Non Parlez-Vous Francais!

After careful consideration, we decided that we would still go to Paris. We have both already been there in our early 20’s – last time I went with my dear Hayman friends Casey, Lani and Stephen, where we spent most of our time eating our way around the city. As for Shannon – he went with his ADFA mates and you can imagine the trouble they got up to! This time I went with my love, to fall in love with Paris.

We arrived into our gorgeous little studio loft early in the evening and we thought we would simply explore our hood rather than venture too far. Not far into our walk we came across the cafes that were attacked only a week prior. They were lined with glowing candles, piles of flowers, artworks and letters. The gravity of the situation immediately hit home – especially the indiscriminate nature of the attacks and the realisation that this could have been us, had we travelled a week earlier.
We decided to stay closer to our street for the remainder of the evening. Fortunately we found a local bar that sold the most delicious crepes – dine in or to go, as you do in Paris!  We had a lovely night.
The following day there was an autumnal crispness in the air and the streets of Paris were beckoning to be explored. We hit the areas only the locals know – their colourful food markets, trinket stalls and tucked away arcades. The streets were filled with Parisians, which made us feel safe and confident that we had made the right choice to come. We had a jammed packed week of activities planned, including the Moulin Rouge, Versailles, Disneyland, Louvre and the Catacombes too!
We made sure we gave it our best when (attempting) conversing with the locals. Unfortunately our attempts at times went horribly wrong. At the supermarket Shannon was wanting a plastic bag and said to the shop attendant: “Je suis un sac” the shop attendant began to giggle and then we realised he said “I am a bag”. I also caused confusion when I would attempt say “no, I don’t speak French”, instead I was saying: “non parlez-vous Francais” meaning “not you speak French?” (or something to that effect).
My lack of French also created a conundrum when I went to use the free, automatic, self-cleaning toilets. Little did I know when I entered the toilet that it was announcing in French that it was about to commence the self-clean as I began to go. To my horror the toilet bowl began to retract, alarm bells were ringing and the door then automatically opened! Thankfully it was only Shannon that was present at the time. Needless to say I was not game to use those toilets again!
In addition to our attempts at immersing ourselves in the language, we also delved into the culinary delights of France.
We dined on frogs legs, snails, beef tartare, pate, tarte tatin, creme brûlée and fondue. We brought countless quantities of baguettes to make delicious home-made lunches (ours were better then the $10 ones in the sandwich bars). We defiantly made the most of the 3€ bottles of wine, 1€ wedges of soft cheese and the many cheap and tasty charcuteries.
Although I may have had a break from cooking from my Scottish recipe book, I could not resist making a couple of delish French breakfasts:
After many years of practising for the B&B, we are soon to open. Fortunately we have mastered the art of the perfect omelette already! Here is how we achieved it in our pint-sized Parisian kitchen:
To make 1:
2 eggs
1/4 tomato, diced
3 button mushrooms, sliced
3 generous slices of a washed-rind soft cheese
Sliced up cured meat of your choice – we had a fancied up version of strasburg.
2 good tspns of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Crack two eggs into a bowl and whisk only partially (that’s our trick – you still want a bit of separation of the whites and yolks). Fire up the pan to a medium heat. Melt half of the butter and fry up the mushrooms, then add the cured meat and tomatoes. Set the fried mixture aside. Using the same pan, melt the remaining butter and pour in the egg mixture. Scatter the sautéed mix and generous portions of cheese on top. Test the rim of the omelette with a flipper, if it lifts away easily, fold the omelette in half to one side. Allow to cook for approx 1-2 minutes and turn the folded omelette over to allow the other side to cook for same amount of time.
This combo was divine! The perfect way to use up those random pieces of brie left in your fridge, and, in this case, a great start to our day!
Croque Madame:
I have never made a Croque Madame before and had only really discovered it in a cafe in Colac (of all places) last year, so I was keen to give it a crack. For those whom are unfamiliar with a Croque Madame or Monsieur, they are basically a pan fried ham and cheese sandwich, with the added decadence of being topped by a grilled cheesy béchamel sauce – if you leave it at that it’s a Croque Monsieur. To make it a Croque Madame, you top the toasted goodness with a fried egg as well – apparently resembling an old ladies hat!
I was not prepared to buy a whole bag of flour for just 2 serves of cheesy béchamel sauce, so ours was simply served with brie and fried egg melted on top.
Here is a link to a version of the real deal:
It’s what I consider the ultimate French breakfast and I will definitely be featuring it in my French month at the B&B!

We have just arrived in Glasgow, where we will have a few days chilling before picking up our campervan! Stay tuned for more Scottish cooking ventures – this time… campervan style!

NOV28 - Beret and my love
With my love in the city of love!
NOV28 - Croque Madam
Croque Madam
NOV28 - Disneyland
Disneyland Paris
NOV28 - Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge!
NOV28 - Omlette
The decadent omlette
NOV28 - Post paris attacks
Love for Paris
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