A quick photo trip round Paris


Paris Time


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:


Just your average local bakery, when you're in Paris


There were beautiful napkins to browse at Fragonard, in amongst all the amazing fragrances:


Beautiful napkins at Fragonard

Fab chocolate displays for Father’s Day, which could have been very tempting.


Chocolate for Dads, Parisian style

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.


Father's Day Gifts Parisian Style

And then back to the bakers, to discover why Parisians don’t bake. I mean, why would you when this was on the doorstep?


Why Parisians Don't Bake

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.

I highly recommend it.


The Friday Five – For the love of food and Paris


For the love of food and 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 Patisseries of Paris: Chocolatiers, Tea Salons, Ice Cream Parlors, and More by Jamie Cahill – see, there’s why I want to visit Paris in just one book title. This is the book that first caught my eye in Foyles, because it’s such an attractive cover, and then the content is equally enthralling. I want to work through each and every page. My waistband says I don’t. But when did I ever listen to that?

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.

The Historic Restaurants Of Paris: A Guide to Century-Old Cafes Bistros and Gourmet Food Shops by Ellen Williams – these are really the Parisian institutions that have stood the test of time. Some of these names you’ll recognise, or the names of their customers from times gone by, such as the tea shop where Proust indulged his love of madeleines. These are the places that perhaps are at the root of Paris’ gastronomic reputation.

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!

Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier – can there be a better food guide to Paris? I love the Chocolate and Zucchini blog, and this is Clotilde’s guide to the places she loves in Paris. Not just places to indulge, but also how to decipher the menu, even how to order coffee properly. How not to cause a diplomatic incident over coffee is always valuable advice!

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

Now, where’s that Eurostar booking page?

Great bistro shot by Alainlm on Flickr.


The Friday Five – great French cookbooks


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!


french provincial cooking


1. French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David – a legendary cookery book, but with great recipes that have stood the test of time. Every home should have a copy.

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!

5. Paris Boulangerie-Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries – seems only right to finish with a book dominated by sweet stuff! It’s one of the great joys of being in France to me. There’s also good bread recipes and things like savoury tarts, so you could make a whole meal out of this book.

So we’ll be enjoying our French escape, with more foodie tales and ideas to follow! Just the drive down the coast to contend with first!