30 November 2021

Tipple Tuesday

 There's still time to sample this year's Beaujolais Nouveau in almost any Paris wine bar!

Below: a barman obviously enjoys his job 

24 November 2021

Living art


"Boterismo" on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. 

Tourists: Le Retour 
December newsletter 

19 November 2021

Flashback Friday


Going green:

Green tea with a splash of eau de vie surrounded by open fields, in the Aubrac.

18 November 2021

Sergei Chepik


Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Sergei Chepik, extraordinary Soviet-era artist and regular at a café in our quartier, greatly missed.

Exposition hommage
Centre Culturel et Spirituel Orthodoxe Russe
1 quai Branly 75007
Ends November 28, 2021


16 November 2021

Boozy rouge

Two-day countdown to celebrating this year's Beaujolais Nouveau.

Thursday November 18th


Yesterday I was asked by a tourist at a local café, "What region of France does Beaujolais come from?" Of course the answer is Beaujolais, but it struck me, slightly, like that old trick question, "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?"

Mais c'est vrai... It's not obvious.

 American wines harken to grape varieties - Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris... Whereas French wines are all about the region: Burgundy,
Alsace, Armagnac and Cognac, Beaujolais and Lyonnais, Bordeaux, Champagne (and only Champagne please), Jura, Provence.... The wide variety of climates in France translates into a wide variety of wines, each region's wines endowed with overall attributes such as light, sweet, acidic.... 

The huge U.S. wine market has been and still is driven by the concept of "single varietal" wines as blending was seen as a way of improving poor quality wine, whereas in France the historic approach has been to bring the best of everything to make the end-product greater than the sum of the parts with blends... be that as Chablis, Claret, Burgundy or Beaujolais....  More single varietal wines - not necessarily AOPs - are being shipped to the U.S. and "regional" labels now include varietals, primarily because of exporting to the U.S.

 This year's Beaujolais Nouveau, a primeur or young wine, is expected to be round and fruity and, as every year, and in my opinion, best sampled with a planche of charcuteries. - BPJ

Where to find it

Also in supermarkets and wine shops everywhere

5-10 euros a bottle

15 November 2021

An American in Paris

Modernist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986), one of the greatest figures in 20th century North American art.
First retrospective in France
 Paintings, drawings, photographs
Centre Georges Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou 75004

Ends December 6, 2021

11 November 2021

9 November 2021

My Thai

 A tiny Thai restaurant off rue Montorgueil; a perfect lunch on a chilly day.

 Kapunka Montorgueil
51 rue Saint-Sauveur 75002

8 November 2021

Fountain café

 A café-restaurant on a cul-de-sac is set off by a fountain from bygone days.

5 November 2021

4 November 2021

Throwback Thursday


Lobster and shrimp Eggs Benedict on a Sunday morning in Paris.

Hardware Société
10 rue Lamarck 75018


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


1 November 2021


 In a detail from Rodin's "The Gates of Hell" The Thinker sits, deep in contemplation.
 77 rue de Varenne 75007 
La Toussaint: All Saints' Day 
1st November