18 Nov2014

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We are headed to London and Paris for a few days and wondered if readers had any tips for us with respect to food, markets, restaurants, museums or exhibits… Several months ago, Philippine Airlines ran a massive sale on their London flight and Mrs. MM scored two seats for nearly 60-70% off the usual fare, so off we go! I have always wanted to return to London around Thanksgiving or late November and into December, when the streets, stores and buildings are decorated for the holidays with such class and tradition. It’s been nearly 10 years since my last visit to London, and while some of the old favorites are still there (Harrod’s food hall a MUST!), I am excited to see a lot of the new things in the city.

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Our hotel in London was booked at no cost to us at all, based on accumulated points from my stays at the Radisson in Cebu, and we will be staying in the snazzy/stodgy neighborhood of Mayfair. We have no real plans other than to visit various markets, food halls, window shop and hit a few museums. We hope to catch a glimpse of the remaining part of the stunning “Tower of London Remembers” exhibit, which at its peak had 888,000+ ceramic red poppies blanketing the Tower of London grounds, but I understand the crowds are crazy. Hopefully, we will have decent weather in London… I am looking forward to a few days of nippy or cool temperatures with no pollen in the air… :)

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From London we’ve booked a train ride to Paris for a few days, staying in the 6th arrondissement, right near the border of the 7th AND incredibly close to Au Bon Marche’s Grand Epicerie. Hahaha. Lodging based on incredible ginormous grocery nearby, the term “obsessed” comes to mind. I bought some spectacular glass ornaments at Au Bon Marche the last time we were in Paris, I wonder if they will have nice ones this holiday season. The other option was a studio above a Poilane bakery. Actually the area is close to Mrs. MM’s old haunts as a graduate student in Paris, so this is part trip down memory lane. Let’s hope her language skills aren’t too rusty and help us during our stay — though everyone who has come back from Paris recently has commented how much NICER the Parisians are of late.

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We have the “Food Lover’s Guide to Paris” that is marked on dozens of pages, plus other research by Mrs. MM that lists out markets and things we might possibly want to see/visit, organized by arrondissement or area of the city so we don’t have to double back or say “ay, we were there already the other day and now we have to go back…” — yup, she is ORGANIZED.

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Also on the wish list is a visit to the new Fondation Louis Vuitton, an apparently stunning museum on the outskirts of Paris. The Fondation Cartier also has a new museum with contemporary art as well. So we have lots to do. But would GREATLY APPRECIATE any tips from Marketmanila readers who have been to either London or Paris lately. Any foodie finds? Cheap street eats that shouldn’t be missed? Snazzy restaurants that we might be able to score a reservation at? Thank you so much in advance for your assistance.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. boynextdoor says:

    Long time reader/lurker here. Was in Paris a month ago Mr. MM, found a streetside market right beside Corvisart station on Paris Metro Line 6 which stretched all the way to the next station, Place d’ Italie. Found excellent produce (especially local cheeses) and probably the best tasting Korean style fried chicken wings(10 pieces for 5 euros). Just chanced upon it on a Friday noon so not really sure if it’s there daily or just every Fridays.

    Nov 18, 2014 | 6:05 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    boynextdoor, that must be the Marche Auguste-Blanqui, T, Fr and Su — supposed to be quite nice, thanks for pointing that out! Thanks!

    Nov 18, 2014 | 6:15 pm

     
  3. Khew says:

    Nov 18, 2014 | 7:50 pm

     
  4. Khew says:

    Great info here: http://parisbymouth.com/

    Nov 18, 2014 | 7:57 pm

     
  5. shella says:

    le comptoir du relais in saint germain…there’s always a line, best to come early for lunch or make reservations for dinner if you can still get a spot.

    Nov 18, 2014 | 8:11 pm

     
  6. Karina says:

    MM, please please please have a go at that foie gras sandwich again :)

    Nov 18, 2014 | 9:54 pm

     
  7. Natie says:

    Ymmmmmmm! Marche d enfants rouge ..I can go there again and again.. This is one post I’ll keep close by. So many tips..thanks, MM

    Nov 18, 2014 | 10:26 pm

     
  8. EJ says:

    For London:
    = Borough Market is definitely worth a visit – it has expanded tremendously the past ten years
    – Sadly the poppies in the Tower of London moat were removed just yesterday but you can still go to the Wellington Arch where, unknown to many, there is an exhibition site at the top of the arch: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/wellington-arch/exhibitions-at-the-arch/current-exhibition/
    – Some favourite London restaurants: Blueprint Cafe within London’s Design Museum (with a great view of Tower Bridge) combining your interest in modern cuisine and design; Arbutus, a most reasonably priced Michelin-starred restaurant which always has tempting seasonal dishes; Sauterelle, at the mezzanine of the Royal Exchange, with great food in a grand setting (the lunch and set menus are very affordable).

