When is the last time you read a food guide in one sitting? The Food Lovers’s Guide to Paris is the first food book I ever read cover to cover in one day. I can personally recommend it and say, “delightfully delicious”. You are introduced to the book with a casual overview of then and now and reassured that French cuisine is here to stay. The guide is simply laid out and begins with a map and arrondissement locations of places mentioned in the guide. In the “How-to-Guide” section Helen Massy-Beresford gives essential courtesy tips. She then moves shows you to your table of dining or specialty shop pleasures with dashes of storied descriptions.
Sometimes a photo can make us curious, inspire us or wish we could find something…. By the time my sister saw the photos of my vintage chinaware, it was too late. I had already donated the set to Emmaus. I needed it back for her! The trek to one of the Emmaus stores (Goodwill-style shops founded in 1954 by Abbé Pierre) took me to the north of Paris and the Porte de Menilmontant in the 20th arrondissement. “If I am going to the 20th”, I pondered, “why not check out local art exhibits in the area?” That thought and a quick look at l’Official des spectacles, took me to the Le Pavillon Carré de Baudouin and the photo exhibit “Willy Ronis par Willy Ronis (until January 2, 2019)”.
Antiquity, countryside and history greet you in Annabel Simms’ book, “Half an Hour from Paris … 10 Secret Daytrips by Train”. First you have to find your way there. Annabel Simms arranges the book like a quality French baguette au levain sandwich: yummy ingredients between the crunchy crusts. This is a book of self-guided walking tours of various lengths.
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…..
Two events will effect somebody this latter part of 2017. Planning on the Champs-Elysées Christmas market? Stuck in traffic? It’s like a soap opera or a custody fight in a divorce. Whose side will you be on?
Every year Christmas markets attract 30 million people visitors in France. Fifteen million of those visit one or more of the 250 chalets along the Champs-Elysées for the Paris Christmas market. If you are stuck in traffic this week, the carnival operators are conducting an “escargot” (snail) slowing down and blocking traffic with their semi trucks on the expressways. They want to set up their chalets on the Champs-Elysées.
“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.
Bring Home France on rue de Birague in the Marais offers unique Paris and French souvenirs designed by a street artist, graphic designers, fashion and home designers. Some products are made by long-standing French firms in Gien, Limoges, by Duralex and Laulhère-France.
In the store and for shopping online they have a wide selection of products ranging from gastronomy and jewels to fashion, decoration and toys. Nathalie Crouzet tells you some stories and legends behind some of the souvenirs in my first video story.