The Paris Gourmet
Trish Deseine, Flammarion, £22.50
There are so many restaurants and pâtisserie windows in Paris that someone like Trish – a top food writer who has lived in the French capital for the past 30 years – had to come along to help whittle them down. Her favourite restaurants and bistros, pâtisseries, bakeries and chocolate shops are all listed here. Each entry features an honest explanation of what makes it so special (for example, “Chilly atmosphere; divine cakes”) and is illustrated with a pretty picture or two.
Among the colour-coded chapters are helpful hints on speciality shops (including where to source the best kitchen and tableware), tips for taking gourmet breaks, sections on luxury establishments and recipes to try at home. There’s also insider advice on passing for un français in a range of situations, from dinner parties (“never make your own bread”) to the local market (“umbrellas are to be avoided”) and restaurants (“no kissing”). Trish is a generous guide, serving up suggestions by the sac à provisions.
It is hard to imagine how anyone could help themselves from getting ideas for a very special séjour, geared around trips to these shops, which sell such tempting treats as truffle sandwiches and wild strawberry sorbet. Miam!