Went for some much needed retail therapy the other day in TK Maxx and next to a jacket found a lovely cookbook that is also a travel guide to Paris (Rome was also available). Since it was only €10 I thought it would fit nicely in my already overladen shelf with all the other cookbooks (I really need to find a carpenter to build another one). Anyhow, this book is an older edition (a newer one is available from Amazon - the pic is from the latest edition) but still worth a nice read.
The book is divided into the different areas of Paris starting with the Gare du Nord & Montmartre and goes up to Place d'Italie & Montparnasse. Streetmarkets are covered as well which I of course love. I have been to Paris about 16 years ago when Disney Paris was just opened and have to admit I didn't like the city much. But one reason could have been that the weather was terrible, I took the bus from Berlin (never do that to myself ever again) and I was overtired. The hotel I was staying in was out of the centre and dirty to the way that I didn't slip for 3 nights as I refused to put my head down.
Anyhow, in the meantime (I have never been back) I heard and learned so much about the city that I would love to go back but only as a culinary trip. And this book is simply the best travel guide a foodie can have. It not only shows all the landmarks of the city but also the best shops (no fashion here ladies) and best restaurants along some lovely recipes. The photographs are great and a nice mixture of landmarks and foods.
The recipes are the well known classics of Petits Pois a la Francaise, Gratin Dauphinoise & Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee. So, most cooks will have these recipes already in their repertoire but it is the listing of the shops that makes this book so special. Angelina in Rue de Rivoli would be on my list. It is a tearoom that has been frequented by Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust and the decor seems to the same as to Ms Chanel's times.
And of course the markets. Paris is famous for it and I really have to forget this first encounter I had with the city and head back there for some more warming memories.