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    A CALIFORNIA GIRL IN PARIS

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Food

Maître Choux | A taste of France in London

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Last Saturday, Arsenal played Hull City. My Englishman is a huge Arsenal fan, so we drove down to London for him to watch the game. My father-in-law recently lent me an amazing new lens for my camera, so I was excited to go on a “photo walk” around Kensington, one of my favorite areas in London. What I didn’t plan for (strangely enough) was the high chance of rain; I’m notoriously bad at knowing when it will rain!  (more…)

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Thanksgiving at the Milestone Hotel | London

Our First Thanksgiving in London

I had the absolute pleasure of celebrating this year’s Thanksgiving at the Milestone Hotel in London with my English hubby. It was his first Thanksgiving meal, and I couldn’t have been happier for his introduction to have been at this fantastic Kensington hotel in their Cheneston’s Restaurant.

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Although he likened it to an English Christmas dinner (it’s not the same thing), we both enjoyed it immensely! IMG_4816-1 IMG_4851-1

A favorite course would be tricky to pick because the meal kept getting better with every new dish! Highlights definitely would be the five phenomenal butters (one of the best salted butters I’ve ever tried!), the truffle mac and cheese (insert heart-eyed emoji), and of course, the turkey. Speaking of the turkey, we had a fresh one carved in front of us for our main course! It was gorgeous.

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The restaurant’s delightful house blend. John highly recommends it! Baby and I stuck to the sparkling and still water…but next time…;)

PatriciaParisienne Thanksgiving at the Milestone Hotel Kensington London Cheneston's restaurant pumpkin pie

Thank you so much to the fantastic staff at the Milestone Hotel (especially Colin and Augustine!) and the lovely folks at Weill for the invitation. It was a night – and meal – to remember!

Make sure to follow the Milestone Hotel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for their many special events and soirées throughout the year!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

Milestone Hotel

1 Kensington Court

W8 5DL

London

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#HixGoesWild | The Brown’s Hotel

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I recently had a wild night in London! It was unbridled, savage, and rugged. Where in the city could this have happened? Only at the Hix Mayfair’s wild food market.

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From September 28 until October 4, Hix celebrated wild food. As part of their celebrations, they transformed the posh Hix Mayfair restaurant into an untamed wild food market, complete with foraged delights by expert forager Miles Irving. There were gorgeous red stalls with everything from drinks with herbs and fruits to wild mushrooms and oysters.

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Director of Food Mark Hix and Executive Chef Lee Kebble did a great job in organizing a week filled with events, which included meat carving workshops, a specially-crafted afternoon tea menu, and of course, this wild market soirée.

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Mushrooms on mushrooms on mushrooms!

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I loved the vivid colors of these delectable canapés!

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Bravo to the Brown’s Hotel team for putting together such a phenomenal event. Looking forward to seeing what you dream up next!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

Hix Mayfair

Brown’s Hotel

34 Albemarle Street

London

W1S 4 BP

P.S. The photos didn’t come out as spectacularly as the displays were in real life, due to some funny lighting, but the Seven Dials PR girls and I did our best. This included some help from the iPhone flashlight app!

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Top Dog | London

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Wearing part of my red, white, and blue outfit in the spirit of the 4th of July, just before releasing these “TOP DOG” balloons into the London sky!

Happy fall, everyone!

It’s starting to feel quite chilly now in the UK, which means that fall (or autumn, as they say here) is here to stay. However, I am keeping summer alive here on the blog, starting with a post about the amazing hot dog restaurant in London, Top Dog.

Christy Osborne, the influential blogger at American Girl in Chelsea, wrote a post on what to do as an American in London on the Fourth of July.  In her article, she mentioned the restaurant Top Dog that had recently opened in Soho by the gorgeous Californian and cast member of Ladies of London, Marissa Hermer.

Hot dogs? In London? I was in! Thanks to Christy, I couldn’t believe my luck when I was invited to visit Top Dog by Marissa Hermer herself.

We arrived so excited to try these renowned dogs. The dynamic general manager, Raphael, had reserved the outdoor table for us and showed us around. Let me tell you, this is no average hot dog joint.

