Lola’s Cupcakes | London’s Guilty Pleasure

I’ve read about this English sensation for ages. They’ve been around by 2006, when friends Victoria Jossel and Romy Lewis began selling cupcakes from their homes. A smash hit, they moved to a Primrose Hill commercial kitchen, and after a … Continue reading

Kooka Boora | Caffeination Station in Pigalle

“Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree, Merry merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, Gay your life must be!” This Australian song was one of my childhood favorites. When I found out that there was a cafe … Continue reading

Robert et Louise: Restaurant de Feu in the Marais

“Where shall we go for dinner?” What a tough question! There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from! Tons of places are hip, specialized, renowned, or just plain good. How do you choose just one?? You could definitely read … Continue reading

7th Arrondissement Caffeine Stop: Coutume Café

I had heard so much about Coutume Café that I finally decided to go and see what the fuss was all about. Now, I understand. The café reminds me of an American coffee shop with a French twist. The American side: … Continue reading

La Caféothèque de Paris: Coffee with a View

Coffee date, anyone?

La Caféothèque de Paris 4e arrondissement

La Caféothèque de Paris 4e arrondissement

La Caféothèque de Paris 4e arrondissement café Paris

café gourmand at La Caféothèque de Paris

La Caféothèque de Paris 4e arrondissement

La Caféothèque de Paris

La Caféothèque de Paris

La Caféothèque de Paris

La Caféothèque de Paris

La Caféothèque de Paris 4e arrondissement

With views of the Seine, La Caféothèque de Paris is a great place to sit and relax with a coffee and pastry. There are plenty of tables and couches to sit on, plus they have an incredible coffee bean selection from all over the world that you can enjoy in-house or chez toi. What makes La Caféothèque stand out is its commitment to providing the absolute best coffee from all over the world to their customers.

This 4e arrondissement gem also hosts a variety of events, including concerts, recitals, and art expositions, which they’ve dubbed “Café-i-culture”. You can check out this month’s schedule online here.

My experience at La Caféothèque was lovely.  Two friends and I had a wonderful afternoon laughing, catching up, and enjoying our delicious coffees.  The greenery inside made it seem like we were in a rustic, tropical place, all the while looking out at the Seine.

La Caféothèque de Paris

52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville

75004 Paris

Latest Montparnasse Hotspot: Le Stand Restaurant

Your new favorite place to eat in Montparnasse: Le Stand

Le Stand is a new New York-Italian style restaurant in the fun 14e arrondissement. A lover of both the outdoor métro line 6 and the Edgar Quinet neighborhood, I was absolutely delighted to discover this eatery.

Le Stand Restaurant Montparnasse 14e arrondissement Edgar Quinet Restaurant americain italien

Chef Yann Frohn has put together an incredible menu that will satisfy any member of your party’s palate. Burgers and pasta dishes highlight his mastery of this particular cuisine, while the plat du jour menu usually features French dishes that are salivation-worthy.

Le Stand Restaurant Plat du Jour: Prawn Pizza or pizza au gambas 14e arrondissement paris france edgar quinet restaurant

Plat du Jour: Prawn Pizza or pizza au gambas

Frohn’s previous experience at four-star hotel restaurants and in the luxury industry is apparent in the presentation and variety of the menu. The ingredients are fresh, with the vast majority of the menu made in-house. The burger was perfectly American, and the fries were without a doubt the best I’ve ever had.

Burger at Le Stand Restaurant Montparnasse 14e arrondissement paris france edgar quinet

The décor is fun and modern, and it gives you the impression of dining in a Big Apple eatery. It’s only when the staff and other guests speak that you realize you actually are in the French capital. I absolutely loved the light fixtures (see below) and red walls!

Le Stand Restaurant Montparnasse 14e arrondissement Edgar Quinet Restaurant americain italien

Desserts were also amazing! As you know, I’m a lover of the café gourmand, and this particular one was a big hit. If you can contain yourself and enjoy just one dessert, I would go for the profiteroles!

Cafe gourmand Le Stand Restaurant Montparnasse 14e arrondissement Edgar Quinet Restaurant americain italien

My favorite dessert: café gourmand (tiramisu, brownie, and fromage blanc with raspberry)

profiteroles le stand restaurant montparnasse edgar quinet 14e arrondissement paris france restaurant americain italien

Profiteroles at Le Stand

Another plus is that they can accommodate large parties. We celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday, and all twenty of us were easily accommodated and well taken care of.

For a casual lunch or night out, Le Stand is the next place on your list.

Le Stand
9, boulevard Edgar Quinet
75014 Paris

El Guacamole: Mexican food in the 10th Arrondissement

Mexican food. 

A coffee date with friends today turned into the discovery of a fabulous new Mexican restaurant, El Guacamole near the Canal Saint Martin. I’m not often in the 10th, but after today’s walk through the charming neighborhood, I will be exploring it more in the future. May I present to you El Guacamole.

