Monday, 28 October 2013

Out and about: Brunch in Paris

I mention quite regularly my love of Brunch. I'd say that it's my favourite meal of the day (closely followed, in order, by Afternoon Tea, Dinner, Breakfast, Midnight Snack, Lunch, Supper and Elevenses) due to it being a food experience, as opposed to eating for eating's sake. It's an indulgence. A time to sit, enjoy, muse, chat and catch up... and eat. Oh, to eat.

I think it's my love of brunch that draws me again and again to the US for holidays. I just find it hard to better buttermilk pancakes with crispy bacon, berries and maple syrup and perhaps a mimosa or a breakfast martini...

This weekend I discovered that Paris is pretty good at Brunch too. Not just a pick-a-dish-from-the-menu kind of brunch, but a multi-course, set-menu kind of brunch. Erm... hello new favourite Sunday dining concept!


So, upon recommendation, at midday on Sunday (the clocks had gone back, which is why I was up, *ahem* so early!) Mr G and I jumped on the Metro to Chatelet and strolled up to Grizzli Cafe on Rue St. Martin. We nabbed a table just before the entire restaurant filled up with local families and couples (and their pooches) and placed our order.

To get started, a choice of freshly squeezed juices ("pamplemousse pour moi"... just because I love saying it!) and hot beverages ("cafe creme, s.v.p") with bread, conserves and pastries.

... followed by Mr G's all time fave - Eggs Benedict.

Still got room? In which case, your choice of steak tartare or salmon with potatoes...

... all finished with fromage blanc and seasonal fruit coulis.

We followed it with a mosey around the Louvre courtyard and a mile-long walk back home, to work it all off! Phew.

Who's with me for next weekend?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A thought...


I don't want to get cheesy, but... 

Just treat others as you wish to be treated. Please.

Be nice, and people will be nice back. Help them and they will want to help you in return, to do things to make your life easier, better, nicer.

Care for people and they will care for you. If you're lucky they will care for you anyway, though you may not deserve it.

Don't bully people, lie about people (or to them), be mean or try to make people feel small on purpose. Don't try to make yourself look good by making someone else look bad. Don't try to take things from people just because you don't have them yourself. Don't point out someone else's faults to make them hate themselves, without first ensuring you are wholly perfect (just FYI, you're not!).

One day you'll want that person to help you out. One day you'll want that person to be a friend to you.

And you want to hope that they are a bigger person than you are... otherwise, quite frankly, you're f*cked, love.

Remember, what you put out there comes back three(or seven*)fold. Karma's a b*tch and often, so become your victims, when you treat them like dirt.

I'm happy. If you can't be happy for me, then that's your problem.

I'm nice. If you can't be nice to me, then that's your issue.

I'm good. If you can't be good too, then that's your failing.

I'm having fun. If you can't have fun with me, then you're missing out.

Just sayin'...

A note from my friend's kids. They know what it's all about.
*depending on which tales you listen to...

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Reasons to be happy: in Paris

Off to Paris!
I don't often get all soppy and talk about happiness and such like, but today, at the end of my first week in Paris (or half week, if we're being precise) as I sit in my cute little roof top apartment catching up on last night's Strictly, a mental list of reasons to be happy popped in to my head...

Celebrations for one!
1. After a long, complicated and hellish process, that involved a cast of what felt like hundreds putting in thousands of man hours, my boss led our team to a great great victory. It made me so happy I cried when I heard the news. Admittedly I am a little delicate, which could have been the reason for the tears, but still, it made me happy that I was so happy about something work related.

The office! So pretty...

2. Also work related, I am so happy that whilst working here in Paris, that I can call an absolutely beautiful building "My Office" and I can say the words "Yes, that's right, I work in that building, one down from the Ritz".  I'm an office snob, yes, I know. But really, I've hit the jackpot and I want everyone to know!

View from my apartment window!

3. So, I'm here in Paris, in a teeny tiny studio apartment that's smaller than my spare room, on the top floor of a building with no lift (and very slippery wooden steps), no oven (but who are we kidding, I don't use the one at home, so how likely am I to use one here?) all alone... and I love it. My view in the morning is like a scene from Moulin Rouge (one of my favourite films, indeed), I have a cute little pizza restaurant underneath my apartment, a wine shop on the corner and my street is lined with beautiful shops with a hustly bustly feeling. There's a butcher, a baker (no candlestick makers though), a fish monger, cafes, bars, restaurants, green grocers, perfumeries, a champagne shop, sushi shops, a cheese shop or two, ice cream parlours, patisseries, a shop selling artisan coffee beans and teas (imagine the aromas in the morning!) a mini Sephora, a florist... It's like something out of a film. I want to dance along it singing like Belle in Beauty and the Beast! "Bonjour... bonjour... bonjour bonjour bonjour... There goes the baker with his tray..." ("...look there she goes that girl is so peculiar...")

"on the way home treats" from my street

to accompany the "on the way home" treats? Also on my street

4. After a supremely drunken apartment party last night, I woke up this afternoon realising I had no hangover-curing food in my fridge. Upon venturing out (unwashed, without make up) in to my hustly bustly street it was less like the scene from Belle et le Bete, and basically SHUT! I forgot that Continental Europe shuts on a Sunday. I was worried that I'd have to eat in a posh restaurant looking and smelling like a tramp, so I did a bit more hopeful wandering and lo! I found a Subway. God bless America and their 24/7 living. Normally I hate Subway, even the smell, but at that moment I could not have been happier to smell their plasticky cheese! One tuna melt, a bottle of full fat Coke and a bottle of Nestea later and I was back in my PJs thanking the fast food gods!

Got any ice for my G&T?
5. I am also offering up praise to the Internet, on demand TV and Apple devices gods, without whom I'd still be watching back to back episodes of True Blood in French (as there's not really much of a story line I found it the best thing to watch in French until I could access some British telly!) and documentaries about food wastage in India.

So there you have the reasons I'm thanking my lucky etoiles this week. I'm a lucky, lucky girl!

I also can't stop thinking about how proud Mme Holloway and Mme Baldock would be of me today... stumbling around on the streets of Paris, looking a state and ordering disgusting fast food in broken French. Hmmmmmm.

Looking for Devils in Prada

Friday, 11 October 2013

Continental hair

Bye bye Vegas hair.  Hello Paris hair!

I always knew it was all coming off, just like last time I let it get long, but this time it was just a question of when.

As I had only a short time* between Vegas and Paris I ummed and I ahhed about when to cut it all off: pre-Vegas, between Vegas and Paris, or post-Paris.

After a chat with my hairdresser we decided I needed long hair for Vegas, to facilitate TOWIE-style hair for pool parties and cocktails, and also low maintenance for all those "only 15 mins until breakfast ends/check out/to get ready for the wedding because you got engrossed in the cocktail menu next to the craps table" moments and absolutely needed a short bob for Paris.

Pretty sure it's Paris fashion law, isn't it, to have shirt hair?

Anyway, I got straight off the plane, collected our cases and car and drove like the wind (but within the spend limit, obvs) around the M25 to Chelmo, with a quick pit stop for petrol and a clothing change at BP, and Mr G dropped me off outside the hairdresser.

And off it came.

Please excuse the dazed and confused expression and jaded faced. I was indeed dazed, confused and jaded, due to six nights of Vegasness and a 10 hour cross Atlantic flight, with no sleep.

One issue... I forgot how many products and how much styling time short hair requires!


* at one point it was meant to be less than 24 hours, so you understand my predicament!