One Night in Paris and London

 

Monsieur trots off to Paris for work. I stay in London. Yesterday morning on the way to the tube, Monsieur and I preview our days ahead.

“Darling,” I say, “you’re so lucky. You’re going to Paris for meetings, have a cocktail event in the Louvre tonight, you’re staying in a lovely hotel with very soft beds and really good room service. You’ll even have time to hang out in the Galeries Lafayette food hall!” And yes, I really do jabber like that, which irritates Monsieur first thing in the morning but hey! I’m excited for Monsieur, because if roles had been reversed, I’d certainly be looking forward to some time out of London. Just the mere thought of Paris makes me feel particularly poetic so I’m not prepared for his response.

“The reality is, I’ll be there for work, I won’t know anyone at the cocktail and room service isn’t as good as your cooking.” He looks a little glum and I start to miss him already.

That evening, I decide to have a night off being the master chef of our household and order in. Then the phone rings. It’s Monsieur so I ask him how things are going in Paris. He tells me he’s just left the Louvre, didn’t have time to view the Valentino exhibition because it turns out he did actually know some people at this schmoozing shin-dig, is now walking along the street to his hotel in Concorde and can see all around him Parisians soaking up the evening sun with a verre or two on terraces. “I can see the Eiffel Tower,” he tells me, “and the weather’s great!” I enthuse right along with him, picturing the scene in my head. It’s almost as good as being there myself, but without the confit de canard.

Back in London I console myself with an indulgent night in: a white pizza, a glass of chilled rosé, a couple of chick flicks and a whole lot of blog-reading. It may not be Paris, but these quiet nights are so rare that they’re precious indeed. Later on my brow does crease for a moment, just before bedtime when I wonder whether, without Monsieur, I’ll be able to set the UFO alarm clock? What is it with me and Monsieur’s machines? They must all be French. The minute he leaves, they know it and go on strike.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Mademoiselle, I could think of worse places to spend the night than London (more expensive, probably not!) For instance, I once had my hair dyed electric blue in a Kings Road salon. Very entertaining. I recommend it.
    And I ask you: what is the point of having a traveling Monsieur if you cannot be his Demoiselle de compagnie?
    “Room service is not as good as your cooking.” Did you actually fall for this blatant access of beurre me up? A total Ptit Lu, I tell ya!

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  2. epicurienne says:

    Don’t worry, Ma petite Adoptee. I get to travel with your Papa a lot.
    And unbelievable as it is, he really does love my cooking. (really. Sometimes we do wonder why we eat out!)
    Besides, having some time alone in London is a good thing. I get to do whatever I want, when I want, which is something too rare these days. I really enjoyed last night! What’s even better is imagining Paris, hearing all the news and seeing what he just brought back for the fridge. Personal Deli Shopper Monsieur. Not so bad…
    More importantly I’m LOVING the idea of your blue hair!!!! Any photos???

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  3. razzbuffnik says:

    Have you made the confit de canard that you’ve linked too?

    I’ve got some French friends (who live here in Sydney) coming over soon for Bastille day celebrations and I was thinking of doing a Cassoulet from scratch.

    I experimented with a recipe last night for “John dory with shellfish , saffron and merguez broth” but it was a bit disappointing as the best thing was my merguez and all the rest was a bit overwhelmed by it.

    Keeping in mind it’s winter here, what other French traditional dishes (without offal) could you recommend?

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  4. epicurienne says:

    Razz,
    I’m on the case. Will try to come up with a frenchified game-plan for a wonderful Bastille Day meal worthy of Napoleon and Josephine, (but easier to cook and without the need for servants).
    Confit de canard is delicious but will get back to you with a couple of other options.

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  5. Mademoiselle, (ou Madame?),
    I feel so happy to hear that my future maman is a kitchen deesse. I have a huge sweet tooth and hope you’ll be able to accommodate me.
    I do not believe I have any pictures on hand of my blue hair days (most photographs were left in Brussels), but I have a passport photograph which is quite interesting. I was 20, a fan of The Cure, and my hair looks like fine sauerkraut. I believe my father was on the verge of his third heart attack when the passport came…

    Monsieur Razz, I believe a ratatouille and a gigot de lamb a l’ail would greatly satisfy your guests. Crepes flambee for desert. I’m not sure you can be trusted with the flambee part, but you could use jam instead.

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  6. epicurienne says:

    Nathalie,
    you gottit: Razz has pyro tendancies as seen on Single For A Reason (see her post on Dining With Friends I’ve Never Met, in case you haven’t seen it before. It’s the one with the bonfire!) I think crepes flambees are perfect for his forthcoming soiree…

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  7. razzbuffnik says:

    Do you think crepes flambees would go well with a green apple and calvados sorbet?

    I had planned on crepes because one of my French hass an electric crepe maker that we can put in the middle of the table and cook as per a weekend we once all had together.

    Here’s a link to the event,

    http://blog.allthedumbthings.com/2007/06/11/in-praise-of-the-crepe/

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  8. epicurienne says:

    Razz,
    it depends on which alcohol you use to flambee the crepes… If you used calvados, in both crepes and sorbet, I think that would work beautifully. If you use a different fruit brandy with orangey tones for the crepes, perhaps a citrus sorbet would be a better match? Vanilla ice cream is always a good option with a drizzle of runny chocolate sauce, especially if the crepes have been cooked in an orange liqueur.
    Also, one of my favourite French-style sorbets is made with a pear brandy. Simply divine. Pears are a winter fruit… perhaps that would work with the crepes, too?
    Have you heard of a trou Normand?

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  9. w1kkp says:

    Have I just landed on Mars?

    I do not understand this strange language but I can say this with utter certainty, if any of you are within dinner distance of me, we’re going out.

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  10. epicurienne says:

    Pat, that’s a date. I’ll let you know when I’m in the neighbourhood.
    Pleased to see you revived. I personally don’t know how we survive life sometimes.

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  11. razzbuffnik says:

    I couldn’t find a recipe for the gigot de lamb a l’ail that Nat suggested. I also tried out a John Dory with shellfish, saffron and merguez broth recipe but it wasn’t as good as expected.

    I’ve finally settled on a menu for tomorrow night’s dinner.

    Celeriac Bisque as entre
    Poulet Chasseur as main
    Pomme Galettes Flambe with Calvados Sorbet for dessert.

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  12. epicurienne says:

    Yum Razz! That’s got my mouth watering… I love the mushrooms in a good chasseur. Monsieur will probably be booking flights on expedia when he hears you do galettes…
    Photos please and recipes on your site!

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