Au Revoir Paris!

Our month in Paris flew by. We explored the city in the best way possible – on foot. And although there were times when our feet would scream in protest, we kept strolling through quiet cobbled streets, busy tourist spots and crowded shopping areas discovering this great city.

As we recuperate from our stay in a big bustling city and unwind back in the French countryside while we contemplate our next steps, I thought I’d share a few impressions I gathered during our time in Paris. I did not carry the camera on me all the time, wanting to take in the sights and sounds without being distracted. However, whenever I could, I tried capturing images that I found interesting. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did experiencing them. Captions appear wherever an explanation seemed necessary.

eiffel paris

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Rome – Food, Coffee, Gelato & Culture

We spent the last week in Italy. Driving through the still snow covered Alps we left a temperature of -2 in France and drove to Rome looking for some sunshine and with expectations of a good time. The journey included a 2-night stop at Corvara (a region near the tourist hotspot of Cinque Terre in Liguria) and this time, we were accompanied by our in-laws.

Peter’s mom and stepdad are absolute lovers of art and culture and Rome has been at the top of their must-visit destinations. They’ve always wanted to visit Rome together with Peter mainly because it would then not just be a family trip but one with a free tour guide in tow (Peter lived and worked as a tour guide in Rome a long many years ago). The foodie in me has always wanted to travel to Italy to enjoy authentic Italian food first hand. And thus, we made a lovely combination – me looking for great spots to have some good food, Miep and Rien (the parents) researching what sights they wanted to visit and Peter at the head, prioritising our choices and steering us clear of tourist traps of which there are many.

italian cuisine

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From Vine to Jar – Making Grape Jam

Although winter is here and thoughts are turning towards baking, roasting and the festive season, I had to share my experience making my very own grape jam for the first time ever!

This fall, we had a bounty of little purple grapes growing on thick vines climbing partly over the front wall of our little country home here in France. We knew they were ripe for the picking by the number of wasps, flies, bees, etc that were attracted to them. It would have been a shame to see them go to waste except for feeding these little insects of course so we decided we’d give making jam a try.

concord grape jam

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Discovering Soul Food in New Orleans

We’ve just returned from a month long trip to the United States. During our four weeks there, we got to experience a lot of local culture, meet some lovely, friendly people and of course try out American style food. What we also realised is that America is a really really huge country and four weeks does not do its hundreds of proud sights and delights any justice at all! In spite of this, we enjoyed our journey that began in New York and ended in Los Angeles. Along the way, we also did a little road trip through the Southern states more so for the warm climate and the promise of good food and we weren’t completely disappointed.

One of our stops along the way was at New Orleans, the famed food capital of the South. One of the activities we indulged in while there was to attend a demonstration session at the New Orleans School of Cooking. It was 2 hours of food talk led by the lively Peg who talked about the history and origin of contemporary Southern staples such as gumbo and jambalaya. Everything that was made was passed around to the guests so we had a complete meal during the session as well to make it doubly interesting 😉

Lousiana cuisine

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Of Rum, Plaintains, Mangoes and More

We’ve just returned to our temporary base in France after spending a blissful month in the Caribbean. Although we limited our visit to a few islands such as Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad & Tobago, I think we’ve come back with enough impressions of the Caribbean to last us a lifetime.

The tropical climate and humidity reminded me a lot of my own hometown in India which is located on the south-eastern coast of the country. Also familiar were the swaying palm and coconut trees and abundant plaintain & banana all of which make these islands really green.

We were looking forward to a relaxing experience and weren’t disappointed. Beautiful beaches, plentiful cocktails and truly delicious food all combined with an overall friendly and laid back attitude helps you unwind completely.

Caribbean cocktails
Cocktails by the sea at Bequia in the Grenadines
Mango cocktail
Delicious boozy mango daiquiri

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