Granger & Co

Granger & Co is one of those places I just kept hearing about.

We were wandering through Notting Hill the other day and decided to try it out finally. For once there wasn’t a huge queue (probably as it was a week day lunch time rather than a weekend) and given that it’s ethos is healthy eating, it’s a safe restaurant choice if you’re on a healthy-eating kick – particularly if you’re doing low-GI, low-carbs like (South Beach).

And honestly, it lived up to the hype. I mean, check out this pavlova…

P1050743 P1050744This pudding alone explained to me why people queue here for hours on a weekend. It was truly spectacular. Every single ingredient sung out from the plate – the pistachios, the hint of vanilla in the cream, the beautifully soft organic strawberries. It was heaven on a plate.

But let’s start with the basics. Before you even make it in to order pavlova, you’ll notice the beautiful exterior.

It has that very Notting Hill quality of looking laid back and expensive all at the same time – yellow awnings, white outdoor seating and a sort of Farrow & Ball (but cooler) lick of grey across the whole facade. Even in this super polished area you can’t help noticing it.

P1050755 P1050754P1050756The interior is all Ottolenghi-esque with a sweeping bar piled high with plates of desserts, the papers and some very beautiful families sprawling about – shiny-haired children and mummies in yoga gear. I imagine on a weekend it’s absolutely bursting with more just like this.

We took our seats, ordered some wine and looked through the menu.

P1050732I wanted everything on it. Literally everything. Maybe it’s just the diet but, even so, I think it really says something about a restaurant when you’re genuinely that spoilt for choice.

In the end I went for courgette fritters and Le Ginge had a wonderfully big bowl of Asian broth.

P1050736 P1050734 P1050738 P1050737Both were great – really truly great – but George’s broth deserves a special mention. It was so mind-bogglingly fragrant.

Next we shared (read, I ate all of) the strawberry and pistachio pavlova you see above, whilst ogling some copies of Bill Granger’s cook books that are dotted round the place. I made a mental note to buy every single one on Amazon as soon as possible.

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I really, really recommend this place. If you’re there on a weekend I can safely vouch that it’s worth the queue.

Granger & Co:

175 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SB
020 7229 9111

Also, Bill Granger does quite a lot of press writing and recipes it seems – if you want to get a feel for his style of cooking, look at this piece in the Independent. 

 

 

Sesame chicken salad with cucumber noodles

Well, I’m on week two of my revamped South Beach diet and I’m starting, actually, to feel quite good. The sugar withdrawal has disappeared and I’m feeling all bouncy and light on my feet.

Plus my energy levels are absolutely soaring…

Which is probably why I have been reading my new Hemsley + Hemsley cookbook cover to cover since it arrived the other day. The Hemsley sisters really know a thing or two about grain-free cooking, low GI and best of all, healthy eating principles. I just love their book.

So this recipe is taken straight from there and it uses cucumber noodles (similar to the courgette-y spaghetti idea). The cucumber noodles have a fresher, cooler taste to courgette-y though – more akin to the type to glass noodles you find served cold in Asian salads. Absolutely yummy.

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As ever, I’ve tweaked this slightly. To make enough for four you will need:

  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cooked and pulled apart (oven baked with salt and olive oil will do fine if you don’t have leftovers)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • around 4 medium baby pack choys
  • 1 big handful coriander
  • 5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 – 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • drizzle of agave nectar
  • 2 limes
  • a few tbsps black sesame seeds

Tip: there is an art to the timing of eating this – you need to let the flavours infuse a bit, but the cucumber noodles will go watery if you let it hang around for too long. Overall you need to leave it for 10 minutes or so, max, I think. Then just toss it all in the serving bowl and serve with extra tamari and lime, as above.

1. Spiralise your cucumbers to make the noodles. You might want to chop the spirals in half so each one is a manageable length when you come to eating (spiralisers make things massssssively long). You need this gadget to spiralise (see further details here in my previous post). Alternatively, this will also be great if you simply use a hand peeler to make long pappardelle-like ribbons of cucumber instead.

2. Finely chop or shred your romaine and pak choy and add to a large serving bowl. Mix your cooked shredded chicken breast into this and add the chopped chillies. Toss your cucumber nodles into the same bowl.

3. Mix up your dressing – add the sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, juice of 1 and 1/2 limes, crushed garlic, tamari or soy sauce, and agave nectar to a jam jar or other container and shake/whisk until it all comes together. Add to your bowl of salad and toss furiously so it’s all coated in the dressing. Sprinkle over the black sesame seeds, coriander and a little extra tamari.

