AMEX in Paris, a Sneek Peek at Rungis Market – video

Dec 09, 13 AMEX in Paris, a Sneek Peek at Rungis Market – video

Posted by in All, France

I’ve always wanted to visit Rungis Market and now I can, at least vicariously through this video from AmEx… Amex Travel Insider Alex Zane is taking a sneak peek behind some of Europe’s best known destinations, uncovering the hidden gems that make each place that little bit more interesting. According to research by American Express, amazing local cuisine and delicacies make trips away just that little bit more special. So while in Paris, the gastronomic capital of the world, Alex took a look behind the scenes of the world’s biggest and most respected food wholesaler, the Rungis Market, to see how it helps feed Paris. Larger in size than Monaco and sitting in a little known southern suburb of the city, the Rungis Market caters to the needs of many of the 77 Michelin starred restaurants that Paris is famed for, stocking over 400 varieties of cheese alone! Alex talks to those who visit the market every day, either to trade their produce or to source the finest ingredients for their restaurants, to find out why the Rungis Market is such a mecca for foodies worldwide. To learn more about Alex’s travel adventures visit Or connect with AmericanExpressUK on Facebook or on Twitter @AmexUK   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Visiting The House of Billecart-Salmon Champagne

Jun 07, 13 Visiting The House of Billecart-Salmon Champagne

Posted by in Champagne, Travel

  Billecart-Salmon was one of the first quality champagnes I tried when I moved to England so when they invited me to visit the house and meet one of the family, Francois-Roland Billecart, I was happy to take them up on the trip. We stopped off in Paris first for lunch at Guy Savoy, where they feature Billecart-Salmon as their house champagne. Guy Savoy is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant and the meal was, understandably fantastic. A fresh, seasonal menu, paired with Billecart-Salmon was a great way to start off the trip. We started with the Blanc de Blancs Grande Cuvee non vintage, followed by the Vintage 2004 and we  finished with the Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999 from carafe and not from carafe. Billecart-Salmon have designed their very own carafe, reflecting the shape of their bottles from the past. There is a difference when tasting the champagne from carafe. I find that the more wine-like qualities of the champagne come forward and although the bubbles are there, they are subdued. After a short 2 hour lunch, we hopped on the TGV and headed to Mareuil-sur-Ay and the house of Billecart-Salmon. The house was founded in 1818 and is still one of the few family owned houses in Champagne. Francois-Roland and his wife, Edith, now live in a half of the family house, the  other half used as accommodation for special guests. An elegant building, built from the tan coloured stones that are common in the region, the two story edifice is very welcoming and comfy, having the feel of old money, beautifully decorated, not ostentatious but tasteful. Over dinner we talked about their latest cuvee, the Sous Bois. This champagne is different in that it is vinified in oak barrels which gives it a very distinctive style. Francois -Roland believes that “in Champagne, they have reached a point where there is not a big difference in quality, it’s very important to find a new field” to appeal to consumers. However, he still wants to...

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A long lunch at Juveniles wine bar, Paris

Feb 28, 12 A long lunch at Juveniles wine bar, Paris

Posted by in Food and Wine, France, Travel, wine bars

When I was in Paris last, I popped into Juveniles wine bar for a long leisurely lunch. Juveniles is a Paris institution. It was one of the first wine bar of it’s kind to open in Paris 25 years ago. At the time, the concept of  offering various wines by the glass was mostly unheard of in Paris. Scotsman Tim Johnson presides over the bar to this day and was there while I was and stopped to chat with me and my luncheon companion. The menu is French bistro and the wine list while not overly extensive is full of interesting wines from around the world as well as more esoteric French wines. If you’re looking for a non-French wine by the glass, this place is it. Always something interesting on the menu. The day we were in, there was a Chilean wine by the glass as well as Spanish! This is going to be a photo-blog because I neglected to take notes but took lots of pics! Juveniles is on a small street, very close to The Louvre but a  million miles away from the touristy hoards. Wine and Duck A few more bar interior pics. The place is small so be sure to get there either early or late, or better yet, make a reservation. Juveniles is also a wine shop, wines available at retail prices… they have a cricket club Yes, it was one of those long afternoon lunches… Juveniles 47 rue de Richelieu, 1er arrondissement M° Pyramides, tel: 01 42 97 46 49, closed Sundays Have a favourite wine bar in Paris? Leave your suggestion in the comments section Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Nocturnes at Le Meurice, Paris

Le Meurice in Paris manages to combine understated elegance with quirkiness while at the same time enveloping you in a cocoon of luxury. That is the best way I can think of to describe this de luxe (in the truest sense of the word) luxury hotel. The history of the hotel goes back to 1771 in Calais where the founder of the hotel, Charles-Augustin Meurice took it upon himself to set up a hostelry for tired British travellers on their way to Paris. Charles Augustine owned a coach service and from there the travellers would take his coaches to Paris where – surprise! he set up a second inn for them to check into after the long journey from the coast. From these humble beginnings, Le Meurice was born. In 1835, the hotel moved to its present location, across from the Tuilieries. Due to it’s close proximity to the Louvre Palace, it soon became a favourite of visiting royalty and became known as the Hotel des Rois (Hotel of the Kings). Throughout the years the hotel also served as a refuge for royalty, as well, the Shah of Iran was actually staying at the hotel when he was deposed. Probably one of the most famous guests of the hotel was Salvador Dali. He would stay at the hotel every year for at least a month and was noted for his, shall we say, unusual behaviour. On one occasion he requested a herd of live sheep be delivered to his room and once they arrived began shooting at them with blanks! Ah, artists. Another time he asked the staff to catch flies in the Tuilieries and paid them the equivalent of 1 euro per fly. The legacy of Dali’s visit was the establishment of Prix Meurice for Contemporary Art. Launched in 2008, it’s aim is to support young French artists. As you enter the foyer of the hotel, you are greeted by a pair of almost entwined columns, one of the winners of the Meurice Prize. The...

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Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Feb 09, 12 Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Posted by in France

The Winesleuth is venturing into the world of podcasting. This is my first effort and I’m still learning how to use everything so bear with me, they will get a bit more polished as time goes by. The aim of this podcast is not necessarily to be educational, although, if you do learn something, that’s great! This is basically a chat show about wine. I get to talk to so many interesting people everyday and thought, I really should record this stuff. It’s not “irreverant” (which seems to be all the rage in wine shows nowadays) nor dry as dust (I hope) just people with a passion for and about wine, talking about it. Whether they’re winemakers, producers, sommeliers, etc. if I’ve met them, you’re bound to find them on this podcast. Click on this link for the podcast…. Champagne(mostly) with The Winesleuth In this podcast, The Winesleuth chats with the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice in Paris, Estelle Touzet, about Le Meurice’s food and wine matching event, Nocturnes, talks about the recent declaration of the 2003 DP vintage with Chef de Cave of Dom Perignon, Richard Geoffroy and goes to Champagne to visit the growers champagne, Champagne Tarlant, where I get to drink with one of the 12th generation of Tarlants, Melanie. Comments? Questions? Leave me a comment in the comments section.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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