“A Taste of Paris, A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food” is a fun book in David’s style. David combines history, travelogue and a personal quest. David’s quest this time: “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” You can follow his Paris food seduction from 53 BC to the present. Bringing Paris food history alive, David presents lots of written culinary activity between the 1300s and 1792 (end of the Ancien Régime) with all the King Louis’s, their chefs and the chefs’ cookbooks. David takes us back to the barbarian Parisiis squatting, eating with no tableware and demonstrates how the Romans were the more elegant diners and knew how to entertain and cook refined meals. In “Taste” food origin myths are dispelled.
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Suitcase? Check! Camera? Check! Walking shoes? Check!
Reading material? Prepare in advance with some book ideas!
Language? Brush up on that French grammar! Frantastique is my Wednesday exercise. Then when I go shopping or chat on the street, those proper verbs just slide right out … still studying though!
Some of the books in my library are Paris walking tours. They provide enough material to stroll through Paris and explore. Another prepares you with a story and history for your Champagne tasting.
David Downie’s books are walking tours of history. Each chapter of each book weaves a tale of discovery. Tilar J. Mazzeo’s book whisks you into Champagne history with the Veuve Clicquot. (Reims is a 46-minute train ride away from Paris.) Interested in Street Art? The perfect sightseeing book with maps…..
David Downie’s latest entertaining memoir, “Paris to the Pyrenées, a skeptic pilgrim walks the way of Saint James” is a series of vignettes. The book is multipurpose whose words constantly upturned my lips into a smile or a smirk. They are the stories of his walk across France. It is also a guidebook along a segment of a trail steeped in history. It is a memoir of a skeptic pilgrim’s path to self-help along the Route of Saint James. When your body is falling apart, why not have a personal quest to possess France by walking across it! ….
If you want a free guidebook when you arrive in Paris, visit the Paris Tourist Office for guidebooks or download and read them before you arrive. If you decide to buy a guidebook when you arrive, Paris has English language bookstores and guidebooks available at some kiosks, English and French book stores and second-hand stores. “Relay” is a kiosk found in the train stations, airports and in the metros. FNAC is a French bookstores where you might find English language guidebooks. W.H.Smith and Galignani are the largest English language Paris bookstores.
There is always something useful and something to learn in a guide book. PJ Adams’ recent book, “Intoxicating Paris, Uncorking the Parisian Within”, is a combination of helpful hints all rolled into one. It is a personal insight, lightweight travel guide with suggestions, partial psychological and psychotherapeutic guide to American and French cultural differences, and a marketing tool for other authors. I was able to identify myself in some parts and appreciated the parts on the cultural differences. “Intoxicating Paris” is a good start for a first-time visitor.