I would not be unduly surprised, if I discovered, on some future trip to Paris, that the legendary Café de Flore had been frozen in aspic, to preserve it for eternity, and declared a national monument by the French government. It is after all one of the grandes dames of Parisian cafés which opened its doors to the coffee imbibing public way back in 1887. And, of course, it’s a place where the rooms echo with the ghostly voices of some of the literary and philosophical greats (including Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway …) who ate, drank, and wrote there in earlier epochs.
Category Archives: Restaurants/Cafés
Note: apologies for the quality of the images – a smudge on my camera’s lens have left them blurry.
Light years ago, well light years in blogging terms, but in reality only last July (still a longish time) I wrote a post on good value eating out in Dublin in which I said that said post was the first in an occasional series but as it’s only now that I am writing a second post it’s obviously going to be a very intermittent series.
I was in Paris for a few days towards the end of November. The night before I went, as per, I waged a duel between the desire to sleep and the worry that if I did, I might not hear my alarm pinging, in the small hours, and as a result miss my flight. While I was tossing and turning I was running through a mental list of things to do and places to see when I got to Paris: wondering which museum to visit and musing over the more mundane question of where to have breakfast.
A recent conversations I had with a friend set me thinking about eating out in Dublin: she had lately returned from a family holiday in Lisbon and was extolling the food-quality and value in restaurants in the Portuguese capital. Now, said conversation planted a seed of an idea that I might write the occasional post about restaurants, wine bars and cafés in Dublin where it is possible to eat reasonably well without paying a king’s ransom for the privilege.
If you are going to write a blog post about a food establishment it is, I think, a tad unfair to rock up to check it out just as it opens. But that’s exactly what I did this week when, having spotted on Twitter some details of a new food venture in County Wicklow, I visited ‘The Delgany’ for breakfast in its first week of trading. Twice!
When I walked through the door of The Fumbally, for the first time, a few months ago, I knew that it was my sort of café. I loved the decor and was struck by the ambiance. I ordered and crossed my fingers and toes hoping that I would like the food as much as I liked the place. And I did. As it’s off my beaten track I don’t get back there often. Last Friday I left home without scarfing down breakfast so when I found myself a few kilometres away from The Fumbally I made a small detour to sample again The Fumbally’s ‘Eggs with Gubeen Cheese’.
It might seem slightly bonkers, given that I had driven for nearly two hours, to pull in for a coffee break just a few miles short of my destination. But that’s exactly what I did on my recent trip to Kilkenny city when I stopped in the pretty village of Bennettsbridge which is only four miles from the city.
Ye gods and little fishes, the weeks of January are cascading rapidly into each other and the month is whizzing by almost as fast as a waterfall flowing swiftly down a steep ravine. I realised that it is nearly January’s end and I had not yet spend a day at leisure in town (town as I mentioned before is what native Dubliners call the centre of their city). Time to rectify that so today I headed townward.
It is a few years since I was last in Milan and then only for a short stay so I only remembered, and just in a gossamer-fine way, some of the city’s most famous set pieces: The Duomo, La Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle. As I was unsure of how to negotiate the city’s labyrinth of streets and as I was heading into Milan for just a day from my base on the shores of scenic Lake Como I thought that it was best to decide in advance exactly where I was going so I could make the optimum use of my time and to avoid ambulating around the city like an aimlessly spinning top.