Poilane for Bastille Day

bread eiffel

Righty ho, it’s a bit late, but isn’t this just superb?! “Yes, yes it’s the Eiffel Tower, so what?” I hear you say. Well, it’s made from BREAD! This was the window display at Poilane for Bastille Day. The tower was a good metre high.

Next to it was this:

bread carrousel

Yes, that’s right, a bread carrousel!  And can you make out what the animals are?

bread carrousel elephant

An elephant and a horse! Wowee!

Poilane often have interesting windows, but this just blew me away!

Gelato Paris – Vasavasa

Vasavasa Paris



I recently discovered that there is a new gelateria in Paris called Vasavasa – Gelateria Siciliana. It is right on one of my main routes. My waist is screaming at me to find a new route. My tastebuds are in heaven!

Vasavasa sorbet

Strawberry and lemon sorbets with gelato making machine in background.

All the gelato is handmade in the shop (from what I understand) and it tastes amazingly fresh. The shop is open until 11pm – from what I remember – so it is perfect for a post dinner walk and treat! It is also a great location for anyone visiting the Eiffel Tower (and who comes to Paris without doing that – ok, me before I moved here, but had I known that I could have great ice cream, that may have been different!) and/or for a cool dessert after picnicking by the Seine or in Champs de Mars.

Just before writing, I did a quick Google, to see if there is a website. It seems that there is..and it’s in Italian. And you know what I discovered? They have four branches in Italy (Milan and Turin)! Yes, folks, that means it’s eaten-in-Italy real gelato. To be honest, that’s not hugely important to me, because what I have had has all tasted fantastic, but it is nice to know.

Vasavasa Paris

What they serve...yum!

It’s also a pretty gelateria. That matters to some of us. Stainless steel, clean lines of marble and a (non-tacky) chandelier. More Parisian looking than a lot of Parisian places. That’s also a delight for some of us (probably the non-Parisians!).

Vasavasa Paris
34 Avenue de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris
Tel. 33147058430

On the map here (it shows it as being in the right place, but wrong side of road!).


Unfortunately, I have not been asked to write about Vasavasa. I am, however, completely open to tokens of gratitude from Vasavasa in any gelato form. Just sayin’.



The best thing about Paris

Ok, one of the best things..is this:


Good logo, but upside down!


There are many of them. Hundreds, possibly thousands, but not all taste as good as this one.

So, why am I excited (apart from being on the sort of chocolate high that the likes of Cadbury’s can never approach)? Because I just ate Chloé. This is one of Pierre Hermé‘s delights. I shall let the chocolate speak:

“Chocolats au macaron Chloé (ganache au chocolat et framboise, biscuit macaron framboise, pâte d’amande fondante au macaron framboise, enrobés de chocolat noir)”

If you’d like that in English: Chloé macaron chocolates: (chocolate and raspberry ganache, raspberry macaron biscuit, soft raspberry macaron marzipan, enrobed [delightful word!] in dark chocolate).

All of that in one small chocolate!

There is only one in the bag because I was supposed to buy buying a gift for someone else…

So, as if all this wasn’t good enough, one chocolate like this costs €1.90 (US$2.70). Why is that good? Because it makes it VERY easy to just buy one when you’re trying to watch the waistline!


Cultural surprises – not for weak stomached!

A few things that I found particularly “interesting” after arriving in Paris.

The French have such a different attitude towards food than us Anglo Saxons. This was in our local market. Yes, they’re trotters.

Not only pigs’ ears and trotters though, which is odd enough…

..but yes, two pigs’ heads. I hadn’t seen so much pork for about 10 years.

Now for the truly stomach churning: McDonalds. This is some kind of felafel burger *shiver* with some strange squiggles above it that I’m guessing is supposed to be Arabic. It probably is, if you don’t speak Arabic…

And finally this. I just don’t know how the French haven’t been protesting about this. In McDonalds they have the McCafe which has the Macaron (get it? McAron..groan).

Note that they have a double cream layer. I’m not sure if this is supposed to make them look like mini burgers (big yuck) or is an American offering to French cuisine, the former being infamously fond of rather more cream/calories than the latter.*

I have not tried any of the produce or products on this page. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

*Looking at the ones in the box, it seems that not all flavours get the double cream treatment. A mystery…

It’s unavoidable…

from Printemps website

Today is the start of les soldes – biannual, state-controlled sales, the only proper sales in France. After precisely 2.5 seconds deliberation, I made the decision that if this is a ‘local custom’, it was time to go native.
Off I went on le metro, to my favourite of les grand magasins (department stores), Le Printemps, because this is the only shop in Paris, other than a few supermarkets, that I know my way around.

from maison.com

Having seen the opening of Les Soldes on television before, I spent the morning polishing my elbows. As you can see, my enthusiasm wasn’t exactly overflowing, as I decided that at 5am I was better off in my cosy bed, asleep, rather than shivering outside a closed shop waiting to be the first in.

So, there you go. I went to les soldes. What did I come back with? Two dresses, a blouse


from maison.com

A cake (not part of les soldes!).

from jmpatissieramateur.fr

Unavoidable in the city-of-cakes really…

It's all about food really..

Fauchon’s L’éclair Rainbow (there’s some sniffing about the English word ‘rainbow’ in the title…aah, France!)

A couple of years ago I went on a short trip to Paris (promise, not all posts are going to be about Paris from now on). I was tired from a night flight but needed to stay awake. Mr S and I went out walking to stay awake and get some ice cream. As we crossed the Marais, we heard loud music. Not being the latest Nancy Ajram or Amr Diab (played so often and so loud in Cairo that there is no need to see what is going on: it’s a wedding or party at a club), I was quite excited to see what was happening. We detoured from the ice cream route and made our way over to a large crowd at the end of the street.

I realised what was happening and was knocked for six. There are times when coming to or from Egypt it’s difficult to believe that we’re only five hours away. That life can be so different in a five hour journey. I am always struck by magazines in newagents in Europe. It’s not the ‘top shelf’ selection although in my first few days I am always too embarrassed to lift my head up, it’s the covers of lads’ mags and likes of Cosmo that have scantily clad ladies: magazines in Egypt have no such covers.  Standing there in Paris, I saw the gay pride march coming towards us. Fun, fun, fun! (Although Sydney does it better). How could it be though that just seven hours before I was somewhere where this march would have been absolutely impossible, even in the conception stages.

Hundreds of thoughts were swimming through my head and I couldn’t quite get a feeling for reality. It was then that I saw the banners of a group called (something like) the Parents of Gays and Lesbians in France. I started crying. I know full well the attitudes and opinions of the majority of the people I am normally surrounded by. I have had serious arguments with some of them about it. I may have at least convinced one that being homosexual does not equate to being bestial (seriously). Ultimately though, I live in Egypt and accept it for what it is. A few hours after leaving Egypt, to see parents marching down the road with large banners supporting their adult homosexual offspring was profoundly moving.

I have to cover my knees and shoulders, I have to accept that a lot of people view me as little more than a prostitute. I don’t like it, but that is just the way it goes. I don’t, however, have to hide a fundamental part of myself for fear of some pretty nasty, physically and socially, consequences. It re-brought home the suffering that some people here must go through just because they cannot be the people they are. I love Egypt, on this level however, I am much more comfortable with a society that allows self expression.

Pretty cool eclair, though, eh?