There are three floors: the casual ground floor, where you order; the downstairs where you can take a dashing photo on a motorcycle and the mural of their motto, #fuellinggoodtimes; and the upstairs room that is available for hire and private parties and gives you a good view of the bustling street below.

In addition to a dynamic atmosphere in the heart of Soho, Top Dog really does the best hot dogs in London. For starters, the hot dog are delicious, free range, grass-fed, and 100% natural. They offer a tofu option that’s organic, and breaking news! They have fab gluten-free buns for those who prefer it to the traditional bun.

As of a week ago, the menu expanded to burgers with ten additional toppings, which include bacon, pulled pork, American cheese, and japaleños. While I haven’t tried them yet, I’m sure they are just as juicy and flavorsome as the dogs. As for the sides, fries, and milkshakes, you’re spoiled for choice! Check out the full menu here. Plus, Top Dog just started offering American-style mac and cheese – be still, my beating heart!

If you’re in London, head to Soho for the best dogs in town. Enjoy!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

Top Dog

48 Frith Street

London

W1D 4SF

Takeaway: 020 3019 2380

P.S. If you’re thinking of getting your Top Dog meal delivered, I highly recommend downloading the app Quiqup for great, speedy, and affordable delivery in London.

Follow Top Dog on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. And after you dine, make sure to sing your praises on TripAdvisor! You can find my glowing review here. 🙂

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London Eats: Chicken Shop in Holborn

This restaurant gets straight to the point. They’re a chicken shop. They sell chicken and four sides. It’s amazing.



Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by having too many choices in their life will love this restaurant. Your options are: quarter, half, or whole chicken. Any of four sides – or all of them? (That’s what we did!) Finally, finish off the meal with one of three desserts. The only thing that may take time is choosing your drink.





Susie and I met for Friday lunch to catch up. We had so many things to talk about – we had to make an unofficial agenda to make sure we covered them all! I think this is the way forward for my dates with friends, given my tendency to jump all over the place to wherever my excitement takes me. We laughed (S is one of the funniest people I have ever met), chatted, and truly enjoyed every bite of our food. The avocado and butter lettuce salad is divine – and this is coming from a person who always asks for avocado on the side (read: avocado hater). The dressing and brilliant mixture of flavors made me go for seconds of this salad. 



Now let’s get into why we were here: the chicken. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, the glorious smell overtook my nostrils and made me want to live in its scent. Imagine the most delicious, aromatic, perfectly moist chicken you’ve ever had. (Vegetarians, go to your respective happy place.) Now multiply that deliciousness by 27. They had me before hello. I turned to Susie, grabbed her arm, and immediately thanked her for bringing me. I knew it was going to be good!! And indeed, it was.



Holborn has become one of my favorite areas of London. I’m a huge fan of the Hoxton Holborn Hotel. 



It’s the perfect place to have breakfast, get some work done, have a meeting, or stay late for a cocktail. It’s an all-in-one!



But make sure, no matter what, you stop by the Chicken Shop, too. 



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Gallery | 75006

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One of the best parts of living in Paris is the inexhaustible list of places to visit and try. I’d walked by Gallery on the way to work, always noting how cool it looked. But it wasn’t until my sister and her friends hosted a ladies night soirée that I finally got to try it. I had a glass of their house red, while the others enjoyed the excellent cocktails and juices. The food was also fantastic; I only had a bite of someone’s but loved it.

The best part of the restaurant was the lighting, and in turn the restaurant’s ambiance. The blue tones gave it a lounge feel, remaining very intimate and inviting. Dim lighting tends to make me feel drowsy, but in this case, it only animated the evening.

This is a great place to go out for a relaxing evening with friends or on a date (without breaking the bank). Most people head north for an upscale bar scene but my fellow rive-gauchers, this is one for you.

Cheers!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

Gallery
90, rue d’Assas
75006 Paris

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London | The Chiltern Firehouse

“It’s Friday, I’m in love!”

