Eating at Frenchie with Greg Marchand

Whether you’re in need of a bite before you head out to watch tennis at Roland Garros or you’re coming back and starving, or you are simply in Paris, there is one place that serves it all – Frenchie (5-6 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris). You can come here for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between.

My sister introduced me to Frenchie during my last visit to Paris and I loved it! And I am not the only one who has come to feel this way, as Greg Marchand, the mastermind chef behind Frenchie, has been skyrocketing to success. Hidden away in the Rue du Nil, Frenchie is developing into a culinary empire, that is no longer known to just the foodies of Paris. The Wall Street Journal just published an interview with him, including a recipe from his newest cookbook (which is superb and worth buying by the way!)

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Marchand’s restaurant “Frenchie” was the first to open in 2009, but was soon followed by “Bar À Vins and “Frenchie To Go”, both of which are located just opposite the restaurant. “Frenchie” is a small and elegant restaurant, with a daily changing elegant á la carte menu (be warned this is fairly pricey). The food represents a modern understanding of great French cuisine and is perfect for a delicious French dinner.

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“Bar À Vins” is the more casual sister to “Frenchie”. It’s a wine bar that serves great wine along with fantastic food. I loved this place not simply for the great wine and food (the octopus I had was A-MAZING), but because of the great atmosphere. The place is full, loud and busy. Everyone seems to be having a great time, enjoying the fantastic food and drink! Great for a fun foodie/wine night out!

If you are looking to go for breakfast, lunch or a coffee break then the casual and delicious Frenchie-to-Go is perfect for you. Don’t worry they also have seating options. My personal favourites are the absolutely divine sandwiches, which are the perfect combination of great ingredients and indulgent greasiness. (I highly recommend trying the Pastrami Sandwich.)

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Can’t wait to go back! (In the meantime there is always his cookbook “Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking”.) Hope you have as much fun as I did!

If you’re looking for more delicious food in Paris there’s more here.

(I was so busy eating and drinking that I failed to take a single picture. Photos are courtesy of http://www.frenchie-restaurant.com/photos-accueil and http://www.frenchietogo.com/photos)

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The Ultimate Delicious Vacation

I want to introduce you to Soneva Fushi (Kunfunadhoo Island, Baa Atoll), which serves some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted and happens to be my favourite hotel of all times. Staying here is one of the best things ever!

soneva island picSoneva Fushi is simply beautiful and utterly amazing! The quality is extraordinary, attention to detail is immaculate and absolutely everything is tailored to your every wish and desire. I could go on forever praising its virtues, but I shall restrain myself. As such, lets get straight to the food (and skip the white beaches, hammocks, palm trees, spa, snorkelling, scuba diving, and the laidback luxury).

There are two restaurants (Mihiree Mihta and Nine ), two bars, and a wine cellar on the island. Each and every location is unique, extraordinary, and utterly beautiful. Breakfast and Lunch are served in Mihiree Mihta, which is right next to the beach, meaning your toes get to dig themselves into the sand while you enjoy a culinary feast. There is an extraordinary choice, including homemade baked pastries and mind blowing good fruit for breakfast and freshly caught fish any way you want it for lunch. (My personal favorite was the delicious sashimi!) You can enjoy a delicious dinner at Nine, which has a more refined and elegant atmosphere. Dinner is always a feast, especially during the weekly aperitif on the neighbouring white sandbank and the grand dinner after. Of course, you can have lunch or dinner served anywhere on the island upon request (on the sandbank, on the beach, in your villa…you name it!)

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What makes Sonvea Fushi particularly special and truly sets it apart from any other luxury resort, is the care and attention given to everything – especially the food. The fish is freshly caught just off the island and the chef’s organic garden is the ultimate pinnacle, meaning your food really is freshly picked and locally sourced. In fact, Soneva Fushi and its food have been so successful that they’ve published a cookbook. Here’s a beautiful page from said cookbook, with which I hope to bring a slice of paradise into your kitchen.

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An Evening in Palma de Mallorca

