Archive for July, 2019

July 31, 2019

Restaurant: Morbihan et Finistére!

Back to my new regular line of Restaurant post on my family travels around the world. This time is very close to home combining the same restaurant in my dept 56 of Morbihan and the neighboring dept 29 of Finistére in lovely Brittany.

First, we stumbled upon the Au Bureau restaurant while in our walking tours of Brest and it became our favorite to my dear late wife Martine for it fondue camembert dish and the ice cream of nine scoops! However, on subsequent visit we found out it had closed and they had the new restaurant call Au Pub! Needless to say they could not do the fondue camembert dish anymore but did for us the nine scoops of ice cream!

It is at same location Restaurant Au Pub ,10 Rue de Siam,Brest.

Brest

Brest

This brasserie-restaurant is also a bar whose menu of cocktails, beers and whiskeys is ideal to have a good time. Located at the bottom of the Rue de Siam , this friendly restaurant welcomes you for a well-deserved lunch break or a casual dinner with friends. Hearty dishes will be served in the dining room or on the terrace, and you can enjoy the festive atmosphere of this great  pub summer and winter. Indeed worth the stop even with the new name.

They have a page in Facebook here: Facebook page of Resto Au Pub Brest

However, in our road warrior trips in our beloved Morbihan , we end up seeking food for our dog Rex at Maxi Zoo in the town of Séné. And behold, they had just open an Au Bureau there!!! Surprise, well we went in right away. And have come back ever since !!!

The Au Bureau is at 69 Route de Nantes in Séné.

Ending up in this restaurant mixing bar pub brewery atmosphere with screens everywhere after coming to get my dog Rex food in same shopping center!. And now we have the Au Bureau not far from us again!  Meals correct beautiful atmosphere value for money means a little expensive for a menu carte that remains unsurprising. Very good meal and  impeccable team of the restaurant. Thank you to them for the pleasure of coming back again a few more times. A  pub-restaurant where the pleasure is in the plate, but also in the room with its 5 giant screens for sports and various activities offered throughout the year. The place is festive, for all ages …The franchise is own by the former general Manager of the FC Lorient football/soccer team now in the French 2nd Division.

Their official page is here (they refer as Vannes because capital and bigger town but it is in the town of Séné ok) : Official Au Bureau at Séné

sene

sene

sene

And there is the story, what started as one end up being two places to enjoy a good meal with great drinks and wonderful views. The ambiance is guarantee. Enjoy the new Au Pub and the old/new Au Bureau!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 30, 2019

Restaurant: Alcalà de Henares!

So back at you with another dandy in my beloved Spain. In continuing with my series on restaurants visited with the family and with photos I take you now to a great memorable find in the Comunidad de Madrid.

While visiting the wonderful Alcalà de Henares we stumble on this nice place right in front of the Cathedral! with a funny name La Gitana Loca or the crazy female gypsy and it caught our attention to go in. It was a very nice encounter with cheap tapas and beers which we have repeated going there.

Alcala de Henares

The prices were one euro for the tapas and we had it going to as much as 70 cents the euro for the glass of beer known as the cana! Enough simple thing to do with a family. It is located at Plaza Santos Ninos 4 directly across from the main entrance to the Cathedral.

Alcala de Henares

A bit of my impression on it.

The truth is that the site does not deceive;  cheap food and drink. The place is normal to go for tapas, the interesting thing is the place where I find it, at the foot of the Cathedral by its main entrance for an excellent location. Bustling site for cheap glass of beer or canas with friends. The atmosphere is for the young but for a family can have great combi tapas and beers and in summer the terrace is elbow to elbow full. The food is not very remarkable as tapas are simple but cheap as well. A good place to cool off, have a drink and admire the architecture of the magisterial Cathedral and its storks from the terrace and continue the path.

Alcala de Henares

An umpretentious place that look more like a bar than a restaurant but the service was very friendly and the food good and cheap, tapas for one euro and beer for 70 centimes attack attack!!!

The official webpage is on the franchise host and not enough info as well as in Spanish : Official La Gitana Loca

Yelp reviews on La Gitana Loca

There you go a wonderful tourist spot with still great Spanish prices. Enjoy your lunch at La Gitana Loca as we did.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 29, 2019

Port de Suffren and gourmet Paris!

So I am on the foodie mode again ,and getting some souvenirs of my vault to share here first time or expand on bits from previous posts in my blog. One of the best advantage of living in France is the gastronomy and wines etc are the best in the world. Yes often imitated but never surpass ,it was the first region by Unesco on World Heritage Immaterial mention on it.

Anyway , let me tell you about the Port de Suffren very near the Eiffel tower. And more importantly about an event that has mark my hunger and thirst ever since, the Saveurs et vins encounter at the Maxim’s peniche boat now Le Paris.

The port de Suffren at the Quai Branly off the pont Bir Hakeim bridge or just coming from the Eiffel tower and go down on your left to the Seine river. The name Suffren comes from 1905 that was the avenue found next to it . The port is about 600 meters long from the Pont d’Iéna to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim and is mostly filled with housing peniche boats.

paris

There are two other nice eating places here such as the Bar de la Marine, and the Peniche Cercle de la Mer. On the left side of Pont d’Iéna you have the Vedettes de Paris cruise boats and on the right side the Bateaux Parisiens cruise boats. And you should know this so won’t dwell on them.

Paris

The event that took me to find out about this area was the Saveurs et Vins or tastes and wines that was held back in 2008 at the Maxim’s peniche boat own by Pierre Cardin fame. The best houses came here for you to taste. The Maxim’s otherwise official page is here: Maxim’s de Paris

Paris

I was looking forward every year to the event. When I came to the Morbihan breton it was too far to go just for a day so instead had made friendship with many of the participants and contacted them to go direct to their place to taste and purchase. It has become a family tradition.

paris

The event at the  Maxim’s peniche or boat event call saveurs et vins or tastes and wines event on the Seine river  at the port de Suffren just down the left stairs from crossing the tour Eiffel. It goes on every year in March usually around the 18-20. More on it here: Official Saveurs et Vins at Suffren

You can reach in Paris by taking métro Bir Hakeim line 6 or RER C Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel, you go down the stairs by the carrusel side with your back on the Tour Eiffel its your left, walk along the Seine river at the  Port de Suffren for about 100 meters and the boat peniche Maxim’s is there anchored.

Many wonderful independant producers come here, and the offering is the best in country France. Some of my favorites that still attend this event are

Chocolats de Beussent-Lachelle (pas de Calais  62 ,but 25 stores nationwide: Chocolats Beussent -Lachelle

Champagne Philippe Gonet (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger  51 ,south of Epernay): Champagne Philippe Gonet

Domaine Dutertre (Amboise-Touraine 37 near Amboise ) : Domaine Dutertre wines

Souleilles terre de foie gras , (north east of Agen 47 ): Souleilles foie gras from Agen

paris

Hope you like this gastronomic tour of some of the best of my belle France. You too can come and visit while in Paris and maybe you get hook on some of them as we did and have and still do! The properties above are visit at least once a year and or follow into other fairs like the one in my capital city of Vannes 56.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

July 28, 2019

Tour de France 2019 Final!!!

So quick post so happy to see another wonderful Tour de France, even if this year could not go on the spot, is an event the family looks forward every year and the TV coverage is super , say better even than on site for the views if the ambiance is less of course. Consolation.

I wrote earlier on the start of this wonderful historical traditional race back on July 5th here

Tour de France 2019 !!!

And now after 21 stages the race is over at the ave des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The last race was great because it passed by areas we love and been to them and even lived; starting from lovely Rambouillet in the Yvelines dept 78.

The youngest winner in history , Egan Bernal of Colombia. Impressive and many friends very happy about him. I know his native town as visited and the area too. He is from Zipaquira in the vally of Boyacà where they have a wonderful Cathedral in a salt mine with the 14 steps of Christ awesome. This is not far from Bogotà.

He , Bernal not only won the yellow jersey but also the best young rider at 22 years old he has a huge future in cycling ahead. He is the firs Colombian to win the tour de France as well!!

The final race in Paris was won by Caled Ewan, of Australia , his third stage in the race, rather a good future there too.  Peter Sagan, on points, Roman Bardet on climber, Movistar as team , and Julien Alaphilippe as combative spirit also won recognition.

The top general overall winners were

1º Egan Bernal (Ineos)  Colombia

2º Geraint Thomas (Ineos)  1’111 Great Britain

3º Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo Visma) – 1’31” Netherlands

4º Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) – 1’56” Germany

5º Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) – 3’45” France

6º Mikel Landa (Movistar) – 4’23” Spain

7° Rigoberto Uran, (EF Education First) Colombia

8° Nairo Quintana, (Movistar Team) Colombia

9º Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)  Spain

10° Warren Barguil, (team Arkea-Samsic) France

The official webpage for the tour de France: Tour de France 2019

Another great race with all kinds of weather situation and injuries and broken hearts and very happy winners as always. Until next time in France, the tour de France!

Ah took some pictures from the TV here that do not want to go to waste so will post some in a kaléidoscope to follow, hope you enjoy them.

paris

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

July 26, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLI

And back to my regular series, thank you for reading, and hope you are enjoying our summer even thus for some could be winter… After the news of the heatwave in France, I am happy to report that in my beautiful Brittany we have been spare. Right is cool light rain at 20C or about 70F while in our eternal Paris is heavier rains at 71C. Time is 11h30.

End of red alert vigilance for the heatwave (canicule)! The arrival of a stormy disturbance to the west will make the mercury plummet after the record heat wave episode. However, not everyone will be in the same boat. The heat will resist the east. Météo France has placed 30 departments in alert orange heat wave with temperatures between 35 ° C and 38 ° C with peaks at 40 ° C in the plain of Alsace. Among them, the Allier, the Loire, the Nièvre, the Puy-de-Dôme, the Saone-et-Loire and the Haute-Loire are also vigilant orange storms, as the Cantal. According to Météo France, it will be necessary to wait for Saturday for the end of this hot episode on all France. Paris broke yesterday Thursday its all-time record of more than 70 years (40.4 ° C in 1947), with 42.6 ° C. The record heat of the day was observed in Saint-Maur, Ile-de-France, where the mercury rose to 43.6 ° C!!!

The capital seemed particularly empty yesterday, when it beat its absolute record of heat with 42.6 ° C in the late afternoon. Since the beginning of the measurements in 1873, the capital had surpassed the bar of 40 ° C only once, on July 28, 1947, with 40.4 ° C. At 10h, Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart), 35 ° C; 12h, Place de la Nation, 37 ° C; 14h, Place de la Bastille, 41 ° C; 15h, Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), 42.4 ° C; and 16h, Trocadero, 42.4 ° C. After staying more than 70 years with a threshold of 40.6 degrees maximum, the City of Light has passed the 42 degrees at 15h. The mercury even climbed up to 42.6 degrees at 16h32, propelling Paris to the third position of the hottest European capitals. according to the data compiled by the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECAD) harmonized until 2018. Thus, the French has just exceeded the Portuguese capital Lisbon, the Albanian Tirana and Romanian Bucharest, having all three recorded peaks at 42 degrees in distinct periods. The City of Light is also placed in front of the Spanish Madrid or the Italian Rome. There is little risk, however, that it breaks the Nicosia record in Cyprus of 46.7 degrees. And still less that of Athens, Greece, at 48 degrees !!!.

Another dandy that I am following is the Tour de France .

The 19th stage of the Tour de France will be judged today in Tignes, after a visit to the summit of the Iseran pass. this Friday, with a short leg (126.5 km), but that promises a lot of sparks. The route will rise from the start of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and the riders will begin with three climbs, including that of the Madeleine. A pre-amble before tackling the Iseran Pass, the highest point of the Tour with its 2770 meters of altitude. A monster of almost 13 kilometers and a rare pass in the Tour. The riders will hit 30 km of descent to the foot of Tignes for a dry climb of only 7 km. It is especially difficult to climb, and if Alaphilippe arrives with the best, he will be able to keep his yellow jersey. For Pinot, it will be too late. If he wants to shake the overall classification, Thibaut must attack from the Iseran pass and make a big number. After that, he will still have the finish at the top of Val-Thorens (Saturday) to conclude. The French are not there since 1985 (Bernard Hinault, a breton! )  possible winners! this time around is Julian Alaphilippe or Thibaut Pinot! only 1,50s behind. Fingers crossed! More info here: Tour de France standing after 18 rounds

Update disaster in the 19th stage, huge avalanche the race stop and winners declared. Alaphilippe lost the yellow jersey and Pinot went out injured again!! Now maybe France will be left out again of winning its Tour de France!

Two new terminals of virtual reality open to the public today on the terrace of the Arc de Triomphe (8éme). The kiosks are available in 6 languages, and accept only contactless card payment. The Arc de Triomphe receives 1.7 million visitors each year, 70 to 80% of which are foreign tourists. Discover also a short film in 360 ° format on the return of the ashes of Napoleon in 1840, realized from a heavy  research work of the archives. More info here: Arc de Triomphe digital

Summer at La Défense: on the forecourt (parvis) The beach with transats, billiards, petanque, conferences, concerts … All summer long, the Parvis offers a relaxation area day and night in the heart of the business center of La Défense .(Hauts de Seine dept 92) Easy on line 1 of  Metro or bus 73! More info here: La Defense le Parvis

And the easy busfacile of No 73 , great ride above ground Paris!!! Busfacile route of bus 73

The first sound radar of Ile-de-France region  installed at Saint-Forget (Yvelines dept 78). Right in the Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse natural park. The machine is installed at the foot of the route des 17-tournants, (D91)a favorite playground for bikers, where a lot of noise is observed every weekend.  More money for the govt that is all.

And how about Rillettes or Pâte? Well is some differences for you to know.

For the rillettes, it will be best  seated. In the shade on a blanket, at the foot of a country maple. At the folding  table of a bungalow on the Atlantic coast. If the rillettes are accompanied by a beautiful slice of country bread and, according to connoisseurs, small pink radishes, they are also indissociably from a certain idea of ​​generosity. They are consumed among friends , and on toast, where they will be deposited in contiguous mounds. We do not spread the rillettes. Anyway, it’s at will, and when you want. And if not, rather Le Mans or Tours? Both ! Touraine, where, according to Rabelais, the specialty was born in the 15C, gained its protected geographical indication (PGI) in 2013.

The pâte is eaten standing. In sandwich. zinc-lined at the nearest bar-tabac. Then slice chopped to better garnish the bread. And with that ? A simple wine. Rosé will do. Go and find out why, it is easy to imagine that the pâte, if not the best friend of the barnyard, is that of the man, which he accompanies perfectly contemporary solitude

It would be wrong to reduce the face-to-face rillettes-pâté to a sociological differentiation (the tribe vs the individual), to a semantic distinction (gluttony vs appetite), to an ergonomic quarrel (sit vs stand), even a multi-departmental litigation (Sarthe / Indre-et-Loire-Orne / Calvados). These local products tell the same story: that of know-how. And the best of my belle France, enjoy them!

Another favorite of mine and very popular here too! The pizza!!!

The pizza has a long history: the word appears, as early as 997, in an archive document in medieval Latin from the cathedral of Gaeta, not far from Naples, Italy. Since then, it has conquered the world. In Pizza.  A book Pizza. Cultures et mondialisation (CNRS Editions, 2016)  or cultures and globalization CNRS Editions, 2016, the anthropologist Sylvie Sanchez traces the amazing story of this global success. In the 19C, pizza is a salty baking dough that the Italian people consume in the street. “The pizza is in oil, the pizza is in the bacon, the pizza is lard, the pizza is cheese, the pizza is tomato, the pizza is small fish,” writes Alexandre Dumas in 1844.

In the  19-20C, hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants came to France or the United States introduce pizza to their adopted country. A first laboratory  held by the De Lorenzo brothers opened in 1885 in “Little Italy”, the Italian district of New York. During the decades that followed, the first pizzerias appeared in Marseille, the Mecca of Neapolitan immigration, then in other French cities. The pizza then knows, in the 20C, and especially after WWII, an almost universal diffusion. Indeed it is all over and I am glad!

Tourists at the cemetery? (me never undertand to come to see a cemetery! ) However, nothing fatal in this, it is simply the daily show offered to residents of Père-Lachaise, one of the most famous necropolis in the world, located in a rural and particularly green area of ​​the 20éme arrondissement. Its 43 hectares are explored every day by tourists to various centers of interest. Here, it is a paradise for architecture students,  some “inhabitants” have taken the concept of “last home” very seriously and have been built mini-palaces, neoclassical, Gothic or Haussmann, which ensure daily visits. Pére-Lachaise is also the rallying point of fans of all kinds. Bibliophiles can come to greet Alfred de Musset or Honoré de Balzac. Music fans have more choices than Fnac: from Frederic Chopin to Jim Morrison, all genres are represented. By dint of going down every day at the metro station Charles-Michels, in Paris, we ended up associating this name with a mall and a stubborn perfume of urine.:::More info here: Official cemetery Pére Lachaise

