Wednesday, 20 March 2013

{Eat, Drink, Do Paris}



Eat: La Cave à JoJO, 26 rue des Trois Frères

This little beauty is tucked up in the hills of Montmartre, so it's serendipitous that my cousins & I stumbled upon the 'bistrot à Vins' just near our hotel. The queue was out the door when we arrived late one evening, which is always a good sign. As we wavered on the pavement, debating whether to head somewhere else, a line of dapper French men wandered out on to the street to light their pre-dessert cigarettes. They charmingly insisted that the wait was worth it, and that once seated we order the Camembert Chaud façon Micheline to start.

Before too long we were welcomed in and seated by JoJo, the cheeky owner who is famous in Paris for his dirty jokes. Sure enough, the baked camembert was to die for, especially mopped up with copious amounts of crusty French bread and washed down with a carafe of white wine. For my main course, JoJo suggested ham on the bone accompanied by gratin dauphinoise, a very sage choice. As we ate, the clientele grew even more rambunctious as they watched their football team play on the television. This was my final meal in France since 9 months of living there, and I'm so glad I chose such an authentic, delicious restaurant for my last supper. Happily full of cheese, wine and good spirits, we rolled our way down the hill to our hotel where we slept like babies.



 Drink: La Maison Angelina, 226 Rue de Rivoli

Angelina is no secret to the lover of chocolate & all things decadent. On a girls' trip to see my current housemate Natalie who was living & working in Paris, she insisted we make a visit to the fancy tearoom. After a chilly wait outside, she also convinced us that a perusal of the menu was unnecessary and ordered away in her excellent French. We shared two jugs of chocolate between four of us, which was more than enough chocolatey goodness. You pour the melted chocolate, smooth and rich without being too sickly sweet, and spoon in as much whipped cream as you like. After a cold and rainy walk through Paris, there is no treat better than a cup of this good stuff. Divine!



 

Writing this post has given me a craving for Angelina's chocolat chaud, but sadly I am 260 miles and one long swim away from Paris. I managed to find a recipe online if you feel like re-creating the magic:

6 ounces chocolate, chopped (fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet)
1/4 cup water, room temperature
3 tablespoons hot water
3 cups hot milk, divided
sugar
whipped cream, if desired (optional)

Directions:

1. In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1/4 cup water until melted, stir until smooth.
2. Remove top of double boiler pan from.
3. Whisk in 3 tablespoons hot water.
4. Pour into pitcher or divide among individual 4 mugs.
5. Either stir 3/4 cup hot milk into each mug or serve milk in a separate pitcher.
6. Pass sugar and whipped cream in separate bowls; add to taste.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/angelina-s-hot-chocolate-334398?oc=linkback

Do: Shakespeare and Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie 

I never visit Paris without a trip to my favourite bookshop in the world (and I worked in a bookshop for seven years!). With a dreamy view of Notre Dame from the windows, the ramshackle bookshop is filled with topsy-turvy piles of books. They have a sign over one of the interior archways that reads: Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers Lest They Be Angels In Disguise. Since I first saw this in the winter of 2008, it's become my everyday motto.


The late George Whitman opened the shop in 1951 under the same name of Sylvia Beach's sanctuary for writers including Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, which was forced to close down during the German occupation of Paris. Hidden away between the plethora of literature are beds and sofas which have hosted (and still do) copious budding-yet-penniless writers. Whitman's one rule for guests: read a whole book everyday. His daughter, Sylvia Beach Whitman, has now taken over the running of the shop and it remains a wonderful place to wile away the hours. Be sure to leave a note on their noticeboard!

 

On the left are a couple of books I picked up on my last visit to Shakespeare & Co. On the right is a great read if you want to know more; a writer's experience of living in the bookshop, bedbugs & all!

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