    Nov 18, 2014 | 11:13 pm

     
  9. Josephine says:

    The Grande Epicerie has a new restaurant above the food hall under a glass atrium. The food is very good and reasonably priced given the surroundings. A hidden gem of a restaurant is Au Bon Auccueil, 14 Rue de Montessuy in the 7th near the Eiffel Tower. Lovely cosy dining room, consistently good seasonal menus, not expensive. Best to book a day or two ahead though. Ph. 0147054611 if calling from Paris. A really ”ethnic” experience this time of year is to have freshly shucked oysters from Stéphane the oyster man who brings them down from Normandy and opens them to order, weekends only. This is in our market street Rue Cler, you can’t miss his stall and it’s fantastic eating oysters with a glass of wine on the nearby terrace under the heatlamps on a winter’s afternoon. First thing I’ll be doing when I land back in Paris 1 st Dec. Such a contrast to Manila! Have a great trip Mr & Mrs MM.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 12:24 am

     
  10. Fars Angsa says:

    London

    London basically is my 3rd home next to Muscat, Oman (in mid east). For fun food stuff, entertainment and stall shopping, CAMDEN town is the best. Near the creek, food stalls vary from chinese, mexican, indian, japanese etc. Whats make the dining more fun aside from the quaint motorbike seats is definitely the vibrant atmosphere.

    I always go to camden for just great energy boost!

    Note: there are lots of shops selling “interesting” items from electronic shisha to what not! Have fun!

    Nov 19, 2014 | 3:13 am

     
  11. Guia says:

    MM, From David Leibovitz:
    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/paris/

    Nov 19, 2014 | 4:48 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    Thanks for all these great tips so far! Josephine, will have to try those oysters! EJ, Borough is definitely on our list of places in London… Karina, that’s probably one of the reasons we are staying where we are staying, that sandwich was literally to die for. :) Khew and Guia thanks for those links!

    Nov 19, 2014 | 5:14 am

     
  13. barang says:

    Also at Rue Cler is the Pralus shop where they sell the Praluline, a heavenly brioche dotted with pink praline and hazelnuts!! They even give out samples. To die for!!

    Nov 19, 2014 | 6:59 am

     
  14. millet says:

    oh my.nice! nice! nice!

    Nov 19, 2014 | 7:33 am

     
  15. Pepe says:

    Hi. Was just in Paris a couple of weeks ago to attend the opening of the Fondation LV.
    There is a restaurant inside right beside the auditorium.

    Stayed in the Haut Marais as this is the bobo / branche’ hood now. You should definitely go to the Rose Bakery ( mais oui , cuisine bio ) for brunch , then walk to Place des Vosges ( stop by Vannier for chocolates ) & then hit up “‘L’As du Falafel “, for a falafel , hehe – Believe the hype , this place is worth the queue.

    Another good brunch but tres cher , spendy is at the Royal Monceau.

    Bonne journee –

    Nov 19, 2014 | 9:25 am

     
  16. ami says:

    My favorite museum in London is the Natural History Museum because I have a childhood fascination of dinosaurs. EJ is right, they’ve started packing away the poppies in the Tower of London but there’s always the Crown Jewel exhibition to make your visit worthwhile. My favorite thing to do in London is to take a ferry from the Tower of London to Parliament/Big Ben and see all the sights (The Globe, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate, Tower Bridge, etc) along the way.
    Jessica Zafra just got back from France and she mentioned in her blog that the only highlight of the Louis Vuitton museum is the building itself (Frank Gehry designed). You might also want to visit Lori’s blog to see where she ate and which food shops she visited when she was in France earlier this year.
    Wow I’d like to have a copy of that list you have of markets from each arrondissement!

