Living local

One of my favourite things about France is how easy it is to live within a tiny radius of your home, and never want for anything. It takes less than a minute to walk from my front door to a fishmonger, butcher, greengrocer, florist, cheesemonger (is that what they’re called?), 2 very good boulangeries, one average boulangerie, and about 4 bistros. There is a supermarket, too, but why bother with a supermarket when you can go to the knowledgeable source?

Here comes summer - 64

Why would I leave my neighbourhood when there are such beauties on my doorstep?

I love exploring Paris, and I really love that there is so much of it to explore, but knowing that I can go buy bread baked around the corner freshly each day is a joy. I can’t wait until I can bake my own bread! Also, the greengrocer man is the absolute friendliest. He always has a hello and a smile when I walk past, and the asparagus in his shop is the nicest I’ve had in France.

May in Paris - 06

About 15 minutes from my house on foot is the most beautiful park in Paris. The Parc Monceau is especially lovely right now, with all of the flowers, and the sunshine, and the people enjoying the flowers and the sunshine. It’s my favourite.

May in Paris - 07

May in Paris - 08

Yep, Paris looks goooood right now.

In other news, we were at the Jardin d’Acclimatation recently (another local joy), and there were bagpipers! I think they were part of a Brittany celebration (do they have bagpipes in Brittany?). Bagpipes follow me everywhere. And they aren’t subtle about it.

May in Paris - 4281

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Is this the best burger in Paris? Part three: Coffee Parisien

Just to get it out there early on, I think Coffee Parisien might just be it. The best burger, hands down, in France, not just Paris. There are a few branches scattered across Paris, and one of them is a mere 25 minute walk from my house, imagine that! I'm not allowing the closeness to make me biased. I've been to a branch further away, too, in St Germain, and it was just as good, if not better, than my semi-local in the 16th.

On my first visit I opted for an Obamac burger, a true tribute to all that is great about America (as far as I can tell). Eating it almost destroyed me (who'd have thought a double burger would be that much extra food?) but I triumphed, and managed to enjoy every last bite.

The Obamac – ace

The second time, I went for a classic bacon cheeseburger, and it was excellent. Coleslaw is, again, weirdly sweet (it must be a French thing), and fries are incredible (skin on is the way to go. I dont know why anybody bothers peeling a potato, ever). I got my burger properly “French rare” this time, as I ordered it. I took boy, and he had a tuna burger, which was great, and a welcome alternative in a world were beef is king. He also managed to have a stack of banana pancakes for dessert, and I had a sundae (the single burger obviously wasn't enough that time – should have doubled up). In our defence, there's a high chance we forgot to eat lunch that day. I think…

Tuna burger, hash browns, and an uh-may-zing vegetable side.

Apologies for yellow-y blurry shots. My tummy was in control of the iPhone, and wanted pictures over quickly. And the light was bad.

Banana pancakes with chocolate sauce and maple syrup. Beautiful.

 

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Is this the best burger in Paris? Part two: Koff

Burger joint number two is the wonderful Koff, which hides out in Montmartre. Boy was visiting for two weeks, and we went on quite the burger binge. One Sunday lunchtime, we were starving and wandering around Montmartre, when I realised Koff was around the corner, and I still hadn't tried it out. Winner.

Unfortunately Koff hasn't got a website, so I can't check a menu for our choices. I had a bacon cheeseburger (I think), and boy had a blue cheese covered burger. We ordered both rare, and that's how they came. Anglophone rare, not French rare, but that's pink enough for me. I had the best fries of my life – why doesn't everyone leave the skins on the potatoes? It's so much better that way. Boy had a GIANT hash brown. It was also delightful, but I think the fries were better.

Both burgers were excellent, toppings were great, and buns held together just the way they're supposed to. We didn't go for any sides this time, just a diet coke for me and a Canadian ginger beer for boy. Good choices all round.

Not ordering sides meant we had room for dessert. We shared a banoffee pie. I think I actually ate most of it, but boy was nice enough to pretend we split it evenly. It was delicious. Unfortunately it wasn't very photogenic. Sorry.

Then it was time for tea and coffee and a lovely walk.

The End.

 

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Is this the best burger in Paris? Part one: Breakfast in America

Just look at this beauty!

I am, once again, on a burger kick. While the French might not be great at eating with their hands (I’ve seen burgers eaten with knife and fork), there are still a number of decent burgers to be had. I’m going to eat them all, and then pick my favourite (and probably eat there far too often).

First up, Breakfast in America.

Breakfast in America 2 is in the Marais, very close to Saint Paul métro, which happens to be one of my favourites (is it weird to have a favourite métro stop?). There is always a queue outside, but it doesn’t take too long to get inside and seated.

I had the burger of the day, which as far as I can tell changes daily, but I definitely can’t visit often enough to know for sure. Signs inside explain that all of the beef for the burgers is of French origin. Ace. Boy had the So Cal burger – with mushrooms, avocado, and gruyere (pescetarian, what pescetarian?) which is maybe the best combination of burger toppings ever.

