Café Plume – A Pleasurable Necessity

Food, In Paris

‘Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity’ – Voltaire 

I couldn’t agree with Voltaire more; I love food and the pleasure that it brings.  In fact dining and indulging in French cuisine is one of my most favourite things to do in Paris.  A day spent wandering through Parisian streets, exploring and experiencing all that Paris has to offer, is made even better by enjoying a delicious meal at one of its many bistros, brasseries, restaurants and cafés.  Paris is literally full of them.  The French take their food very seriously and it certainly shows.  There is something so luxurious about just being there, in the moment, soaking up the amazing atmosphere that only belongs to Paris.  A time to sit and recharge, to watch the world go by, relaxing and anticipating the delights and decadence of the dishes to come. 



On an incredibly hot summer day in July, I found myself walking down rue Saint-Honoré in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, on my way to explore some of Paris’s famous covered passages.  In need of a well deserved rest from hours of flanneuring, I decided to take a break and have some lunch first.


A fine spray mist from above to help with the summer heat

Before I start, let me put this into perspective, when visiting Paris I eat all of my meals out.  That’s breakfast, lunch AND dinner… maybe even (very possibly…..OK…..more than likely…..OK definitely), a pastry and a coffee in the afternoon.  I always stay in hotels and don’t have any use for a kitchen.  When I’m on holidays, you certainly won’t find me cooking.  It gives me an excuse to take every self indulgent opportunity to enjoy as many culinary delights that I can.  You can’t count calories in Paris, there’s plenty of time for that at home.  I make a point of finding different places to try and rarely eat at the same place twice, unless it’s exceptionally good.  Now that adds up to a lot of different restaurants and I’ve decided to only write about Café Plume….that’s how good it is!


Quirky and whimsical menu


It’s the little details

As soon as I was seated, I started to take in my surroundings.  The first thing I noticed was that it was gorgeously eclectic in that perfectly French way.  A bookshelf behind me housed various old books and knick knacks and the ornate chandelier complemented the stunning black and white tiled floors and wonderfully wallpapered walls.  Even the menu itself was unusual and quirky, bound by a wooden rod reminiscent of a wand.  Café Plume is a charming mix of old and new that evokes interest and a sense of homeliness with a touch of glamour thrown into the mix.


Eclectic and tremendously French style –  warm and welcoming 


Gorgeous chandelier adds a touch of glamour and old world charm 


Black and white tiles & wallpaper – a perfect combination

Now for the really important bit, the food! It was so hard to choose what to order; everything on the menu looked equally and wonderfully appetising.  I am a sucker for chicken and creamy sauces so I stayed true to myself and ordered Le Paillard de Poulet – a delicious chicken dish with a creamy ginger sauce, onions and fresh coriander served with a smooth and buttery mashed potato.  Every morsel was a sheer delight to be savoured.  The flavours were so divine, rich and sumptuous that even though the serving size was generous, I didn’t want it to end.  


Le Paillard de Poulet – just divine!

Another thing I am a sucker for is dessert.  You can imagine the dilemma I found myself in when I literally could not decide between the range of famous Berthillon ice-creams on offer and one of my all time favourites, salted caramel cheesecake! I decided to ask an expert’s opinion and questioned my friendly server on such an important decision.  She didn’t hesitate for a second and replied in her charming French accent, ‘Without a doubt, the cheesecake. It is truly something special.’  Well, that was it!  The cheesecake it was to be!  Let me tell you that she wasn’t wrong.  I have never had a cheesecake as good as this, ever…period!  The texture of the filling was a cross between whipped cream and ice-cream, balanced with perfectly rich, smooth, salted caramel.  The word the comes to mind to describe it would be none other than heavenly!  It’s probably a good thing that I only discovered this wonderful restaurant on my last day in Paris or I may not have ever ventured away from the table.


Le cheesecake au caramel beurre salé – heavenly! I love how the plates tie in with the wallpaper

I now have a new favourite place to dine in Paris and I will definitely be a regular here on each future trip, happily breaking my ‘don’t eat anywhere twice’ rule.  I’m still daydreaming about the meal I had there and I have been back home for well over a month now.  Trust me, do yourself a favour and give it a try, you’ll be glad you did.  


I just love the decor – so French, so chic


Of course I had to explore upstairs!


Upstairs dining area – I could live right there and be happy

I’m sure if Voltaire was still alive, he would have been sitting at the table right next to mine enjoying such a pleasurable necessity right there with me!


A chair for Voltaire

Café Plume – 164 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001

Bisous de Paris 💋

La Petite Crêperie

Food, In Melbourne

‘Melbourne’s famous laneway culture meets French gastronomical delights’

One of my favourite things to do in Melbourne is to meander through its numerous famous laneways with a group of friends, casually exploring and discovering new great restaurants or cafés to catch up in over lunch or a coffee.  A recent crisp but blue skied wintry Sunday morning expedition led us to La Petite Crêperie in Hardware Lane.  I’m always on the lookout for anything with that French vibe in Melbourne and I certainly found it with this hidden gem.  

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A beautiful winter’s day in Hardware Lane 

Established in 2008 by owners Michaël and Patrizia, La Petite Crêperie specialises in deliciously authentic French crêpes and galettes that are freshly cooked on demand.  In case you haven’t tried them before (quelle horreur!), crêpes are made from wheat flour and are usually sweet while galettes are made from buckwheat and are usually savoury. 