    Nov 19, 2014 | 10:32 am

     
  17. hiddendragon says:

    Non-food suggestions: V&A Museum, Sunday service at Westminster Abbey (not W Cathedral), Buckingham Tour.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 11:08 am

     
  18. AlexME says:

    Hi MM. My family and I used to live in the Cambridgeshire area for 4 years when we were in the military and we took trips to London almost once a month. It was the greatest 4 year “vacation” we’ve ever had. Here is a link to an article I read tonight that you and the Mrs. might be interested in doing while there besides tasting the food and touring the markets. Enjoy your vacation. http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/18/world/conde-nast-photographs-fred-astaire-greta-garbo/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

    Nov 19, 2014 | 1:13 pm

     
  19. elena says:

    Hi MM,
    If you have time, check out Rue de Martyrs. We stayed near this street before (in Rue de Navarin) and it is full of stuff to eat — albeit more for breakfast and if you are planning to cook. You can buy specialty olive oils, chocolates and cakes, CHEESE, breads, fruits, veggies, specialty meats (I dont know the correct term but they’re sold in charcuteries..?). It’s a relatively small street but it is condensed with all things related to food. Each shop is selling specialties. :) No Michelin restaurants here though. This is somewhat near Sacre Coeur, and it’s accessible in 3 metros: Pigalle, St Georges, and Notre Dame de Lorette.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 4:28 pm

     
  20. Asian Voyager says:

    Fortnum & Mason never disappoints. Safe travels!
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYcGoWHz0tJYTSqPhpkt1Ng

    Nov 19, 2014 | 5:53 pm

     
  21. sister says:

    You might want to stop by the Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson in Paris. He’s gone now but many of his photographs are on exhibit there.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 8:21 pm

     
  22. Caddy says:

    Longtime lurker as well. Was in Paris this past October 2014. Stayed in an Airbnb in the 5th. We arrived famished at 9PM and our landlord was kind enough to recommend a classic Parisian restaurant near the apartment. Le Buisson Ardent (The burning bush). The address is 25 Rue Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France The food was delicious and their head waiter a kind, funny man. Everything we had was good but their fig and lavender tart stood out in my memory. Not too tart, not too sweet. It just hit the spot.

    Restaurant Website: http://lebuissonardent.fr/

    Nov 19, 2014 | 9:02 pm

     
  23. ilonggo says:

    Was in Paris last month and enjoyed meals at Allard ( whole roast duck with olives, escargot, profiteroles with a stunning chocolate sauce); La Fontaine de Mars ( excellent duck confit) ; Chez Andres and Chez Paul for traditional bistro dishes done right (tete de veau, cassoulet) and LeCoq Rico for perfect poulet roti of poulet bresse and a comforting ile flottant. Musée Picasso is now open, and there is a Marquis de Sade exhibit at the Oursay.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 10:06 pm

     
  24. Gezel says:

    Don’t forget National Gallery near Trafalgar Square one day is not enough to browse those beautiful paintings and it’s free. Window shop or shop at Fortnum and Mason.

    Nov 19, 2014 | 10:29 pm

     
  25. Susie says:

    Ottolenghi. You will die and go to heaven. Borough Market…buy the mini canneles in the old section. Yum. Roast pork sandwich from Roast on the other side or the sausages from Lincoln. Savoury pies from the Piemeister.Walk across to Neil’s Dairy…BEST cheese shop in London. Best of British food at Bumpkin on Old Brompton Road in SOuth Kensington. Harrod’s food hall for the sheer spectacle but Selfridge’s food hall for the salt beef sandwiches. A million excellent Indian restaurants, from Gymkhana (amazing) to our neighborhood favorite, the Bombay Brasserie off Gloucester Road. I envy you both this trip!!!

    Nov 20, 2014 | 12:27 am

     
  26. Ana says:

    These are our favourite places: Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen (One New Change, near St Paul’s. great for a relaxed meal), Bone Daddies (Soho. ramen and sake fix. You might need to queue), Wright Brothers (Spitalfields market/Borough Market for oysters and fresh seafood), Elliot’s (Borough Market. Their menu varies daily depending on available ingredients. Small portion dishes), Monmouth coffee (not to miss if you’re a coffee lover), Le Pain quotidien (many branches. for their breakfast fares), In Parma (near Goodge street station for italian tapas and lambrusco), Iberica (spanish tapas and very good wine list). A few more places worth checking out: Polpo, Ottolenghi, Salt Yard/Dehesa.

