Les Papilles – eating and drinking in Paris

Bistroy…Les Papilles – Restaurant Paris Les Papilles translates to “tastebuds” and this bistro is certainly focused on your tastebuds whether it’s for food or wine, they put as much care into one as the other. The philosophy of the venue is to “thrill your tastebuds” and besides being a bistro, they also double as a wine shop and delicatessen. At first glance, I thought it was a food shop but walking in, we encountered a full, bustling narrow dining area, on one side a long bar, on the other a wall of wine and in the middle a long row of tables for diners. They have an ala carte menu with classic French dishes, including foie gras and escargots as well as selections of ham to start and cheese to finish. The lunch menu is reasonably priced with most entrees €13 – €16. They also have a “retour du marche” menu which is the Chef’s seasonal menu. As I was with friends who speak French ( and I don’t), I didn’t know what was going on, but turns out we opted for the set menu (€33) of four courses, which was a lot of food! They do however, speak English and will cheerfully help you with both the food and wine lists. The fun thing about going to this bistro/winebar is that you can pick you bottle off the rows of wine lining the walls. They charge a modest corkage fee of €7 euros for a bottle off the wall with prices starting at €25. They do have house wines as well which start at €4.10 for a gls  and €13.50 for 50 cls.  The wines they offer are chosen to reflect their terroir and what they believe is the true character of the wines, so cue plenty of small producers alongside the more well known ones.  There is a wine list but we preferred checking out the bottles from the wall. After much browsing, we settled on a white Bourgogne to start and...

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Spur of the moment foodie weekend in Paris

Jan 18, 12 Spur of the moment foodie weekend in Paris

Posted by in France, Lifestyle, Travel

I always enjoy last minute trips the most. There’s something about the spontaneity of getting up and going without knowing anything about the trip. This trip was not entirely unknown, I did know we were going to be staying in Central Paris at the Hotel Tremoille and we were there to sample their champagne and caviar package. The Hotel Tremoille is ideally situated, close to the Champs Elysee and a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower. Despite the fact that I’ve been to Paris many times before, there’s something about rounding the corner every time we left the hotel and being confronted by this steel skeleton that took my breath away. Even though I knew it was there, it still took me by surprise. A four star joint, the rooms were very comfy, classic but also modern at the same time and the bed pillows! I wanted to take one home (I didn’t), they were some of the best pillows I’ve ever slept on. Champagne and caviar, who doesn’t want to indulge a little when they’re visiting Paris? The hotel has a chic little bar snack – the Maison Kaviari’s l’en K de Caviar  which comes in ultra sleek tins which slide open to reveal the hermetically sealed caviar (15g of Ostreta or Krista) inside along with a serving spoon. Leave it to the French to come up with caviar on the go. Coupled with a glass of Perrier-Jouet and a side of blinis, it does whet the appetite for dinner. The bar also offers a shot of ice cold vodka or wine if you prefer. That’s certainly one way to start the weekend. The next day we had a food walking tour in the 7th arrondissement, The Baguettes to Bistro tour put together by Context Travel. I really enjoyed it and our guide, Meg of ParisbyMouth was  full of food facts and great fun. As an added bonus, she took us to a taxidermy shop, Deyrolle, which has been around since 1831. It...

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Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Jul 13, 11 Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Posted by in Hotels and Spas

Walking into The Dorchester, I was on time for once. No, I was early! And why was I early? Well, when Le Meurice of Paris says don’t be late on the invitation, one does not want to risk being left out in the cold. Le Meurice is part of the luxury hotel group, The Dorchester Collection and the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice was in London to give us a taste of their monthly wine tastings, held on the first Tuesday of each month. This being Le Meurice, it’s not any old winetasting but a tasting led by Estelle Touzet, the aforementioned Head Sommelier paired with canapes created in conjunction with the hotels Executive Chef, 3 Michelin star rated, Yannick Alleno. They call it Les Nocturnes du 228 because the hotel is located at 228 rue de Rivoli and the event is held in the evening, obviously. Estelle was extremely friendly and easygoing, full of information about all of the wines we tried as well as the food paired with it. Originally from the Loire Valley, Estelle started out in the kitchen before switching over to be a sommelier. She told us that she and Yannick work closely together so that each pairing is a seamless mouthful. Where does the wine end and the food begin, is the question. As Estelle is French and the hotel is in Paris, I thought all the wines would be French but I was wrong. Estelle is a young, adventurous sommelier and she likes to push the boundaries of the wine world. She has not only an extensive list of French and European wines on her list but also goes out to find new and exciting wines from Australia, America and New Zealand amongst others. We blind tasted four wines, 2 whites and 2 reds, along with 4 matching canapes. Estelle would give us hints and try to draw us out but even us seasoned wine pros were hesitant to begin shouting out names and places but after...

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