So my adventure started at the end of the Summer when I met Nancy. Nancy came to our place in Spain for a Yossum Yoga retreat armed with homemade banana bread, cookies and cheese from Paris. She would pop her head into the kitchen now and again and ask about my recipes, 'Did you use rice flour in this?' or 'Have you ever made Kale chips?..you haven't..do you want to know a good recipe?' She was just as passionate as I am about baking, about experimenting and about talking about food 24/7, I had met my match. I was so envious she lived in Paris, I have been a few times before but always for the sightseeing or, the last time a University Architecture trip and I hadn't explored the amazing things Paris had to offer on my plate.
This is Nancy, crazy that in 4 days we didn't take pictures of us anywhere, only this one of her in the doorway of her friends tart cafe in Marais.
So, it was a bit of a last minute decision to go. Nancy had said I was welcome anytime, so I took her as true to her word and I hopped on the Eurostar. I knew this could potentially be a pricey weekend, and so after huffing at the prices of hotels on the internet for some time, I went to www.airbnb.com and found myself a room in someones apartment to rent for a few nights. That someone turned out to be Mary, a wonderful girl to spend the weekend with in her homely home. Here, this is where I stayed.
I loved everything about her apartment, so warm and full of character, it was also super conveniently located. Mary works in social media and couldn't believe I wasn't on twitter. So, now after a quick tutorial, I am. Although I haven't said much yet...will keep you posted on that one!
So, no sooner am I in my room, I'm off out, for buckwheat crepes at Breizh Cafe, Rue Vieille du Temple. These photos are terrible but I'm going to put them up, for memories sake. It was a beautiful little place, like a cosy wood cabin and serving bowls of cider with your crepes. Nancy and I both had goats cheese, honey, pinenuts, grapes, raisins and salad and then, for dessert I had caramalised pears in a salted caramel crepe with vanilla ice cream, perfect. The pretty girl in the last photo was our Spanish waitress who had been in living in Paris all of two weeks and jumped at the chance to speak English to me, she was charming and made the evening that much more special.
Saturday morning. The moment I have been waiting for, for literally 3 years since I read David Lebovitz' blog post on a small but perfectly formed speciality food shop in the 2nd district, 58 rue Tiquetonne. It's called G.Detou and it's a play on words, unlike the kitchenware shop around the corner A.Simon, G.Detou is not the owners name. It means J'ai Detou which translates as 'I have everything' and sure enough he does! I was in pure heaven, with a smile plastered on my face and eyes that couldn't have widened any more.
Shelves buckling with tins of mustard, pate, liqueurs! See all the pots of colour below? They stock every crystalised petal you can imagine, I bought giant rose petals and 'Perles d'agrumes Citron Vert' and 'Brisures Lilas Roses lissees' - remember I sprinkled those on my kabocha cakes? Anyone who knows me are probably relieved they weren't with me, I spent almost an hour in there, picking up everything from black sugar to Iranian pistachios and Chilean raisins, my wallet took a hit.
Dehillin and Mora were the most wonderful cookware shops, they were actually inspirational, I had so many ideas perusing.
And then we headed to Marais to have lunch at Rose Bakery. I have wanted to go here for years too. I had one of their cute square tarts and salad, complimentary sourdough and butter and a pot of tea. Then a short walk away to Tartes Kluger on rue du Forez for a peak at Nancy's friends place. http://www.tarteskluger.com/ - I wish there were more places like this in London. We then walked past Poilane where a shop assistant who at first glance looked like he hadn't wandered far out of the shop to have a cigarette, was actually chewing on a piece of sourdough, probably as addictive.
Pretty Cream puffs at Popelini
Loaf cakes on display at Rose Bakery
Poilane loaves with the signature 'P'
Oh and this is a cute place Nanashi owned by Kaori Endo who worked at the Rose Bakery and now has opened her own cafe, Japanaese, opposite Tartes Kluger. I love the little open kitchen bench in the street window.
The outdoor market
Nancy bought some bass for a home cooked Japanese meal at her beautiful apartment for the following night inspired by Eric at the breakaway Japanese Kitchen, yum.
Nancy also introduced me to some outstanding teas, think loose black tea with toasted coconut and also Polish cakes from her Polish roots. I've never seen so many poppy seeds being used in one cake!
More tea at Mariage Frères
And then, after a night in Bastille, sinking cocktails in Mojito lab with one old, and some new friends I needed comforting in the morning. So, on my last morning in Paris, I met with Nancy again at her favourite Boulangerie http://dupainetdesidees.com/ I don't need to tell you how good the patisserie is here, just look at the hundreds of layers in those croissants, I took loads home and a couple of things for the eurostar home.
And although I haven't shared anything with you non foodie that I did, how cute is this water bowl in the wall for dogs? Only in Paris. I really do love Paris, and I left plenty of things on my list to discover..until the next time.