Travels

Best Eats in Nantes, From a Local

Daniel Buren et Patrick Bouchain, Les Anneaux, Quai des Antilles, Nantes, création pérenne Estuaire 2007 © Martin Argyroglo/LVAN

Daniel Buren et Patrick Bouchain, Les Anneaux, Quai des Antilles, Nantes, création pérenne Estuaire 2007 © Martin Argyroglo/LVAN

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Nantes, Stef and Cha recommend…

Stef et Cha Les Ptits BonheursI am delighted to introduce you to our guides to Nantes, locals Stef and Cha. They love Nantes and share their enthusiasm on their blog, Les Ptits Bonheurs à Nantes. The blog is filled with tips, local happenings, and hidden spots in Nantes, which they say illuminates life — small moments of happiness (“petits bonheurs” in French) are essential to daily life!

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Best Eats in Aix-en-Provence, From a Local

Aix-en-Provence La Rotonde

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Aix-en-Provence, Clara recommends…

Clara Onuki Aix-en-Provence To explore Aix, we will be following Clara Onuki‘s footsteps ! Clara is a private chef and culinary instructor. She previously worked as a chef at hotels and restaurants before switching to freelance work. She specializes in healthy cooking and Japanese fusion, and is all about high-quality ingredients from small producers. Check out her site to know more about her services.

Aix-en-Provence, Clara says, is a lovely city where life is good. It has retained its old-world charm, with tiny cobblestoned streets, multiple greenmarkets, historical buildings, and the many fountains it is known for.

Aix denizens are true epicureans, often found on terraces (thanks to the Provençal sun!) sipping a happy hour drink, or biking around to run their errands in the small food shops.

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12 Foods To Bring Back From France

What To Bring Back From France

Planning a trip to France, and not sure what to bring back as an edible souvenir for yourself, or a thank you gift for the kind soul who’s watching your dog/goldfish/child while you’re away?

I have twelve suggestions of artisanal products that are typically French, won’t break the bank — all items are under 10€ — and will actually get used and eaten in your or your friend’s kitchen when you get back.

Those are all easy to find, too. For each item I’ve recommended where to look!

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Best Eats in Lille, From a Local

Lille

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Lille, Izabela recommends…

Izabela Lille ConfidentialTo walk us through Lille, I’m happy to introduce Izabela Jeanneau, author of the blog Lille Confidential. She has dilligently tested all of her recommendations, and lives by the motto “Only the best!” It’s the only trilingual (!) blog in the region, available in French, English, and Dutch. Though Izabela is Parisian by birth, she considers herself an adopted Lilloise since moving there in 2009 by way of Singapour, Abu Dhabi, Jakarta and Luanda. Izabela prides herself on her unique perspective on Lille as a cultural and food capital between Paris, London, and Brussels.

In addition to her blog, I recommend you follow Izabela on Twitter and Instagram. (The photos in this post are hers.)

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Best Eats in Bordeaux, From a Local

Bordeaux

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Bordeaux, Bénédicte recommends…

Benedicte Baggio-Catalan of my little spoonFor our first destination, I’m happy to introduce Bénédicte Baggio-Catalan, the author behind the French blog My little spoon. Bénédicte is originally from La Rochelle, but she fell in love with Bordeaux in 2002. She created her blog in 2008, in which she shares seasonal recipes for daily cooking and for entertaining. She is currently working for the Cité du Vin, a new venue devoted to wine that will open in Bordeaux very soon.

In addition to her blog, I recommend you follow Bénédicte on Facebook and Instagram. (The photos are hers unless otherwise noted.)

A market or food shop: La Recharge

La Recharge Bordeaux

Photo: Jules Rivet

A grocery store that sells products in bulk only: you bring your own jars, bottles, and bags — no pre-packaged goods at all! They have a lot of everyday products, but I also love to find new, unexpected products. It’s local, seasonal, smart, and economical. Too bad it’s a bit far from my house; we need more stores like this in Bordeaux!

Where to go for sweet treats: Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus

Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus Bordeaux

Hasnaâ Ferreira was a contestant on Masterchef here in France. She has been through a chocolatier training and has now opened her own chocolate shop, where she offers high-quality chocolates with interesting aromatic profiles. The latest, le Venezia, features Piemont hazelnuts paired with the fabulous “Marabout” Ethiopian coffee from my friend L’Alchimiste Torréfacteur (“the alchemist roaster”).

Where to get tea or coffee: Black List

A small coffee shop on Place Pey Berland. Yes, the coffee shop trend has caught on in Bordeaux! The wooden shop is decorated with Scandinavian accents and crates filled with fruits and vegetables, and it offers a daily selection of fresh dishes and American-style pastries. But, most of all, it has good coffee!

A fun restaurant for dinner with friends: Mampuku

Mampuku Bordeaux

Meaning “full belly” in Japanese, Mampuku is the latest restaurant from the Miles team. While they are not physically in the kitchen, their team delivers with the same spirit: creative, fresh, and convivial, with dishes that blend Asian, Mediterranean, and European inspirations. You don’t order your own dish here; rather, you order many small plates for the table to share. It’s the best place for relaxed yet refined finger foods in a lively setting.

Where to go for an intimate dinner with a date: Garopapilles

Garopapilles Bordeaux

Chef Tanguy Laviale had his heart set on opening a welcoming, home-style restaurant, in the most noble sense of the phrase, while still offering a cuisine that is refined and personal. Tanguy offers a single surprise menu with two appetizers, a main course, and a dessert that he creates and modifies frequently. I also love their wine selection. Truly one of the most inspiring restaurants in Bordeaux right now.

Wild Card Spot! Chez Boulan

Chez Boulan Bordeaux

Photo: Chez Boulan

Natives of the region know oyster producer Boulan for his unique oysters from Le Cap-Ferret, and now he has his own restaurant in Chartrons, a neighborhood in Bordeaux. There, chef Pierre Rousseau cooks a marine-inspired, fresh, innovative cuisine. I’m still dreaming about his raw sea bass with yuzu, ginger, cilantro and almonds, paired with mushrooms confit in sake and a runny egg yolk. It’s rare to get such good seafood in a city setting.

Thank you so much for sharing, Bénédicte!

You’ll find all these addresses mapped out below:

Do you have your own favorite spots in Bordeaux? We want to hear about them in the comments below! And is there a particular city or area you’d like featured in this series in the future?

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