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thewishingtable

a delicious map of Paris & more or a cultural/culinary travel-concierge

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European Cuisine

Beautiful Marseille

I love Marseille! Yes, it´s true, no matter what other say about Marseille, I find it stunning beautiful and exciting! Many French will give you surprised look and some might start joking about the city they claim to be so dangerous while most likely they never visited! Absolutely go and visit Marseille! One great things is that it features easy access to nature thus if you love hiking it´s a perfect place. If you love beaches, again it´s a perfect spot cause they are city beaches in Marseille as well as more hidden beaches a long the coast. And the calanques, a must see! (See picture above) Even if you just have one day for Marseille consider taking the bus 21 from subway station Prado to Luminy. Get of at the terminal station of the university and you will find yourself at the entrance to the natural reserve on the top of the cliffs. Calculate about 3-4h for a nice walk. The best thing about Marseille are of course the people. They are so welcoming and  charming. Just to illustrate how nice they are I am going to share a little experience from my first trip. I took the boat to go to the island and when I arrived back after a long and fantastic hike I decided to have a bite cause I still had to wait an hour for the boat to go back. So, I sit down in this little restaurant and order some fresh fish and there is group of women in their 50ties sitting there having a bottle of rosé and smoking. They look at me and say: “Hey girl, why are you alone here? Come sit with us. You know women have to stick together!” We talked about life till I had to take the boat back. We had some good laughs, a few glasses and a great time. The people of Marseille are also super children-friendly. We went with our baby in January, most places where closed for the annual vacations thus we end up having lunch in a pretty fancy  fish restaurant. Of course that´s when I need to do a diaper change, in the middle of lunch. I go to the counter and ask where I can change her diaper and he says talk to the tall one. I go to the tall waiter and ask him and  he says: “Just right here! Wait a second.” He takes of decoration and cutlery of one of the tables and says: “Here you go.” I am a bit ashamed and tell him: “I think she pooped, this is a serious diaper change!” He laughes out loud and says: “But it´s my little princess, look at this beauty. Don´t worry. Just change her. This table the most comfortable option.” Well, alright.  There were a lot of old, posh looking people having their expensive lunch but they all just smiled at us and continued having lunch! One old lady waved and said: “Coucou bébé!” Once her diaper was changed, the tall guy came back, gave the baby a kiss and said: “Ah ma beauté!” (My beauty)! So that´s a new level of child-friendly! You just have to love the people here with their loud laughter and big hearts!

Here a little list of my favourite places in town!

  • Jazz bar with balcony to watch the sunset at Vieux Port :  La Caravelle Hôtel Bellevue, 34 Quai du Port, 13002 Marseille
  • Lunch: Le Cafe des Epices, delicious lunch set menu, no traffic – hidden terrace, 4 Rue du Lacydon, 13002 Marseille
  • Tea Salon: At a Cup of Tea you can enjoy the afternoon sun and delicious homemade cakes. It´s a mix of a litte library and a tea salon. Of course they serve coffee too.  1 Rue Caisserie, 13002
  • Cheese: Fromagerie Kalou – an excellent selection of quality cheese, great service, fair pricing. 24 Avenue de Mazargues, 13008 Marseille
  •  Hiking/ Calanques: Take bus 21 to  Luminy (last stop is the university for architecture which is at the entrance to the natural reserve). It takes abt 20 min from Marseille Metro Prado to go there. You can go for a beautiful walk on the Calanque from here. There are several loops possible. The main one is easy to walk and even possible with a push chair and little kids. Take water and food with you!!!
  •  Anonter option is to take bus 19 from Metro Prado, the bus goes along the coast to the outskirts of Marseille. At the last stop you can change into a minibus taking you to the cap to enjoy a sundowner at terrace of the bar Le 20.000 Lieux  (12 Boulevard Alexandre Delabre, 13008 Marseille). In summer time you can hike to the end of the cap and eat at restaurant there but as you can see on the picture on the left it´s a really narrow walk and no way you can take a stroller with you. 
  • If you follow the street of the village to the end you arrive at another access to go hiking in the calques. We did´t manage to get far with the push chair but I hear there is a restaurant somewhere up there in the forest.
  •  Think bus 56 goes from Vieux port straight up to La Bonne Mère (church). Amazing view over the city and sea. And a lovely church with a very maritime vibe.
  •  Take a boat for a day trip to the island, you will feel a little like on the end of world especially if you are not going in high season.
  •  Lovely art museum just downtown next to the harbour, first choice for a rainy day: Musée Regards de Provence, Avenue Vaudoyer, 13002 Marseille
  •  If you are looking for a quick access to go hiking and you wann be close to the beach, this airbnb is great https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10098467?eluid=1&euid=8dceee41-92c3-233e-8279-ae3c1d87c022   but it´s 35 min away from Viuex Port (downtown) So those you rather enjoy restaurants, culture life etc. might wanna check for a place closer to Vieux Port. (anywhere , just not next to the central station, that´s really a crappy hood) . I have stayed at the hostel Vertigo Vieux Port which is perfectly located and I know that they have family rooms. But still expect a young crowd hanging out there.
  • My favourite time to go is in February-April and in September/October. It´s just 3h from Paris Gare de Lyon with the TGV and in February it´s often warm enough to have breakfast on a terrace. Fresh baguette, a coffee and sun in your face- heaven! And in September the masses have left but the water is still warm enough to go for a swim. Once, it was a sunny November, I had forgotten my swim suit cause I am sure one could still have gone for a swim.

