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The months of researching where to eat in Paris had resulted in a long list of restaurants to try.
What I hadn’t realised was that our hotel was in a fabulous position for many of these restaurants. In the streets nearby, Japanese and Chinese restaurants flourished, and gauging by the queues that formed outside many of them, there are some very good ones.

At the end of the street was the restaurant, Les Bistronomes. After our fabulous day exploring the King’s private apartments at Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s Playground and Hamlet, this cozy little bistro was a perfect choice for dinner.

Small and intimate, we were immediately made welcome by one of the owners, Sylvain, who quickly found our table marked with a small blackboard with our name on it. A novel idea for reservations.

When I’m in Paris, I like to try different terrines and pâtés. I was not disappointed here. The pâté, wrapped in a pastry crust, had a knob of foie gras and a slice of duck breast in it. It was served with tasty pickled vegetables. Fabulous.

Pâté en Croûte at Les Bistronomes, Paris

Pâté en Croûte with pickled vegetables

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A beautiful red

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Merlan with Artichokes at Les Bistronomes, Paris

Merlan with Artichokes

How could I resist the lemon meringue tart!

Lemon meringue Tart at Les Bistronomes, Paris

Lemon meringue Tart

Another popular restaurant, La Regelade Saint- Honoré was just around the corner in Rue Saint- Honoré. Unfortunately we could not get a table but I’m mentioning it so that you can add it to your list!

A bit further from the hotel, but still in the 1er Arr, is the restaurant ‘Spring‘. I was so excited when the hotel emailed me to say that they had been successful in making a reservation. This was no mean feat. Spring is one of the hardest restaurants in Paris to get into at the moment. Since its reopening in 2010 after moving from the 9th Arrondissement the buzz surrounding Chef Daniel Rose’s cooking has not stopped. You must literally ring on the day, one month prior to when you want to go, to make a booking.

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On the way to your table, you pass the open kitchen at Spring. We kept popping up during the night to check what was happening but chef Daniel Rose (on the right) had it all under control!

The kitchen at Spring in Paris

Chef, Daniel Rose supervising in the kitchen

The kitchen at Spring, Paris

Another view of the kitchen

It’s always an interesting experience when the chef decides the menu! This is the case at Spring, where set menus prevail and each course is a surprise.
The lobster tail in fish soup starter set the bar very high. The seafood bisque had obviously been simmering for a while and had been reduced to a fabulous soup for the perfectly cooked lobster tail.

Breton Lobster Tail in Fish Soup at Spring, Paris

Breton Lobster Tail in Fish Soup

The Vegetable Torte was an unusual course but at the same time, so perfect. Filled with roasted tomato, capsicum, zucchini, beetroot and enclosed in a pastry case, it was a tasty surprise.

Vegetable Torte at Spring in Paris

Vegetable Torte

Bonito Tuna at Spring in Paris

Stunning Bonito Tuna

Chicken Cheeks at Spring in Paris

Chicken cheeks and leg with bacon

Just when you think you can’t possibly eat another morsel, out comes not one, but two desserts
Needless to say, every crumb disappeared!

Rasberry & Chocolate Mousse at Spring, Paris

Raspberry & Chocolate Mousse

Coconut Icecream with Pistachios at Spring, Paris

Coconut Ice cream with Pistachios

I wonder what the menu will be for our next visit!

Do you like to plan your restaurants or do you prefer to ask the hotel to make a suggestion?

Spring
6, Rue Bailleu
Paris 75001
Tel: 33 01 45960572
Spring 

Les Bistronomes
34 Rue de Richelieu
Paris 75001
Tel: 33 01 42605966
Les Bistronomes 

La Regelade St Honore
123 Rue Saint- Honoré
Paris 75001
Tel: 33 01 42219240

View from the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur

 

This week’s postcard brings back wonderful memories of Udaipur and our stay at the Lake Palace Hotel. Situated in the middle of Lake Pichola, this hotel has many nooks and crannies where you can sit and enjoy the amazing view. I have also stayed in small hotels on the edge of the lake and the view of the hotel, sitting proudly in the centre, is just as mesmerising.

What to do in Melbourne?
For something completely different this trip, I decided to explore the laneways of Melbourne. They have become tourist attractions in their own right as a result of the street art they encourage. Some of the artists have become famous and held their own exhibitions whilst for others, the laneways are their galleries.

Hosier Lane is one of the best shows in town. Running between Little Flinders Street and Flinders Street, it was once the centre of the garment making district but today, all that remains is its’ name.

On these everchanging walls of colour, some of the art works can last years, others months or some, just weeks.
I must remember to pop back in a few weeks and see if there have been any changes.

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Love this dude!