I made a fairly major mistake in ordering coleslaw instead of fries with my burger – I was rewarded with the biggest coleslaw side I have ever seen – no one could ever eat that much. Also, I don’t know if it’s a French thing or not, but so far all the coleslaw I’ve had here has been oddly sweet. I don’t think it’s my favourite. Fries are good, but not excellent, and our shared side of cheese fries went down fairly well.

We washed it all down with Sam Adams, which was excellent.

I don’t know if Breakfast in America will be my favourite burger in all of Paris, but I will definitely be back to try a more breakfast-y pancake option.

Stay tuned for more meaty nonsense. And maybe another sort-of-series, in which I adventure to try and find the best coffee in Paris.

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Playing tourist

I'm going to pretend that this year isn't an exercise in touristing with the “but I live here” excuse in my pocket for extra street cred (do the kids still have street cred?) and say that I was a tourist for a week this month. Visitors make excellent excuses for touristing events, and visiting Mothers are the best if you want to visit every museum possible. Even better is the rule that handicapped visitors get free entry for themselves and a companion, and (best of all) get to queue jump. When the weather report app on your phone says “feels like -9,” queue jumping is better than sliced bread.

We visited Montmartre (not a museum, lots of walking, very cold, but gorgeous), the Louvre (twice, and still didn't see even half of it), the Pompidou centre (with 3 hour waits for the Dali exhibit we walked straight into), and the Musee d'Orsay (better than the Louvre, but you aren't supposed to take pictures). I took her on my favourite metro journey, we discovered a vegetarian restaurant, and we watched the Tour Eiffel sparkle at night.

All of this beautiful touristing made me realise that I have a limited amount of time left in Paris, and I'm not sure I'm going to manage to do everything I wanted. Earlier in the year, I was homesick, and just trying to get through a day at a time, and now I'm terrified I'm wasting my time here. Grass is always greener, and all that.

 

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Hieronymus Euripedes tells it like it is

When I was young (cough 16 cough) my imaginary baby name short list contained, among other questionables, Hieronymus Euripedes. I named all of my instruments (nerd alert), but it was too soon after everyone I'd mentioned it to had told me that it was a mild form of child abuse to throw away my dear baby names on mere instruments. Enter the age of the iDevice, and I have a number of wonderful inanimate objects to give the names of my childhood dream children. Ideal.

Hieronymus Euripedes is a much better teller of stories than I am, even if I play with his narrative too much with Instagram filters.

Here are some of his recent shorts.

Box of bunnies, anyone? I was tempted.
It snowed, and Montmartre wore it well.

And then it was beautifully sunny and Notre Dame was fit.

I bought myself flowers, and was taught a little bit about flower arranging. Picking flowers to go together is really hard. And I'm really bad at it.

And then I ate the best burger of my life. So far. More on that later.

In other news, I've been watching and rewatching Buffy season 2, and, spoiler alert, the death of Jenny Calendar is always a heartbreaker. I can't even talk about Becoming, parts 1 and 2, because they are tearjerkers like nothing else.

 

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Filed under I love, Paris, Rambly ramble, Travels, Very good food

On Cedric, the noblest of bunnies.

About 16 months ago, 2 tiny fluffy bundles of joy came to live with me. I can’t really remember having any other pets before my gorgeous bunnies arrived, and I don’t think it would be overstating anything to say they changed me. I’d never loved an animal before.

Cedric got suddenly very ill at the end of November, and was taken to hospital. He died the next afternoon, painlessly, and sleepily.

Leaving my bunnies was the hardest part of moving to France. I know my parents are the next best thing, and they have been incredibly selfless in taking in not only all of my possessions, but also my bunnyboys, who instantly proceeded to eat giant holes in the (admittedly ugly) carpet in our dining room. Not being able to explain to them that I’ll be back often to see them, that I love them more than words, and that this isn’t permanent was a struggle. Not being able to be with Cedric as he was sick was even worse. Again, both my parents and the vets were amazing – accepting my calls to check in every hour or so, and reassuring me that he wasn’t in any pain. My parents acted exactly as I would have in the situation, and for that I am grateful.

Baby Cedric Diggory

Cedric was a big bruiser of a bunny. He was braver than Kingsley, sometimes, and he bullied Kingsley often. That’s just how their dynamic went, and I’m certain King didn’t mind one bit. He was incredibly handsome. He made it onto the daily bunny tumblr – something I will forever be proud of. He ate holes in most of my clothes, chewed through cables, attacked the wireless router with his head, and peed on me once while he was eating a raisin. He has gone far too soon, and we miss him every day.

Daily bunny famous


Enjoying the sunshine (apologies for the awful tilt-shift, I can’t undo it)


Probably about to start eating the bed


Actually eating the bed.

Cedric Diggory, we love you.

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