Enjoy your trip to the South, soak in the sun and eat lot´s of pizza! This is a great getaway from Paris! 

New bites & mezze 2016

 

Bar du Marché

We had a blast! Come here on a Sunday after the market and try to get a spot on the bar with the workers from the market finishing their day of with a glass of wine. Or get a table and try one of Chef Nathalie`s great dishes with fresh ingredients from the market. The makes 2 starters, 2 main and 2 dessert on the spot, we were very pleased. The bar was packed, people were great, everybody loved our baby thus she was entertained and we stayed more than 3h there chatting with everybody. Highly recommended! Perfect lunch for a Sunday and to get a feeling why the 11th is the best!

Le Comptoir Japonaise 

Organic, japanese , homemade food in an architects home. they produce as much as possible themselves on their own organic farm ( hence they are closed during harvest season) The food was sublime, you usually need a reservation on the weekend but she took as in an cooked spontaneously a risotto with clams for us. We had a nice chat, superb fresh and delicious food and left with a big smile! Abt 20-25€ each.

Kim & Kim 

My favourite Coreen in town. The lunch set menu is just great and cheap!  (10€ and 12€) The pancakes, medusa salad and the BBQ are sooo good! It´s a very simple place, I thinks it is the Dad and his son running the business and they are nice and once again the food is great! Not fancy but simply authentic!

Mama Bali

This spa serves a great indonesian lunch set menu for 14€. Very friendly place with a Zen atmosphere , fresh food, balinese style. (baby-friendly lunch) They also sell a combo of massage/ spa and detox lunch if you need to pamper yourself on a rainy day in Paris… and we all know there are many rainy days here.

Il Goto

New upscale Italian, bit cold deco but nice food in a food desert area. High quality ingredients cooked with a twist, you will find dished like pasta with goat meat and mint leaves or black polenta with scampi on the menu. No pizza or lasagna 😉

Mum Dim Sum 

Cantonese / Hipster styled take away, a bit expensive for what it is… but dim sum tends to be expensive in Europe. At least good quality,  funky dim sum of the month and a nice setting. 10-15€ without drinks.

City break in Normandy

Situated along the English Channel coast of Northern France between Brittany, to the West and Picardy to the East, Normandy is an ideal holiday location to discover new scenery and superb beaches. Fine parks and chateaux are not to miss. It´s an ideal holiday destination with easy access from Paris. And perfect with children if you like (stoney) beaches (to collect people stones and crabs), luscious scenery for walks and hikes, great food and for rainy days many great backup activities like visiting a snail farm or goat cheese farm. As Normandy is very rural you will find animal farms that are welcoming families for stays or just visits all over. Also carriage rides are available. We personally go to Normandy cause it`s only a 2.5h drive till we are at the beach and the scenery is just beautiful to go for hikes and walks – the perfect city break from Paris. Not to forget that eating out here is easy on your wallet.

(Mesnil Plage, Guernanville, Condé-sur-Iton) (Header pic: Varengville-sur-mer)

 

