Les Negociants, Paris

The day after the Night Vale live show, we were fairly slow getting up and ready, so we ended up skipping breakfast and going straight for lunch. We decided to head to a place that Jan and I had been to before – Jan twice and me once. We arrived at around 12 o’clock when the place was still pretty much deserted, and were able to grab a table outside. Despite it being November by that point, it was still as warm as summer! By the time we’d finished eating and left, the tables had all filled up and the place looked like this:

Paris

The first time Jan went to this restaurant was with a local when he was in Paris for some meeting or conference or something. He liked it so much that, the next time the two of us were in Paris, he wanted to introduce me to the place. And because I enjoyed it too, this time we decided to take K along.

For our main courses, K and I chose lamb. It was melt-in-the-mouth tender and came on a bed of mashed sweet potato. Mmmm! Jan had the pork, which was marinated in cider and served with chunks of stewed apple and a little pot of mashed potatoes. I trued his pork and the marinade was delicious!

Next up, the reason we had wanted to come to this place again… the desserts are to die for! Jan and I each decided on the Pain Perdu (sorry if that’s spelled wrong) – a French version of eggy bread/French toast. I’m told it means “lost bread”. The bread was soaked in a salted caramel sauce and came served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Salted caramel is one of my favourite things in the whole world, and I savoured every last bite. K choose the apple tart, as the only item on the menu that was lactose free. I tried a tiny bite and that too was delicious.

I finished my meal with a cappucino – it had got rather late the night before, after all!

If you ever find yourself in Paris, check out Les Negociants and be sure to eat dessert. I promise you won’t regret it! To get there, take the metro to Les Gobelins. You will find the restaurant on the corner of Blvd St Marcel and Ave des Gobelins.

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It’s British week at Aldi Süd!

"British Isles" week (photo © Aldi Süd)
“British Isles” week (photo © Aldi Süd)

Recently, The Diary of Sugar and Spice had a post about American week at Aldi Süd (there are two versions of Aldi here in Germany – Süd (South) and Nord (North). The one in the UK is Süd). It was quite interesting to read an American perspective on what the Germans consider to be “American” food. If you believe Aldi Süd, they’re obsessed with cranberries and blueberries, and most of what they eat is incredibly unhealthy.

Then, yesterday, one of my colleagues sent me this link:
https://www.aldi-sued.de/de/angebote/angebote-ab-donnerstag-4-juli/

The follow up to American week at Aldi Süd is British week. Of course… what else could it be? So, for those Brits who are curious about how Germany views our eating habits, here’s what’s available on British week… (Note: They’re actually referring to the promotion as “A Taste of the British Isles, hence why Irish stuff is also available).

Fish and Chips

Photo © Aldi Süd
Photo © Aldi Süd

It’s true, we do like our fish and chips. But they don’t usually come premixed in a single bag. And what even is that fish? It looks like a larger, flatter version of fishfingers… Also, where are the mushy peas? Now those are authentically British!

Buck’s Fizz

Photo © Aldi Süd
Photo © Aldi Süd

This one mostly made me laugh becasue I had no idea anyone still drank Buck’s Fizz. Does anyone still drink it? I remember being allowed a very small glass of this stuff with my Christmas dinner when I was about 10 and feeling incredibly grown up for the rest of the day…

Irish Lamb

Photo © Aldi Süd
Photo © Aldi Süd

This one I will give them because we do like our lamb over on the British Isles. Buuut… where is the mint sauce? I didn’t say any of that in the shop. You can’t have one without the other! Get it sorted, Aldi Süd…
I did not buy any lamb… not due to the lack of mint sauce, but because my Aldi didn’t have any!

Baked Beans

Photo © Aldi Süd
Photo © Aldi Süd

Oh yes, these are definitely 100% British! It is possible to get Baked Beans in Germany at any time (although not at Aldi), but usually for over a euro per tin. Aldi were selling them for only 45 cents! Yes, I definitely stocked up…

To see all the foods from the British Isles that were on offer, click on the link above. Other items from the selection included Irish whiskey, Wine Gums, Scottish Shortbread Fingers, various jams (including blackcurrant preserve. Yum yum!) and, of course, tea (including one called “Five O’clock Tea”. *Snort*).

And the foods that they were missing, in my humble opinion? Malt vinegar, Cheddar cheese, sausage rolls, back bacon, gravy granules and crumpets. Especially crumpets!!

Post-fun blues

Do you know the book Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield? It used to be one of my favourites as a child. Anyway, at some point in the book one (or possibly two) of the girls is involved in a play and the others get to to go matinees and stuff and have special teas, then when it’s all over the two younger ones get upset because it’s all over and they feel like nothing nice will ever happen again. That’s me at the moment.

So on Friday night I went for that meal with work. The restaurant turned out to be not just pretty posh but incredibly posh. Not quite as expensive as Brenner’s Park Hotel but up definitely up there with the ones that are soo not suitable for a girl like me (I’m common as muck don’t ya know). The food was gorgeous. I had foamed chick pea soup with some mini springroll type things filled with some kind of grilled fish floating in it for my starter. For the main course I ordered Veal “served two ways” (I am translating this from the German). This consisted of one piece of veal tenderloin (perfectly cooked and absolutely gorgeous) and something that tasted to me like canelloni (as in pasta tubes). These were filled with shredded veal. This was served with carrots, pureed parsley (it lloked like bright green mashed potato!) and gravy. Dessert was passion fruit creme roll served with coconut flavoured icecream. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Last night I cooked lamb for some friends. There ended up being 6 of us (originally it should have been 7 but one ended up being unable to come). I have never roast lamb before so i was very nervous but it turned out really well. The lamb ended up being perfectly cooked. It was well done (because I detest medium meat) but still very tender and not at all dry. The mint sauce went down well, the roast potatoes were perfect – for the first time ever! And I actually managed to get the amounts almost right for a change. There was only just eneough left over for Jan and I to have them for lunch today. It was a brilliant night, full of good food, good wine and good conversation.
And now it’s all over and I just feel blah. Just like the girls in Ballet Shoes who thought nothing nice was ever going to happen to them again. Obviously I know there are things to look forward to and I will have fun nights again in the future, but right now it’s hard to remember that. Especially since all I’ve done today is sort out, wash and hang up laundry and I still haven’t had any more news about flats. So much for February bringing an end to the blues…