Friday, 30 October 2009

Paris à l'italienne - part 1

It all began with a quest for grappa. Why my husband couldn't have just bought a good marc? But  no he wanted Italian grappa. His search not only turned up good grappa at our first stop, but also an Aladdin's cave of Italian products at our second stop, the Au Village Italien.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Back in Paris

After 4 days away, 2 of them taken up with planes and airports, I was very glad to return to Paris. Edmonton had a certain charm but given a choice between the two cities I know which one I'd pick. Plus Paris has the advantage of better weather. Right on time for the holidays of Toussaint, the weather here has warmed up. Today it was 18C, with an amazing brilliant clear blue sky. Just look at this -

You maybe able to make out the vapour trail of a jet in the middle of the photo, some unlucky people were leaving Paris. We decided to go to the Luxembourg Museum, to see the Tiffany exhibition.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


My friends Franck and Lise came for dinner last week - I've either been cooking dinner or eating out every night so I've had no time to blog - with this bag full of goodies from their garden in Champagne. There were fresh walnuts and, individually wrapped in newspaper, my favourite - quinces.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Saucisse or Saucisson - it is still a sausage

I've never been clear as to the difference between a saucisse and a saucisson. I do know that I love to munch on slices of dried cured sausages with a drink, yes more kir, before dinner. There is a vast choice in Paris, butchers, charcutiers and even supermarkets sell them . The first weekends in October are a great time to find regional specialities in Paris, as there are many fairs promoting small regional producers. We stumbled across one at Convention, Terroirs de La France. My husband swooped onto a stand selling wines from Burgundy. We tasted several vintages from Nuits-St-Georges and Beaune, all for free and generously poured. We brought two bottles of 2007 vintage, one of each that we have placed in the back of our cellar for future drinking. With our wine budget blown, why is burgundy so expensive? Next we checked out the saucisse.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Perhaps you thought I didn't get my croissant? Well I did have to wait until Saturday morning but it was worth it. Crisp, flaky and made with enough butter to stain the bag and make my fingers greasy,  it was delicious and the perfect start to the day. Best of all the bakery is a mere five minute walk away, dangerous.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Dans les pas d' Amélie

We don't often go to Montmartre, it is on the opposite side of Paris from our apartment and full of tourists and steps. As the name indicates mont = hill, there are some very steep streets many of which end in stairs. We were meeting friends for dinner so we went early to look around. I thought I was being clever by taking the bus all the way to  the city hall behind Sacré Coeur, then we could walk down hill to the restaurant. Well, we ended up on the other side of the hill so we got lots of exercise wandering up the hills and climbing the stairs. If you visit the church, well worth it for its great view over the city, don't just turn around and go back the same way. Wander around the back streets behind Sacré Coeur and explore.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Bien Arrivée

Our flight was delayed 1 hour, which meant that we didn't land at Roissy until 11am. By the time we picked up our bags, why is mine always the last off the plane? and made it into Paris, it was time for lunch. We drove straight to our friends apartment and were soon on their terrace with a kir, white wine and cassis, in hand.  Perfect.
Our lunch continued the Burgundian theme with sautéed snails and ceps. It was wonderful to eat outside in October.
I'll have to wait until tomorrow for my croissant and cafe au lait!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bientôt Paris

Tomorrow I'll be sipping a cafe au lait and munching on a delicious croissant from the Le Moulin Vert Boulangerie, just up the street from our apartment. And, as you can guess, I can hardly wait.
This week has been a mess of loose ends to tidy up and now just hours before the flight I think I'm finished. Still no reappearance of the dreaded squirrel, perhaps he's waiting until I leave town? Only 3 green figs left on the tree so he can have them. But, if I find any nuts buried in my planters he'll be history when I return.

I love the autumn and this is a photo of the Luxembourg gardens shows how beautiful it is in Paris. A good walk, or short bus ride from our place this wonderful park is always busy, but there are lots of hidden corners where you can often find yourself alone.