April 20, 2017
Juveniles Wine Bar - for the food, the atmosphere, the lovely owners, and the wine!
Pictured is the duck breast with roasted Brussels sprouts and carrot purée that I had the last time I was there, in March.
La Promenade Plantée, also know as la Coulée Verte - for a lofty escape from the chaos of the city.
Fromagerie Laurent Dubois - for your cheese fix. This place will definitely take care of it!
Musée de l'Orangerie - for your soul. This is one of the most relaxing museums in Paris.
Popelini - for your sweet tooth. The flavors of these satisfying little cream puffs change with the seasons. If you prefer more tangy notes, go for the passion fruit or lemon.
April 15, 2017
We usually do something in March to celebrate our anniversary of moving to France, but it kind of snuck up on us this year.
14 years. I can't believe it's been 14 years. How did that happen?
Looking back on our time here, I can see how France has changed us, and not just our palates! When we moved, of course we knew things would be different, but there have been many surprises along the way. There has been a lot to muddle through, be baffled about and to accept.
I never knew that a photocopier would become my BFF. I'm not joking. You can't survive here without one.
Turns out that French fonctionnaires love homemade brownies. (well, who doesn't, really?)
Also, la priorité à droite. Why? Just why?
And the importance of l'heure de l'apéro. What a fabulous tradition! Every country should do this!
I'm also a big fan of the 2+ hour lunches.
I think our expectations have changed and we've become more patient people. Of course there have been some disappointments along the way.
One has been my struggle with the French language and the constant mocking of my accent by French friends. I know they think they're being cute and I try to take it in stride, but it is rather soul crushing.
Another is the (often) mediocre restaurant food, both in the cities and in the countryside. For a country that takes food so seriously, this was a big surprise.
Also, the bitterly cold winters in the south of France. Seems that the French tourism board is doing a darn good job of keeping that a secret.
Though the few disappointments pale in comparison next to all of the wonderful moments and accomplishments.
For instance, I never expected that I would have the mental and emotional strength to ask for and become a French citizen. That was an experience!
And I definitely didn't plan on developing such a strong addiction to French cheese!
After many crappy ones, I finally have a job that I love - who wouldn't love eating and drinking for a living?
We managed to find an apartment in Paris with a killer view and also have a great little house in the south of France for our vacations.
And we're so thankful for the incredible, supportive friends we've made along the way. None of whom we would have met had we not moved to France.
Who knows what the next 14 years will bring?
Well, there is one thing I can be sure of...more fromage!
April 5, 2017
Nostalgia is a funny thing.
Over the weekend I was looking over my Flickr stream and came across all these lovely photos of springtime in the Languedoc.
I had forgotten how beautiful it is this time of year down there, with the coquelicots and wisteria in bloom and the vines sprouting bright green leaves.
So if you don't mind, I'm going to share some of my nostalgia with you.
I can't believe how inexpensive this asparagus is!
April 1, 2017
March 24, 2017
Take a class.
Thierry Givone owns Wine Tasting in Paris, a charming tasting space in the Latin Quarter. I'm a big fan of this guy! He helped me arrange a private Champagne tasting for my family last year, which they absolutely loved. They came away feeling like experts and happily continue applying their Champagne knowledge today.
Head to the Seine.
Paris boasts 65 open-air markets and 13 covered markets, so assembling a picnic is a snap. Then head to your local caviste or hit the grocery store for a bottle or two. Just don't forget the corkscrew!
Go to a tasting.
Most Saturdays you can meet the winemakers while tasting their wine at one of the best wine shops in the city, La Dernière Goutte.
Additionally, its owner, Juan Sanchez, offers a fundamentals of French wine class called Elements, which I'm taking next week. You can never have too much wine knowledge!
At the café.
They might not serve the best wine that France has to offer, but the people watching will more than make up for it.
On a balcony.
Don't have one? I'm sure you know someone who does!