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31 posts from May 2007

Villa Lys/Palais Royal


Naturally, I heeded my resolution to stick with recommended restaurants for, oh, about a day. On our way to a touted Japanese place in rue Sainte Anne we took a shortcut through an unassuming entryway and walked into the gardens of the Palais Royal, and went on to spend the most idyllic hour of our trip wandering around, watching boys play football in the arcades and admiring the tipped-back green metal lawn chairs (back legs shorter than front) that seemed an acme of a civilization.

My steps grew heavy as we made our way to the northwest corner and I examined with interest the tagines and generous bowls with ladles dotting the tables before the Villa Lys. Inevitably we gave up our plans of gyoza and noodles to linger in the hushed tranquil air of the garden. The vegetable couscous and chicken tangine were competently prepared if uninspired; we were there, of course, for the hush.

The waitress spoke to us in a sweet medley of French and English, and the woman behind us with the impossibly red lipstick interrupted us ("I think you look nice") to ask if she may borrow David's jacket, which he was not wearing, as she was cold. Das ist aber frech David stage-whispered to me after consenting. On the dot of ten o'clock, the fountains in the courtyard switched off and we rose to make our way to the Petit Palais.


Couple with child and yellow ball (Palais Royal)


Picnicking couple in the Palais Royal


The white tablecloth gratifies all my Ideas about The French.

Football in the Palais Royal


Off now for birthday festivities: Stay tuned!

A Saturday walk (Seine)


Blé Sucré (with thanks to David Lebovitz)


Food bloggers are guardian angels when an innocent abroad, no? Usually I like to put myself in the world's hands, but after two dismal meals yesterday (at 7ème Sud and Le Potager du Marais, if you must know, though I don't like negative reviews) I walked home vowing I would not veer from places I had on a respected someone's word, uncreative as that course may be.

The only problem there is feeling feeble echoing another's praise - but perhaps it is fair to amplify and add an observation or two. I rushed over to Blé Sucré on Wednesday after reading David Lebovitz's evocative post and bought a packet of madeleines to share with David and our French teacher that afternoon. They did me proud: Avital commented twice on how good they were: and I could hardly wait to return.

There is no higher troika of traits in my world than warmth, excellence and lack of pretence: Blé Sucré scored full marks on all three. Back this afternoon, David and I ordered their great midday offer of a baguette, a tart and a drink for 5.50 and took our booty to the adjoining square. While David sketched, I returned for a sack of salted butter caramels (barely solid and so chewy); with the smile the woman flashed me as she handed me my change, I felt like returning every day.

I've been very grateful for everything David Lebovitz, Clothide/Chocolate & Zucchini and Molly/Orangette have had to say about Paris; I would love  recommendations of further Paris food blogs to check out.

Below, our tarte citron & apple rhubarb crumble...

Blé Sucré, Square Trousseau, 75012 Paris
Open 7 am - 19.30 Tuesday-Saturday, 7 am - 13.30 Sunday


Amorino/Paris gelato (with thanks to Chocolate & Zucchini)


Meringa and coffee gelato from the Vieille du Temple branch of Amorino.