Is it wrong to take children to a Michelin-starred restaurant? And exactly when is it too early to introduce a child to the delights of really, really good cooking?
I’m expecting this post to generate a very healthy and vigorous debate, if my web search for ‘children in restaurants’ is anything to go by. The topic appears to polarise everyone.
There are those who think parents are the problem:
“If you say your kids are angels, that they never get up and run around, never throw French fries, never talk loud, never spill Cheerios, you’re lying.” (New York restaurant owner Christian Pappanicholas)
“Let me make it clear – if your kid is a jerk in public and you do nothing about it, then you’re a bigger jerk and I hope your kid vomits in the car on the way home” (Guardian writer and parent Ben Pobjie, who later in his piece
about children in restaurants argues that banning kids from restaurants just means they will never learn how to behave in one).
Continue reading “Eating Michelin with Kids: Le Parc les Crayères”
Stop! Here is the Empire of Death!
So reads the ominous sign as you enter the Paris Catacombes, two hundred metres below ground.
The catacombs are a relic of Paris’ past, some two hundred miles of underground passageways and limestone quarry tunnels that originally date back to Roman times and occupy huge areas of the Left Bank. They lay abandoned for many centuries, a honeycomb labyrinth of caves and passages.
Continue reading “Nanchang Lu Abroad: The Most Macabre Place in Paris”
Macarons. Pink like kisses, pale pistachio green, golden like honey, rows and rows of small meringue discs sandwiched together with ganache to make a macaron, the world’s most decadent mouthful, with love from Paris.
Macarons have been around for longer than sliced bread – since 791 in fact, and the most famous macaroni house of all is Ladurée, founded in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Ladurée with a shop on the Rue Royale in Paris. It was his wife Jeanne’s idea to combine the pâtisserie with a café and thus establish one of Paris’ first tea salons, a place where women could meet (at the time cafés were for men only).
At that time macaroons were just a single disc of meringue cooked with almond meal. It took Ladurée’s grandson Pierre Desfontaine to think of sandwiching two macarons together with ganache in the way we eat them today, taking Paris by storm.
Continue reading “Nanchang Lu Abroad: Swooning for Macarons at Ladurée, Paris”
What I like so much about the French is that they are unapologetic about the past.
Take hunting. Three hundred years ago every French aristocrat hunted, for sport. They glorified hunting. Famous artists painted portraits of them standing over their quarry, puffed with pride and lace cravats. They collected hunting horns and muskets and the heads of their prey, mounted on walls.
That was then. But rather than bow to modern social mores and pretend it was an embarrassing aspect of their history best forgotten, they have built a shrine to hunting and its glorious past in Paris.
It’s one of the best small museums in the world, and if you’re in Paris, make sure you go. Continue reading “Nanchang Lu Abroad: The Museum of Hunting and Nature, Paris”
Paris. A city that lives as much in the world’s collective imagination as it does in reality.
For me, it was even better than I remembered. Long sunny days, glorious twilights, glittering nights, wonderful food. For a week we lived in an apartment, slept late, ate croissants like they were, in fact, good for us, and drank glasses of chilled rosé sitting on the terraces of tiny restaurants. It was glorious.
The occasion? Twenty-five years ago I met my wonderful husband Matt, and it felt like a great reason to celebrate given that we are still together, despite putting ourselves through a major relationship test of six months driving around China together in a camper van.
As with all important decisions in our family, the destination of the celebrations (coinciding with school holidays) was put to a vote.
“Where shall we go for our anniversary holidays?” I asked.
Continue reading “Nanchang Lu Abroad in Paris”