Falling for Flammekueche at Les 3 Brasseurs

It’s official: Epicurienne has discovered a new guilty pleasure: Flammekueche. Translated from Alsatian, it means ‘flame cake’. It doesn’t arrive in a flash of fire, as its name might suggest, but is in fact cooked in a wood-fired oven. In the eating, it’s not dissimilar to pizza. In the words of Blue Peter, here’s one I…

Love Locks on the Pont des Arts, Paris

**Health Warning: some parts of this post are love-struck and sentimental. Should you still decide to continue  reading this, please ensure that your anti-nausea medication is to hand. Have you heard of the Love Locks trend in Europe? It’s when you place a padlock on a bridge in the hope that your love will burn…

Parisian Eye Candy

Now that I’m an old, married woman, this is my idea of Serious Eye Candy: A windowful of beautiful handbags that had me drooling on a recent visit to Paris. If I had a spare €3,000.00 I’d buy six. Oui, I have impeccable taste. They retail at €500 – €600 a piece. Alas, I have…

Planes, trains and hot air balloons! A carousel in Provins.

Last year, on a visit to the medieval village of Provins I was delighted by this beautiful little carousel: Sadly, no one was riding the horses or jumping into the hot air balloon basket. The music wasn’t playing and the carousel guardian slouched in his seat, puffing cigarette smoke into the hot afternoon air. The…

L’Hostellerie aux Vieux Remparts

Last summer, Monsieur and I enjoyed a lovely weekend with my Belle-Mère. Somewhat of a culture vulture, she took us to visit a medieval village called Provins. We parked up, bought our entry tickets for the village (yes, unless you lived there, you had to pay to visit) and hopped on one of those funny little white…

Salmon en Croute – French style

If there’s one thing destined to fill me with frissons of gastronomic excitement, it’s the way the French present their food. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s in a market or a supermarket or a bakery window, the presentation of food is creative and often so decorative that you might think twice about ruining the artistry…

Certa, Paris – Where It’s Colder on the Inside

Paris on 27th December last was cold. Bitterly cold. It was so horribly cold that I figured Jack Frost was out and about, only this time on on steroids. In spite of coats and scarves and gloves with thermal lining it was too cold to venture across town in search of an evening meal; on this, Monsieur and I were agreed. Any sort…

A Gallery of Sand in Giverny

Even as a child, I didn’t have much patience for sand castles. ‘What’s the point?’ I wondered, ‘in spending painstaking hours building crenellations, filling moats and adorning walls with shells, when all the effort would only be destroyed by (a) someone’s careless foot, (b) a galumphing dog off its lead or (c) the incoming tide?’…

Monet’s Giverny –

Think of some of the world’s record-breaking works of art at point of sale, and paintings from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series will no doubt feature on the list. Ever since I first saw a Monet in the flesh in the eighties, during a touring exhibition that actually made it the extra xxxx miles to far-flung…

I like to MO-GETTE MO-GETTE

All the talk about beans on the London Bloggers network recently made me do some odd things. Well, odd for most people but probably quite normal for me. This includes taking photographs of BEANS in a French supermarket, planning extra beans into our weekly diet (they’re very good for you – slow energy release), checking…

Parc Caillebotte

When I was a child, we always had prints of famous paintings on various of the walls at home. It’s little wonder I grew up with a taste for things French (including a certain man), because most of these prints were of works by French painters – from Chardin to Lautrec. One of my favourites…

A Big Chill at Vaux le Vicomte

On a bone-chilling day in December last year, keen to walk off some of that devillish foie gras that French people (and this particular Kiwi) love to consume at Christmas, Monsieur and I and a couple of the in-laws visited Vaux le Vicomte. For those men who salivate over Eva Longoria Parker and for the women who aspire…