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m writing to you from our cozy kitchen in England, after spending a few excitement-filled days in London. I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people, whom you’ll see more of on my Instagram, ticked off a few more items on my London List, and was enthralled by the wonderfully infectious energy of the English capital. Among the eventful moments were my first trip to Primark (more on that later!), visits to both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music (swoon), and a colorful walk through Shoreditch, admiring the amazing graffiti of the East End through Sivan‘s artful eye.

I’ll be sharing more photos and anecdotes throughout the weekend, but today I want to focus on this rather cool place, The Chiltern Firehouse. Completely by chance, a fun Wednesday ended with a visit to the fiery new addition to the London scene.

I had been on a mission to find a café that Hannah had posted about. As I was leaving the area, I noticed a lovely refurbished fire station that looked so cozy and inviting, I had to take a closer look.

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I felt like I’d walked into a modern day fairy tale, with the twinkling lights leading the way to the entrance.

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How could you resist an entrance like this?

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I received warm greetings from both the valet and the hostess. The staff overall proved to be excellent, and their uniforms were amazing. The men of the restaurant were wearing ivory dinner jackets with dark trousers, while the women of the team were dressed in gorgeous hunter green pantsuits and dresses. I have never seen a more elegant staff. As it may, their ensembles were created by London-based couture designer Emilia Wickstead, which explains the impeccable cut and aesthetic.

I was seated immediately with the best possible place for people-watching; my seat faced both the bar and the entrance! I was thrilled. As the weather wasn’t too nippy, a glass of Grenache Blanc was in order, which was divine.

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The barmen were very charming, and it was fun to watch them whip up cocktails for the guests.

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Total bliss.

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The Chiltern Firehouse is a great spot for drinks with your girlfriend or dinner with your love. They also have an outdoor terrace where they serve lunch and drinks until 9 p.m.

If you notice the ceiling in the picture above, the “tiles” were made with old hoses from the fire station. The dark green carpets are also originals and complement the cream and gold accents throughout the dining room.

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The view of the lights through to the terrace when you’re exiting the restaurant. The ambiance was magical.

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From the street, this is what you see. A glimpse of the ceiling and just the slightest peek into what’s happening inside. Doesn’t it make you want to meander in?

If you’re planning a trip to London, you are in luck because you can not only dine at the Chiltern Firehouse but also stay there. The hotel has 26 rooms and a special bar for guests only. Close to both Paddington and Marylebone stations, the Firehouse is central and walking distance from the shops and restaurants in Mayfair, Fitzrovia, and Oxford Street.

Rating: LOVE. Loved the ambiance, loved the location and the friendliness of the staff. André Balazs, well done.

Back to reality ce soir,

PatriciaParisienne xx

 ~

Chiltern Firehouse
1 Chiltern Street
Marylebone
W1U 7PA
London

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Claus

Paris now has some of the most incredible breakfast places, which makes me happy because it’s my favorite meal of the day. It’s highly likely I’ll suggest a breakfast date when getting together with friends. Why do I love it so much? We all know that the early bird gets the worm – and the warmest croissant. But in all seriousness, my day just always seems a bit sweeter when I have had breakfast with a loved one. My fellow breakfast lovers and early birds, I’m happy to introduce you to Claus in the 1e arrondissement.

The girls and I visited Claus for an afternoon coffee date a few weeks ago, and while we were there, I posted a quick pic on Instagram. I actually ended up singing a few arias, as we happened to be the only ones there for a brief moment. Thank you, Claus, for letting me practice! Recently, I walked past it and thought I’d share a bit more about the experience on the blog.

I first fell in love with Claus when I saw a picture of its façade on Instagram. Isn’t it just darling?

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As you walk in, you’ll see a grand selection of cakes, pies, muffins, jams, and tarts, aka all that is good in life, with the menu and plats du jour written above in chalk. You’ll see many a picture of that famous chalkboard on Instagram; it’s very photogenic and a favorite among the Paris bloggers, photographers, foodiesand Instagrammers!

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Everything is good here. A perfect brunch spot, Claus has a few menus that are healthy and delicious, as well as rich and indulgent, to match whatever your mood of the morning may be. The coffee is sourced from Coutume and, therefore, fantastic. I also highly recommend their fresh juices to enjoy upstairs in the salon de thé, overlooking the beauty that is rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of Christian Louboutin himself, whose boutique is a few numbers down.

What I love about Claus is that it also is an épicerie, so you can buy many of the products there and recreate your own Claus breakfast chez toi. What I do wonder is, do they sell those cute little felt hats that they put on their hardboiled eggs? J’adore !

Enjoy!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

For daily updates on all things Paris and travel, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

Claus

14, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau

75001

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Ladurée

The French notion of a year follows the academic calendar. The year begins in September à la rentrée, not in January. This year is now ending; the mass exodus of Parisians and Paris-dwellers from the French capital has begun. Vacationing in the sud, la maision de campagne, or abroad, Parisians won’t be back in the city until late August to early September to begin a new year. I’ve had to say both temporary and more prolonged goodbyes to friends, which can be heartbreaking, but thanks to my snap-happy ways, it’s easy to revisit the great memories we’ve made and beautiful places we’ve visited throughout the year.

Our Friday coffee dates were the perfect way to end the week, see the girls, and catch up on any recent developments. I’ve mentioned it time and time again, but the support network I’ve found in Paris has been exceptional. Women here support other women, and it’s both a blessing and relief to have found these ladies!

Okay, moving on to the delicious part: our Ladurée pastries! One of the oldest tea rooms in the city, the Ladurée salon de thé is a pastry lover’s paradise. We enjoyed a variety of decadent tarts and macarons with tea and coffee. It took us ages to order, because every little cake looked divine. (Note: it’s better to choose first, then talk, or else the server gets a bit testy!) My raspberry tart was beyond words; how do they make them so beautifully and rich, every time?

We met at the Madeleine location, which was nice, but I would recommend visiting the Bonaparte location, which is quainter and has much better lighting if you’re interested in taking photos, or the tea room on the Champs-Elysées, as they have a lovely terrace for people watching and al fresco dining.

Looking forward to our Friday dates in the fall!

PatriciaParisienne xx

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Your Sunday Brunch | Blueberry Pancakes

One of the best parts of having a European counterpart is getting to share the American culture with him. While I do love a hearty English breakfast (with black pudding), I have to say that I am partial toward the good ole American spread in the morning: scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, hash browns, coffee, and some freshly squeezed orange juice.

When I discovered that l’anglais had never tried blueberry pancakes, I knew I had to quickly change that. We found a recipe on the BBC Good Food site that seemed feasible for non-chef me and without too many froufrou ingredients. (Even though organic lemon zest does make it fancier, it really isn’t essential.)

I’m slowly making my way toward being confident in the kitchen, and having a near-chef boyfriend has proven to have its advantages in this endeavor. I’d love to include more recipes on the blog to take you with me on my cooking adventures, so we will begin with baby steps – and pancakes 🙂

The different names and brands of food products in France and England have hijacked my American vocabulary; if there’s anything that isn’t clear or is in Frenglish, please let me know. Without further ado, here are the recipe and pictures of the pancakes that were enjoyed!

Fluffy American Pancakes

(The original recipe can be found here.)

  • 200 grams of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 300 mL milk
  • knob butter
  • 150 gram pack blueberries
  • a little butter for cooking (or sunflower oil)
  • golden or maple syrup
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Beat the egg with the milk, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter. Beat in the melted butter, and gently stir in half the blueberries.
  2. Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5 cm across. Make three or four pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden. Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. Serve with maple syrup and the rest of the blueberries.

Verdict: The pancakes were so good that we’ve made them twice! The second time, we learned that bigger blueberries make for moister pancakes (I know that some people hate that word, but it’s the most accurate way of describing them!), which I preferred. Lactose-intolerant friends, these pancakes are just as delicious, though less fluffy, without any milk. Soy cream or coconut milk can work as substitutes for the milk, if you’re looking for that extra bit of airiness.

Happy Pancake Making!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

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