4. Leave for around 5 minutes or so to infuse (see tip above), and then serve with extra tamari on the table and the remaining lime cut into wedges.

Yummmmm.

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You can find out more about Hemsley + Hemsley here: http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/

 

 

 

Asian cauliflower fried “rice”

Another day, another carb-substitute dish to share with you. (Yep, I’m still on that diet…)

And oh my, this is a good one…

P1070032-1P1070040-11This recipe is an absolute winner as far carb-subbing goes. It’s actually been around a little while – I saw it pop up on pinterest last year quite a lot – but for some reason it took me ages to actually try it out. But now that I have there’s no looking back. I genuinely prefer this version to normal egg fried rice now – and it’s totally, utterly, guilt free.

The premise works in much the same way as my previous coconut oil based stir fries (now my favourite way to make a stir fry). Apart from the fact that the “rice” you can see in that picture is in fact….

… cauliflower. Yup. Plain old cauliflower.

You seriously won’t believe how good this tastes. The cauliflower becomes unbelievably fragant and gently absorbs the stir fry oils in a wonderfully healthy way (a million miles away from the take-away version which is swimming in grease).

To make enough for two you will need:

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • a few handfuls of king prawns (around 150g)
  • 50g pancetta, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (seeds left in!)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • two big handfuls of coriander, chopped (stalks as well)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lime
  • tamari or soy sauce, to serve

First take your cauliflower and trim back the outer leaves. Dice into quarters (or any size big enough to fit in the bowl of your food processor) and rinse under water. Then simply put it in a food processor and blitz until its the texture of coarse bread crumbs. (Like in the photo).

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Now this next step is very important. It feels weird but trust me you can’t skip it out. (I did once and it ruined the whole dish). Take your blitzed cauliflower out of the processor and tip it onto a clean unused tea towel or muslin cloth. Then wring the cauliflower out over the sink to get rid of its excess water. There will usually be quite a lot – try to get out as much as you possibly can. Then lie flat on the open towel to air dry some more whilst you get on with the rest of the stir fry.

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Take your largest wok and add your coconut oil. Once it’s all turned to liquid and is starting to bubble, add your chillies, garlic and coriander stalks (reserve the leaves until the end). Allow to bubble away for a few minutes, moving around the wok with your wooden spoon. Then add the pancetta and fry off until its nicely browned.

P1070018Tip your cauliflower into the wok and using your wooden spoon stir the mixture so all of the coconut oil coats the cauliflower pieces. After a few minutes, add the prawns and stir until they turn pink. Then make a little gap in the middle or on one of the sides of your wok with your wooden spoon and crack your egg into it. Allow the egg to cook for a minute or so, or until it starts to go white and look like a semi-fried egg. At this stage break it up with your wooden spoon and mix it in to your cauliflower “rice” mixture.

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Finally, squeeze some lime in over your stir fry, take off the heat and stir through the spring onions and remaining coriander leaves. And that’s it… ridiculously easy, delicious food.

P1070032-1 P1070040-11 … and not a carb in sight.

*South Beach Phase One friendly

Fiery fresh crab and avocado salad

I know it’s time to blog a recipe when I keep returning to it again and again.

And lately I’ve been obsessed with this super quick salad for lunch. It’s wonderfully easy yet luxurious, and a great way to break up the monotony of your lunch routine.

P1060083-1And it’s very easy to pop in a container and take to work too. I’ve brought this in with me at least three or four times in the past week or so… (told you I was obsessed).

It all began when I discovered this new product at Waitrose:

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It’s delicious. Completely delicious. Next time you’re shopping be sure to pop one of these in the trolley. Trust me.

The only one downside is it’s a little bit pricey at £5 a go, but it’s just such an easy, tasty thing to keep in the fridge and pull out on demand, that I really think it’s worth it. Plus no wrangling with claw crackers or bits of shell…

To make a quick lunch for one (you can easily double the below quantities if making for two) you will need:

  • 100g white crab meat
  • Half an avocado
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
  • 1/2 tbsp fat free greek yoghurt
  • juice of one lime
  • olive oil
  • plenty of salt and pepper

Simply cut your avocado in half, remove the stone and peel the skin off carefully so that the flesh stays intact. Squeeze the juice from one half of your lime over it quickly and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Place it on your plate ready for the crab.

