You could die in Paris in August and nobody would know until La Rentrée in September when normal city life recommences!
Ok, maybe that is a slight exaggeration but honestly Paris is like a deserted town in August – everything shuts down. I was involved in a bad road accident a few years ago on a work trip, endured 22 hour flight from Australia via Buenos Aires and arrived back in Paris wearing a neck brace. My Parisian doctor prescribed an MRI to survey the damage and check nothing was broken in my spinal cord that was the 24 July and when I went to book the MRI was told sorry Maidmoiselle but the first appointment we have is in September after all it is the holidays. Yes, that’s right: the doctors (replaced by locums), and dentists – my beloved Dr B went for his 3.5 week holiday so I better not crack a tooth – the post office changes its hours to only open for a ridiculously short period and are closed at lunchtime, libraries open a couple hours a day during the week and are closed on weekends and then all your favourite local shops, boulangeries, restaurants etc closed for a month- bah c’est les vacances quoi – it’s the holidays! View Post
We all have a friend who introduces you to new things or in my case creates a princess with taste for: shopping in Waitrose, Diptyque candles, art house cinema, travelling solo, eating and drinking in fine restaurants in London etc and my princess maker is called Steve. We meet at French classes at the Institute Francaise in my early 20s and 15 years on we are still friends. He is responsible for pushing me out into the world and giving me a return Eurostar ticket to Paris telling me to spend 4 days solo in Paris in my 20s – be an individual – were his words I believe.
He also took me to Le Relais d’Entrecôte of which I have such fond memories, not actually about the food, and how we laughed at unsuspecting tourists who asked to see the menu and the snort of derision and the uniform chorus from the waitresses – we only serve steak frites. I cannot forget that one poor soul who asked if they had a vegetarian option which received a stare to rival that of Medusa. View Post
A month ago when the weather finally started to improve, I decided to start my hunt for a decent burger in Paris. I actually don’t fancy eating burgers in the winter they seem more of a summer food. Back home in London I love GBK, my gorgeous Australian friend Ms Claire introduced me to that particular Kiwi chain many moons ago and nothing comes close to matching my love for it. Living in Paris, anything foreign especially American fast food seems to have some unnatural appeal and le burger well it is on a pedestal, when Burger King opened its first store here in December 2013 after a 15 year hiatus there was a 2 hour queue for le whopper – quite! View Post
Hands up who knew Iran had a football team let alone qualified for the 2014 World Cup?
I had no idea until I drew them in the office World Cup sweepstake I organised in Paris. The French I have now learnt don’t understand the concept of a sweepstake or is that just a sweeping generalisation (couldn’t resist the pun). View Post
Where does an indecisive, solo dining, 30something, finicky, foodie choose to eat on her birthday?
Ever since I started working over 15 years ago I made a vow to myself not to ever work on my birthday. I wasn’t working the day I came into this world so why should I be on the anniversary of that day – simples! It’s just that this year I had no idea of what I wanted to do. It felt as if I’ve come full circle 4 years ago when I came to this country I took myself to Angelina for their legendary hot chocolate and walked around my new hometown. View Post