Food Lover's Guide to the UK and Paris - Part II

Eating our way through the cities and countryside of the UK and Paris, we found a lot of well-known establishments whose food was superb. But we also found many, sometimes lesser known, foodie delights, which is the focus of this posting...the Honorable Mentions. If you want to read about "The Best of the Best", click here to read Part I.

Paris

Cafe de Flore: This iconic Paris cafe was the meeting place of such notables as Hemmingway and Picasso back in the day. It is still a bustling cafe where the French (and tourists) flock for the excellent food and attentive service.


Conveniently located about two blocks from our Paris apartment rental, it made a great place to grab breakfast on one morning of our journey.

We ordered a simple breakfast of croissants (which were delivered under a domed tray) with butter and jam, one cup of coffee, two cups of hot chocolate, and a carafe of water. A very simple breakfast, right? This is a photo of our table at the end of the meal. Yes, we had to count. Our simple breakfast required 24 dishes and 8 pieces of cutlery! One more reason to adore Paris is the great attention given to dining well...no matter how simple the meal. Love it! (I just don't think I'd want to be a dishwasher in France.)


Versailles (picnic): After eating our (above) breakfast, we took the train to Versailles for the day. After exiting the train station, we turned left and walk a couple of blocks to Aux Pains de la Ferme (which, unfortunately, does not have a website), where we purchased a baguette for a picnic. And almost directly across from it was a small market, where we gathered other essentials: clementines, a delicious salad of couscous and chicken, a wheel of Camembert, and bottles of water. 

Picnicking in the gardens of Versailles is allowed. However, the first time visitor should be aware that the line to get through security can be very long (we estimate there were about 800+ people in it with us) and can take a long time (2 hours in our case), so your food may get warm and your people may get very hungry. And once you're through security, you must tour the palace before you can access the garden. But it is worth the wait! You can even picnic next to Bacchus, the god of wine.



Versailles (sorbet): One of our best, serendipitous food finds on our trip was the charming sorbet truck that is located on the shores of the Grand Canal in the gardens of Versailles. 


Colette and I chose raspberry and pear. The owner of the truck assured us that those were two of the best flavors. The pear (which I chose) was refreshing and light. But the raspberry (Colette's choice) was nothing short of sublime...like eating soft, frozen raspberries themselves!


London

Said: Down a quiet street in the Soho area of London, just a short jaunt from shopping on Regent Street or at Liberty of London, is the bakery called Said. This intimate gathering place boasts fine baked goods and some of the best hot chocolate in the city. If you ask for it "deluxe" (I believe), they will swirl your cup in three types of melted chocolate before filling it with hot chocolate. Not easy to drink, but ohhhh so good!


Pain au Quotidien: Although most of my recommendations are for smaller establishments, I wouldn't want you to miss out on the chain, Pain au Quotidien, which is a French boulangerie. You can find them in France, England, and several locations in the U.S. (We always visit the one in Pasadena, CA when we are out west.) They are great places to grab a bit of mid-afternoon refreshment or an excellent breakfast. This is my breakfast at the Pain au Quotidien in the St. Pancras International Station in London. A thing of beauty! This is my "ideal" breakfast...I could eat it every morning. Bliss!


Edinburgh

The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen: Just a short jaunt off the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, is The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen. Its casual elegance made us feel right at home. Hubby ordered a beer, and Colette and I enjoyed trying their non-alcoholic drinks before our meal. She got the Peach Cooler (peach puree, lemon, vanilla sugar, and lemonade) and I ordered the Toffee Apple (apple juice, caramel syrup, lime, and mint). Colette and I ordered the gnocchi for lunch (delicious) and Hubby had the chicken pie, which he has declared to be his favorite meal of the entire trip! Bonus points for the charming pie bird!


Cotswolds and the Countryside

Sally Lunn's: In Bath, is the famous Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House & Museum. It is housed in Bath's oldest house (c. 1482) and Sally Lunn was baking and serving her famous buns there in the late 17th century. Expect a queue out the door to get in to try the famous Sally Lunn bun, a soft, semi-sweet bun.


Colette ordered the tea, which came with a bun. And I ordered 1/2 a bun served open-faced with roasted vegetables and cheese. Both were delicious. And this is no dainty bun. It's as big as your face! And be sure to check out their website for the "Bun Etiquette"! I am not making this up!

The Yew Tree: If you happen to be in the vicinity of Highclere Castle, a most excellent stop for lunch is the Yew Tree pub. It's a blending of a pub and restaurant, as your order will be taken at your table vs the bar. The food was hearty and delicious. And the atmosphere is best described as historic British countryside with a modern twist. The leather cushioned settees with wool tartan backs in most booths won my heart! And kuddos for having the best pub wallpaper in England!


Lagers/Ales/Beers: And last, but not least, Hubby would recommend that you try a brew with lunch and dinner. He enjoyed sampling them wherever we went. This one is from the Hawkshead Brewery (which we also toured).


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