FOOD, France, Uncategorized EUROTRIP: GETTING AROUND FRANCE 22 August 2010

Quite a few people have been asking how we got around France ‘cos of the language issue. I can understand French… but on a fairly basic level. Enough to read menus, and to get around in every day life… but not enough to understand the news on TV or anything.

Hilarious because whenever we entered restaurants, for example, the waiter would automatically look at Chris (white guy, presumed to be French) first and Chris doesn’t speak/understand any French (though, impressively, he knows Japanese and Indonesian!). So I’d start speaking to them in French about getting a table, or that we have a reservation etc and the look in some of their faces would sometimes be quite priceless πŸ˜‰ I have noticed, though, that the French really appreciate it when you speak to them in their language.. instead of being a loud-mouth tourist and yakking away in English assuming they know it.

Anyway, a few of us decided on having (another) traditional French dinner in Paris, and based on a French friend’s recommendation, went to Le Petit CΓ©lestin (12, Quai des CΓ©lestins, 75004 Paris France), a very traditional/local place.. so much so the people there didn’t speak a word of English! Their menu is a daily-changing menu written in cursive on a blackboard that they bring to your table, with around 5 or so options for Entree, Main and Dessert.

Their speciality is actually their Steak, but sadly, they only have that during lunchtimes, d’oh!! Fortunately, their dinner menu looked enticing and we were really pleased with our dishes.

One thing about France is that they LOVE slow dining. Chris and I found that really difficult, and it took us ages to get used to it (not really sure if we ever did, to be honest!) because we personally tend to stuff our faces with lots of food, very quickly. I found that when we take 2-3 hours just to eat a meal in France, I’d get full much quicker and wouldn’t be able to eat as much – d’oh! Then again, I suppose that’s why “French women don’t get fat” – they take the time to savor and enjoy their meal slowly and thus eat far less. A good tip for me πŸ˜‰


Inside Le Petit CΓ©lestin

The 5 of us!

My salmon, looking gross, but it was delicious

Duck breast with roasted sliced potatoes

A veal dish (I think?)

Super creamy chocolate cake/pudding with creme anglais

Awesome creme brulee!

My strawberries with copious amounts of Chantilly cream

Great food, great company πŸ™‚


42 Comments

  • Anonymous posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    It’s great that you speak to people in their own language, even if your French is not perfect. It’s really respectful. Most tourists, mainly Americans (sorry guys!) just assume the entire planet speaks English and they get mad if someone asks them to repeat.

    You are a very classy lady πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      Aww thanks πŸ™‚ It’s fun trying to speak a country’s language anyway, and I find the locals treat you much better if you do

      Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Definitely good to at at least try, embarrassingly in my case πŸ˜‰ to speak French. I was unfortunate though in country France to have a cleaner start almost yelling at me in my hotel room in Spanish/French… luckily Matt came in and saved me πŸ˜›

    That looks an amazing meal, especially the duck and veal!! I LOVE how the French do potatoes!! And yum, I had a huge creme brulee in Paris which looked just like that, had never seen one so big!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      I bet your French is better now too, you’re still taking lessons right?

      Creme brulee is soooo good in Barcelona too, yummm!

      Reply
      • thefragrantelf posted on August 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        I didn’t continue the lessons but I might pick them up again one day πŸ™‚

        Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I love how you have friends in France. So very international of you.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      It’s good so we can still socialise when we’re overseas and get tips on stuff to do πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • rainingumbrella posted on August 22, 2010 at 12:58 am

    The salmon looks divine. What was the sauce? And I do agree about the slow eating – that’s what people recommend for dieters in the first place πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      I cant remember.. it was some herb sauce I think, but was so nice mixed in the pasta on the side too!

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on August 22, 2010 at 2:29 am

    this is really a foodie trip babe!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      LOL yeah.. it was basically a food trip around Europe πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • kare2711 posted on August 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I agree with you that the French appreciates it when tourists speak their language. I think it’s because the effort they see we put in. I don’t see much, if any, of the snobbish service I heard so much about.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      True, we didn’t really come across any mean/snobby French.. in fact, almost all were smiley and nice!

      Reply
  • am_klutz posted on August 22, 2010 at 5:16 am

    LOL That is hilarious! You guys should go to Japan and Chris can speak Japanese πŸ˜›
    You’re looking so radiant and lovely hun. Please swing by Singers soon so that we can catch up proper πŸ™‚ xoxo

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Yeah we were there not long ago this year, and it was hilarious Chris could get us around cos he can understand/speak/read/write Japanese!

      SG hopefully in Sep.. fingers crossed..

