Parisian weekend 21st June to 23rd June, 2008

We were in Paris to visit Olivier and Christianne and the weekend started with a bang literally, as we approached passport control we were quickly ushered back as the rest of the terminal was empty. Due to an unclaimed bag the bomb squad had been called in and the bag was the the victim of a controlled explosion.

Saturday night we walked from Olivier and Christianne’s apartment in the very cosmopolitan Daumansil(?) area along the regenerated derelict train line to the Bastille. June 21st is a festival of music every year in Paris with bands performing on every corner and in bars/restaurants. We decided we needed sustainance after walking 4 miles so we stopped for dinner at an old haunt(back in the day) of our guests called Le Square Trousseau, very old style bistro looked great……………….. the food was highly average so it must have gone down hill. We then just strolled around stopping for cocktails and listening to the most eclectic music ever. It semed like all of Paris was on the streets along with all the tourists. Our favourite bar was a Piano bar on a boat moored opposite Notre Dame on the Seine called O Fil De L’o. The quayside was just a melle of music and people having fun in the summer, Globe Troffers have to go! The wierdest bit was cycling, yes cycling back 5/6 miles at 1.45 am with people, cars and scooters everywhere. The Paris bike scheme is great, pick up a bike in one place and return it somewhere else, it’s cheap and clean(an adventure!!).

Sunday was chilled out with  long walk in the park followed by lunch (fillet of beef, bread, Camembert all purchased in small local shops) at home accompanied by an exceptional red of Oliviers, 98 Louis Latour. After a rest we got the Metro to Bastille and had dinner at Chez Paul(13 Rue de Charonne 75011 Pais). We all had late season white asparagus with a shared Foie Gras all superb. Christiane had a mixed fish casserole, D had steak and the boys had sardines all excellent. Deserts were a mixed small selection that didn’t really work but the cheese and port followed by cognac finished off a must visit establishment if you are looking for traditional French Farmhouse cuisine. Then guess what we cycled home which was interesting after Sancerre and Haute Medoc…………..

On Monday we decided to take it easy and went to see old Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Lunch was at a walk in Italian(Giambattista il sardo, 7 rue de chevalier st. george paris 8e)over by the Madeleine Cathedral and you know what sometimes you’re just lucky. I had a fantastic Tuna tartare as a starter and D had a Salade de Caprese both spot on. For mains we both decided on a seafood Spaghetti which was  excellent.

Then we flew back only for Jet 2 to lose D’s luggage.

G&D

Number 29, Glasgow, 19th June 2008

I was out with colleagues and clients in Glasgow and there were 14 of us so picking the right venue was important. We were guided by local knowledge(Client/Scottish colleague Ricky) to try Number 29 which is a members club that has separate cocktail bar, dining room and evening lounge bar. The venue was superb, food excellent, atmosphere sophisticated but relaxed. Drinks wise we had a mixture of aperitifs, Champagne, Chablis and Fluerie folowed by on or to nigtcaps! Food was a mixture of exotic salads, shrimp cocktail and pate for starters, mains included beef, lamb and sea bass. Deserts were all home made  with my favourite, raspberry cheesecake. The company was superb and I would definitely recommend this as I’m sure I will go back!!

G

Impromptu

Don’t you always find the best get togethers are the ones that are often last minute?

We held one of those on Saturday night – Gurdev brought along the fish, salads and nibbles and we provided some meaty main courses. Special mention should go also to the anti pasti from Casa Mia – olives, artichokes and nice bread.

As you can see there was a veritable feast on the go. Finest beef fillet from Ives’ farm shop, enormous jumbo shrimp, lovely sardines, minty lamb chops, marinated sea bass and a few cumberland sausages and aberdeen angus burgers.

The sardines looked beautiful, all laid together along with their garlic accompaniment. I cooked them in the tray as they’re very delicate and cook really quickly.

Melted herb butter for the jumbo prawns – melted in seconds in front of the hotter than usual fire.

And they did taste as good as they looked!

Luke discovered a new type of fish lifeform – body of shrimp and head of sea bass!

we finished the main course off with minty lamb chops which were supreb and the dessert of Julie’s passion fruit cheesecake topped of a fantastice evening in the garden.

Broad bean and Pancetta Risotto

From the River Cafe Easy cookbook, which is full of really simple but fabulous dishes. They rely heavily on the best ingredients with each recipe highlighting a key ingredient, in this case broad beans which are slap bang in season right now.

Julie thought we’d cooked this before and the grease stains on the page were a giveaway. We really fancied some comfort food after it had rained solidly all Saturday and I don’t think you can beat a Risotto to cuddle up to.

Washed down with a very bottle of Corallillo Chilean Chardonnay from M&S (which Julie scored highly due to its creamy oakiness) it was a perfect Saturday night supper.

Viva Cuba after the cricket

We spent an extremely enjoyable evening watching Yorkshire narrowly beat Lancashire in the cold and rain at Headingley in the 20/20.

A few beers helped stave off the chill and hunger until we headed down to Viva Cuba. Anders had set aside a full table for 16 of us upstairs which was fantastic. A few Mojitos later and all was well as we tucked into a midweek Tapas feast fit for The Globe Troffers!

The Chorizo is always, always so good. Why is that, simple sausage in a Rioja sauce – deelish.

Anyway, fed and watered, we headed off home on a school night having had a cracking summer’s evening in the rain capped off by great food and very good company!