Fécamp
Le Piano de Jean Noel
Absolutely a place to recommend, it´s a small place with about 6 tables, it´s just 1 chef and 1 waitress thus bring some time. They offer a creative cuisine featuring seasonal products of the region. I had tender porc on jerusalem artichoke , rutabaga and parsnip followed by rice pudding with caramel beurre salé. The others had cod fish on vegetables. Lunch menu is about 20€ for 3 courses, otherwise expect a la carte 24-51€. Nice to know maybe, we have been there with our baby (12 month) and there was another family with a little girl 4/5 years old, the service is kids-friendly.
Le Mêle Anges
Little restaurant tucked away from the main street, very friendly and kids friendly service. Good place to go if you are tired of eating everything drawing in cream and butter as it´s typical for Normandy. They have a spicy african chicken and the St.Pierre fish I had cameo vegetables with kaffir lime and citronella. They don´t use microwaves or frozen food and work with regional farms. We had a fois gras à la Benedictine , St. Pierre fish, yaella chicken, strawberry macaron (perfect) caramel fondant. Seasonal, regional, creative and traditional cuisine, lunch menu 15€, menu for 25€ & 35 € or à la carte 10-37€.
La Marine
Chic restaurant close to the beach featuring fish and seafood. The cooking is in between classic, traditional and creative.Very friendly service, kids are welcome. Usually I am not a fan of oysters but this is the first time in my life I liked them. Quality is a game changer. I had salmon carpaccio as a starter, ray as a main and tiramisu caramel beurre salé to finish off. Lunch set menu is about 22€. Tasting menu : 35 and 45€ and à la carte 20-45€. Good to know: Kids menu available!
Chez Nounoute
Does´t look like much at first but the quality of the food speaks for it self! No bling bling, lots of locals eating here, friendly staff, kids are welcome. I had a sole and one of the best creme brûlée I have ever tasted! Fish and seafood 9-25€. Next time I try the mussels with French fries, I was told they have the top quality here.
La Rouge
at Auberge de la Rouge. I have a very romantic memory of our dinner here. Service was great, very friendly and thoughtful, food was well presented and delicious. A spot for celebrating your anniversary or for a special date. Traditional, Classic French, Moderne, Creative – 15 € à 107 €

Yport

Le P`tit Jean
Little restaurant (abt 8 tables) 50m from the beach with a friendly service offering a very good mix of fish & seafood and classic French cooking. We will be back. Kids are welcome. Lunch menu 15-25€.
Tréport 
La Pile d’Assiettes
Slow food  in Treport. Nice little restaurant with great quality food in the slow food spirit. The owner is just a bit difficult with babies and pets are not allowed.  But the food was really good thus I recommend it anyway.
La Veille Ferme
Kid-friendly service, yummy fish soup. Chic setting in a 18th century farmhouse. Tasting menu starts at 28€ or a la carte 10-30€.
Dieppe
A la marmite dieppoise
Traditional Nornand cusine , think sauerkraut in creme with fish or fish and sea food in butter and cream.  It´s on the more expensive end of restaurants in Dieppe but worth it. We had really trouble to find good food in Dieppe and after one other restaurant we even fell sick. So a la marmite is worth it.
Café des Tribunaux
The famous one where Oscar Wilde got kicked out, today packed with tourists on the terrace. The waffles are great and we came here for breakfast twice.
La Maison de Jules
Nice little tea room with good coffee and homemade cake.
Merville-Franceville-sur-plage
Chez Marion
We had a fabulous dinner here with fish 6 seafood. The atmosphere is nice and they bring the cheese and the dessert later on a silvern serving trolley! But be aware that in the Normandy if you ask for calvados you will get a calvados menu- in this case from a glass starting at 12€ up to a bottle for more than a 1000€.

A very hungry caterpillar in the City of Light

Here the complete map of my favourite places in Paris 2013/2014. I will do an update with new discoveries from 2015/2016 soon. For details click no the marker as usual! Happy New Year!

The Italian Wishing-Table

Oh, Italian food… Italy, this place of nostalgia and estival dreams contributes the world with a truly delicious and diversified cuisine. Uncountable varieties of dishes with tomatoes and garlic haul out a yum of everybody´s mouth! I basically grew up with Italian food, till today my Mum makes a mouthwatering lasagna when we kids come home. That´s properly why Italian dishes make me feel homy. But I truly admire the variety of their cooking. Here in Paris my favourite places are Acquolina in Bocca where you should try the sardines with slow cooked onion rings and raisins. The pumpkin ricotta mushroom lasagna was also very remarkable. La Dispensa is my find of 2015. The menu changes all the time, they focus on umbrian cuisine. Both serve organic wines. Just this weekend I stumbled across a new place close to Place des Voges where I had the most delicious pizza with truffles and the best panna cotta with limoncello sauce ever in Paris. I will quickly add the place to the map.

Il Goto / Metro Dugommier

New upscale Italian, bit cold deco but nice food in a food desert area. High quality ingredients cooked with a twist, you will find dished like pasta with goat meat and mint leaves or black polenta with scampi on the menu. No pizza or lasagna 😉

Acquolina in Bocca ♥  Metro Saint-Ambroise

Delicious organic, homemade food, main courses under 15€! With terrace and boutique. Safe bet!      CLOSED!!!

