of my favourite Rick Stein’s series, if only out of pure jealousy at the trip he did on the two boats. And the cooking isn’t bad either!
3. Ripailles – a new book, but almost worth it for the photography alone, which is just stunning. Not just French cooking, but the whole way of life, and from simple everyday cooking through to grand dishes. Great stuff.
4. Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery by Jane Grigson – a little more niche, but definitely tastes of France. I once went to a restaurant in Paris that was all about pork. It was the most amazing meal, and I’ve never found the place again. I’ll have to content myself with cooking from this. But if anyone knows of a little restaurant in the 7eme then let me know!