Saturday, 24 November 2012
Paris - Foie Gras Trois Fois
The formal reason for this visit was to do some location research for my third novel, set mainly in France. Writers can get a lot from the internet, but there's no substitute for an on the spot visit to get interesting detail. The Sacre Coeur Basilica at Montmartre and the Necker children's hospital were the target locations.
'La cuisine est l'art de transformer instantanement en joie les produits charges d'histoire.'
The restaurant we'd planned was closed for refurbishment so we took pot luck on the left bank at the Auberge Notre Dame. Unexceptional foie gras and overcooked duck breast- avoid.
On Wednesday after visiting the Necker we walked down through les Invalides, across Pont Tsar Alexander III to the Grand Palais. The queue for the Hopper exhibition was too long so we walked through the Christmas market and across the Place de la Concorde to the Orangerie in the Tuillerie Gardens. The tortured pictures of Russian emigre artist, Chaim Soutrine were interesting. L'Homme au Petit Chapeau de Feutre looked disturbingly like Our Minister for Education, Michael Gove.
Back across the Seine, the Musee d'Orsay beckoned, always worth a visit for the awesome display of impressionists and great views of Paris. At night we dined Au Petit Sud Ouest in Avenue de la Bourdonnais near the Eiffel Tower. Foie gras, pan fried this time and cassoulet were excellent. Cotes de Gascogne white and Madiran red showed just how good some of the smaller wine local wines can be. A restaurant to be recommended. Book by e-mail.
Evening vespers in Notre Dame Cathedral was followed by dinner at L'Ange 20, a tiny bistro in Rue Geoffroy L'Angevin opposite the Pompidou centre. The foie gras was made on the premises and easily the best of the week. The stuffed guinea fowl (yes, with foie gras) was unique and 7 hour cooked lamb exceptional. The tightly arranged tables made neighbourly conversation mandatory and we reviewed the result of the US presidential election again. This was the best dining experience of the three and highly recommended. Book by e-mail
Eurostar was a good travel experience in both directions. We must go back to Paris soon.
The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder published by Willow Moon. e-Book and paperback at all Amazon sites. Reviews at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005BJ3GNI