La Dispensa ♥  Metro République 

Oh my god! This little joint is just awesome and in the run to become my favourite place of the year 2015. Food is delicious, made with love, wines are organic, decor is great, prices are fair and the service is kind with a big smile. What else can you ask for? (A dish comes for less than 15€.)

Café Martini ♥  Metro Bastille or Chemin Vert

After renovations a cosy place with Moroccan lamps and a typical Italian counter where I have had one of the best”creme deca” (coffee) in Paris. Nice atmosphere with people taking their espresso at the bar. If you are having lunch you can sit down on one of the tables. I tried an amazing pizza with black truffles for 8€ and the best Panna cotta with limoncello cream I have had in town. starters/tapas and desserts come for 7-13€ and main are between 18 and 25€. I was happy with 1 tapas plus 1 dessert. Absolutely would recommend this place, even the service could be bit quicker and attentive… especially when you are with kids. Not that they are not nice but you got the feeling they are still rookies in the business. 😉

Le Camion a Pizzas / 104 / Metro Riquet 

Great pizza for 10€

L`Osteria dell Anima  Metro Oberkampf

Homemade fresh pasta, great food, but moody service, does´t take reservations for more than 4.

Il Prezzemolo  Metro Filles du Calvaire

Nice for a sundowner, good antipasti, but packed with people. More a bar than a restaurant. Space for big groups.

I Cugini Metro Poissoiniere or Gare du l´Est

Cosy place and no disappointments, pasta, pizza and wine good and affordable, good for a lovely evening with friends or a date. Only drop of bitterness: the tiramisu wasn´t made with mascarpone.

La Gondula  Metro Oberkampf

Homy, cosy , rustic pizza & pasta place, good for lunch. Good with kids too. Pizza with Pistazzio was super good.

IMG_7678 IMG_7680 Pizza with truffle and Panna Cotta with Limoncello cream at Café Martini

The French Wishing-Table

 

Juveniles Metro Palais Royal- Louvre / Pyramides/ Opera

My favourite French place and my “safe place” for food when I am in need of an uplighting meal- which I was a lot during my pregnancy! French-scottish family restaurant. Everything is good but the chefs strong suit is the main dish. I have been there at least 10 times and every time I was happy and surprised of how a classic dish can be presented with a new twist without going crazy fusion. Mains are always a yes and for dessert the hot crumble with caramel whipped cream is also mouth watering. Lunch set menu: main + wine + coffee for 16,50€ or 20-28€ main dish , starters and dessert 7-11€. For wines talke to Margaux. Make a reservation if you wanna be sure to get a table! And don´t be scared of dogs if you are planning on lunch or dinner here.

L’ Epi d`Or Metro Louvre-Rivoli

Oh what a steak! Great for a romantic dinner and a satisfying dinning experience with kind service, cosy interior including candles on the table. Count about 25 for a main dish, thus 40-50 per person with drinks and dessert.

Bouche B  Metro Hotel de Ville

French cuisine trying to be not too heavy in a Berlin style stetting, 35€ the set menu. Every time I had dinner there I left happy. It´s famous for brunch, but I never made it…

L’ Estimet  Metro Ménilmontant

French countryside feeling thanks to the decorations, great food. My favourite was poached egg in Fois gras soup.  Nice place for a date. 70-80 € for 2 including wine.

Bistro Beaubourg 25 Rue Quincampoix / Metro Rambuteau / Hotel de Ville

Classic French bistro – think steak tartar, lamp chops and so on with fries, starters like leek in vinaigrette , hareng or eggs with mayonnaise and homemade mouse au chocolate and tarte tartin (upside down apple pie). Can it get any more traditional? Keeping the pricing fair and down in an otherwise expensive tourist area. Ok with children.

Cafe Truc – Cuisine de bonne femme 8 Rue Froment / Metro Breguet Sabin

Think your French grandmother is cooking. Traditional family cooking, very good, nice service and decoration. Great cheese and ham selection. 25-35€ per person.

Les Niçois  Metro St Ambroise

Sitting outside in the sun for lunch having South-French lunch and a perfect coffee! What more to ask for? Petanque in the basement. 14 Euro 2 courses for lunch. Sunday evenings: BBQ

Le Pas Sage Metro Etienne Marcel

French cuisine, surprising presentation , fresh good products. Menu du degustation 55 Euro or starter 10-15€, main 22-29€ and dessert 9 -11€

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie  Metro Etienne Marcel

A French classic in the heart of Paris, I myself find it a bit pricy but fair enough for the corner. Solid french cooking. 8-25 Euro a dish. Think fois gras ravioli and duck breast dishes…

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