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I went to Paris in the last week of July with a friend who is visiting and here are some things I saw and did.
The mood of Paris.
While researching for things to eat, I noticed a few new-to-me gluten-free places that I'll like to try. Will Paris be just as delicious sans gluten?
My first stop was for a salad lunch at Pinson in the 3rd.
Dries Van Noten: Inspirations at Les Arts Décoratifs. "The unprecedented project is a an invitation to take an intimate and emotional journey through his personal univers and reveals his creatif process." The inspirations: Klaus Nomi, Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood, Sex Pistols, The Duke of Windsor, military, cavalry, traditional garments of Asia, Francis Bacon, Qing China, flowers!
Another bit of text I saved on my phone:
"Gold, the most universal of archetypes. Its allure gleams in liturgical traditions and pagan rituals, royal celebrations and alchemical transformations. The splendour of this precious material has limitless visual potential. While its use can veer dangerously close to signalling excess and kitsch, gold is nevertheless flamboyant and resplendent - a spectacle to behold. Somewhere between elegant and overpowering, it becomes a catalyst for creativity, suggesting the transformation of a raw material into a work of art to be admired."
I wasn't expecting to see but enjoyed very much this exhibition of beautiful things China used to make.
An 18th century print from South China.
A 19th century robe that has beautiful gold embroidered work in a manner that looks so right for today.
I like the symmetry of the room in this photograph.
A spectacular example of a Qing dynasty emperor's court robe.
An armour made of leather lacquer, stone, silk, iron and bronze.
Export porcelain to Europe. Tea cups before they had handles added.
Sardines small to big at Chez Paul. Charming!
Interesting to see which of these "foods" we have come to consider dangerous and which we have accepted as safe which probably makes them quite dangerous!
A bit I saved on my phone from what I managed to read:
"Medieval Europe was one of the most constipated, neurotic, and woman-hating societies ever to exist....It as a society chained to the land, ruled by gouty, beef-eating men wearing dresses but suppressing women."
Another visit to another Pinson, this one in the 10th. Yogurt made from European soy beans and gluten-free madeleines just baked.
At Musée Guimet in a circular room, koinobori hung from the ceiling.
I enjoyed walking through the collections of China, Japan and Korea - picking out what appealed to me, drawing parallels in the aesthetics of these three cultures and working out the nuanced differences.
Back to gluten-free eating, I love Chambelland! Their sourdough breads are made of rice and buckwheat flours. They're very well-made and presented just right. I love their comforting mattress-like appearances.
I tried almost everything and my favourite is the one on the right, athlete's bread, filled with dried fruits and nuts. It is so good you don't have to be eating gluten-free to want to eat it. Absolutely delicious in its own right!
Mezze plate at Soya Cantine Bio.
This delicatessen from a wine merchant, Le Verre Volé, had a wonderful selection of products and...
...unexpectedly, a gluten-free brownie from L'atelier des lilas.
For something sweet, gluten-free, and dairy-free, crystallised ginger covered in dark chocolate at Jacques Genin is something I still think about now, back in London.
Most of my shopping was done at le Retour à la Terre - so much I wanted to bring back to London - grains, legumes and seeds grown in France such as black camargue rice, millet, coco beans, flageolet beans, hemp seeds, etc., trompette de la mort, dried chestnuts, all kinds of mono-floral and regional honeys...
With this in front of me at Le Jardin des Plantes, I had a...
...coconut macaroon, a kind gift from Chambelland. The last gluten-free thing I ate in Paris - it was good!
Paris, always a pleasure, until next time!
I just love it so much. Primal energetics in classical spaces. Shambolic, confrontational, playful, melancholic and funny at the same time. It made me feel like a child again - fascination with trepidation. Wonderful.
House special lamb soup noodle 河南烩面（羊肉）, £6.50
Tip: On the first mouthful, it seems bland but chew slowly, alternating with sips of the broth, and the fragrance of the wheat noodle, mung bean vermicelli, lean lamb, fat lamb and lamb what-not will gradually fill the mouth. This sweetness that comes naturally lingers long after the bowl of noodles is gone. Best enjoyed on its own on a rainy day.
P.S. The noodles were lovely and I ate all that I reasonably could.
Chang's Noodle 老常家面馆
36-38 New Oxford Street
London WC1A 1EP
Roast Yorkshire ham, £9
Tip: Only on Saturdays from 11:00 for as long as it lasts. Tastes better than it already is if eaten with fingers.
40 Maltby Street
London SE1 3PA
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