Thursday 30 October 2014

Jacques Genin Rue du Bac

I was most excited last week to get to visit the new Jacques Genin store on the corner of Rue du Bac and Rue de Varenne. I'd heard of his legendary caramels of course but had never made it to his original store in the 3rd on any of my three previous visits to Paris. How fantastic that he opened this new left bank store just in time for our visit!

What an experience it is!

From the first glimpse outside
It's totally elegant and beautiful

 everything  is displayed like fine works of art- which indeed they are

So much to try

The pate des fruits (fruit jellies) glisten like jewels
and there are some rather unexpected flavours

Not all that is red is berry!

The Mangue Passion of legend

All too soon it is time to leave 
And what of the caramels? I've only eaten a few of my stash, but they are indeed divine. The Mangue Passion (Mango/Passionfruit) and Caramel Beurre Sale (Salted Butter Caramel) are incredible. The joy of the pate des fruits still awaits. 

Rather stupidly I didn't buy any of his chocolates on this visit. Thankfully they give you a tiny sachet with two chocolates to try. That milk caramel will stand up as one of the gustatory highlights of the trip I think. The dark chocolate mint has an incredibly intense mint flavour, and was a bit too much for me. 

And now I think I need a caramel for breakfast....

Jacques Genin
27 Rue de Varenne
Paris 75007
Tuesday-Saturday 1030-7

Saturday 25 October 2014

Marche biologique Raspail #2

Last year I visited the amazing organic market on Sundays at Boulevard Raspail. It was so good that on our first morning in Paris while still dusting off the jet lag we went again. Last year it was summer, this year late autumn, and it was fascinating to see the seasonal changes at the market.

It was such a celebration of mainly French produce.

So many pumpkins! I'd been lead to believe that the French don't eat pumpkin, but clearly someone does.

I love pumpkin and have been trying it whenever the opportunity presents.

Lots of delicious salmon but better to get someone
to cook it for me 

I love mache!

And mushrooms of all sorts

Beacoup des fleurs

The kale revolution has hit France too it seems

I'm not sure if these are even available in Australia? Physalis. Or particularly what I would do with them if I had them.

I need to buy some of these next time
I did try one growing in a park

Black radish I believe

They had amazing yellow tomatoes too
and cooked beetroot sitting out!
So much delicious cheese on offer. 

The St Felicien and Fourme d'Ambert
were amazing.
Some things remained untried

Not sure that I'm brave enough

Clearly some produce is imported

Best pineapple I've ever tasted- from Togo

Checking out a market in Paris is always worthwhile. Whichever one is near you. 

Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog 

Saturday Snapshot is a wonderful weekly meme
 now hosted by 

Wednesday 22 October 2014

2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Shortlist

Whilst I do not like our current Prime Minister at all, I am rather glad that he is continuing the tradition of the annual Prime Minister's Literary Awards. The awards were founded in 2007 by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the first awards were announced in 2008. Initially only awarding adult fiction and nonfiction the categories were expanded in 2010 to include children's fiction, young adult fiction. Poetry and history categories were included from 2012.

The short list for 2014 was released this week. Winners will be announced before the end of the year.

We will only consider the children and YA fiction here. The rest of the shortlists are here.

Young Adult Fiction

The Incredible Here and Now - Felicity Castagna (Winner)
Pureheart - Cassandra Golds
Girl Defective - Simmone Howell
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil
The First Third - Will Kostakis (see my review)

Children's Fiction

Silver Buttons - Bob Graham (see my review) (Winner)
Song for a Scarlet Runner - Julie Hunt
My Life as an Alphabet - Barry Jonsberg (see my review)
Kissed by the Moon - Alison Lester (see my review)
Rules of Summer - Shaun Tan (see my review)

Hmm, there's rather an oversight in the Childrens section isn't there? I don't know how the judges will pit picture books against the longer books in that section, the YA section seems a simpler decision just based on format. I'm not sure how I'd pick between them, but I loved both My Life as an Alphabet and Kissed by the Moon.

Monday 20 October 2014

Sunday Afternoon in the Luxembourg Gardens

Yesterday I spent a blissful few hours strolling about the Luxembourg Gardens, one of my favourite spots in Paris, with a fascinating history. I've visited quite a few times before, but always in the spring or summer, now I've been able to appreciate how autumnal beauty changes the park, but not the enjoyment.

I love the statuary
But can always find a new one I've never managed
to find before, no matter how large 
Although this one has long been a favourite
It looks great in the summer, but is more suited
to the autumn colours I think

Leaf collection must be a huge daily job at this time of year
There were lots of temporary enclosures

These pots were filled with vivid pink colour
in the warmer months
now gorgeous seasonal yellows and oranges

We've been in Paris for 36 hours
and finally a tiny glimpse of another favourite icon

The autumnal glory continues at the Medici Fountain

Perfect late afternoon lighting on the Senate building

Wherever you choose to sit awhile
you're rewarded with such beauty

The people were out in their thousands
And why not the weather is expected to turn colder today
Was this the last, perfect autumnal Sunday afternoon of the year?
It felt like it

People watching is an excellent past time anywhere in Paris, but particularly in the Luxembourg Gardens. Everyone was out yesterday. Young, and old, families, locals and tourists alike revelling in this most glorious of afternoons.

Admiring the beehives

Pulling toys

Weekend pony rides

This girl seemed to be playing and singing for the joy of it
She wasn't busking
She had a beautiful voice

Parisians love reading in parks
and I love watching them,
and wondering what they are reading
French book covers always look so intellectual

Kids the world over love a pile of rocks it seems

It's always wonderful to watch the kids play with the stick powered boats

I'm not fully au fait with the rules
but it seems you can crash you boat into pirate boats

It's as iconic an activity as wearing
blue and white stripes

Malard ducks dodge the boats with ease
We glimpsed some Rose-ringed parakeets too
I hadn't seen them in Paris before
but we saw them in Amsterdam last year

Somehow I'd never seen the rather vast sandpits before

The chess players draw a crowd

I don't have to dream of France today, I'm here, living the dream.

Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog