Awakening To Paris Gourmet

 Bonjour everyone,

Let me explain  how you can spend an afternoon in Paris without spending anything at all! All you need is time, an appetite and curiosity.

A short sojourn from Rue de Raspail is Rue de Sevres, the location of the oldest department store in Paris- the famous ‘ Le Bon Marche’ ‘ and the  gourmet food hall (dare I say temple) or aptly named, ‘La Grande Epicerie.’

 The store is exceedingly beautiful, both inside and out. It was originally designed by Gustave Eiffel, who was obviously responsible for the famous Eiffel Tower and it has an art deco flourishes in a frilly iron and glass construction above the imposing front doors. 

 Parisien customers tell me it is home to almost thirty thousand food products of haute cuisine from within France and abroad, including Australia!

When you enter ‘La Grande Epicurie’, Australians will recall The Food Hall of David Jones  in Sydney. If you were a Londoner, Harrods will spring to mind. But just between you and I, it is so much better!

My friend and I spent the best part of the afternoon tasting all kinds of cheeses  from the hundreds of cheeses for sale. Shades of yellow, milky white, hard and runny cheeses served on delicate morsels of wafer nothings, melted in the mouth and correspondingly bought a crowd to silence. Nodding heads of approval and genuine oohs and arhs seemed to bring us one small step closer to Parisiens as we were beginning to understand their world of gourmet heaven.

We cruised some more and found the wine tasting section. The whole wonderful experience again. As if we hadn’t had enough, somehow in our food delirium, we caught sight of amazing in house chefs doing their thing and whipping  up gourmet concoctions for all to praise. And we were ready to praise! The crowd traversed the floor as demonstrations were not to be missed.

Naturally my friend and I (who both love to cook) propelled ourselves to the best location in the front of the growing crowd. We were learning excellent cooking tips and recipes from reputable chefs and tasting  samples of new french menus  with gusto. The crowd clapped. 

After several hours in’La Grande Epicurie’, we were standing outside its doors. I drew a long breath and sighed the sigh of someone who had visited heaven (for a short while anyway).

 We hadn’t bought a thing but were kept well and truly nourished and entertained all afternoon. 

Dinner anyone? I don’t think so.

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell


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