    Nov 20, 2014 | 5:19 am

     
  27. Jody says:

    I would recommend the Imperial War Museum, Camden Town (for the buzz and the pubs) , Bonhams or Christies or Sothebys Auction House (if there is a viewing), Maggs (50 Berkeley Square), a Rugby International at Twickenham Stadium for the incredible atmosphere (if you can get tickets) and the British Library

    Nov 20, 2014 | 5:50 am

     
  28. Ella says:

    Restaurant L’assiette on the 14th arrondisement.

    Nov 20, 2014 | 6:54 am

     
  29. -g says:

    Highly recommending G. Detou on 58 Rue Tiquetonne. You’ll find everything you need for baking and cooking there, at really good prices (far lower than La Grande Epicerie). I hoard kilos of chocolates, vanillas, dragees, teas, and what-have-yous everytime I visit!

    Nov 20, 2014 | 11:53 am

     
  30. peterb says:

    MM, If this isn’t on your itinerary yet, this might interest you. :)

    Bond in Motion

    http://londonfilmmuseum.com/home/

    Nov 20, 2014 | 9:08 pm

     
  31. Marketman says:

    peterb, thanks for that, will look it up… and I have the right attire, too. :) -g, yes, I hear from several sources, G. Detou is phenomenal.

    Nov 20, 2014 | 10:14 pm

     
  32. rp says:

    definitely ANY of ottoleghi’s restaurants, am a fan and possessor of ALL his cookbooks [and, notwithstanding the mess there, love Palestine and Israel much…]

    and dare i recommend a loud BYOB in east london called Tayyabs serving the most soulful Punjabi food [order the lamb chop appetizers] they’ve been reviewed all over the internets.

    Nov 21, 2014 | 2:20 am

     
  33. EJ says:

    Ami, for the Paris markets, there’s a regularly updated list by Time Out: http://www.timeout.com/paris/en/food-and-drink/food-markets-in-paris

    Nov 21, 2014 | 6:31 am

     
  34. ami says:

    Thanks for the tip EJ!

    Nov 21, 2014 | 9:34 am

     
  35. Adobo Diaries says:

    Hi MM.

    I had a great time at the Borough Market near London Bridge. First time I tried pigeon terrine (twas good) at one of the food stalls. They also have a good selection of cheeses and breads. You can then walk off all the calories until you reach London bridge.

    Nov 22, 2014 | 1:17 am

     
  36. tnm says:

    Hi, Marketman! Have you tried Christine Ferber’s Jams? I purchased a few jars at the Pierre Herme store on Rue Bonaparte (6th arr.) and wish i stocked up on them. They are fantastic! Cost is around 10 euros, much cheaper than here in the US. They might have it at La Grand Epicerie but I’m not sure.
    http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/Christine-Ferber-French-Jams

    We enjoyed Little Breizh cafe on Rue Gregoire de Tours (also 6th arr.). They serve buckwheat crepes and apple cider. Set menu is about 13 euros (lunch). The place is small and always packed. I think you ‘ll enjoy it too.

    Nov 22, 2014 | 2:36 am

     
  37. Marketman says:

    tnm, thanks, yes, I have tried one ferber jam, a gift. But we are so loaded with sister’s jam at home… Little Breizh was one of the places on our list, but with 4 days in Paris we are having difficulty eating enough meals out, when eating in is also so tempting! But thank you to all for such amazing tips!

    Nov 22, 2014 | 1:43 pm

     
  38. Marketman says:

    For others headed to Paris, and curious to see what our “kababayans” are doing, look up “Dix Huit” and “Le Servan” both of whom with Pinoy chefs (or at least half pinoy) and totally hot places that are nearly impossible to get into. We were dying to try Le Servan, but it was closed for 70% of the time we are in the city (closed Sat, Sun and lunch Monday)… but not to worry, we got to other terrific places that seem to epitomize the younger, less formal, snacking or small plate vibe of the new places… it’s all been amazingly delicious so far. :)

    Nov 22, 2014 | 1:46 pm

     
  39. EJ says:

    Speaking of jams, you may want to drop by the Garden Museum in London and/or its cafe. There I had one of my best orange marmalades ever.
    http://www.gardenmuseum.org.uk/page/cafe

    Nov 22, 2014 | 10:34 pm

     
  40. KB says:

    You might want to check out Aux Merveilleux de Fred for their merveilleux and cramiques. They have branches both in Paris and London. Happy & safe trip!

