The nonchalance of the French is the image I have been going for for the last three months. I’m not entirely sure why, I just know that I did not want to look like a tourist. The accent when I speak still comes across as obviously foreign so my best bet was not looking like one- mind you with the camera I’m always lugging around, not sure I was succeeding at all.
We started out early – well, past midday and the weather was beautiful. There were already throngs of people at the marché, simply strolling along, sampling the hot wine – of which there were many stalls, having their snacks on the sidewalk food courts. It had a strangely commercial feel to it though- it is after all the Champs Elysées though- for authenticity I have been told that there is no other than the Strasbourg Market
Lounge music, I guess I am just a sucker for lounge music. Evokes images of chilled out cocktails on friday nights, lazy saturday afternoon barbecues and late sunday lunches. The association is always with food.
Discovering my neighbourhood has never been such a pleasure.
Le Bistro de Neuilly is on rue du Commandant Pilot in Neuilly-sur-Seine. A very quiet street. The restaurant is small, but has really friendly hosts, and it was apparent that the diners were mainly regulars and of course us, the newbies. Jazz music playing in the background, every so often there was laughter and dancing from the back to a popular song – it is that kind of place. Young families, older couples, young couples.
The food was great! I have yet to write up on a bad experience – actually, I will not, if the food’s not good, I won’t recommend a place.
While I was busy walking around yesterday doing my best impression of ‘tourist with camera’ I had completely forgotten it was fête de la gastronomie. Launched in May this year, it is the inaugural event that looks to promote French cooking – not forgetting that we are talking of cuisine that this year won its status on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Yes, that is how seriously the French take their cuisine.
Yesterday, armed with a good review from Oubruncher; literally ‘where to brunch’ a website dedidated solely to great places to have brunch in Paris, we made our way to the 8th. Le Quai was not our first choice but after numerous attempts to make reservations at our initial choices – and being told that there was nothing available before 2pm (for brunch!) we decided to take the 2pm.
Another week gone by, and the countdown to leaving sunny but cold, oh so cold SA, about to get underway. In the meantime, we took in the Elephant Sanctuary at Hartbeespoort Dam. One takes for granted how truly magnificent these creatures are, but as majestic as they are, there’s something rather pitiful when we see them in enclosures.
The Green Mamba at close range, yes with reinforced double glass in between me and the snake but still at close range, is a terrifying creature. Just the knowledge of the slow and painful death its bite can induce is chilling enough on its own. Behind the glass they appeared harmless though. Croc City in Fourways, a stone’s throw away from the Lion Park was all reptiles and birds.