maitre chocolatier auer, nice

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traditional confectionary in downtown nice. this place is famous in nice for its glace fruit, and I dropped quite a few years off my age when I entered this candy shop. it’s designed in a style I can only describe as very old-school european glamour, with lots of gold and whites. you’ll see what I mean when you enter.

they sell a range of products, including chocolate bonbons, fruit cake, and even mini croissants and brioches, although they are famous for these candied fruit. I do have a sweet tooth, but I don’t particularly enjoy very sugary foods so I popped in here for its tradition and sheer curiosity.

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le 31 bistro, marseille

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decent bistro food in downtown marseille. the harbour at marseille was under heavy construction while we were there as they are preparing for their position of the city of culture in europe next year, and so it really was a bit of a mess. we spotted this cafe, which was furbished rather modernly and most importantly, had a good screen showing the wimbledown match between tsonga and murray.

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le rhul, marseille

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expensive but authentic seafood in marseille. the guidebooks in marseille all hold recommendations of trying bouillabaisse, a local specialty of fish soup. it’s a bit different from what you’d expect if you usually have it as a starter, as the local version is an expensive main course, usually cooked using 5-12 types of fish into a cloudy dark brown soup that is dished up separately from the fish cooked in it. the fish is usually then filleted and deboned and served on the side.

there are apparently 11 restaurants that conform to the Charte de la Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, which I essentially think of as the bar for fish restaurants. it was apparently created in order to standardize the definition of bouillabaisse, and la rhul is one of the 9 that are in marseille itself.

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ecailler cellerier, lyon

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fresh seafood and wine bar in downtown lyon. I had very excitedly arrived at the halles de lyon after reading some recommendations online, but we found most of the shops closed, and the market a sort of ghost town. there were a few grocers and butchers open, as well as a couple of bakeries and chocolate shops, but most of the restaurants were closed. we thought it might have been the awkward time we arrived (at about 2pm), but when we went back at 7.30pm to retrieve the hat I had left there, most weren’t open either.

anyway, we missed the bustling atmosphere that we thought it would have, and my partner got mesmerised by the cold seafood laid out on the ice counter at this seafood bar. there were only about three other people at the bar having a bit of wine, and we thought we could get some seafood grilled/fried to order, but were informed the cook was away, and so we settled for the cold seafood.

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les lyonnais, lyon

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decent french food in a bouchon in old lyon. most guidebooks usually recommend visiting a bouchon while in lyon, and this is a traditional restaurant that serves lyonnaise food, which incidentally is marked by use of offal and those odd bits of meat.

I’m not sure this is the best one, really, but we were recommended it by our hosts and so we visited it, without having any sort of prior experience of lyonnais food. I felt it was decent, but it is probably a result of having been lucky with my choices of courses whereas my partner didn’t enjoy it quite so much.

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salon de thé, lyon

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good cafe for a sit-down in old lyon, along rue st jean. I didn’t manage to catch the name of this quaint little cafe, which only had salon de thé emblazoned on its windows. it was just one of many cafes we saw while walking along the streets of lyon, and we came in here because france, like many places in europe, have a strict policy of restaurants only opening at 7.30pm for dinner.

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le fournil de l’artisan, lyon

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great little bakery in near the central train station in lyon. I have just come back from a week’s holiday in the south of france, where we ate our way through lyon, marseilles, nice and monte carlo, and I have some food photos to document our journey. and of course I’m pleased to share with you the best of the things we ate on this trip!

of course, while in france, the only thing I really want to eat is bread. not pastries, just lots of baguette and rustic bread. they do so well with its myriad forms, and I have blissful memories of my first trip in france with a baguette on my bag and a jar of nutella (new-tell-uh) as a constant snack.

we flew into Lyon, and this was the first boulangerie we saw upon arrival. it had a remarkably long queue (that picture above is taken on a second occasion when it was closed) and so as the curious hungry foreigners we were, we joined the queue to grab a spot of lunch.

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