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Place your white crab meat in a bowl with the yoghurt, red chilli, spring onion, juice of your remaining half lime, salt and pepper and mix through with a fork. Taste it and check your seasoning is correct – you may need to add a bit more lime or salt.

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Pile your crab mixture over your avocado half, drizzle a teeny bit of olive oil over it and serve immediately. Truly delicious.

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*South Beach Phase One friendly too.

Here are the product details and an Ocado link:

http://seafoodandeatit.co.uk/products/cornish-white-crab/

http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Seafood–Eat-It-White-Cornish-Crab/42362011

 

Courgette bolognese (& elderflower gin)

This is my all time favourite, go-to bolognese recipe. It’s wonderful any time of day or night and if you happen to be spending a night in together as we did the other week, it’s an amazing dish to whip out at home (with some G&Ts, obv – see below for elderflower gin link).

But the best thing is, if you’re trying to lose some weight (like moi) then this lean version is served with… wait for it…. courgette-y spaghetti!! (That thing I’m slightly obsessed with, remember?)

You can serve it for any fellow carb-enthusiasts, like Le Ginge, with normal spaghetti.

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To make enough for 4 people you will need:

  • 500g extra lean organic lamb or beef mince
  • 50g pancetta, chopped into cubes
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small glass red wine
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • a few handfuls button mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a few sprigs rosemary
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • grating of nutmeg
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a good lug of olive oil
  • 4 medium sized courgettes (and a spiraliser!)
  • parmesan, to serve (optional)

… Gordon’s elderflower gin and tonics, big glasses of red wine and a very good film are all completely essential too.

1. Take your largest heavy-bottomed pan and put it on a medium heat with a good lug of olive oil (around 1 – 2 tablespoons should do). Add your roughly chopped onions and some rosemary tips, and stir it all through so everything is coated in the olive oil. Crush your 3 garlic cloves straight in to the pan and keep stirring everything for a few minutes. Add your pancetta and keep on the heat until it has browned nicely.

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2. Then add your extra lean mince, breaking it up with your wooden spoon as you add it to the pan. Whilst it’s cooking add the cinnamon and grate over some nutmeg too (trust me, these really make it wonderful). Also add a nice big pinch of sea salt. Stir everything through until the mince has just started to brown.

3. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, and then fill up both used tins with water and add this in too. Stir everything through and turn the heat up a notch to bring your mixture up to a gentle bubble. Once it’s started to heat up, pour in your red wine and stir again. Continue bringing everything up to a simmer and once it’s bubbling away, take a teaspoon and check the seasoning. You’ll probably need to add a touch more salt. Once done, pop a full sprig or two of rosemary in, partially cover with the pan lid and leave for 25 minutes.

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4. Once your 20 minutes is up, add the button mushrooms, replace the lid partially and leave for a further 25 minutes simmering at a gentle pace.

P1060172-15. Now, time for the courgette-y spaghetti. Simply take your courgettes, trim both ends (do this in a straight line to make it easier to fix to your spiraliser), and then turn into spirals. (My previous post here has all the details). All you need to do then is saute the strands for 1 minute with a touch of olive oil and salt before serving. You can also put your normal pasta on to boil whilst you do this if you’re catering for a carb lover like I was (it won’t take longer than a few minutes, so your timings will all work fine).

6. Give your bolognese a final stir through once the 45 minutes is up, add the juice of half of lemon (I don’t know why this makes it so good, but it does) and a big handful of torn basil, and serve piled on top of your courgetti…

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We enjoyed this a few weeks ago whilst also testing out some Gordon’s Gin with Elderflower. It’s amazing – such a brilliant gin. We were using some teeny little sample bottles Le Ginge brought home but I can’t wait to get to the supermarket and buy some of this stuff  – I just absolutely love it.

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It really slips down pretty easily…

imageI’m sure it has something to do with why our night in was so much fun… You can get it from Ocado here (although all of the main supermarkets stock it too).

I also highly, highly recommend sticking on this little number…

P1060138I danced around the kitchen to it whilst making the bolognese and sipping on G&Ts. Corking video too.

Quick quick quick youtube it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygeWsoYYMuQ

(Song is “Hit or miss” by Odetta. Beach guy is from the Southern Comfort advert).
 

 

 

 

 

 

Superfood stir fry

This stir fry is so super you should put a cape on it and call it Clark Kent.

