Monday, 28 May 2012

Whispers and Colonnades

The Rue Fauborg St Honore holds several imposing buildings with surly French guards stationed outside. Now, don't ask me how, but I managed to sneak my way past a few of these charming fellas and found myself here....

Le Cercle de l'Union interalliée; Paris' finest members club founded in 1917 as a social and dining club. I enquired whether I could have lunch. But was met with the look of disdain and informed that club was for members only. However, a quick flash of my Arts' club card and I was ushered through, albeit my inappropriate attire attracted more than a few quizzical looks from elderly gentleman in three-piece suits and groups of ladies in Chanel ensembles.

I set about exploring. Remarkably given the clubs location in one of Paris' busiest thoroughfares there are huge grounds around the back of the building. It happened to be a gloriously sunny afternoon so I wiggled myself out of my coat and into recliner, ordered a pot of green tea and waited on mon ami to finir avec picking up a tailored blazer from Lanvin. Regrettably the club had stop serving lunch so we set off in search of nourishment.

If you're in Paris this place is well worth a visit and has reciprocal arrangements with; The Royal Automobile Club; The Arts Club; Carlton Club; East India Club; National Liberal Club; Naval & Military Club; Oxford and Cambridge Club; The Reform Club; Savage Club; The Cavalry and The Guards Club.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Easy Peasy Limey Squeezy

I have a particular fondness for beverages.. Shakes, sodas, slurpy slushies. I'm also a mean hand with the blender … no one makes crushed ice as well as me.

So here's an easy peasy limey squeezy recipe to get your juices flowing.

For a virgin mojito you will need… One lime... Fizzy water… Fresh mint, ice and agave syrup (or sugar, if you must).

I am a big fan of agave syrup as it has a low glycemic index. This means that when you ingest it, it does not cause an insulin spike causing you to store fat and the energy is released over a longer period. What's more agave is a low calorie natural sweetener, without any of the nasties of aspartame. Limes have a motherload of vitamin C and mint is like an internal spring clean, mildly antibacterial and with high levels of vitamin A and manganese (good for thyroid function and synthesising fatty acids and cholesterol).

Enough of the health spiel. Just muddle it all up, go lay out on the terrace and sip. 

I can show you Paris. Shining Shimmering Splendid.

On Tuesday I awoke at the buttcrack of dawn (5.30am to be exact). I knew coffee wouldn't cure my drowsiness, so I decided to blind myself into alertness by donning the most lurid colours I could find; for I was a woman on a mission. And that mission lay in Paris. Follow me for a photographic journey of my trip and allow me show you the sights..

And our journey begins...
Swishing through miles of open country

From yellow English skies to ciel blues and watercolour panoramas

And lots of tall pointy objects...

Oh Monsieur... and just when I thought I'd seen them all.
"Erm, my face is up here actually"
Not really sure where we are anymore.

Pretty as a postcard

Ok maybe not these postcards

All that walking has worked up an appetite. But I've never been one for choosing. We'll take the lot.

So we aren't the only ones who over-ate. It's a dog's life really.

The Place Vendome.

And a sooty basilica 
Bought one of these. Because you can bottle memories.
Statutory Pre-emption rights for the journey home
Hasta la vista baby. I'll be back

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

And that's how the cookie crumbles: Jean-Paul Hevin Paris

I have a friend, whose travel advice and culinary expertise I've learnt to trust over the years. Her name is Olimpia and she and her mother have the following amazing blog; Milly and Olly

Olly blogged about her favourite cookie (The Sable), here. Not just any cookie. Made by specialist chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin. Only four are baked a day and only in Paris. Since reading her post a few months ago I've been perturbed. I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I tried to find comfort in the crumbly embrace of another; but no one else would do. 

So I finally tried it. Problem was, I also tried three other cakes along with it. Each one more sensational than the last. In fact we gobbled them up so fast that I didn't have time to take a photo.

Trust me when I tell you that the cheesecake (light and fluffy like marshmallow) and the chocolate tarte are exceptional. Fireworks.

Luckily I don't live in Paris or my rear end would resemble a caboose.

p.s Sable was also damn good.

231 Rue St Honoré
01 55 35 35 96
The Sable Cookie

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Another Sunday, Another Roast

There's nothing I love more than my family's Sunday tradition of food and merriment. But of course it's not all fun and games, because lunch with us is an exercise in endurance. Just how many roast potatoes can you put away in one sitting? 10 you say? Wimp. 

This Sunday we went to the Art's Club Dover Street. One of my favourite places along with Formosina in Maida Vale for a good ol' fashioned roast. What to order: Roast beef/rib, roast potatoes, creamed spinach, quinoa salad, veal, lamb chops & for desert the banoffee pie or St Honore.
*nom nom nom nom*

The Arts Club
40 Dover Street
020 7499 8581


Roast Lamb

I like it rare 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Once Bitten Forever Smitten? Cocomaya

On a hazy Sunday morning as the city slumbers away its Saturday night frivolities I hoist myself out of bed for a revision power breakfast. Hot chocolate and chocolate.

The best hot chocolate in London is served at Paul and is pure ecstasy, closely followed by Apostrophe. But I thought I'd check out Cocomaya, which styles itself as a fine chocolatier and artisan baker and has newly opened on the Brompton Rd.

Wave to the milkman, get on my bike, pedal whilst questionably attired in velour (I just can't shake that Juicy habit. Comfort over fashion ladies) and two minutes later I'm there.

Lao Shan green chai? Not for me thank you very much. I'll have a hot chocolate? Yes, large. I can drink the stuff by the trough-load. It arrives. A regrettable case of "It's not me, it's you". Not nearly thick enough, not dark intense and glossy but a horrible stale brown colour with unappealing little airbubbles.

As much as I dislike giving places poor reviews Cocomaya is a case of style over substance and a few pretty cakes don't change that. Luring me in with the promise of pleasure you can't measure only to botch the delivery and sadly once you've blown it there's no going back.