Liebster blog award goes to Liquid Marmalade!!

“Congratulations, I’ve nominated you for a prize…It’s up to you to choose to accept it. I hope you do.”

That is the very condensed version of the email I received which I happened to read whilst desperately trying to silence my alarm I had somehow forgotten to turn off last Sunday morning. My first thought was spam email and just before I hit delete I saw the words: A year in Périgord blog. It could still be spam. After 4.5 years in France I have etched into my psyche the deep distrust the French are born with: say no first, then think about it and then, possibly, say yes. I made coffee. I returned to bed and read the newspaper. I reread the email. I clicked on the link on my ipad. Oh, pause, it really is A year in Periogord that nominated me for this award. Queue the euphoria, small shriek, then squeals as I sat there thinking Liquid Marmalade is an award winner – yipee. Then feeling slightly bemused as at the end of the email it said it was up to me to decide if I chose to accept the award. Who doesn’t accept an award? Possibly lots of people but, this mademoiselle accepts awards and the shinnier the better although I will just settle for a button I can stick on my blog – lots! Continue reading

Heavenly sweet treat delight @Patisserie-Ciel, Paris

My simple diet rule is this: if a cake or biscuit is crumbled and/or broken up in pieces so much the better as that means all the calories have escaped = a calorie free delight a.k.a guilt free eating!

‘Tis the season or maybe that should read pre-season and I am on a pre- Christmas diet so my simple diet rule is working overtime with all those patisseries filled with wonderful edible delights. My simple diet rule also works for chocolate bars – I break them up so the calories escape. Therefore, you can imagine my delight when I walked past ciel patisserie – specialising in angel cakes, well if the cakes are heaven sent then they have to be calorie free. Continue reading

Southern Living on the Rive Gauche @13-a baker’s dozen, Paris

It isn’t all rosy living overseas sometimes you get really fed up, not so much homesick, but just fed up and think what is all this B-S about. Those are the times when I want a good bitch – the kind of session that is chased by a couple bottles of wine and then drinks turns into dinner. That is when I miss London and friends. You can make new friends when you go overseas but it’s “your people” back home – the ones who saw you when life wasn’t glamorous (ha!), the long nights of crying over undesirable men, watching the same programme on tv whilst on the phone to each other and the exchange of looks that let you know you are both thinking the same thing – are the ones you crave the most.  Even the fantastic newer friends you make and meet can’t ever truly replace “your people”.  I was feeling particularly in need to some good old fashioned raise me up and I wanted to do it somewhere where they truly spoke my language – English. Tucked away on the Rive Gauche was  a place I had heard of brimming with Southern hospitality (I do love reading Southern Living and Garden and Gun magazines)  and a welcome to blast away the darkest of clouds hanging over one’s head. What is this paradise called I hear you say well 13-a baker’s dozen owned and run by Laurel! Continue reading

liquidmarmalade white

5 top tips for solo dining A.L.O.N.E in Paris & beyond…

“No one puts Baby in the corner”

When I started this blog, Liquid Marmalade, I was ashamed to tell people about it for fear they were going to judge me. They did and guess what I am still doing it 18 months later. I have had: inverted snorts of derision, pitiful looks and even plain why on earth would you want to eat alone.  The reason I started solo dining was to stop missing out on all these wonderful restaurants and bars in Paris. I am single, most of my friends are coupled up and well you don’t always want to be the third or fifth wheel,  but most of all I am an independent woman in control of the rest of my life, that’s the hope, and yet the fear of saying table for one left me trembling. Solo dining is great and having done it for well over a year  in the City of Love and Lights here are my top tips and observations on how to successful dine solo.

Let me tell you one thing this baby sits anywhere but the corner! Continue reading

A bacalhau good time @Paris-Lisboa, Paris

Paris is the city of love, light and walkers.

To really see Paris you need to walk the streets and get lost, as I do often, being GPS challenged even with a blue flashing dot on the map I manage to often go in the wrong direction. You could take the metro and have the metro ticket rejected because it got demagnetised in your bag next to phone or have the pleasure – did I say pleasure – of someone push up against your backside, with not so much as an introduction, as they barrier hop. Yes, a very Parisian sport is fare dodging and riding the metro for free.  Then if that wasn’t enough there is the dank stench of perspiration so strong that the back of your throat itches. Continue reading