A twenty minute walk … Opened a year and a half ago in the 11éme arrondissement of Paris, Hotel La Nouvelle République has made multiculturalism a philosophy. From the entrance, a fragrance with orange blossom, specially composed, tickles the nostrils. The decoration of the 30 rooms (including 2 with terrace) mixes the Scandinavian style and the warmth of the Moroccan furniture. The hotel’s logo – a hand, found on the front door – refers to the hand of Fatma, a symbol of protection in North Africa. The staff is international and multilingual (some speaking up to 7 languages!). Tea, coffee and small treats are self-service all day for guests. The property also hosts jazz concerts. Hotel La Nouvelle Republique, 9, rue Moret, Paris 11th . More info here:  https://www.hotel-la-nouvelle-republique.paris/

Sad news:  The Paris Commercial Court pronounced  yesterday, July 25, the immediate liquidation of the fashion brand Sonia Rykiel, placed in receivership since April 18. The Boulevard Saint-Germain building in Paris in the 6éme arrondissement, where the brand has its historic headquarters will be no longer. Sonia Rykiel’s house is put into liquidation.  The Paris Commercial Court ruled on the fate of the fashion brand founded in 1968. The company had been owned since 2012 by the group First Heritage Brands of Hong Kong. As evidence by their webpage momentarily indisponible; Sonia Rykiel

What to do in cities and go to a beach;my favorites!

Île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise, 1, rue des Étangs , 95001, Neuville-sur-Oise,  dept Val d’Oise 95 From 6h to 20h / Free. Not even 30 km from Paris, six huge ponds and 5000 m2 of fine sand, almost straight from the Caribbean. There is also infrastructure for the kids, and lots of activities for the whole family. And to make the thing even cooler, we will even have the opportunity to fish if we wish. Great! More info here in French: Ile de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise 95

Bassin de La Villette , Quai de Loire – 19éme Paris. Until September 1st.  Free. How not to evoke the famous basin of La Villette? In the context of Paris Beaches, the large basin of the Villette quay side of the Loire is laid out in several areas open to swimming and fathoms. Closest to the tourist  center of Paris. More info here: Bassin de la Villette Paris 75019

Île de loisirs du Val de Seine Chemin du Rouillard – 78480, Verneuil-sur-Seine (Yvelines 78)  Until September 2 from 10h to 19h From 3.80 €. Huge beach on the horizon!  260 hectares of woods, with huge ponds and lakes in the beach. And for the sportsmen, there is enough to feast with water skiing or pedalo. We just have to close our eyes and it’s like being in the South …And closest to us back then my boys love it!! More info hereIle de Loisirs du Val de Seine 78

Meaux Plage Quai Jacques Prévert From 11h to 19h / Free The perfect place to swim with your family! Meaux Plage is located within the Patis Nature Park, and offers activities of all kinds. But above all, you can swim tranquillou, or tan on the sand. And for the kids, a paddling pool is available! The sentimental favorite as it is my dear late wife Martine native town! More info here: City of Meaux on the beach 77

It was 1919 when Citroën made a shy first appearance in the car market at the fifteenth auto show. And yet, a few years later, Citroën is at the origin of the biggest big bangs of the French car. In 1934, the Traction Avant (forward traction) immediately demotes everything that rolls. It’s even the gangster’s favorite vehicle for its exceptional handling: powerful, it tames the centrifugal force (and the police). As early as 1948, the two horses enjoyed great popularity. Produced more than five million copies, it is one of the ten best-selling French cars in history. Today, the company belongs to the PSA Group and has found stability. Always with this idea of ​​the French class, Citroën gives birth to its luxury brand in 2009.  See it at the Monnaie de Paris Exhibition “The world inspired by Citroën”. Monnaie de Paris. 11, quai de Conti ( 6éme). Until August 18, 2019. Tuesday to Sunday from 11h to 19h, Wednesday until 21h. Free entry .More info here : https://www.monnaiedeparis.fr/en/activites-et-visites/exposition-photos-the-world-inspired-by-citroen

And there you go another news from France for you, and I thank you over the years since that november of 2010 that started my blog and today almost 700 followers! Beyond my expectations. Enjoy reading about my belle France. De fond de mon coeur merci beaucoup!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

July 25, 2019

Restaurant: Mont Saint Michel!

So here I go with my restaurant rounds of my belle France. This time take you to a difficult place as it is nowdays very touristic, no 1 visited site in Normandy!! So pricey me think. However, I am doing my nostalgic runs as where we had fun with my family so this one fits in well.

We have come to the mount a couple of times, and my boys have come even on school trips and we have tasted the famous! However, the La Vielle Auberge was unique. We were not looking for anything nor had reservations, just walking up and down the mount until hunger sets in and we look for a place to eat.

Behold we passed by the La Veille Auberge and saw a quant decoration old world tables set up as a restaurant and we decided to came in, little did we know the auberge is also a fine hotel (not always are both). Oh yes yes of course, this is inside the Mont Saint Michel! So therefore, let me tell you a bit more on it ok

mont saint michel

The La Vielle Auberge or Old Inn, at  GrandRue-Intra Muros, Mont-Saint-Michel. This is a very nice hotel but we came for the restaurant! Again, they are best known for the hotel. Our memories are that we did not know when we were there,it was a hotel!  and we came across them because of the nice rustic views  in the restaurant. The atmosphere was very nice old, good service, food ok as it is a major tourist site, no 1 in Normandy!

Mont saint michel

Mont Saint Michel

If you are planning to spend a magical stay, near the famous Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, tradition perpetuated the welcome of pilgrims, terrace overlooking the ramparts and overlooking the bay of Mont Saint-Michel , in a house listed as a historical monument, with 11 rooms with unique decoration. And, also, close for you to see other towns if with a car as the hotel is about  24 km from Avranches, 49 km from Cancale, and  Dol-de-Bretagne is 30 km away.

Mont saint michel

The thing that made us come in is the charming  brasserie with a terrace where you can enjoy simple and good dishes with idyllic views of the spire overlooking the Abbey as well as the bay of Mont Saint Michel from the terrace. Enjoy regional dishes with seafood, buckwheat pancakes and omelets.We had a wonderful service  nice and prompt , the prices we control with a main dish, bottle of rose wine, extra dishes of fries, and coffee expresso, I had the menu at 18€ with salad entrée, steak =entrecote, fries and a tarte normande or apple pie that was the best of it all. All came out to 23.40€ per person.  The anecdote here is that my dear late wife Martine completely change the menu on the omelets with more onions and less peppers and they oblige! All served very quickly during a beautiful evening on the terrace. In short, we must be not able to find much worse on the Mount !!!

Mont saint michel

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip here are

Official La Vielle Auberge on the restaurant

Tourist office of Mont Saint Michel on restaurants see La Vielle Auberge

There you go another dandy right up on the Mont Saint Michel with the best views of the bay lovely terrace ,and decent food at still affordable prices, enjoy the La Vielle Auberge!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 25, 2019

Restaurant: Rouen!

In continuing with my nostalgic saga of my family visits to wonderful places to eat and drink in my belle France, I take you this time to Rouen. Who has not heard of Rouen? The gorgeous city in the Seine-Maritime dept 76 of the region of Normandy. We have come here often many times, especially since living closer in Versailles. I have my wonderful memories I like to share and maybe they will become yours too. Enjoy it!

It is an easy ride by road on the A15 or by train from Gare St Lazare in Paris, you can do in a day, come for lunch it is worth it. I like to tell you a bit more on the Brasserie Paul of Rouen.

It is located at Place de la Cathédrale ,right diagonally from the Cathedral,  much less ancient than the Cathedral, but just as historic, Brasserie Paul also offers a trip back in time, in the shadow of the memories of Marcel Duchamp who played chess or Simone de Beauvoir, a loyal customer and also Claude Monet, and Apollinaire. Founded in 1911, the oldest brewery in Rouen in activity. The restaurant has kept an old-fashioned charm with its comfortable banquettes, friendly fast service even at lunch with great food and ambiance. You can have croissants in the morning, or dinner out of the opera or cinema. Brasserie Paul offers traditional home-made cooking. The fresh and regional products value the Normandy terroir and Rouen craftsmen, such as the Osmont bakery and the Olivier cheese maker. The years pass but the myth continues!

