French Lesson with a Southern Accent:
How DO those French Women Stay So Trim?
First, introducing the best worst souvenir in Paris.
Yes, I bought the chef’s hat that says France!
Now, let’s go to Paris!
To Marche to Marche!
Bustling with shoppers, even in the rain, the weekly street market stretching along the Avenue du President Wilson in Paris was an eye-popping spectacle of peppers and pastries, spices and seafood, flowers and fromage.
While I’m not used to finding fresh rabbit and blue lobsters in my supermarket at home, seeing these foods and more in the open-air markets of Paris was a big part of the foodie fun during my recent trip to the City of Light.
Visiting the Louvre and other must-see Parisian sites was on the list, but my travel objectives were motivated by mealtime.
My first lunch was a leisurely paced three-hour tour of tastes in the elegant Le Gabriel restaurant at La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa quite near the famed Avenue des Champs-Elysees.
The elegant dining room draped in the soft light of a September afternoon…we knew we were in for something very, very special.
Let the games begin!!!
Our first treat….surprising savory bites of foie gras in dark chocolate. Oh and some caviar.
Then the delightful dishes just kept on coming…..
The highlight of the culinary adventure was experiencing chef Jerome Banctel’s specialty dish of cocoa marinated pigeon (or squab) with the bird’s little feet intact served with organic buckwheat pasta.
A cheese course preceded no fewer than three desserts including cloud-like marshmallows with a tart sorbet of aloe and lime…..
….a wild strawberry creation under an envelope of strawberry glee…
…then a plate lined with hazelnut chocolate you scooped up with tiny brioche and sticks of meringue.
Wait! If this is how those French women stay so trim, I’m moving here!
More simply sensational scenes from the jewel box that is La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa.
City of Light Eaters
As author of the best selling book French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano recommends bread, Champagne, chocolate and romance as key ingredients to a balanced diet and lifestyle.
I was willing to put it to the test and while in France take some time to observe the eating habits of French women.
A young woman who works at the Dior restaurant in St. Tropez told me that she was taught to eat slowly so that the meal is more satisfying. Dinner most nights might be a simple soup with bread, a piece of cheese and fresh fruit.
Portions are definitely smaller in France as compared to the U.S.
But that’s a good thing because it allows for a variety of more tastes.
The multi-course lunch Liz and I enjoyed with our new friend, Marie Dumarest-Petavi, at the one-star Michelin La Table restaurant in the Hotel Lancaster Paris left me feeling satisfied and energized, not stuffed and tired.
An ample two-ounce portion of beef was paired with mushrooms and sautéed red grapes.
One of the very special members of Leading Hotels of the World, The Lancaster Paris, was home to film legend Marlena Dietrich. You may stay in her suite of rooms if you want to feel like a movie star.
Of course life in Paris comes with a hefty serving of walking and many days we racked up six kilometers on Bea’s fitness app.
Add to that the breath-defying 284 step climb up the Arc de Triomphe and running to catch Metro trains and Paris measures up as a great getaway for food and fitness.
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