About half way down the lane is the corner of Rutledge Lane where the Youth Projects ‘Living Room’ can be found.
The centre offers support to those in need. It may be a coffee and a chat, a place to have a shower, somewhere to wash their clothes, use the computer or have a meal.
The barbecue smells from lunch were certainly inviting!

Youth Projects Building, Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Youth Projects building

Lunch time at Youth Projects

Lunch time at Youth Projects

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Pets are welcome!

You can follow Rutledge Lane around the corner or enter it from further down the lane.

Rutledge Lane, Melbourne

Rutledge Lane, Melbourne

Even the bins have been painted

Looking from Rutledge Lane into Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Looking from Rutledge Lane into Hosier Lane

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hidden amongst the wall of blue, is the doorway to Movida, a fun Spanish tapas and vino bar. Great for a quick paella, glass of sangria or a churro and hot chocolate.

Movida Tapas & Vino Bar, Melbourne

Entrance to Movida

Movida Next Door, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

From here it’s off to Union Lane which runs between Bourke Street Mall (opposite David Jones and Myer) and Little Collins Street for more art.

Union Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Union Lane street art

At the entrance to the laneways, look out for the Pacman poster. This is your guide to the back streets of Melbourne. It is very easy to explore on your own but tours are available if you would prefer.

Pacman: The street art guide, Melbourne

Pacman: The Street art guide

Don’t forget to have a look at Cocker Alley, which was once home to work by the internationally acclaimed street artist, Banksy. Centre Place or Degraves Street are also fun lanes filled with cafes, bars, shops and more street art.

Melbourne Street Art Tours
Tel: 03 93285556
Melbourne Street Art Tours

Friends of Mine

When I’m in Melbourne, one of my first stops is always ‘Friends of Mine’, a fabulous cafe in Swan St, Richmond. Weekends are always busy so I often pop down during the week for one of their popular all day breakfasts or delicious lunches.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

As you enter, you a greeted with a fabulous display of cakes and an glimpse of the eclectic interior.
Chandeliers, exposed brick, wooden tables and blackboard signs create a warm welcome.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Buy your Phoenix Organic Juices and Noisette Organic Bread here.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Chefs at work

Everywhere the quirkiness shines. The staff’s workbench is a display of collectibles.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Breakfast here is one of the best in town!

Breakfast at Friends of Mine

Herb and Cheesy toast with eggplant kasundi and smashed avocado

Breakfast at Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Smashed avocado with thyme buttered mushrooms, marinated fetta and basil on wholegrain toast with poached egg

Smoked Salmon at Friends of Mine, Richmond

Smoked salmon on a sweet corn pikelet with herb creme fraiche

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Delicious!

Friends of Mine
506 Swan St
Richmond
Tel: 03 94287516
Friends of Mine

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I love Melbourne’s grower’s markets!
I’ve timed my visit perfectly as the Collingwood Children’s Farm Market is on this weekend and I can once again enjoy the fresh produce of the season.

Choosing where stay in Paris is always fun. We usually stay on the Left Bank where there are many fabulous small hotels, but this time we thought we would like a change.
Time to go to the other side!

The Hotel Thérèse is in the 1st arrondissement, just off Rue Richelieu. As is typical of most Paris hotels, the rooms are tiny but the hotel is charming and the staff friendly and helpful. I would recommend that if you stay here, book the deluxe room!

Sitting room at Hotel Thérèse, Paris

Sitting room

Sitting room at Hotel Thérèse, Paris

Another sitting area near the lobby

The position is fabulous!
Right next door is the Palais Royal with it’s beautiful gardens and arcaded shops. At the end of Rue Thérèse is L’Avenue de L’Opéra which leads to the Opéra and on to the famous department store, Galeries Lafayette.
The Louvre and the Tuilieres Gardens are a five minute walk away whilst the Marais is a bit further in the opposite direction

Shopping heaven is close by!
At the end of the street is Rue Saint-Honoré, lined with some of the world’s most famous shops. First stop is Colette, a fabulous shop with fashion on the first floor, boy’s toys, gadgets and trinkets on the ground floor and their famous ‘Water Bar’ in the basement.

Not far from here, we make a detour into the Rue du Marché St-Honoré and find ourselves in the local food shopping street. The market is in full swing.

Rue du Marché St-Honoré market

Rue du Marché St-Honoré market

Flowers at the Rue du Marche St Honore market, Paris

Beautiful Flowers

Summer fruit at the Rue du Marche St Honore market, Paris

Summer fruit

Fabulous asparagus and radishes at a Paris market

Fabulous white asparagus and radishes

There’s some great little places in the street.
First stop is Le Rubis. This little wine bar is a Paris institution having been here since the 30’s. Step back in time for a wine and plate of charcuterie standing at the zinc bar or join the locals gathering around the wine barrels on the pavement.