Choosing to sit inside to escape the elements, we were immediately greeted by French waitstaff with a welcoming ‘bonjour’.  With French music playing in the background mixed with the comforting and inviting smell of fresh crêpes cooking, you could close your eyes and easily fool yourself into thinking you have been transported away to Paris. 

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 I love the rattan café chairs outside 

A casual, intimate setting with a nod to France through its eclectic decorations and a front row view to the chef preparing your order, adds to its warmth and charm.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch our meal being cooked; it never ceases to amaze me how every crêpe and galette always turn out so perfect and is done with such ease. Once ordered, our food arrived quickly and did not disappoint.  It was amazing! The food was both visually appealing and delicious.  We devoured every morsel and they were every bit as good as the ones I have experienced in Paris.

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French novel anyone?


There’s nothing petite about the amount of choices on offer!

Here’s what we ordered:

L’auvergnate – Galette with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese (one of France’s oldest cheeses that dates back to the Roman period), caramelised apple, walnuts and prosciutto – wow!

Galette – L’auvergnate

La Sacrebleau – Galette with a perfect mix of Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, red onion marmalade and prosciutto – delicious!

Le Plateau de Fromage – Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, Emmental, goats cheese, prosciutto, black olives, fig & ginger jam, walnuts, French bread and crackers – the picture says it all!  It’s a definite order again for me on my next visit!

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The impressive Le Plateau de Fromage and La Sacrebleau – galette

Le Croque Madame – the traditional French Café dish found all over Paris, made with Emmental cheese, tomato and ham topped with a free range fried egg on top. 

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Le Croque Madame

La Carabistouille – crêpe with home-made salted caramel made with Sel de Guérande, home-made caramelised apple, vanilla ice-cream and walnuts – superb!

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Crêpe – La Carabistouille

La Gourmande – crêpe with fresh strawberries, Nutella and the recommended additional whipped cream – a winning combination!

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Crêpe – La Gourmande

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 1664 – premium French beer with a rich history

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And of course, a café au lait to finish it off – including the obligatory lipstick stain!

Oh and if you happen to be on the go and find yourself in need of something sweet, pop by their takeaway kiosk (crêpes only) located opposite the Melbourne Town Hall on the corner of Swanston & Little Collins Street.  This converted former newspaper stand is a charming and convenient way to satisfy your sweet tooth when you are in a hurry.  There’s no excuse to go without!  

What more can I say?  Delicious, authentic French food, gluten and vegetarian friendly options available and very reasonably priced, especially for the generous serves you receive.  You just can’t go wrong.  I can’t wait to go back and am already dreaming about what I will have next time that will accompany the impressive ‘Le Plateau de Fromage’ that I’ll definitely be ordering!

Bisous de Paris 💋

Le Meurice – Cédric Grolet

Food, In Paris

‘Cédric Grolet – a revolutionary pâtissier’

Luckily for me, Cédric Grolet opened his first patisserie ‘Le Meurice – Cédric Grolet’, just in time for my most recent visit to Paris.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, Cédric is not only an internet sensation with over 1 million followers on Instagram but has worked under Alain Ducasse at Le Meurice since 2013.  He was recently named as World’s Best Pastry Chef in October, 2017 and can be described as an artist and culinary genius, specialising in troupe-l’oeil pastries –  an optical illusion if you like.  Cédric’s pastries are perfectly sculptured replicas of fresh fruit that have to be seen to be believed.  Each piece is strictly limited and the menu changes monthly with the possibility of daily changes.


Today’s choices.

There is no official closing time, once the last cake is sold that’s it.  My advice is to get there at opening time to avoid the long queues and to guarantee your chance to experience one of these masterpieces.  A charming doorman  allows approximately six clients in at a time which only adds to the prestigious feeling of the whole experience.  The decor inside is white, minimalist and has an exclusive feel to it.  Cédric describes it as being halfway between a laboratory and a boutique and it is exactly that.  While you await your turn, a pastry chef puts on a show as he goes about constructing delicious chocolate tarts topped with blueberries and dehydrated strawberries, mesmerising you with his skill and attention to detail.


Watching the pastry chef decorating chocolate tarts whilst waiting in queue.

It’s finally my turn, after waiting months for this opportunity.  I order the Cerise (cherry) which looks more like a piece of art than a cake.  It is stunning!  Everything I had expected and more!  The glossy red reminds me of a toffee apple.  It is carefully placed into a box that looks remarkably like marble and then popped into its own bag.  There is no provision for dining in which isn’t a problem seeing as it is located basically across the road from the Jardin de Tuileries.  I am lucky enough to be staying around the corner so I take it back there to enjoy it privately and savour the experience.


Even the packaging is perfect!

Delicate.  That is what it is.  Physically and in taste.  The flavours of cherry, chocolate and chilli are delicately balanced to create a feast for the taste buds as well as for the eyes.  Not overly sweet, just perfect.  Not overpowering, just perfect.  It’s so light and delicate that it melts in your mouth and is like nothing I have ever tasted before.  It’s…just perfect.


Picture perfect.


Conflicting emotions – dying to taste it but not wanting to destroy it’s beauty.


Perfection! Bon appétit!

It truly is an experience to enjoy from start to finish.  Such a high-end product comes with an expected high end price tag – €17 to be exact.  Not an everyday treat but one of life’s little pleasures that I highly recommend you partake and indulge in at least once.

Situated at 6 rue de Castiglione, 75001 it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 until the last cake is sold.


Bisous de Paris 💋