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It has kale, broccoli, sugar snaps, peanuts, chia seeds and my favourite-food-in-the-whole-world-ever, coconut oil. It really is a great option for getting a lot of delicious, nutrient-rich veggies into a weekday meal.

For added superness, you can whip it up with seared lime and tamari tuna steaks (as in the photo above), like we did the other day. It’s delicious and extremely easy.

To make enough for two you’ll need:

  • 4 or 5 big handfuls of kale
  • tenderstem broccoli (at least four or five spears)
  • sugar snap peas
  • bean sprouts (I like several big handfuls)
  • 1 big handful of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanuts, crushed into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • a good dash of tamari or soy sauce (a few tablespoons at least)
  • a drizzle of agave nectar or honey
  • 2 limes

The method for this follows the steps of other coconut oil based stir fries (similar to this). This basically means first creating a flavoured oil by adding the coconut oil and spice ingredients to your wok (in this case, garlic and chilli), and then adding the other ingredients in order of longest to slowest cooking time, finally dressing with tamari, lime and/or any extras, like seeds or peanuts.

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To make the version you see above:

1. Start by adding the tablespoon of coconut oil to your largest wok over a medium-high heat, and wait for it all to turn to liquid. Next add your chopped garlic and chilli, with seeds left in (be sure to chop these as fine as you can) and let them cook in the oil for around a minute or so, turning the heat right down to ensure that nothing burns.

2. Take the kale, trim off the chunkier parts of the stem so you are left mainly with leaves, and add to your wok, stirring it through all of your coconut oil for around a minute again. Then add the tenderstem broccoli to the stir fried kale and leave for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the sugar snap peas for a minute or two until they start to glisten green, then finally throw in the bean sprouts and spinach. Toss together until everything is cooked to your liking – for me this isn’t too much longer as I like it crunchy and fresh.

You’re now nearly done. (Told you it was easy).

4. When you’re happy with it turn the heat off and dress your stir fry. Mix the tamari, lime juice and agave nectar in a small cup or ramekin until the three ingredients are nicely combined. Taste to make sure you have the right quantities of each ingredient. It should be sharp and zingy. Then pour over the stir fry and toss all of your ingredients to combine. Finish off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, chia seeds and the best part, a big handful of crushed peanuts. The peanuts really make this recipe for me. Serve with extra tamari and a wedge of lime.

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(South Beach phase one friendly too…!)

 

First date tacos – La Taqueria Notting Hill

I will always have a soft spot for La Taqueria.

Not only does it serve up absolutely the best tacos in London, but it’s also where The Ginger took me on our first date. It was about 18 months ago now, back when this little blog wasn’t even a twinkle in my cyber-space eye yet.

I hadn’t been to La Taqueria before but I did my homework after he suggested it and I was impressed – it had excellent reviews and margaritas. Surely no date can wrong if good food and margaritas are involved?

Well, actually, it nearly did go wrong – I was an hour and a half late arriving. Usually I think it’s acceptable to allow the girl to be a little late, but even I admit that an hour and a half is a bit ridiculous.

It wasn’t my fault though (I will maintain this forever). I was running about 15 minutes late when I left the house and so to save time I decided to take a cab. This would have worked in theory, but there were bad storms that night and I think every other person in London on that particular Friday had also jumped into a taxi. The traffic was horrendous. I mean, really, truly, horrendous. A snail on crutches would have got to Notting Hill quicker than me that night.

But I did get there (finally) and after our shaky start the rest is somewhat history. Apart from a few other awkward first date moments – like when George decided to play a game of “let’s guess what make-up my date is wearing” (yes, that really happened) – we had a great night. A massive margarita was waiting for me when I arrived and we quickly made our way through the menu ordering pretty much everything. La Taqueria is a great spot – buzzing, friendly, cheap and fun.

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But back to this review. We went the other week and, as usual, it didn’t disappoint. It was mid week but there was still lots of footfall (there always is), although we managed to nab a table without having to queue.

We ordered…. a lot. I don’t think you can go wrong with their menu honestly, but I would definitely particularly recommend the fish tacos. They are heavenly – perfectly battered pieces of fish, crunchy on the outside and slippery sweet inside, with crunchy lettuce, chilli mayo and a tortilla wrap. Amazing.

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We also went for carnitas (beautiful chilli pulled pork) and pollo barracho (beer marinated chicken) – all ordered in taco form. We also ordered some extra guacamole on the side which came with some extremely crispy totopos.