Le Rubis, Paris

Le Rubis with their wine barrel tables

Cooking in your apartment? Try the local butcher.

Mon. Barone the Artisan Boucher in Paris

Mon. Barone the Artisan Boucher!

L’Écume St Honoré is amongst the best places in Paris for oysters. Sit at one of the high tables and choose from the fabulous display of oysters, scallops, crabs and lobster. They even have the sound of seagulls playing in the background!

L'Ecume St Honore, Paris

L'Écume St Honoré

Seafood display at L'Écume St Honoré, Paris

Seafood at L'Écume St Honoré

From here we walk a little further along Rue St Honoré passing the fabulous display of roses at the florist’s shop in the trendy Hotel Costes.

Roses at the Hotel Costes florist in Paris

On the corner of Rue St Honoré and Rue Royale is Laduree, famous for their macarons and pastries. I resist the temptation to go inside. Thank heavens the windows are always a treat.

Laduree window in Paris

Macaron anyone!

We could have continued our walk along the fabulous shops of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré but instead we walked down Rue Royale to the Place de la Concorde to take a leisurely stroll home through the Tuileries Gardens.

Walking through the Tuileries Gardens in Paris

Walking through the Tuileries Gardens

It doesn’t matter how often we walk this path, it still feels like our first visit to Paris.
I love seeing the Louvre……

I.M Pei's Pyramid at the Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

Another view of the Louvre

……and walking along the bank of the Seine where booksellers line the path.

Booksellers in Paris

Dinner that night was at Ze Kitchen Galerie on the Left Bank, so we had to cross back to the other side.

On a beautiful summer’s evening it was an easy stroll across the Pont des Arts.
This metal pedestrian bridge is popular with lovers who attach an initialled padlock to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine as a sign of undying love. The government is not quite as romantic, claiming the padlocks are eyesores and haved removed quite a lot of them. Debra from Bagni di Lucca and Beyond recently wrote about this trend that is occuring in many countries, questioning whether it is a romantic gesture or vandalism. You can read her thoughts here.

Pont des Arts, Paris

Pont des Arts

Locks on the Pont des Arts, Paris

Undying love!

The views of the Seine, were beautiful as the sun set. I never tire of looking at the Pont Neuf and the Île de la Cité

Pont Neuf and Île de la Cité, Paris

Looking towards the Pont Neuf and Île de la Cité

 Pont du Carrousel, Paris

Pont du Carrousel

Paris at night

Paris at night

Paris at night

Paris at its best!

Where do you like to stay in Paris?

Hotel Thérèse
10 Rue Thérèse
Paris 75001
Tel: +33 1 42961001
Hotel Thérèse

There’s something magical about sitting at the bar of a 2* Michelin restaurant in Paris and watching the chefs in action in their open kitchen.

A couple of weeks ago I gave you a sneak preview of our fabulous dinner at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. I love eating here. The menu is tantalising, the food outstanding. This is the reason it is listed at number 15 in San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Bookings are only taken for the 12.30 lunch sitting or for a 6.30 dinner. If this doesn’t suit, you arrive and keep your fingers crossed. I’ve tried to figure out how the booking system works but I’m still confused! We were lucky on this visit. Arriving at 7pm, we were fully prepared for the “come back at 9 reply” but instead were seated. Hurray!!

L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

Looking across the bar

The menu features many tasting plates.  Choose a selection of these or you can order traditionally with an entree and main course. Whatever you do, leave room for dessert.
Dishes with names such as Les Anchovies, L’Oeuf, La Langoustine and Le Jambon grace the menu.

Our first dish was ‘Les Tomates’, a lesson in simplicity. A mixture of ‘les tomates anciennes’, was served with sumac and extra virgin olive oil. This was a reminder back to the days when tomatoes tasted like tomatoes.

L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

Les Tomates

We also enjoyed ‘Les Sardine’ – a picture perfect stack of sardines layered with fine melba toast provencale. It bought back memories of our fabulous meals in Sicily.

Les Sardines at L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

Les Sardines

Mozzarella and basil in a mille feuille of aubergine was a french interpretation of a classic Italian dish. Beautifully presented and tasting as good as it looked.

L'Aubergine at L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

L'Aubergine

I had to try Les Girolles. The combination of wild mushrooms cooked in milk and served with foie gras was perfect.

Les Girolles at L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

Les Girolles

My husband had to have his meat! The most tender and succulent baby lamb cutlets were served with thyme flowers. He was in heaven!

Lamb Cutlets at L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris

Lamb cutlets with thyme flowers

From past experiences, we knew the souffle was a must. Sensational as usual.

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Always perfect, always fabulous.

What is your favourite restaurant in Paris?

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
5 Rue de Montalembert
75007 Paris
Tel:+33 1 4222 5656
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon