Archive for ‘Food and Wine’

December 15, 2019

The markets at Auray and Pluvigner!

So here I am while watching all the traffic jams of my eternal Paris and in lovely Morbihan with cool breezes , light rain, and NO traffic! The benefits of the French countryside! And while getting ready for another round of markets let me bring you up to date on two of my favorites.

Well, favorites because these are the towns i lived here. Auray was my entry point for 2 years, and for the last 6 years it has been Pluvigner.  Let me tell you a bit about the markets.

At Auray, the big Monday market. In the heart of town, it welcomes up to 400 merchants in the summer, from 150 to 200 in low season like now. It is open from 8h to 14h30 from June 1st to September 30th. From 8h to 14h from October 1st to May 31st. This is also around the Place de la République and it is front to the Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall.


There is ,also, the organic market on Thursday.At the Place Notre-Dame, it welcomes up to 25 merchants. From 17h to 20h

There is the local producers market on Friday. At Place Notre-Dame, it welcomes up to 20 traders. From 8h to 12h30.

And you have the covered market or Halles at the Place de la République, right next to the Hôtel de Ville where they are home to about twenty traders who offer fresh produce all year long. Open every day from 8h to 13h.




The city of Auray webpage: City of Auray on the markets

And this is a bit of history I gather from the city page and the médiathéque or local library, which I put up in English

The Market or Marché of Auray would be the largest in Morbihan, but those of Vannes or Hennebont, two other cities of the department 56 established   since medieval times, like Auray around the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, also claim this title.

In the Auray archives, You can find traces of a first fair in 1434, when the duke created that of St. Elizabeth (celebrated November 19), at Place du Four-Mollet, to fund the Commandery of the Holy Spirit, the hospital for the poor (This Chapel still here now use for events and expositions) . There were rabbits, partridges, woodcocks, but also blackbirds and thrushes; wild boars and deer, but also foxes, otters and polecats! And the regulation already states that the removal of the wheel barrows from the market once unloaded was obligatory.

Today, it is the influx of seasonal exhibitors that upsets the habits of those who come to sell and buy year-round, and makes the Auray market the obligatory passage for visitors staying in the region.

And a bit on the Pluvigner market, much smaller but by now very friendly and warm place to be on Saturday morning if around, which that is the problem always out somewhere and not enough in my town!!!

Every Saturday morning from 8h to 13h at the Place St Michel. Near the Mairie of Pluvigner or city/town hall.


There is, also, a Christmas market or Marché de Noël on December 22nd from 10h to 18h.   Many stands of local producers and handicrafts, and many animations. This one I am looking forward to be there…..

The city of Pluvigner webpage: City of Pluvigner on the market

So there you go and of course if by these neck of the woods let me know would love to entertain a fellow blogger follower ::) The market are the soul of France be there or be square!

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


December 14, 2019

The market at St Brieuc!

Well by now if have been reading my blog you know we love the markets in our belle France. Tradition obliges and the very best from mother Earth are a must! Granted you always have to look at the labels but in general view the markets are what France brings out to the world in culinary tradition. Forget the modern trends of hypermarkets etc; head for the markets in any town in France.

We have gone to several over the years and have our favorites close to home, however, we have come to some newer ones in our lovely Brittany. This time I stay in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 up north and the town of Saint Brieuc.

Saint Brieuc

The market here is modern not history on it but the food and the crowds are just as nice and if you are driving traveling by here is a must. The road N12 connects you to all of Brittany and the TGV Atlantique stops here too.

The halles covered market at Saint-Brieuc are open Wednesdays and Saturdays. They are the biggest in the whole dept 22  Côtes d’Armor. Open from 8h to &3h at the Place de la Résistance in city centerThey are spread outside into the  place du Chai and the place du Martray.  In them , you have merchants offering flowers, fruit and vegetables, local products and confectionaries and prepare foods. All goodies!!!

Saint Brieuc

Some webpages for guidance are

City of St Brieuc on the markets

Tourist office bay of St Brieuc on markets

And there you go another round of markets in the north of the region of Brittany, up my alley but not close, anyway the road warrior has been everywhere! And for markets we smell the food km away and search for them, this is living at its best. Be at a market day in France should be your hightlight of the visit! yes I say so.

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



December 14, 2019

The market at Lannion !

So bringing you back up north Brittany to the wonderful town of Lannion. Again, I have written on it in my blog but believe not enough on this wonderful building that deserves more. Therefore ,here is a bit more to see in Lannion at the Halles or covered market and the open market around it, historically wonderful.

Lannion is the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of the region of Bretagne. It has the wonderful N12 road connecting Brest to Paris as well as a TGV train station.  Without anymore, here is the story on the market.

The big Lannion market is an institution! Every Thursday, at dawn, it takes over the city center or downtown, for the whole day. In the morning, honor is given to the regional food products, on the place de Général-Leclerc and in the adjacent streets. The first hour, on Thursday morning, the street vendors settle in the city center. In the morning, producers in the region offer for sale their mouth-watering products in the Place du Général Leclerc, rue Jean Savidan and rue Cie Barbé. On the Quai d’Aiguillon, rue Le Taillandier, rue des Chapelier, the other merchants take place for the whole day.

The House of the Hatters 16-17C, located at No. 29, Place Général Leclerc is something to stop and closer look. This house, which for a long time was millinery, replaces a house destroyed during the wars of the League. It was rebuilt in 1646. Antother one located at No. 31,   contains caryatids carved in the style of Henri IV and replaces an old house mentioned by an act dated 02 June 1444 in the renter of the factory of Saint Jean du Baly!

In the morning, from Tuesday to Saturday. For one hundred years, the stalls of the central halles have the famous fresh products of the land and the sea. This is a wonderful building indeed and deserves more and a visit ,the halles of Lannion.


The first halles of Lannion were born in the Middle Agesand were rebuilt in 1697, on the order of the intendant of Brittany. These halles were private property of a noble who had a royal privilege which allowed him to collect the rights of haulage in exchange for the maintenance of the buildings. The halles belonged to the family Le Gualès from 1688 to the French revolution. The law of March 15, 1790 removes the royal privilege by prohibiting the collection of the rights of haulage for individuals. In 1822, the town of Lannion bought the halles. The new halles will operate on the Place du Centre throughout the 19C. The halles were demolished in 1832 and it was in 1905 that the town of Lannion decided to build the halles that we know today. The work of the zinc frame and the glass cover are given to several merchants that needed coordination, and the inauguration of the halles of Lannion originally scheduled for October 15, 1907, will finally take place on November 1, 1907.


There is no detail information on the halles unless you go there and get the brochure but you can get information from  afar by contacting the city/town hall at the Hôtel de Ville, Place du Général Leclerc ,22303 Lannion. Tél : +33 2 96 46 64 22 : Fax +33 2 96 37 17 03. Mondays to Fridayas from 8h-12h , and 13h30 -17h30 as well as Saturdays from 9h- 12h.


City of Lannion webpage is here in French: City of Lannion

Tourist office of Brittany: Tourist office of Brittany on Lannion

And there you go, a nice shopping spree up north with plenty of wonderful monuments to see too, look up my previous post on nice Lannion.

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


December 13, 2019

Ok Champagne!! the season to be merrier!!!

SO here we are almost mid December 2019, time to enjoy the best of our Earth with great company and do with what we have for those missing someone my sinceres best wishes to go forward. The end of 2019 is near,another year went by and we need to have strenght to continue into 2020.

To do so, why not start with the bubbly, yes sparkling , crémant, but better try Champagne. I will give some news here and some suggestions for your end of year festivities. Keep it in moderation , health is all we got to keep. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to family, friends, and my loyal virtual friends readers of my blog.

With 35 million bottles produced each year, Crémant d’Alsace is the first sparkling wine consumed after Champagne. Since 1976, the AOC Crémant d’Alsace has been officially recognized! But, with only 3 houses in its infancy; Dopff au Moulin, Wolfberger and La Cave de Westhalten (now part of the Bestheim group).

At the beginning of the 20C, Julien Dopff, then owner of the house Dopff au Moulin, had given a boost to Crémant d’Alsace by imagining an sparkling wine which would come close to Champagne, produced from Alsatian grape varieties, and especially on the local terroir. And Wolfberger has made its mark by multiplying the trials to try to find the grape varieties best suited to this method called “champenoise” (and so those the world). The production of Crémant d’Alsace takes off in 1982 to never slow down again. Besides, 40% of the consumption of this sparkling wine is always made in the 3 months preceding the end of year celebrations. The Crémant now represents 27% of the total production of Alsace wines with 20% of export sales!

Wines of Alsace on Cremants in English

With 80 million bottles sold in 2018, in constant increase of 5 to 7% over the past ten years, the crémant is present in eight appellations: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire, Savoie. For the crémant, the minimum duration between drawing and marketing is 9 months, against 15 for Champagne and … one month for prosecco!, which sold 460 million bottles this year. Produced with faster and less expensive methods, this Italian wine spreads in all markets: the grape harvest is mechanical and non-manual as for the crémant, and the second alcoholic fermentation, which produces the effervescence, is done in tanks and not in the bottle as required by the traditional champenoise method. Therefore, you get what you pay for!!!

And my favorite region for wines is coming alone nicely thank you. For the past five years, the figures for Bordeaux crémants have exploded: 1,200 hectares, 50% more in two years; 75,000 hectoliters planned this year, five times more than at the beginning of 2010. In 2017, 20% of the annual sales of Bordeaux wines took place during the holiday season. With an average price between 6 and 10 euros, the crémant is mainly sold in supermarkets and 20% exported, especially to northern Europe, but also to Japan and the United States, the world’s largest sparkling wine market.. Served very fresh, between 6 and 7 ° C, the crémant marries the aperitif to dessert, especially with seafood, white meats or sushi.

Official Bordeaux wines on cremants

And I start telling you lol! The usual names such as Brut Impérial by Moët & Chandon, Carte Jaune by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin or Special Cuvée by Bollinger. These year-round crus, which represent 90% of the Champagne production, are produced according to a recipe specific to this vineyard: each house assembles several vintages to preserve the regularity and the particularity of the taste of its crus. What aficionados define as “house style”.

Some very good lesser names to think about this Holiday season which I would recommend are Michel Drappier , sincere Champagnes, without aromatic artificials. The Drappier family has been living in the small village of Urville, in the Côte des Bar, (dept Aube 02) south of Champagne, since the 17C. Try specially the Drappier Brut Carte d’Or.

And perhaps a more popular brand but equally good is Deutz. A discreet house regularly distinguished . Without marketing fuss, President Fabrice Rosset and cellar master Michel Davesne make this discreet house in Aÿ (Vallée de la Marne) shine with the regularity and excellence of its champagnes. Especially try the Deutz Brut Classic.

Still lesser known but equally impressive and very good for the price are the Domaine René Geoffroy at Aÿ. Here Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy remains the best representative of the solar vineyard and very pinot noir of Cumières. Do try his Brut Rosé de saignée, and the impressive Extra-Brut 1999!

And how about the French opinion? The very popular names comes to mind when on the French table such as Mercier(our favorite), Canard Duchêne, Nicolas Feuillate or Bollinger? News for champagne lovers! This is the conclusion of the opinion survey conducted by Promise / Panel On The Web, which asked French households (1,605 people) what is their “ideal Champagne”. Ok indeed a small number for comparison but a survey nevertheless.

At the top of the ranking is an expected Champagne house, the Reims brand Ruinart. It imposes itself on all categories of respondents: men, women, the youngest (18-34 years) and those over 55. Roederer and Veuve Clicquot arrive behind, they are mentioned by 47% of participants. Next are Moët & Chandon, Mumm, Krug, Deutz and Dom Pérignon. Astonishing 8th place for the Rothschild brand, a very minor player in Champagne. They underline the very bad scores of Laurent-Perrier (17th) and Bollinger (18th), who are however qualitative leaders of Champagne. On average, the French say they buy 3 bottles a year (that is about right for us). The study also confirms that the French lover of Champagne is a man aged 55 (and over) with comfortable income (oops talking here….). The final complete ranking : (my favorites highlighted ok)

1- Ruinart

2- Roederer

3- Veuve Clicquot

4- Moët & Chandon

5- Taittinger

6- Mumm

7- Dom Perignon

8. Rothschild

9- Piper-Heidsieck

10- Perrier-Jouët

11– Deutz

12- Pommery

13- Krug

14- Mercier

15- Canard Duchênne

16. Nicolas Feuillatte

17- Laurent-Perrier

18- Bollinger

19- Vranken

20- Charles Lafitte

Official Champagne, the one and only: Official Champagne in English

And speaking of Champagne we need to mention Reims. And the city is on the move culturally speaking too. The energy deployed by the enthusiastic Vitalie Taittinger, the new president of the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and Platform, impacts the cultural life.   The next City Arts Festival, the first edition of which will be launched in February 2020 . A culture in motion and multidisciplinary shows, this is also what Le Manège and its director Bruno Lobé offer, but also La Cartonnerie, the hall current music, one of the musical highlights of the city. The Médiathèque, which houses authors in residence and which, not far from the cathedral, is part of the same dynamics. At the FRAC, Marie Griffay, the director, presents until February 23, 2020, the exhibition of the Chinese artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang “Spread elegance” and announces an event dedicated to René Daumal, author of Mount Analogue, great figure where she will be co-curator with Boris Bergman, a specialist of the poet.

Webpage for direction and contacts for the above:  Faraway Festival on arts in Reims

And tourist office of Reims on Culture: Tourist office of Reims on Culture in English

And there you go ,hope to give you especially some ideas for your bubbly for the festivities of end of year. Enjoy it in moderation but do drink lol!!!

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


December 11, 2019

Vannes a culinary escapee!!

Ok so after a swing in the Paris area, and visiting new and old places, well back to my tranquil surrounding of my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh . I am convince now after so many years that big cities are nice to visit and small cities are nice to live lol!

I had my opportunities over the years to live in the world’s best cities in or next to them including Paris but been back here is like a peaceful remainder life can be simpler and better. I am back in my small town and going out for treats in my capital city of Vannes.

We have been here before, with family and collegues and I decided to take my Dad and go here again, talking about Le Tarmac restaurant, bar, brewery, etc by the canal in Le Port of Vannes.


They are on the left bank or rive gauche of the canal at 25 Rue Ferdinand le Dressay no webpage but tel no +33 (0) 2 97 47 58 27. They open from 11h to 1h serving lunch, dinner, coffees and drinks. Of course, they do have a Facebook page:  Facebook page of Le Tarmac of Vannes


Very friendly and delicious tapas and beers like the Le Tarmac house brand! Also, upstairs is very cosy and romantic with views over the boats in the canal marina. This time we went to the back next to the inner terrace and the plane propeller! comes with the name tarmac = Taxiway and parking planes in an airport.. ok



This time we had pizzas pilote ( goat cheese bacon , oregano, tomato and honey), fish and chips, steak and fries with salads, hot dogs with beef and cheese, plenty of beer cañas or small glasses and expresso coffee all for under 19€!! La vie est belle in the countryside of my lovely Morbihan!!!


SO I am back in town, be aware or be square lol! and may the season be merrier and happier for all of you dear readers. Merry Christmas , Joyeüx Noêl , Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal!!!!

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


December 3, 2019

A culinary trilogy , Paris of course

Ok so I am back from another wonderful stay in the Paris area and feld good to be back to the old neighborhoods even if noted traffic  has increase indeed.  I have lots to tell you but now let me entertain you with a Paris trilogy of culinary excellence.

I was meeting some friends and they suggested to go one where they have been coming for the last 20 years, so could not say much, here we went. It was an absolute delight and super friendly servers and staff all knew each others! I went with them to Cafe Lacombe in rue des Acacias 55 , 17éme of Paris. Also ,the corner with 37 avenue Mac Mahon, metro Ternes line 2 and parking as I did at Autocité Ternes at 38 avenue de Ternes!!


The Café Lacombe is as said above off the avenue des Ternes and not far from the Arc de Triomphe, an ideal place to satisfy your most greedy desires. In addition to a bar, it is indeed a real manufacturer-confectioner. And what better than to drink a good drink by accompanying pastries worthy of the greatest? Indeed they are sublime just for a pastry and a glass of delicious red wine will do but heck we had a nice steak as well lol!! The decor is refined with floral decoration, gilding, velvet sofa so nicely done. An exquisite setting to plunge you into a world as beautiful as Paris! The  pink ceiling decorated with mirrors that gives an acidic atmosphere to the room. You have the possibility of tasting delicious pastries while having a drink. A happy hour extended until 22h from Monday to Saturday, and great friendly folks, as the company was nice! After 20 years coming here I guess it will be worth a repeat by yours truly. No webpage indeed contact tel +33 (0) 1 43 80 92 25.



Then, I head out to my all time best area in the Muette, 16 arrondissement of Paris by metro Muette there are superbe restos. My favorite is La Gare, an old train station turn into restaurant several years back and always back even friends visiting me took them here. Love it bar , terrace and resto; all wonderful. This time just stop for a glass of wine at the bar as was waiting for more friends across the street. I have written before in my blog so will just give you their webpage and do go there when in Paris; even the webpage is enticing !!! La Gare Paris restaurant



Finally, I caught up with another group of friends who lives not far at Pompe and suggested to go here so I just obliged as they pick up the tab lol! We went to the wonderful La Rotonde de la  Muette. At exactly, 12, chaussée de la Muette.


Here you have old Paris and the crowd shows it very chic ambiance as in the 16 of Paris.  It is a place where the sign summarizes everything; the history, style, location, environment, atmosphere, up to the spirit of the neighborhood. The Marmottan-Monet museum is not far away, the gardens of Ranelagh are a few bushes further.


This Rotonde de la Muette with its Art-deco facade, its terrace, its interior revised, wooded, colorful, the fashion of today in simili Garcia, is the place where to meet oneself.   the ideal place to rest for a breakfast with friends or a client. Recently renovated a year ago, this brewery has kept its stamp while gaining a touch of modernity. Their webpage is here: La Rotonde de la Muette Paris


And the road warrior did came by car parking first at the Autocité Ternes and later at the rue de Passy parking near Muette. I must say the traffic inside Paris was normal but the one in the blvd périphérique and highway  A1 was very much jam all the time going and coming. For those on the move and to see the real Paris on the streets the parkings are here:

Autocité Ternes parking

Indigo parking rue de Passy Paris 16


Oh well this one have written plenty as was my old hangout when going out for an apéro after work in Paris. Each time back in the city try to stop by and this time was able to be there for lunch on a Sunday after the above so will include here too. Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis near Place du Châtelet is unique beer and beef place. I had my maigré de canard or duck breast and potatoes with a grand Karmeliet Belgian beers and expresso coffee all from a nice table looking at the theater of Châtelet! They have no webpage but my fav Yelp has plenty on them here: Yelp on Au Trappiste Paris



And there you go a wonderful time in Paris and of course nice to see old friends always great. Now some further posts on the subject of Paris and its area and already back home for the Holidays! Merry Christmas y’all, Joyeux Noêl, Feliz Navidad!! Feliz Natal!!

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


November 29, 2019

The foodie in me, best restaurants! World and France!!!!!

Ok so this is fun for me and love to eat good haa that is maybe one good reason I am in France lol! Written pieces on food and wine before, and will try once in a while to post interesting foodies reports here. I just saw one that caught my attention and translated a bit of it from Les Echos business journal on their weekend edition.

First, credit where credit is due, this is the Les Echos webpage on the whole article in French: Les Echos on the best restaurants in the world from La Liste!

And here are some excerpts in English

What are the best restaurants in the world? The question may seem inept, or terribly complicated … Better for what and for whom? Five years ago, Philippe Faure decided to take the issue seriously, and even to respond methodically. The former diplomat, who also owned the Gault & Millau guide and President of Atout France (the national tourism development agency), founded La Liste, an app that lists the best restaurants in 180 countries for travelers. A “metaclassement”, a bit like that of ATP for tennis or that of Shanghai for universities, which provides both a practical tool (the app La Liste) and a very original track record. By its methodology, it puts forward addresses often different from the three Michelin stars, or the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world established by the British The World’s 50 Best thanks to the votes of regional juries.

In exclusivity, Les Echos Week-End reveal the main results of The 2020 List, which will be formalized on Monday, December 2, during a ceremony at the Quai d’Orsay

Starting with the laureates, who are four this year. Two new names appear, and both are in Tokyo: Nihonryori Ryugin and Sugalabo. The first, an institution run by Seiji Yamamoto, offers elegant traditional cuisine (kaiseki). The second, only 20 seats, was created five years ago by Yosuke Suga, a chef with a more international and even French inspiration, since he worked for Joël Robuchon for a long time. The two other 2020 winners are more familiar to the list, since they were already big winners last year: Le Bernardin in New York, a Manhattan restaurant whose chef, Eric Ripert, is French, and Guy Savoy at the Monnaie,Paris.

Of the 1,000 best restaurants on the planet that we have distinguished, Japan is the first country in terms of number of establishments this year. It is being followed by China, which is gaining momentum. Then come France, then the United States. However, France is still doing well. We have made the accounts: with 120 restaurants ranked in the Top 1 000 for 67 million inhabitants, France has a ratio of 1.8 per million inhabitants. It is better than Japan and its 148 tables among the best 1,000 (1.16), and much better than the United States (0.28) or China (0.1). We are reassured!!!!!

Find the list of the first nine restaurants in the ranking, whose score is 99 or above.

Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / France (Paris) / Chef : Guy Savoy / Score : 99.5

Le Bernardin / Etats-Unis (New York) / Chef : Eric Ripert / Score : 99.5

Nihonryori Ryugin / Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto /  Score : 99.5

Sugalabo /Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Yosuke Suga / Score : 99.5

 Kitcho Arashiyama / Japon (Kyoto) / Chef : Kunio Tokuoka / Score : 99

 L’Arpège / France (Paris) / Chef : Alain Passard / Score : 99

 Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse / Monaco / Chef : Alain Ducasse / Score : 99

 Martín Berasategui / Espagne (Lasarte-Oria) / Chef : Martin Berasategui / Score : 99

 Sushi Saito / Japon (Minato-ku) / Chef : Takashi Saito / Score : 99

For business travelers or inveterate foodies, here are the best restaurants according to The 2020 List, in 20 capitals or major cities on the planet.

Amsterdam : Ciel Bleu / Chefs : Onno Kokmeijer et Arjan Speelman

Barcelona : Lasarte / Chef : Martin Berasategui

Berlin : Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer / Chef : Hendrik Otto

Brussels : Sea Gril / Chef : Yves Mattagne *

Doha : Idam (Alain Ducasse) / Chef : Damien Leroux

London : Gordon Ramsay / Chef : Gordon Ramsay

Lyon : La Mère Brazier / Chef : Mathieu Viannay

Madrid : Coque / Chef : Mario Sandoval

Marseille : Le Petit Nice / Chef : Gérald Passedat

Montréal : Le Mousso / Chef : Antonin Mousseau-Rivard

Moscow : Twins Garden / Chef : Ivan et Sergey Berezutskiy

New York : Le Bernardin / Chef : Eric Ripert

Paris : Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / Chef : Guy Savoy

Pékin : The Beijing Hongkong Jockey Club / Chef : Johnson Meng

Rome : La Pergola / Chef : Heinz Beck

San Francisco : Atelier Crenn / Chef : Dominique Crenn

Shanghai : Ultraviolet / Chef : Paul Pairet

Singapore : Odette / Chef : Julien Royer

Tel Aviv : Lumina / Chef : Meir Adoni

Tokyo : Sugalabo** / Chef : Yosuke Suga

Tokyo : Ryugin** / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto

* Déménage en mai 2020 à la Villa Lorraine.

** Ex aequo.

The authors of La Liste (the List), also list good bistros around the world. Here are their ten favorites in the Hexagone (France).

Au Vieux Comptoir ; obsolete, genre The Traversée de Paris. The charcuterie (Jura, Basque Country, pâté de l’Ardèche) is carefully selected, such as scallops, fish or veal kidneys from Corrèze. Regressive desserts, like this drunk baba of rum. 17, rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001 Paris. Tél. : 01 45 08 53 08. Budget menu à la carte from  40- 55 €.