P1050774-1 P1050771-1We then took a brief break from food for a DIY tequila tasting. George did this during our first date too. It works like this…. one of you orders three varieties of tequila from their (huuuge) tequila menu and the other has to guess which one each is from the menu listings. It’s basically impossible (for me anyway).

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… and besides I think the only real point of the game is to get your date extremely drunk. And if that’s what you’re after, then hey presto this works.

The reward is pudding. And you really don’t want to miss the churros here. They are incredible. Almost my favourite thing on the menu (but the fish tacos come in first place still).

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So if you have someone you’ve been hankering to take out on a date for awhile then pluck up the courage to ask them out and head on over here. And have fun!

La Taqueria

(ooh, ps. It’s no reservations so either come prepared to wait or be sly and get there before your date to nab a table…)

 

 

The Source Battersea

It’s back to London after our little trip and somewhere much closer to home.

Kind of on my doorstep in fact. Welcome all to The Source…

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The Source is a good name for a restaurant.

It brings to mind fresh, seasonal, organic fare. (Like the photo above. Mmmm.)

And in the case of The Source in Battersea, it has another meaning too – a water source. The restaurant site is built over a natural well and they bottle their own water, which you can buy at around £1 a bottle (don’t quote me on the price, it’s from memory, after quite a bit of wine…). Our waiter also told us that, historically, ships used to dock to fill up with ice on their journeys in and out of London.

But enough history. Why don’t you come inside a grab a seat…

P1050106-1It’s lovely in here. The atmosphere has been great on all the occasions we’ve been. You can see right into the kitchen and the long bar (serving very good cocktails) is a nice focal point.

We ordered some prosecco and tucked in to the little amuse bouche thingies they bring out after you’ve placed your order. This time they were courgette fritters.

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P1050115 P1050110To start I had the artichoke dip and George went for heritage carrot salad with feta.

P1050118 P1050120 P1050121-1George’s salad was fresh and light. He wolfed it down appreciatively.

My dip was gorgeous, as usual – it’s so gooey and cheesy and unctious. You must try it out if you go. It’s the most commented on dish that the Source does in reviews. I think it’s veering on being their signature.

For main George had the pork chop with charred leeks, and I went for a lamb dish which was new on the menu that week. The chop was wonderfully delicious according to G.

thesource1 P1050134But sadly my lamb was no way near as good as the chop. It really lacked oomph and flavour. And there was something about its execution that felt very gastropub, rather than a restaurant dish that’s aiming a lot higher than that.

Whilst I was bemoaning my food envy to George, we decided to finish with treacle tart…

P1050139The filling was gorgeous and the sour cream ice cream deliciously tart. But unfortunately the pastry wasn’t quite right – overcooked at the top and soggy on the bottom. (Mary Berry would not have been pleased.)

So to sum it all up then, the positives of The Source are great atmosphere and a delightful, thoughtfully put together menu. The negatives are that sometimes the food isn’t quite perfect, like my lamb dish and the pudding. But that being said, I think they’re reacting to that. For example, the lamb is now off the menu, thank goodness.

Besides, I give it millions of extra points for opening up in my neighbourhood (bias yes I know).

I wholeheartedly suggest you try it out – if only to sample the artichoke dip.

Ransome’s Dock
35-37 Parkgate Road
Battersea, London
SW11 4NP

@SOURCEBattersea

http://www.sourcebattersea.com

 

 

 

Brasserie La Lorraine

Sometimes when picking a restaurant you just want old-school and traditional.

You know, somewhere where the waiters have been around since before you were born and the specials are spoken of in hallowed tones by the regulars.

This is what we were after when George led me into Brasserie La Lorraine. A Parisian stalwart which his father used to take him to during his year in Paris.

IMAG1936(1)I was won over by the interior before they’d even brought the menu. All original 1930s art deco crystal and slick panelling. It’s properly glamorous.

IMAG1898We ordered a glass of champagne and they brought over some very crumbly cheese straws. These alone are worth the trip – trust me.

IMAG1902 IMAG1901After lots of deliberation we both went for the plats du jour menu – Quiche Lorraine to start and then fish for George and pappardelle for me.

Now… I don’t know if there is a link between the name Brasserie Lorraine and Quiche Lorraine, but I do know that I have never, ever had a Quiche Lorraine as good as this one. It was just wow. Really wow.

