Paris

Paris is just as endearing in Winter as it is in Summer. There are incredible sights to see including all of the ones you know about – the Louvre, the Eiffel tower, the Champs Elysees, the Moulin Rouge – and then there are the most gorgeous little parks and back streets that you can just spend hours sitting in admiring the surrounding houses and absurdly well-dressed children (better dressed than me!).

And then there are the markets which run throughout the week including my favourite one beneath the Dupleix metro station bridge on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is fresh produce including fish and seafood, game and meat, nuts and seeds, fruit and veg, bread and pastries, as well as a lot of the butchers and charcuteries making large dishes including roasted potatoes, freshly roasted chickens, cabbages with ham, braised vegetables and loads more! It is such a cheap way to have a beautiful meal with all the trimmings because you can buy individual portions so travelling alone is fine!

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A lovely place to have some very traditional French peasant food is at Le Stella in the Trocadero area of Paris. Best French fries and made me realize why they are called ‘French’ fries – just so good, I’ve got no words! We also ordered a boiled sausage stuffed with pistachios with vinegar and parsley seasoned boiled potatoes and cabbage and beet sauerkraut, as well as a slow-braised pig’s trotter rolled in bread crumbs and fried with tomatoes and French fries. All of this came with housemade mustard and mayonnaise. Gorgeous setting, no English in site, and wonderful food no matter what you order!

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Finally, my favourite bakery and patisserie, Maeder Veronique on Rue de Lourmel near the Dupleix metro station. Everything is made from scratch using wholesome, natural ingredients and traditional methods – no shortcuts here. There are also no preservatives, colours or flavourings – my favourite sort of food! Must tries are the tuna baguette with housemade mayonnaise and pickles, lemon meringue tart, and milk chocolate tart. But if you are pressed for money (it’s not expensive anyway) then just grab a 90 cent baguette – crunchy, sour, and chewy. Perfection in my opinion.

Top tips:

  1. Don't eat at the overpriced restaurants close to the tourist venues, walk a couple of hundred metres down the alleyways and find better food at a better price.
  2. Visit any/all of the markets, see how and what the locals eat and cook.
  3. You CANNOT beat a freshly baked baguette or croissant and these are in abundance in Paris, buy one with an espresso coffee for under 2 euro. Breakfast done dirt cheap.