Le Grand Pan :  Benoît Gauthier has earned a loyal following with his no-frills appetizers (creamy cold white bean soup) and left the choice between a saddle of golden lamb with saltire or a braised pork cheek with red wine. In the evening, soup of office, and choice between a pork chop (Ibaïona), beef (blonde of Aquitaine), veal (of Mauléon) or a Breton lobster. 20, rue Rosenwald, 75015 Paris. Tel. : 01 42 50 02 50. Count from 35 to 55 €.

Café de la Fontaine :Bruno Cirino is a huge chef whose talent can be put to the test both at the Café de la Fontaine and the Hostellerie Jérôme, the big table in the hinterland. Depending on the season, the market or the auction, the menu will feature a brandade of sweet pepper cod or Mediterranean fillet of red mullet with wild fennel. 4, avenue du General de Gaulle, 06320 La Turbie. tel. : 04 93 28 52 79. Menu 33 €.

Café Brunet :  Installed in 1875 in a building of the fourteenth century, this bistro is resistance. Here, no trendy dishes or interchangeable menus. The canaille menu announces the color: féra, apples in oil, candied pork cheek or grilled sausage, French toast … found. 18, place Gabriel Fauré, 74940 Annecy. tel : 04 50 27 65 65. From 26 € to 33 €.

Mets Môts : The old printing press has kept some traces of its past, but the delicate and tasty cuisine does not invite nostalgia. The pie, tart red cabbage, like the blood pigeon, fondue caramelized or pumpkin pie recall that the chef is a former Gagnaire. 98, rue Fondaudège, 33000 Bordeaux. tel : 05 57 83 38 24. Menus lunch 22 €, evening 33 € and 58 €.

Le Goût des Choses : It is said that Marseille is the capital of a continent named Mediterranean. Precisely, Olivier Rathery went on a stroll before settling there, about ten years ago. The slightly aniseed cod moss evokes Florida, the Chimichurri sauce applied to Simmental beef fillet, Argentina. 4, Place Notre-Dame-du-Mont, 13000 Marseille. tel : 04 91 48 70 62. Menus 24 € (debit), 32 and 41 €.

Daniel et Denise : Created in 1968 by Daniel Léron (MOF), taken over by Joseph Viola in 2004 (also MOF), this corkscrew institution is a sanctuary of the sapper apron, fat double (in the cap), passed the beaten egg, breaded, seared served crispy with a gribiche sauce or a snail butter. 156, rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon. tel : 04 78 60 66 53. Formula (dej.) 21 €, seasonal menu 33 €.

Le Bistrot d’Antoine :A stone’s throw from Place Saint-Etienne, in the heart of Strasbourg, Antoine Kuster proudly composes his menu with the products and traditions of Alsace. Frog legs, schniederspaetle (stuffed ravioli), wild boar stew, roasting cock, hand-molded pudding. A paradise for gourmets. 3, rue de la Courtine, 67000 Strasbourg. tel: 03 90 24 93 25. Menu 33 €, carte 45 €.

Terre-Mer : (yes this is in my area !!! good one)This is the good address of Auray, in the Gulf of Morbihan, where Anthony Jehanno and his wife remind us of the immemorial links that the Bretons have woven with the sea. The “pot-au-feu” of  gamberoni and marrow , followed by a monkfish tail, boudin, hock and langoustine bisque illustrate a creative and respectful approach to the products.20, rue Louis Billet, 56400 Auray. tel. : 02 97 56 63 60. Formula 28 €, menus 34 and 55 €.

Le Patio :   Although it promises to be self-taught, the young chef has a job: for example, scallops, cream of endives, confit pork belly, potatoes, or small cabbages (chocolate and passion cream). /blood orange). No map, but a slate and a reasonable addition. 5, rue Christine, 50100 Cherbourg. tel : 02 33 52 49 10. Menus 22 € (lunch) and 30 €.

And there you go folks, we keep on ticking the world with the best culinary skills and tastes even in far away places , they are either French inspired or French expatriates doing the work of heavens on earth. Bon appétit!!

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


October 11, 2019

A bit of beers and lots of Wines of France!

So back to you with another of my beloved subject posts. Well a basic kind of guy on beer and wines will do. According to the place, food , and occasion. Let me tell you a bit more about it ok. My simple title A bit of beers and lots of Wines of France!

Wine is in any case a subject that interests the French! Yes!!! The level of knowledge of our countrymen increases year by year. Thus, according to the barometer SOWINE / DYNATA, and for the first time in ten years, the share of the French declaring themselves neophytes passes below 50% while the share of the French declaring themselves amateurs progresses and reaches 46%.  Who says because French you should know about wines! This trend is even more marked among young people, who clearly want to learn about the subject and consult more websites and social networks than their elders to find out more. 70% of our countrymen think it is important to be inform before buying wine or spirits, with as a privileged source the entourage or family for 53% of them. The recommendation of family or friends takes precedence in front of the council of professionals 42%. Yes we get a lot exchanges with the family on wines and properties. More in French here: Sowine Dynata on wine in France

More on the saga of Bordeaux wines !! At the Chateaux Grand Launay and Haut Lorettes in the south-west of France, pruning shears and machines are running at full speed for the harvesting of the reds. Most are reporting will make a great vintage, thanks to a very hot summer. We are, in France, one of the regions that has evolved the most technical and environmental in the last ten years, and the range of 5-15 euros, Bordeaux is unbeatable in quality . But we have no clear message ! vis-à-vis the consumer, lamenting the image hyper traditional Bordeaux. Indeed there are lots of properties in Bordeaux little known or hard to know that produces top wines at affordable prices!