    Nov 22, 2014 | 10:52 pm

     
  41. Nina says:

    Totally agree, love, love Le Comptoir du Relais, if you cannot reserve for dinner, have lunch then; Au Bon Auccueil is always on our list…excellent dish at a reasonable price and if the weather is good, you can dine outside with the view of ET; the wait and long line @ L’As du Falafel is very much worth it… messy to eat if you cannot get a table inside but so, so delicious! The last time we were in Paris I brought a small insulated cooler bag and reusable gel ice packs, bought different kinds of butter (Pascal Beillevaire?77, rue St. Antoine?Tél: 01 42 78 48 78 and Jean-Yves Bordier, should be available @ Au Bon). The JVB brand has various kinds; my favs are the smoked, salted, and seaweed). Pure bliss!

    Nov 23, 2014 | 10:31 pm

     
  42. Rochelle says:

    OMG! MM you’re coming to London?? I wish I can meet you for even just one photograph and an autograph too! LOL! I’m a big big fan of yours (silently for the past 3 years) :)
    Yes, Market borough is highly recommended. Also Hyde Park has their annual Christmas German Market you might want to visit that while you’re here. Covent garden now has plenty of restaurants, you can go for expensive ones or cheap eats they are all delish just the same.Yes, as some readers already pointed out, the poppy exhibit at the Tower of London has now been dismantled :(. Oh if only Highclere castle is open around this time,I would suggest you visit it for a day, it’s not too far from London, so you get to see and feel how being team servants and team lords and ladys in a day hehehe. Enjoy London and neighbouring Paris, MM! I might bump into you on the streets of Knightsbridge! ;)

    Nov 24, 2014 | 5:15 pm

     
  43. Mike says:

    Try the street market at Greenwich. Can’t remember what exactly I had, I think it was samosas, but they were terrific. Always catch a west end play, the more indie, the better.

    Nov 25, 2014 | 6:56 am

     
  44. wysgal says:

    A few of my favorites from two years of living in London: Ottolenghi (for everything), Burger and Lobster (for lobster and lobster rolls), Koya (for udon), Dishoom (for Indian food), Hawksmoor Seven Dials (for steak), Yauatcha (for dimsum).

    Nov 25, 2014 | 12:17 pm

     
  45. Marketman says:

    wysgal, thanks for that, a few of those were on our list of places to eat at, so will definitely try some of them. Mike, thanks. Rochelle, we landed in London last week and stayed overnight and went to Paris. Got back to London yesterday and already strolled Knightsbridge and the Annual Christmas fair in Hyde Park! Was enjoying it all so much and trying to document it all for the blog so I ran out of camera battery charge! We LOVE London and Paris at this time of year and it’s exhilarating to be back here. Albeit a BIT on the COLD side. :)

    Nov 25, 2014 | 2:22 pm

     
  46. Rochelle says:

    I can’t wait to see your blog on your London and Paris trip MM! :)

    Nov 25, 2014 | 6:24 pm

     
  47. Mike says:

    Just a pahabol, afternoon tea at Selfridges or National Gallery or Dean Street (can’t remember the address on Dean Street, but it’s the 1st floor of an apartment building, very Downton Abbey setting) and sumptuous breakfast at Crypt’s café (basement of the church at Trafalgar Square). Enjoy

    Nov 25, 2014 | 11:24 pm

     
  48. Marketman says:

    Thanks Mike! Rochelle, posts will start soon I hope… :)

    Nov 26, 2014 | 12:23 am

     
  49. Gigi says:

    hi if you are still in London. Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea as well as Cocomaya near Oxford Circus, Covent Garden has their Christmas displays . Kew Gardens. Borough Market is a must and every weekend there are food trucks by the South Bank. Hope it helps.

    Nov 26, 2014 | 7:39 am

     
  50. Jovita De Guzman says:

    Just in case the Teen would like to listen to some gigs and eat pub grub, check out the Betsey Trotwell Pub in Clerkenwell. Nice Victorian pub with good food (award winning pie!), live music and poetry/book readings. Punters range from City yuppies, bohos, writers to students. It’s in Farringdon Road, East London. :-)

    Nov 27, 2014 | 7:39 am

     
 

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