Paris treats

Celebrating a special Paris birthday for my special 14 (yikes!) year old daughter was fabulous. After birthday phone calls, gifts and breakfast, first up was the never-ending quest for good coffee, this time (successfully) at Dose, 73 Rue Mouffetard.

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Then one of those discoveries you make on the way to somewhere else, in this case St. Étienne-du-Mont, which I had never heard of but is a stunning church, with a gorgeously decorated chapel to Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris.

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Next it was on to the Pantheon, interesting and impressing, but I found it a bit severe after the church.

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So amazing to see all those famous names in one place: Hugo, Dumas (born in the same year, I’d never realised), Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, Braille, and so many others, but almost all their tombs were identical, with no expression of their unique personalities or gifts.

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So many stories, so many amazing lives…

I had to run some errands ( secret Mum’s business), so Peter and Nicola went shopping, and after we met back at the apartment, we all went out for a flash meal at the wonderful Cafe de l’Alma, at 5 avenue Rapp. Not cheap, but a fittingly magnificent end to a wonderful day.

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French food

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I’ve realised I haven’t posted much about the food we’ve been eating here in France, so here goes…

I have to say that the first few days were a bit hit and miss in Paris. Peter had a dodgy dessert that gave him gastro, Nicola had a couple of meals that had way too much cheese and rich sauce for her, and never having eaten a croque monsieur before, I finally had one and was not very impressed.

Add to that the fact that you spend Euros like AUD, and the menu prices don’t include tax, and you start to resent the fact that you’re paying very high prices for sometimes very ordinary food.

OK, gripe over. We have actually had some cracker meals too, and I’ll try to include restaurant names and addresses for future reference, just in case…

First great meal is pictured above, sorry I can’t remember the name of the place (near the Eiffel Tower), but the chicken was cooked perfectly, so juicy, and the gravy was fabulous. Didn’t get to try Peter’s prawn risotto, but he polished it off before I had finished my meal, so that’s a good recommendation.

Next awesome meal I don’t have a photo of, but was at a place called Cafe l’Atome, 29 Boulevard de Grenelle, also near the Tour Eiffel. I had chicken and lemon risotto, full of cream and dressed with pesto, so rich and yummy, but topped with a mound of rocket that cut the richness just enough to gobble the lot down! I’ll definitely try this one when I get home.

Skip down to Aix-en-Provence, and we have Hue Cocotte, 9 place Ramus, where the meals were mini-casseroles, served in little pots. Mine was veal, Nicola’s lamb and Peter’s baby octopus, all top notch and very reasonably priced.

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But best of all so far has to be la Cerise sur le Gateau, coincidentally right next door at 7 place Ramus. Also coincidentally, we had beef, lamb and calamari, all cooked in completely different ways to next door, and all fantastic meals.

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This tiny restaurant is a one-man show, with your host, waiter, chef, sommelier and dishwasher looking after you delightfully, in full view as he prepares your meal at the back of the minuscule space.

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The restaurant only seats a maximum of 14, so make sure you book, and bring your cash; no cards. Not that you will need much: we had mains and dessert for 3, plus 2 glasses of wine for €72.

And the food! Absolutely divine, with my fussy daughter wanting to take the chef home with her, and all 3 of us waxing lyrical over the meal. Highly recommended if you ever find yourself in Aix.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog, named after three of my favourite things to do!

Let’s start the blog with a stack of pancakes, cooked by my daughter.  Every so often, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, she decides to whip up a batch, and it’s a great way to start the day.

Cooked with love.  Yum.

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