In Bordeaux, spared this summer by diseases, winemakers take the time to harvest to obtain a perfect maturity. Recent rains have made it possible to develop the noble rot, which is essential for the sweet wines whose harvest should start next week mid October in Sauternes. They could also increase yields. Over the whole of Bordeaux, inter profession expects a return in the decennial average of 5.1 million hectoliters. The rain would also dilute sugars and acids, very concentrated in the berries this year and source of high alcoholic degrees, as for whites whose harvest ends with average or even low yields. In contrast, other winemakers do not know where to put the new crop, their cellars are still full as the sales of Bordeaux are at half-mast with extremely low prices for bulk. The image of a cru bourgeois wine, which discourages some consumers over the issue of rating and classification confusion remedy this coming 2020, but also the disaffection of China who turns to Australia and Chile, countries with which it has made customs agreements: the winegrower draws a state of affairs that is very serious. Those who do get away are the great wines and small innovative owners. It will be ok by next year ruling changes see my previous post on wines.  Source. Le Figaro

Now I am not a cyclist practionner but this innovation should do a lot of good and I might even try it. 143 km of cycle route in the vineyards of Alsace!. This is the proposal of the region of north-east of France to cross its typical landscapes and the many vineyards that are on this long way, between Marlenheim and Thann. This road labeled “vineyards and discoveries” is drawn in parallel with the Wine Route of Alsace.

At the Saint-Pierre brewery, between Obernai and Barr, visitors can participate in brewing workshops based on hops from the region, pure malts barley, water St. Peter and explore the taste of many craft beers. In addition to the five breweries Fischer, Heineken, Karlsbrau, Kronenbourg, and Meteor, which produce half of the national beer production, the micro-breweries are also on the Route d’Alsace road, as for example that of Jean-Jacques Hupfel, known for its organic beers, including pissenlit (dandelion). The Saint-Alphonse brewery (Vogelgrun) promises to reveal all the secrets of manufacturing this foamy beverage, from its production to bottling.

The route also stops at the wine trail of Soultz-Wuenheim which leads to a teaching ground to learn the ampelography, relating to the study of the vine, grape varieties and grapes. A stopover in Ostheim, in the area of 12 hectares of vineyards of the family Froehlich, awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Pinot Gris Late Harvest 2016, at the Competition of the Great White Wines of the World 2019, last April 2019, may prove highly instructive. In another register, the parenthesis “Initiation to the tasting” invites to the discovery of Grands Crus d’Alsace in the area of Pierre Adam, before going to a restaurant for a lunch of tasty food and wine pairings. Finally, the unusual side, in the vicinity of Kientzheim, a winegrower combines, for two hours, tastings and Qi Gong sessions, a way to combine wine experience and well-being.

The above with more info at official webpage (in English): Cycling in Alsace

Do you know the wines of Tavel? Many years ago were my introduction to French rose wines! They were qualified at the time of kings of roses, a reputation that still precedes them today, as its wines astonish by their richness and complexity. It is a magnificent, powerful and generous wine, deep pink, revealed by the typicality of its terroir and the variety of grape varieties, from which it draws its floral and fruity aromas on the palate. With age, it develops shades of red fruits, grilled almonds and spices, far from the usual simplicity of the rosés of our aperitifs. You can try them by booking with participating institutions directly in the Facebook page here:

Other information on Tavel is the official Tavel wine appellation group here!

And the Rhône wines region info on the Tavel here:

And there you a wonderful combination of open air countryside rides with great beers and wines, wonderful. Hope you enjoy it with moderation of course.

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




October 10, 2019

Château de Pommard!

Well I do not think need to put more into the title! Even thus my tastes have change over the years there is some properties that are on my cellar still. One of them is from the Château de Pommard in old Burgundy. As I have written several posts on my other passion that is wines, need to tell you about this one in particular.

We /I are long time clients of the property and have visited as well of course. Even if we are far I still look for them , and why not a repeat visit is in the plans for 2020. The Château de Pommard is unique and will tell you a bit of its history and wines.

The Château de Pommard is an 18C castle. The estate includes a 20-hectare Château de Pommard, French gardens and a vineyard and wine museum  less than 5 km from Beaune on the Grands Crus Route of the Burgundy vineyards in Pommard in Côte-d’Or dept 21 of the region of Burgundy-Franche-Comté. It is accessed from the RD 973 road by an alley closed by a portal framed by two pavilions built in the 18C; exactly at 15, rue Marey-Monge, 21630 Pommard.


