Recently in France category:

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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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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Staying with friends in the countryside for a few days last week, we were fortunate to discover that a neighbor was making his own bread, which was excellent. The young man bakes just a few loaves a couple of times a week. Romain, in his wisdom (a trait he may have picked up from me: buy as much as you can, when you come across something…

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I’ll never pass up a chance to go to a factory, whether it be to see how American stand mixers are made, or French enameled cookware. I’d never seen copper cookware being made, though, and jumped at the opportunity to hop on an early morning train to Villedieu-les poêles to visit the Mauviel copper cookware factory. (The only thing I didn’t jump at was the bleary 7:30am departure…

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Mont Saint-Michel is one of the great wonders of the world, along with the Parthenon, the pyramids in Egypt, and the Taj Mahal. It’s a majestic, spectacular sight when you’re walking down the path toward the island (cars aren’t allowed past a certain point), and you look up and see the island with the church crowning the top, rising above you, framed by the steel-blue sky…

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I’m always on the lookout for new bakeries and pastry shops that have opened in Paris. Although to be honest, it’s hard to keep up these days! The number of new boulangeries and pâtisseries that are focusing on everything from artisanal grains to organic flours, are spreading like wild yeast across the city. I’d met Alice Quillet a few years back, when she, and her partners…

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Épices & Saveurs Although it may seem like your typical Arabic épicerie (food shop), of which there are many in Paris, I’ve shopped a lot of them and found Épices & Saveurs especially well-stocked. The place is as neat a pin and in addition to the usual line-up of harissas, nuts and dried fruits in bulk, olive oils, and spices, I always find curiosities on the…

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