"I love you mozzarella"
Like all border towns, Ventimiglia attracts hordes of shoppers in search of a bargain. This mostly involves cheap alcohol - can someone explain why Pastis costs less in Italy than in the south of France? - and handbags or sunglasses that come with fake labels and the risk of a hefty fine should the border police decide to do one of their frequent spot checks.
A weekend in Bastia
Nonstop sunshine, rustic cakes made with chestnut flour, honey tasting of sun-scorched wild herbs, sausages of boar and donkey: these are a few of the things I expected to find in Corsica, and over the course of the weekend more than one of these preconceived ideas would prove to be false.
Au Merveilleux de Fred
Nearly every French pastry shop has its cloud-like meringues sitting in a puffy heap somewhere near the window, but they often seem to be more of a decoration than something that people actually eat.
Sunday at the Marché de Wazemmes
Lille is a city with many charms - great beer, friendly people, a freshly restored historic center - but these are not necessarily obvious on a Sunday, when shops and restaurants pull down their shutters so that families can gather round a steaming pot ofcarbonnade flamande
, beef cooked in beer until caramelized, or share a potjevleesch
, an assortment of jellied meats.
A few days in Montmartre with Haven in Paris
I have a vision of my perfect apartment in Paris. It would be high up - stairs don't scare me - with a small balcony and a sweeping view over the zinc rooftops, punctuated here and there with church spires and glimmering domes.
The Paris-Brest at La Pâtisserie des Rêves
Never one to miss a new Paris pastry shop, I made a taxi screech to a halt when I spotted La Pâtisserie des Rêves
back in September.
Ready, prêt, go: Eating on the run in London
For the school holidays, I took Sam to London to brush up his English. Well, that was the official excuse.
A tantalizing taste of Genoa
I had only half a day to explore Genoa, but thanks to a well-informed friend and the thoroughly researched book Food Wine: The Italian Riviera and Genoa
I put every minute to edible use.
The future of French shopping?
You might think of Parisiennes as stylish women who take pleasure in shopping at markets and whipping up sumptuous meals with seasonal ingredients. You would be right about the stylish part.
Hugues Foucher, a cheese iconoclast
I've always thought that British cheese is underrated in France in the same way that Canada is underrated in the United States: few people give much thought to its existence.
Ten things I love about Paris according to Sam, age six
Seeing Paris through a child's eyes is one of the best ways to rediscover the city.
The best fruit vinegars
It all started with a few tiny bottles, small enough to slip into my hand luggage without causing suspicion at the airport.
A perfect morning in Paris
How would I spend a perfect morning in Paris? I found out on Saturday when I realized that I had several hours stretching in front of me with no obligations.
Strawberry and tomato gaspacho with pistachio oil
Pistachio oil brings an extra touch of originality to strawberry and tomato gaspacho, which I came across at Le Mirazur's new tapas-style bar and couldn't wait to recreate.
I first spotted this summery variation on classic tiramisù at the bakery Bread & Roses in Paris, and had been wanting to recreate their recipe for months.