A bit of history I like

In 1726 Vivant Micault (squire and secretary of King Louis XV, descendant of Philibert Micault, captain of Pommard in 1451) built a castle in Regency style and its outbuildings. Indeed, King Louis XVI and his court were lovers of wines from this region, known to be tannic and bitter in their youth. The Chateau Micault, erected from 1726 to 1750, occupies one of the sides of a paved courtyard closed by the vines with vocation viti-vinicole. Later the castle was to passed to several hands first in 1763 , and then onwards. The Emperor Napoleon I made it one of its high places of holiday in the 19C. He resides in the blue room, on the floor of the main castle, which overlooks the main courtyard. The castle was sold again in  1932, at the same time as the Clos-de-Tart. The castle then continues changing hands until  September 2014,when it was purchased by  Silicon Valley’s American entrepreneur Michael Baum seduced by this Côte-d’Or enotourist locomotive. He is the current owner.

A bit on the wine property I like

The Domaine de Château de Pommard is today the largest private vineyard in Burgundy  with a  closures of 20 hectares of vineyards in one piece in Pinot Noir. The Château de Pommard produces a great wine from Château de Pommard and Clos du Château, a complex assemblage of the different parcels of the domaine. The Château also makes a second blend to create a Pommard Village appellation wine. The estate sells in particular the wine of its domaine such as the Château de Pommard and as above , but also Burgundy wines of Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Volnay, Gevrey-Chambertin, Pernand-Vergelesses, Auxey-Duresses, Ladoix-Serrigny, Nuits-Saint-Georges (AOC) … In the vaulted cellars of the 18C you can see the  casks come from the forest of Tronçais, in the Allier region.


In 2006 the Château de Pommard created a museum of the vine and the wine. The kitchen, completely restored, has the particularity to exhibit an authentic Master Jacques. There is only one other, in the kitchens of the Hospices de Beaune!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Pommard history

Tourist office of Beaune on the Chateau de Pommard

Tourist office of dept 21 Cote d’Or on the Chateau de Pommard

There you go another dandy in my belle France, home of the best wines in the world! You will do good to visit this property, as there are interactive guide on tastings and food. The Château de Pommard is unique in Bourgogne/Burgundy. Enjoy it, in vino veritas!

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


October 5, 2019

Restaurant: Back to the 60’s at Rennes!

So here I am  ,love that series on restaurant and shopping  as seen in my previous posts and decided why not do the same in my lovely Bretagne! This is one we have been to several years back , and always thinking of going back with so much choice around we never did until now. We were here first with my dear late wife Martine and even purchase the Mountain Dew sodas to take home lol!!!

I have feature recently for the memories and would like to post my initial entry of 2014 on the restaurant American Diner Back to the 60’s of Rennes here: My previous post on Back to the 60’s Rennes

This time we didn’t purchase the Mountain Dew sodas (pepsi brand) to take home but we drank plenty on site! Back to the 60’s is at  5 bis, rue de Saint-Malo tel contact +33 09 81 95 11 41.


In Rennes, Back to the 60’s, it’s almost an institution. It is strongly recommended to do reservation because of the affluence recorded at Back to the 60’s at each service. A real American dinner, which has attracted crowds for many years now. Distinguishing itself from the wealth of bistros and creperies Back to the 60’s restaurant focuses on bringing back American cuisine to the heart of Rennes. The restaurant is a favorite among students, locals and tourist alike.



Back to the 60’s immerses you in the 1960’s. To you retro sensations with long live red sky seats, black and white tiled floor, and a good old 60s rock in the background. Enter a real diner or rather an American restaurant because here they serve you at the table. The soda map is great because  we can have Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, as well as many milkshakes!  And not to leave out the famous Cheesecake this time with strawberry and rhubard! An American Diner as we like them!




A bit of history on the American Diner: The dinner originated in the second half of the 19C in the northeastern United States. Originally conceived as a traveling roadside restaurant, the “dining car” or “lunch wagon” captivates with speed of service, an affordable price and extended hours. The dinner then settles in the form of prefabricated buildings that retain the tradition of a rectangular structure and the conviviality of the banquettes but adopt from the 1920s an influence Art Deco. Popularized worldwide in the American cinema of the 50s and 60s, the American dinner is somewhat neglected with the emergence of large chains of fast food. It resurfaces today, often in its style of the 60s, and differs in this warm and simple atmosphere, born of its history.

In at Rennes, you have friendly service, fast, and good prices with a surrounding ambiance of Americana and lovely architecture just steps out in old town Rennes!  Recommended! Remember Back to the 60’s at Rennes!

Some webpages to help you enjoy this restaurant are

Official Restaurant Back to the 60’s

Yelp my favorite reviews and me in it on the Back to the 60’s

Official tourist office of Rennes on the Rue Saint Malo area of restaurant in French

And on the way back we still had time to do our paper stuff groceries in Carrefour of Vannes lol! We are set go rugby world cup now!!

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


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