rouen

We tried the house specialty ,apple and camembert turnover with a cider sauce sublime worth coming back for it. And of course, plenty of Norman cider with great views of the wonderful Cathedral of Rouen! You can’t ask for a better food or spot than this one. Hope you can make it there too.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Brasserie Paul of Rouen

Tourist office of Rouen on the Brasserie Paul

Yelp reviews on the Brasserie Paul

And there you go , another dandy in culinary magical France. And of course, you have heard of the Norman hole? trou normande=  a gastronomic custom that consists of drinking a small glass of calvados between two dishes. It must facilitate digestion and restore appetite to guests ::) Enjoy it like a true Norman! Be there at Brasserie Paul of Rouen!!

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

July 24, 2019

Restaurant : Toulouse!

And why not mention this before! One of my favorite cities in France, and of sentimental value as there is family from the wife’s side! Of course, we have come here often and several posts in my blog, but I feld this place needs to be told more and we love it!

Let me tell you a bit more on the Le Louchebem,  at 3, place Victor-Hugo ; Loges 3, 4 et 5. In the Marché Victor Hugo market! and in Toulouse of course!

The Le Louchebem opened its doors in 1994, above the Victor Hugo market. This traditional establishment is a family home that makes both   restaurant and butcher shop. It holds the title of Master Restaurateur. The cuisine prepared here is made from fresh and carefully chosen products. The setting is picturesque, the atmosphere friendly, the service as professional as smiling. That is to say if it is a good address for the local Toulousans as for visitors passing through. It is essential to taste the homemade specialties, as hearty as delicious as our favorite cassoulet. The Févoulet is the ancestor of cassoulet and is a very old Occitan recipe made with beans, duck confit, pork rinds and sausage, before the féves especial beans are replaced by the white beans brought back from Latin America in the 16C. For over 20 years, every first weekend of the month at the Victor-Hugo market in Toulouse, Le Louchebem has been honouring its sublime féves bean cassoulet to the delight of its loyal clientele. There are also the classic cuts of meats such as the faux filet steaks XL , XXL , and XXXL; the   veal kidney, XXL beef fillet. And the plate of the 4 meats “La Gilbe” with walnut, bib, faux fillet, steak.

A very busy place of 12h lunch.  Every time I passed in Toulouse I find with great pleasure this place of sharing and for lovers of good meat and cassoulet . The pleasant terrace, the service always professional, smiling and caring waiters and waitresses. Don’t miss it while in Toulouse.

Official webpage for Le Louchebem of Toulouse

Yelp reviews on Le Louchebem at Toulouse

Toulouse

And where is it? One of the best spots in Toulouse; here is a brief history.

It was not until 1827, after the demolition of the ramparts surrounding the heart of the city since the Middle Ages, that the square where the Victor Hugo market stands today will be built. It took place in 1827 under the name of Place du Marché-au-Bois and hosted from its inception a market with wood, fodder and then flea market.

The Place du Marché-au-Bois was renamed the Place Victor Hugo in 1886 at the occasion of a coronation of the poet by the Floral Games. In 1892, the new Victor Hugo market was inaugurated. Under its metal halls there were 283 shops. Modern and functional, it is the largest covered market in Toulouse. It was in 1959 that the current market-parking was born. this new Victor Hugo market which will become the first paid car park in Toulouse, with 670 parking spaces and a market of 100 exhibitors. It went again renovations in 2016 and now it is sparkling wonderful even better place to be at in Toulouse.

Official webpage for the Marché Victor Hugo

There you go another dandy in the pink city of Toulouse. Wonderful town, and lovely folks of course! Do not missed the town, and of course cannot missed Le Louchebem if in town or rather come in just for it, all worth it I say. Enjoy it as we do.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 24, 2019

Restaurant: Le Mans!

So let’s get back to my series on personal experiences on restaurants around the world. These are a selection only , there are many others. Many if not all already written about it in my blog on the particular trip but feel that a single post on them is worth it for the family souvenir. Hopefully, they will become yours too.

I like to take you to a very famous spot in my belle France, Le Mans. Let me give a bit introduction to the city first ok.