I have seen the city of Palma de Mallorca transform itself from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan thanks, in part, to the many people visiting the island. Every time I go another house has been restored, a new store has opened and of course a new restaurant is beckoning. If you happen to be going to visit Palma anytime soon, here’s what a typical late afternoon, early evening of mine looks like. First, I walk from the Harbour up the Born, the Mallorquin equivalent of Barcelona’s Ramblas, and do a bit of strolling and window shopping. Then, I meet my friends/family at the Bar Bosch (Plaza Rei Joan Carles I, 6, 07012 Palma), which is a true Mallorquin institution. It is filled with locals, tourists, and the odd celebrity enjoying a drink. It’s central location makes it a people-watching place. Definitely one of my favourites! bar bosch II After a nice aperitif, it is dinner time at La Bodeguilla (Carrer de Sant Jaume, 3, 07012 Palma). With friends, I usually go to the more casual tapas bar, where you sit on high stools and enjoy a delicious menu of tapas. These are not your usual tapas but a more sophisticated version with a modern twist. They are truly delicious! For an elegant dinner, you can go next door to their elegant restaurant. Here the menus is more diverse and refined. Also they have a great wine selection. la bodeguilla i -i For an alternative, there is La Boveda (Carrer de la Boteria, 3, 07012 Palma). I love the atmosphere here, always full, loud and lively. The food is good Mallorquin food but more basic serving ham, pan amb oli and the likes. However, this place is not for those seeking a hidden treasure! Instead, expect your neighbouring table to speak anything but Spanish. Knowing this, I recommend going as a party of two and sitting at the bar and enjoying the vibrancy and food.

Need a Shopping Break in London? Here’s Where!

Shopping up and down Oxford and Bond Street eventually requires a break to refuel. However, apart from the tourist traps and high street brands there are limited options. But if you venture just a few blocks either side, you find a whole new world. Here are two of my favourites – Daisy Green and the Borough Barista.

Daisy Green is an organic treasure and exactly what you are looking for if in need of a healthy and quick lunch/tea/coffee break. It’s in Portman Village (20 Seymour Street, W1H 7HX London) and the stop to make if you’re hungry. It has a collection of healthy salads, sandwiches and wraps. Also, they offer an extensive “Aussie Brunch” menu. Food is locally and organically sourced whenever possible and everything is prepared in-house! An even greater plus is the frozen Yoghurt. It is served with homemade toppings and is that perfect treat for lunch and afternoon.

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Just down the street is another treasure – the Borough Barista (60 Seymour Street, London W1H 7JN). The focus is less on food here and more on drinks, so head here when in need of a coffee or tea. It is perfect if you’ve just made your way through Selfridges or Primark.

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The Borough Barista serves lovely tea and great coffee and has a great selection of sandwiches and pastries to go along.  It is especially valuable because of the chairs and tables outside! These are perfect for when the sun is shining. I also love the personal touches they have included, such as the flowers. Always puts a smile on my face and the experience all the more enjoyable.

My favorite Cafés in London

I’ve always thought finding a nice and delicious café in central London to be quite the challenge. Meeting a friend for tea or coffee in a café that isn’t Starbucks, Café Nero or Costa Coffee is far more complicated than it ought to be. To make this a little easier in future, I am sharing my tried and tested hangouts. Each and everyone serves great tea and coffee, along with  delicious food. Enjoy!

On the 4th floor of Dover Street Market is Rose Bakery (17-18 Dover St, London W1S 4LT). I’ve recommended Rose Bakery in Paris (as you can read here) and suggest you pay its London dependence the same courtesy. While the vibe is different, being much more laid back and casual, the food is just as delicious. The Bakery is open until 5pm (Sunday until 4pm) and tea and coffee are served all day. They have delicious, healthy pastries available all day and a fantastic select lunch menu, which I highly recommend. I caution you not to come too late, as lunch goers leave little behind (understandably, considering the fantastic food).

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Fortnum and Mason’s The Fountain (Corner of Jermyn and Duke Street, SW1Y 6LX London or via Piccadilly) serves the tea Fortnum and Mason is famous for and it is simply delicious. I love coming here to have a cup of tea and potentially indulge in some scones and clotted cream. The lovely décor, integrating turquoise and a beautiful green, gives it a light and elegant feel and a welcome break from loud and busy London. Also, its central location is simply perfect!

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Another perfect hideaway and true gem is Fernandez and Wells at Somerset House (The Strand, WC2R 1LA). Their best feature is the fantastic seating outside in the beautiful Somerset House courtyard, so come here when it’s not raining. You can enjoy a quiet moment away from the bustle, while watching the fountain, and, if you’re lucky, soak up some sun. They serve great sandwiches and have a fantastic selection of cured meats, cheese and wine. Most definitely one of my favorite places in London!

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Similarly, there is the very chic Bluebird Café in Chelsea (350 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UU), perfect in the warm weather because of their great outside seating area. You can relax here and enjoy a cup of tea following strenuous shopping down Kings Road or a visit to the nearby Saatchi Gallery. They also have a bakery, bistro and restaurant, each serving yummy food.

A good alternative to high street brands is Gail’s Artisan Bakery (http://gailsbread.co.uk/). Gail’s is actually also a chain, they have 16 cafés throughout London, SoHo (seen on the pictures) and Bloomsbury being their two most central locations. However, I love their interiors and the beautiful display of pastries. More importantly, the quality is reliably good and tasty. They also serve smaller dishes, so it’s perfect for a light lunch, an afternoon break or brunch on weekends.

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