El Guacamole restaurant in Paris mexican food paris france tenth 10th arrondissement 10e arrondissement mexicain restaurant mexicain taco paris

Being from Southern California (and the daughter of Mexican parents), my standards for the cuisine are high.  El Guacamole did very well.  It’s not easy to get the authentic ingredients to cook certain traditional dishes, but I really enjoyed their cactus (nopal) taco. I loved the horchataa traditional Mexican beverage made with rice and cinnamon.

El Guacamole restaurant Paris horchata tacos paris restaurant mexicain mexican restaurant paris 10th arrondissement restaurant

Drinking horchata at El Guacamole

I find it interesting to see how much tacos cost around the world.  I found a pub in Royal Leamington Spa, England, that has tacos for £6, and another restaurant in Paris that has them for 6€…each. Priced at 3€50, these tacos are reasonably priced, and the tortillas were so good!

El Guacamole restaurant in Paris restaurant taco horchata nopalitos puerco al pastor taco mexicain paris mexican restaurants in paris

Sincronizada (ham and cheese quesadilla), taco puerco al pastor, and a nopalitos taco

Lovely location, delicious food, and cosy atmosphere. See you at El Guacamole!

El Guacamole restaurant in Paris canal st martin canal saint martin 10e arrondissement 10th arrondissement paris mexican restaurants restaurant mexicain taco horchata tortilla paris

El Guacamole

37, rue Yves Toudic

75010

Citizens of Humanity, Hélène Darroze, and the Paris Oven Mitt

This is a match made in fashion and gastronomy heaven!

One of my favorite brands, Citizens of Humanity, has created a monthly video series called “Just Like You.”  Each video features a different, international personality discussing their respective passions, professions, personal stories, and thoughts on life.  One of my favorite videos in the series spotlights French chef Hélène Darroze.

chef Hélène Darroze michelin restaurant paris the connaught london ruff house moscow moscou

Though she is now the fourth generation of a family of chefs, Hélène Darroze first earned a business degree and joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco – but in the office.  Ducasse finally persuade her to return to the kitchen, and the rest is history. She returned to her family’s Michelin-starred restaurant, and then went on to open her own restaurant in Paris, where she won her first Michelin star in 2001, and then a second star in 2003. In 2008, she was named the new chef of The Connaught hotel in London after its nine month £70 million restoration and renovation program, where she earned them another two stars. On top of this all, other accolades include becoming a chevalier (knight) in the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and being the inspiration for the character Colette in Pixar’s 2007 film Ratatouille. Two cities, two restaurants, two children: she can do it all!

chef Hélène Darroze the connaught london mayfair chef Hélène Darroze paris 75006 michelin

chef Hélène Darroze paris 75006 chef Hélène Darroze at the connaught mayfair london michelin

Hélène Darroze dish

What is exceptional about Hélène Darroze’s cooking is her loyalty to her roots and the flavors of southwestern France, particularly from the Landes region where she was raised.  Her culinary style has been dubbed  “haute rustique,” as it combines the sophistication of French cuisine with traditional cooking methods and hearty ingredients. Darroze says she is very influenced by her heritage, where art de vivre cuisine and food is so important. This unique emphasis has no doubt contributed to her international success.

Salle à manger at Hélène Darroze paris restaurant the connaught hotel mayfair london michelin

Salle à manger at the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught mayfair london michelin

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

It’s no wonder that Citizens of Humanity selected such a dynamic and passionate person for their series. I fell in love with this clever combination to showcase their partnership, a jean oven mitt! And x marks the spot, or the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris. You can purchase the mitt online here.

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All proceeds from the Hélène Darroze x Citizens of Humanity Oven Mitt will benefit Afghanistan Libre, an organization that provides assistance in constructing and running primary and secondary schools for girls.

Visit Hélène Darroze in Paris

4, rue d’Assas, 75006

 Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London

The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

or at the Raff House in Moscow

Malaya Nikitskaya street, 25

A Full English Breakfast: How It’s Done

What is an English breakfast?

You hear about Continental breakfasts, American breakfasts, petit dejeuner, but what is an English breakfast?  A novice but very curious student of all things English, I finally had my first English breakfast.  John and I went to The Mashed Swedes Cafe in Royal Leamington Spa, an adorable little eatery in town. What we had was delicious.

full english breakfast what is an english breakfast

Full English Breakfast

A traditional, or full, English breakfast consists of the following items: fried eggs, bacon, sausages, fried red tomatoes, baked beans, fresh salted mushrooms, fried or roast potatoes, with the options of black pudding, fried bread, or toasted and buttered bread. To drink, we had the option of tea or coffee and an orange juice.  The Mashed Swedes Cafe serves breakfast all day, as do many establishments that have this on the menu.

According to Market Kitchen, there are 40 or so interchangeable ingredients to a full British and Irish breakfast! There are also different versions of the meal, depending on where in the UK you have it.  There are Cornish, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Ulster Fry alternatives, which incorporate regional foods into the breakfast. Fun fact: In Ireland, this full breakfast is also known as a “Chub.”

This meal, though extremely tasty, is not for the small-stomached, the faint-hearted (black pudding is actually a type of sausage made by dried pig’s blood with a filler), or for anyone on a diet. However, if you want to treat yourself to a hearty, traditional English meal, I highly recommend this delicious breakfast.

When in England, do as the English do.

patriciaparisienne english breakfast traditional english breakfast what is an english breakfast what is black pudding black pudding england france breakfast

PatriciaParisienne and a delicious English breakfast

The Mashed Swedes Cafe

39 Russell Street
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
CV32 5QB

01926 430 599

Follow them on Twitter at @MashedSwedes

La Maison du Chocolat Advent Calendar & More Holiday Goodies

It’s officially December!

That means warm coats, scarves, cuddle weather, winter solstice, and – Advent calendars! I love that little daily piece of chocolate as a way to countdown to Christmas.

Advent calendars seem to be extremely popular in Europe! Every main chocolate brand has their own.  Kinder, Milka, Lindt, and Cadbury – you can find their cute little designs everywhere. I was recently gifted the Cadbury one below by a lovely Englishman; it’s quality chocolate. I learned that there is a game that goes along with it; the person who correctly guesses the shape or design of the chocolate that day gets to eat it!

Cadbury Advent Calendar Chocolate UK England Great Britain Chocolate Christmas Christmas Chocolate Calendar

Cadbury Advent Calendar

kinder advent calendar chocolate kinder christmas chocolate calendar 2012

Kinder Advent Calendar
Lindt Advent Calendar chocolate european chocolate calendar christmas 2012

Lindt Advent Calendar

milka advent calendar christmas chocolate calendar european chocolate christmas 2012

Milka Advent Calendar

If you are looking for a truly French advent calendar, you only need to look no further than one of the best chocolatiers in the country: La Maison du Chocolat.

Nicolas Cloiseau, Master Chef of La Maison du Chocolat, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, has created some delightful and unique collections for this holiday season. The beautiful Advent Christmas tree is the most delicious way to build anticipation for the 25th.

Or you can choose a Christmas Star Coffret, for the day of, and pick from the following options:

Dark & spicy – Praline with crunchy slivers and Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg) 

Dark & sparkling – Ganache sphere with Champagne Blanc de Blancs (100% chardonnay, very fruity)

 Sweet & nutty – Almond paste from Provence with walnuts from the Périgord and honey from the Morvan forest

Dark & acidulous – Pure origin dark ganache from the Dominican Republic with full, round chocolate notes and crisp, acidulous flavours of candied fruits

Dark & fruity – Duo of ganaches with coconut and lime.  White chocolate ganache with coconut, dark chocolate ganache with lime.

I would have to get all of them!

For mouth-watering and gorgeous decorations, bring home the Celestial Tree, the Christmas Star, or for the most French touch to your Christmas, the Constellation Bûche de Noël. Looking forward to seeing what will come home with me on my next trip to La Maison du Chocolat!

Happy December!

xx PatriciaParisienne

arbre celeste la maison du chocolat france celestial tree paris european chocolate christmas star christmas 2012

Celestial Tree from La Maison du Chocolat

Etoiles de noel ambiance La Maison du Chocolat 2012 chocolate paris france christmas 2012 european chocolate gifts christmas presents fancy chic

Christmas Stars from La Maison du Chocolat

Buche Constellation La Maison du Chocolat Noel 2012 Constellation Bûche paris france christmas 2012 christmas traditions holidays france french christmas traditions

Constellation Bûche from La Maison du Chocolat

La Maison du Chocolat

225 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – 75008 Paris

52 rue François 1er – 75008 Paris

8 bd de la Madeleine – 75009 Paris

19 rue de Sèvres – 75006 Paris

120 av Victor Hugo – 75116 Paris

Printemps de la Maison 2ème étage – 75009 Paris

Carrousel du Louvre – 75001 Paris

Orly Ouest – Hall 2 Porte A – Paris

Galeries Lafayette Maison RDC – 75009 Paris

Roissy CDG Terminal 2A-2C – Paris

Roissy CDG Terminal 2E – Paris

Roissy CDG Terminal 2F – Paris

Your new favorite cupcake shop: Cupcake Lovers in Paris

Cupcakes are my favorite dessert.

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I love cupcakes. After the Cupcake Camp Paris 2012 event last month, that love was officially declared over cyber space.  That being said, I am happy to introduce to you your newest love affair with the dessert. It is found at the following address: 11 rue d’Armaillé, 75017.  Where am I taking you? To Cupcake Lovers in Paris

Cupcake Lovers in Paris 75017 11, rue d'Armaille cupcakes paris

A delicious assortment of cupcakes

After meeting the lovely owner, Venata, at Cupcake Camp Paris 2012, I knew I had to visit her shop as soon as it opened.  When I stopped by her pink cupcake paradise, I spoke with her as we were deciding which of the gorgeous desserts we would bring home.I learned that her background is in management and marketing. She combined her MBA degree with her love of baking and voila, Cupcake Lovers in Paris was born.

Cupcake Lovers in Paris Venata Paris France cupcakes

The lovely owner, Venata

Of the four kinds we chose, each one was better than the next. The red velvet cupcake was incredibly moist, with a very complementary frosting.  As a person who likes the cake and not the frosting, this is a huge kudos to Venata’s culinary skills.  The Oreo cupcake was a first; I’d never seen one, let alone tasted one! The mini Oreo cookie on top was a cute touch. The speculoos cupcake essentially rocked my world, and dark chocolate was divine.

Cupcake Lovers in Paris red velvet cupcakes Paris oreo cupcakes paris chocolate cupcakes paris speculoos cupcakes in paris

Our four cupcakes

Also a smart incorporation to her store: party supplies.  You can find themed napkins, plates, party favors, you name it.  For those of us that hunt around and consult all sorts of online forums, I am here to tell you that you can find everything you need for your child’s party here.

Party Supplies Cupcake Lovers in Paris France 75017

A part of the wall of supplies

Deliciously-made and beautifully-decorated, Venata’s cupcakes come in themes, as well as a large variety of flavors.  You can also get a mini cupcake, for those that just want a little taste of something sweet.  Additionally, you can order customized cupcakes and/or full-sized cakes, so keep them in mind for a loved one’s birthday.  Whatever the case may be, I would head to Cupcake Lovers in Paris for a treat.

Christmas Cupcakes Cupcake lovers in paris france 75017 themed cupcakes customized cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes by Venata

Cupcake Lovers in Paris

11 rue d’Armaillé, 75017

Metro/RER: Etoile, Ternes, Argentine

06.37.45.57.91

cupcakeloversinparis@live.com

http://www.cupcake-lovers.com

Thanksgiving in Paris – and how to carry a fresh turkey safely across the city

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Being away from the US, I was curious as to how the celebrations would fare this year.  Where does one get cranberries, a turkey, pumpkin pie ingredients, gravy, and stuffing in this city?

Thanksgiving Paris 2012 american holiday day of thanks

Thankfully, (pun intended) you can get it all in Paris! Not without a few treks across entire metro lines and hitting the store Thanksgiving in the Marais (without which the full meal would not have been possible), but you can definitely find everything you need to pull off a successful Turkey Day meal. In fact, at the store Thanksgiving, one can get all sorts of American food products! (Reese’s peanut butter cups, included!) Oh, the way to get a turkey across the city is to place yourself in the back corners of the metro, where you can put it under your seat, or behind you on your seat, because that thing is heavyyy.

Thanksgiving Paris 2012 France American holiday turkey where do you get a turkey in paris

Our lovely Thanksgiving spread!

I was fortunate enough to have not one but TWO Thanksgivings this year! Both involved including friends from all over the world and introducing them to our fabulous eat-til-you-burst holiday.  The best parts of the night were going around and saying what we were thankful for (which everyone loved! When an English friend heard what we were about to do, she said, “YES! I have always wanted to do this and I never thought I would get to!!!!!” Happy that this made her holiday!) and introducing European friends to my favorite dessert, pumpkin pie.  I loved seeing the concerned and curious faces take their first bite of the pie and immediately smile and say, “Oh my goodness! THIS IS SO GOOD!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, pumpkin pie is amazing.

Whipped cream pumpkin pie Thanksgiving 2012 in Paris American holiday France

So excited for pumpkin pie!!!

Of course, the experience of being able to celebrate this important American holiday while being almost 6000 miles away from home was truly the best part of this Thanksgiving.  This year, I am thankful for: my family, of course, whose support and love is my biggest motivation to succeed and without whom my life in Paris would not be possible; my friends, old and new, who never cease to impress me, motivate me, make me proud, and make me laugh; my voice teacher and professors, who help and push me to achieve my goals; having met John, who every day makes me so incredibly happy; and last but certainly not least, Paris, which has shown me different sides of myself, has made me grow as a person with the new challenges and experiences that I see on a daily basis, and is the city that has introduced me to some of the most amazing people and things in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012 Thanksgiving in Paris Thanksgiving Paris France american holiday turkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Photo Credit: K. Leverton

As always, Paris, je t’aime.