for the second year running, i'm spending the christmas week in a self-catering apartment in paris. the theory is simple: loads of culture, decent meals, grazing the markets and cooking for myself. a few decent bottles of wine and total immersion again in the language.
and, for the second year running, friends ask me why? well, i guess if you don't 'get' paris, then there's little i can say to change your mind. but today was a perfect example for me of why i love this place. i lucked into a slightly run down, non touristy traditional bistro and had the simplest but the most delicious meal - six oysters; six snails - all garlicky, but two with saffron, two with roquefort and two with parsley; sole meuniere; plus a decent bottle of sancerre.
nothing outstanding but just what we look for in France for a decent meal! what, rather, we expect to find without searching. good simple food is not difficult to deliver, if you know what you're doing.
and the french still know what they're doing...