31 December 2022

A London holiday #4


A sparkly farewell to beautiful old London, and to the Old Year.

3 hours (or less) from Paris


30 December 2022

A London holiday #3

Sprawling Borough Market in the heart of London is over 1000 years old.

Good vibrations: every few minutes the subway rumbles overhead and everything stops

 Above: fresh mushroom risotto being prepared for takeaway

Below: countless stalls, sampling encouraged; the charm of Neal's Yard, a hidden enclave near Covent Garden


  London: 3 hours (or less) from Paris

29 December 2022

A London holiday #2

Our days were full.

Above: The Tate Modern
Now: Paul Cézanne - paintings watercolors drawings
Ends March 12, 2023
Below: inside Fortnum & Mason; twinkling tree; Apple Market Covent Garden; a corner table

- Tomorrow: Borough Market and Neal's Yard -

  London: 3 hours (or less) from Paris

28 December 2022

A London holiday

The holiday season in London is always magical.... It's a time of markets and mayhem, of shopping, eating, and visiting. Of easy moments made even better among old friends and family.

 Above: good things galore at an Ottolenghi coffee/brunch bake shop; stately Leadenhall Market; Covent Garden; inside a pub; Houses of Parliament and Big Ben from across the Thames

- Tomorrow: more London -
 London: 3 hours (or less) from Paris


25 December 2022

Merry Mayfair

May your Christmas glisten with great happiness, health, peace, and prosperity.

Above: angels overhead light the streets


Next week: Christmastime in London
London: 3 hours (or less) from Paris

22 December 2022

Throwback Thursday


3 hours (or less) from Paris:

London, a skip and hop from Paris, makes a perfect Christmas getaway.

Above: reminiscing and fond memories of The Chelsea Wharf Restaurant




Reprint from "Throwback Thursday" 11/4/2021

Lobster and shrimp Eggs Benefict on a Sunday morning

Hardware Société
10 rue Lamarck 75018 Paris


It was 80's London in my pre-Paris days, and Michael Alexander, who I've written about before on this blog, had opened a restaurant, The Chelsea Wharf, to much local fanfare in the media and otherwise, right on Chelsea Harbour.

In no time at all it became the talk of the town. In the cuisine was enfant terrible now celeb chef Marco Pierre White, the sole person, it's been said, who "made Gordon Ramsay cry in the kitchen." With regulars such as George Michael and Boy George streaming in one would think its success was guaranteed, but it wasn’t. Sadly, it was short-lived. Lax management let a party atmosphere take over and, as Michael would mention more than once over the years with a sigh, he was, after all, a writer, not a restaurateur.

 Sunday mornings saw a gathering of "friends and allies" - those dearest and nearest to him - occupy a very long table for breakfast. As Billy Churchill swayed away on piano and a soft light seeped in through gothic windows, we'd regale in bad jokes and good champagne.

Just across the Thames was Saint Mary's Church and almost everyone would order Bloody Marys and the house Eggs Benedict - or rather, as it appeared on the menu, "Eggs Benedict Arnold," so named for the notorious traitor of the American Revolution buried there. 

 The first - and last - time I pointed this out I was swiftly berated.

“Traitor? From our side of things, Benedict Arnold was a hero!” - BPJ



13 December 2022

Titanic Tuesday

The tomb of Titanic survivor Léontine Pauline Aubart - known as "Ninette" and played by Fannie Brett in the 1997 film (director: James Cameron) in Saint Vincent Cemetery, Montmartre. 


Cabaret singer who sometimes performed at Le Lapin Agile, Ninette had accompanied billionaire Benjamin Guggenheim who kept an apartment in Paris. While she was saved by being able to get a place in a lifeboat, Guggenheim wasn't so fortunate. According to one account, realizing the end was near, he and his faithful secretary Giglio dressed in evening clothes and headed to the grand staircase and ballroom where they would "go down as gentlemen," sipping brandy.

As First-Class passengers, Ninette and Benjamin would have enjoyed lavish meals, even by French standards. Today, menus from the Titanic are quite valuable and sought after by collectors.  

"The last meal for first-class diners that fateful night was a grand affair that included starters of canapés and oysters, a second course of consommé Olga (a clear veal soup garnished with scallops), a third course of poached salmon with mousseline sauce, and a fourth course of filet mignons Lili or chicken Lyonnaise with marrow farci (stuffed vegetables). 

 The mains catered to most people’s tastes. There was lamb, duckling and beef, with buttery roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, minted peas, carrots and rice. After a rum-infused palate cleanser of punch romaine (the sixth course), guests moved on to roasted squab (pigeon) with wilted cress, asparagus salad with Champagne saffron vinaigrette and pâté de foie gras with celery. In fact, with a grand total of 11 courses, it’s hard to imagine how they fitted it all in. 

To round off that fateful meal, there was Waldorf pudding, peaches in Chartreuse jelly, chocolate and vanilla éclairs, French ice cream, assorted fresh fruit and cheeses. While some first-class diners would have eaten in one of the cafés or the à la carte restaurant, for others this would have been their last meal – a few hours later more than 120 first-class passengers died, mainly men."  - Source: Lovefood.com The Titanic’s incredible menu revealed – for every class - BPJ

9 December 2022

Fouquet Friday

Iconic French brasserie Fouquet's, setting for France's annual César Awards for achievement in French cinéma.
 99 Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Now in Tribeca in New York inside the Hotel Barrière

5 December 2022

Mocha Monday

Morning coffee with Italian, American, and French touches. Can you spot them?

4 December 2022

Chez Victor


A glimpse into Victor Hugo's apartment on Place des Vosges, now a museum, his home with his family from 1832 until 1848 where he penned a large part of "Les Miserables."

 Sculpture by Auguste Rodin


 Maison de Victor Hugo
6 Place des Vosges 75004




2 December 2022

Vive la baguette

 From Le Parisien:
 "The French baguette is now a UNESCO World Heritage patrimoine."

29 November 2022

Travel Tuesday

Somewhere on a Cycladic Island.

 (click to enlarge)



3 hours (or less) from Paris


 Direct flights daily


20 November 2022

On high

The highest point in Paris La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre overlooks the city below.

17 November 2022

New wine


- AOC Beaujolais-Villages -

 Today as every year this year's Beaujolais Nouveau takes a bow, which will explain the happy groupings outside (and inside) wine bars, cafés and even wine shops and some restaurants. These are young wines made from Gamay grapes, consumed almost immediately after their vendange. Best way to discover where: Take a pre-dinner evening stroll in almost any Paris arrondissement.




15 November 2022

12 November 2022

Cheese tease

A café cheeseboard of five classic French cheeses with toasts, butter and, to assure un bon transit, a simple mixed salad.


8 November 2022

Travel Tuesday


Looking back:

From incredible Puglia, Italy, "the heel of the boot." 


3 hours (or less) from Paris


Nonstop flights 2hr20

7 November 2022

Mocha Monday


A coffee tasting.
On this day:
- Jamaican Blue Mountain
- Haitian 
Malongo Atelier Barista
50 rue Saint-André des Arts 75006

5 November 2022

Sumptuous Saturday

Her designs were eccentric, uniquely glamorous. Think Mae West, Salvador Dalí, Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Les mondes surréalistes d’Elsa Schiaparelli

 Musée des Arts Décoratifs
 107 rue de Rivoli 75001

Ends January 22, 2023