Category: France

Dinners in Paris, and a long day for the fishmongers

First night nerves We like to mark our evening of arrival in Paris with dinner at La Fontaine de Mars. You know you’re in Paris from the moment you step through the door. This time I’d left it too late to make a reservation, so we gave Le Bistrot d’Eléonore et Maxence a call.   […]

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Night at the Museum

After an interesting encounter last year with Napoleon the Strategist at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, it seemed rude to miss an opportunity of making closer acquaintance. Talent or ambition – which is more important in the making of a genius? I wrote about it here: https://wp.me/p7AW4i-kE The museum was open free of charge […]

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A tale of two Frenchies. Well, actually five.

Frenchie Restaurant in Paris opened on rue du Nil in 2015, and quickly became a hot ticket. We tried to book a table for dinner in May this year, but they still fill the restaurant months ahead. Frenchie Wine Bar opposite doesn’t take reservations; it opens at 6.30pm, and the advice is to turn up […]

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A croissant worth crossing Paris for

Word was circulating that a new bakery is producing the best croissants in Paris. On a visit to the city in May, naturally I went to investigate rue Oberkampf, looking for No 61. The 11th Arrondissement is roughly equivalent to London’s Shoreditch, with little independent shops, a market, and tattoo parlours.         […]

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A long walk from Agincourt to Richmond

“And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here ….”   On a sunny Sunday in August 2014 I walked round the perimeter of the battlefield of Agincourt. It is now farmland, ploughed earth and pasture. And trees. Even allowing for the intervening 599 years, it was easy to imagine […]

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Postcards from Paris; May 2018

Rue du Nil. Gregory Marchand was given the nickname “Frenchie” when he was cooking in the kitchen of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen. It stuck, and in 2009 he opened his first restaurant with the name in Paris. Since then he has opened a wine bar, a wine shop, and Frenchie to Go, all on Rue du […]

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To Paris, in pursuit of genius

Talent or ambition – which is more important in the making of a genius? Tintoretto, Birth of a Genius. Delacroix Retrospective. Napoleon the Strategist. These three exhibitions in Paris this spring demonstrated that both are needed.   Tintoretto – a precocious talent. My knowledge of Tintoretto was limited to his vast, decorative canvasses of figures […]

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A taste of the 7th Arrondissement

A typical day in the 7eme…. ….starts with the view of Les Invalides (Napoleon’s tomb) from the balcony of “our” apartment (allow me a fantasy life). If we’re heading for the Metro at St François Xavier, we’ll have breakfast at La Boulangerie des Invalides on the corner opposite, where the croissants are in the oven. Returning […]

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“Paris is always a good idea”

There are many reasons to travel: to explore new places, to search for novelty and new experiences; to tick a destination off a bucket list.   There is also pleasure to be had from returning to somewhere familiar; a voyage of rediscovery, turning an unexpected corner. Cities especially are constantly changing and evolving, so to […]

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“Something for the weekend?” – signs of the (Financial) Times

My preferred newspaper is the Weekend F.T. It doesn’t come in a plastic wrapper full of unwanted leaflets, advertising stair-lifts and elasticated trousers. More specifically, the Life & Arts section, and the magazine, which for nearly twenty years have prompted my travel plans, focus on restaurants reviewed by Nick Lander or exhibitions praised by Jackie Wullschlager; or, in an ideal world, […]

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