IMAG1910So crumbly and flaky and rich in its flavour. And the filling was perfectly set – it delicately wobbled its way onto my fork.

My only minor gripe is that it was huge. A portion worthy of being a main course in itself. Plus quiche is rich anyway, so it should be served in smaller measures I think.

Next arrived G’s fish and my pappardelle. Our waiter showed the fish to George and then expertly prepared it by our table, plonking it down with a little flourish. (Very old school).
IMAG1928 My pappardelle comprised a confit duck breast, served in a pepper sauce, with fresh homemade pappardelle naked on the side. It worked wonderfully – swizzelling the pasta ribbons in the peppery sauce and eating with little morsels of duck breast.

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We were way, way too full for pudding (this was only lunch, after all). And so, defeated but happy, asked for the bill.

They brought over this little pot, which I in my ignorance assumed would have our bill in, but instead I opened it up to find…

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… little Madelines! (We found some room for those)

Here are the details if you want an old school Parisian lunch any time soon. But you’re only allowed to go if you order the quiche.

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ps. Happily all the reviews I’ve read of this place since our visit seem to agree with me…

I particularly like this one (it sums up the interior perfectly):

http://www.timeout.com/paris/en/restaurants/la-lorraine

 

 

Musee Marmottant and Le Fumoir

One of my favourite parts of our last minute Parisian jaunt was a trip to Musee Marmottant.

IMAG2162Le Ginge insisted we went (it’s one of his favourites) and I’m very glad I listened to him. It was spectacular. A complete change from the vastness of the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay.

IMAG2186It’s hidden away to the North West of Paris, in a beautiful little area which I likened to a sort of Parisian Primrose Hill (full of townhouses, green space, hills, views, cute cafes and lots of very upmarket shops).

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And the gallery itself is a big old house. You wander from room to room, taking in impressionism (the focus of the collection here) side by side with period furniture, heirlooms, sculptures and old Marmottant family portraits. It’s awesome.

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I particularly liked this little lady as we wandered through the upstairs hallway…

A fin de seicle gold digger if ever I saw one. Look at her wide open arms, gleefully awaiting her new necklace to be slung on.

IMAG2200 IMAG2203(The older figure does not appear quite so happy about handing it over…)

The whole house is full of treasures like this dotted around between impressionist masterpieces.

But the best bit is what you find underneath the house. A whole, vast, basement gallery of more Monet than you could ever hope to see in one space ever again. It’s dazzling.

IMAG2206 IMAG2208 IMAG2205We stepped out into the daylight feeling enriched – I love how art can do that to you – and headed back to St Germain, stopping at what is now my favourite pastry shop, Une Dimanche a Paris to get these little wonders…

10344266_10100821263673423_8044820878993663760_oThey were devoured in the sunshine on a park bench, with lots of embarrassing facial expressions on my part (of the “mmmm-mmm” and “omg thats good” variety). Definitely not sharing those photos with you.

We also amused ourselves with attaching a lover’s lock on the Pont des Arts…

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IMAG1719Although, I was quite perturbed to read this week that the bridge has suddenly partially collapsed under the weight of the padlocks….

Not exactly a great omen for our relationship! (If you’re superstitious, which I’m not)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10888557/Lovelocks-cause-Paris-lovers-bridge-to-partially-collapse.html 

After our romantic stop we headed back for a quick change, a glass or three of wine, and an amusing review of our silly bridge photos, before heading out to Le Fumoir for dinner.

IMAG2051-1This was my favourite meal during our trip. Relais de l’Entrecote does the best steak as I’ve already said, and Brasserie Lorraine the best brasserie lunch (more of that to come in the next post) but Le Fumoir really does it all.

Most Parisian restaruants we ventured to were really traditional, but this place was elegant with a modern, unfussy, twist. And a nordic head chef.

We started with a glass of champagne and George picked some red…

IMAG2067 IMAG2064If you go (which you must), ask to sit in the library. We were perched under a gorgeous painting and surrounded by wonderful leather bound books.

IMAG2063_BURST001 IMAG2061 IMAG2096And the food. Oh my the food. My photos are all blurry which upsets me terribly, but trust me the food was incredible.

IMAG2081 IMAG2088 IMAG2092 IMAG2100 IMAG2102The service was great and it’s reasonably priced by Parisian standards. I really can’t fault it here. Give it a go if you’re in town.

But probably best to steer clear of the lover’s bridge…

!