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on August 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I am surprised the French would assume you can’t speak French. There is a large Asian population in Paris.

    I remember sitting outside a cafe and a couple of French tourists asked me where the louvre was and I pointed which direction haha. Then there was the other time an Asian woman asked me in her attempt at French where the nearest metro was. I didn’t understand the question so just said I spoke English.
    My friends said I probably looked like a “stuck up Parisian” which is funny since I am Asian looking.

    That is very impressive to be able to reserve a table over the phone in French ( i assume that is how you reserved a table)because people say that because there is no gestures and body language to help you you really test your listening skills).

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      Strangely, we saw very very very few Asians in all of France, esp in the south of France area. People kept staring, even more so when I would speak English with Chris!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    It’s great that you speak to people in their own language, even if your French is not perfect. It’s really respectful. Most tourists, mainly Americans (sorry guys!) just assume the entire planet speaks English and they get mad if someone asks them to repeat.

    You are a very classy lady πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      Aww thanks πŸ™‚ It’s fun trying to speak a country’s language anyway, and I find the locals treat you much better if you do

      Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Definitely good to at at least try, embarrassingly in my case πŸ˜‰ to speak French. I was unfortunate though in country France to have a cleaner start almost yelling at me in my hotel room in Spanish/French… luckily Matt came in and saved me πŸ˜›

    That looks an amazing meal, especially the duck and veal!! I LOVE how the French do potatoes!! And yum, I had a huge creme brulee in Paris which looked just like that, had never seen one so big!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      I bet your French is better now too, you’re still taking lessons right?

      Creme brulee is soooo good in Barcelona too, yummm!

      Reply
      • thefragrantelf posted on August 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        I didn’t continue the lessons but I might pick them up again one day πŸ™‚

        Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on August 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I love how you have friends in France. So very international of you.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      It’s good so we can still socialise when we’re overseas and get tips on stuff to do πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • rainingumbrella posted on August 22, 2010 at 12:58 am

    The salmon looks divine. What was the sauce? And I do agree about the slow eating – that’s what people recommend for dieters in the first place πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      I cant remember.. it was some herb sauce I think, but was so nice mixed in the pasta on the side too!

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on August 22, 2010 at 2:29 am

    this is really a foodie trip babe!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      LOL yeah.. it was basically a food trip around Europe πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • emmakins888 posted on August 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    That creme brulee was indeed lovely.

    Awww love the last pic of us!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Me tooooo, ahhh happy days. I wish I could always be on holidays heh. Post your LV soon!!

      Reply
  • kare2711 posted on August 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I agree with you that the French appreciates it when tourists speak their language. I think it’s because the effort they see we put in. I don’t see much, if any, of the snobbish service I heard so much about.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      True, we didn’t really come across any mean/snobby French.. in fact, almost all were smiley and nice!

      Reply
  • am_klutz posted on August 22, 2010 at 5:16 am

    LOL That is hilarious! You guys should go to Japan and Chris can speak Japanese πŸ˜›
    You’re looking so radiant and lovely hun. Please swing by Singers soon so that we can catch up proper πŸ™‚ xoxo

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Yeah we were there not long ago this year, and it was hilarious Chris could get us around cos he can understand/speak/read/write Japanese!

      SG hopefully in Sep.. fingers crossed..

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on August 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I am surprised the French would assume you can’t speak French. There is a large Asian population in Paris.

    I remember sitting outside a cafe and a couple of French tourists asked me where the louvre was and I pointed which direction haha. Then there was the other time an Asian woman asked me in her attempt at French where the nearest metro was. I didn’t understand the question so just said I spoke English.
    My friends said I probably looked like a “stuck up Parisian” which is funny since I am Asian looking.

    That is very impressive to be able to reserve a table over the phone in French ( i assume that is how you reserved a table)because people say that because there is no gestures and body language to help you you really test your listening skills).

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      Strangely, we saw very very very few Asians in all of France, esp in the south of France area. People kept staring, even more so when I would speak English with Chris!

      Reply
  • carorules posted on August 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Agree the salmon looks weird.. but if it was good..! What was in the sauce?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      It was some kinda herb-y sauce.. sooo nice, and I liked how the salmon was so chunky and moist, mmm

      Reply
  • emmakins888 posted on August 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    That creme brulee was indeed lovely.

    Awww love the last pic of us!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Me tooooo, ahhh happy days. I wish I could always be on holidays heh. Post your LV soon!!

      Reply
  • carorules posted on August 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Agree the salmon looks weird.. but if it was good..! What was in the sauce?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on August 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      It was some kinda herb-y sauce.. sooo nice, and I liked how the salmon was so chunky and moist, mmm

      Reply

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