The city of Le Mans is located in the Pays de la Loire region and the Sarthe department no. 72 of which it is the prefecture. The city is located at the confluence of the Sarthe and Huisne rivers. Former provincial capital of Maine and Perch from the 17C on, it saw the marriage of Geoffroy V of Anjou and Mathilde the Emperesse, daughter of the King of England, thus laying the foundations of the Plantagenet Empire, and the birth of Henry II. Old Mans, known as the Plantagenet City, is the historic district of the city. Le Mans is an ancient red city because of the particular color of its partly preserved Gallo-Roman enclosure dating back to the 3C!

The highway/motorway node, composed by the A 11 (Paris-Nantes), the A 81 (Le Mans-Rennes) and the A 28 (Rouen-Tours) which serves the city, encompasses three-fourths of Le Mans (Mancelle)  agglomeration. Estimated average time from Le Mans are 2h30 from Paris via the A11, 2 hours from Nantes by the A11 and from Rouen by the A28., at 1h40  from Rennes by the A81 and then by the RN157. 50 minutes from Tours on the A28. And 40 minutes from Alençon on the A28.All well connected and good roads we have tested!

City of Le Mans on its history in French

And now let me tell you about the Restaurant Pizzeria Le Capitole of Le Mans!

The Pizzeria Le Capitole, 1 rue des Jacobins is located in the heart of the city, and close to the new Theater, it offers hearty French/ Italian cuisine at more than just the right price! A varied menu for all tastes: Pizza, Salads, Grills, Pasta, Ice Cream and Desserts. In an elegant atmosphere, the colors are sober (black, gray, linen) warmed by a set of fixtures of originality.

Le mans

Le Mans

We were walking by and took a look at its quant façade so we went in as usual and had a very good lunch!! Interesting and diverse menu, quick and friendly service. Very good pizzeria, pizzas are well stocked, friendly and smiling staff. I’d love to come back. The room is nice, the service is just as nice. Arrived without reservation, installed immediately. Price really reasonable given what you eat, food provided and vegetables that are tops! To know and come back!

Le Mans

Official Pizzeria Le Capitole

Tourist office of Le Mans on Le Capitole

There you go a nice spot in Le Mans for the whole family and be at the center of the old town to walk into history and see gorgeous architecture. Enjoy Le Mans and Le Capitole!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 23, 2019

Passage du Nord, Brussels!

I told you that we have come to Belgium and especially Brussels lots of time over the years and it is one of our favorite cities here. One can only think of beers, mussels/fries, and the many monuments of great historical and architectural value. However, we ;also,  come here for the chocolates.

Looking for them we end up finding beauties that we have remember for years and many times go back to them. One particular place is the Passage du Nord or the North passage, a shopping center of old world charm and the recipient of a Neuhaus chocolate store!

Brussels

Let me tell you a bit on it ok.

The Passage du Nord was built in 1881-1882 following the vaulting of the Senne river and the creation of the Boulevards du Centre. The Passage du Nord (North Passage) is a shopping mall that connects Bd Adolphe Max to Rue Neuve. It was born at the beginning of Bd Adolphe Max between the Place de Brouckère and the Maison des Chats (House of Cats).

In 1865, King Leopold II vowed that Brussels would succeed in getting rid of this cloaca called the Senne before the end of his reign. In October 1865, the municipal council of the city of Brussels adopted a project to remove the secondary arms of the river, to rectify the winding course of its main arm and to vault it between the train station du Midi and the north of the city. This is how the boulevards of the center ,originally named Boulevard du Hainaut, Central, Nord and La Senne and later renamed Boulevard Lemonnier, Anspach, Max and Jacqmain.

It was in this context that in 1881-1882 a shopping mall called Passage du Nord was designed to connect the Bd du Nord(later Bd Adolphe Max) and Rue Neuve. The Passage du Nord continues the tradition of covered shopping streets established in Brussels in the 19C.

Official webpage of the Passage du Nord shopping center

As said , we mainly came looking for it as we saw in a brochure the chocolatier Neuhaus , who is one of the best in the world and in Belgium for more than 160 years. We were not disappointed lol! We love chocolates to die for them! And we agree the best are the Belgians.

The Neuhaus chocolate store here is at: Official Neuhaus chocolates at passage du nord

Even thus,can only find it in French will give you the site of the Heritage Brussels on the information of the Passage du Nord, a memorable building that I was lucky enouth to find it and come back with the family as well. Hope you enjoy it as we did/do.

Heritage Brussels on the Passage du Nord

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

%d bloggers like this: