Recently in France category:

I never miss an opportunity to “go to the source,” so to speak. And in France, it’s sometimes just a train ride away. Barely an hour by high-speed train from Paris is Normandy, and it’s bucolic countryside, where even the cows have their own appellation; La vache Normande. Not only are the cows beautiful, with their wide black and mahogany speckles, and rings around their…

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Not a day goes by when I don’t get a message requesting a restaurant recommendation in Paris. (Curiously, I also get asked for restaurant recommendations in cities I’ve never lived in, or even visited.) My promise to you is that I’ll only write up or recommend places I’ve been to, and with apologies to all who’ve asked for restaurant recommendations on social media, if I…

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A number of people have asked me if it’s okay to come to Paris due to the demonstrations that have been taking place. The news media around the world has been reporting on the situation and some of the photos have certainly been startling, even to us in the city. [I posted similar thoughts on Instagram, although there is a word limit, so I’ve reposted some…

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A few months ago, I started following an interesting-looking Instagram account of a bakery in Paris that was making all their breads using natural leavenings, rather than commercial yeast. I didn’t know anything about it, but not only were they showing impressive loaves of just-baked breads, but they were also experimenting with croissants made with levain (sourdough). The results looked promising. After they opened, I…

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Bordeaux

If you haven’t been to Bordeaux in a while, you might be in for a shock, although it’s more like, you’ll be in for a treat. Previously considered a staid city, Bordeaux has rebooted itself, partially thanks to a tram system that makes getting around the formerly congested city a breeze, but also because the TGV now can get you there in around two hours,…

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In the last decade, the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in Paris and there are more vegetarian (and vegan) places than ever. I’ve updated this list over the years to include new places. Note that many standard restaurants in Paris have become more vegetarian-friendly and often have options on the menus that don’t include meat. In addition, the specialty coffee scene in Paris has exploded…

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I’m always happy to hear of a new pastry shop opening in Paris, especially when it offers something a bit different than the others. Sometimes I go and they’re interesting. Other times, I’m less enthusiastic. I was especially excited when I heard about Maison Aleph, which offers bite-size tastes of the Middle East, referencing French techniques, but creating something completely original.

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I don’t get out for lunch as much as I used to, or want to, but a dizzying amount of cafés, restaurants, and pastry shops have opened while I was holed up writing books. One that was getting an inordinate amount of good word-of-mouth, from friends and other restaurant owners, was Echo Café. Entering the restaurant late morning, I was startled by the amount of…

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“Je n’en ai pas besoin, mais…” Those are words I constantly tell myself when I’m at a flea market or brocante (antique or secondhand shop) and come across something that I like (or want). Piles of gorgeous French linens, mortars without (or without) pestles, French jam jars, and no longer loved café pitchers, get a once-over from me, as I ask myself that question: “I…

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