Travel & Life Digest

An elegant Parisian lunch - Josephine chez Dumonet

I had the pleasure of being invited to attend a workshop on the interaction of early learning and disabilities, at Unesco, in Paris. Thanks to the Hellenic delegation at Unesco and the Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth, academics, government and charities came together to discuss how young students can be taught to incorporate the needs of fellow students with disabilities, in the daily class routine. To have all these people committed to such a cause, is a beacon of hope, truly. 

My sister and I took this chance to carve some time out, just before Christmas, and treat my mum to a little Parisian time, for her birthday. We've all been to Paris before, so the aim was to spend some time together, catch up and re-align the directions we are all growing towards. We live across different countries and cities and it's easy to dismiss the need for a little re-calibration. So what better way to catch up, other than over an elegant Parisian lunch? 

And then I discovered Josephine chez Dumonet
A Parisian restaurant, in the 6th arrondissement, with mosaic floors, wood paneling and white laced curtains. I made a booking two weeks in advance. It was a short walk from Unesco, but in the December cold, we were very pleased to sit down at one of the tables, elegantly covered in white table cloth, order a bottle of Sancerre and... smile. Time to chat, gossip and catch

My sister - who, I may add, often gets congratulated by waiters on her choice of food and drink - ordered a steak tartare. The waiter didn't flinch at the sound of it, although if he did I wouldn't have been surprised. It was a substantial portion of ground meat.
The preparation involved a bit of at-the-table theatrics. The ingredients arrived on their own designated cart and the tartare was assembled right there and then.

I had the confit de canard - sounds so unceremonious to say 'the duck'. I have to confess, my first thought was that the plate looked a bit plain. But that's the Londoner talking, here it's all about the quality and the flavour. The duck flesh was so sweet and velvety and the dish quite filling. The potatoes fried in duck fat were lovely too and it took me a while to finish it all off. My sister overtook me and finished her tartare in no time and my mum kept pinching my potatoes, adding 'you'won't eat all these, will you?'. Ah, family time! 

The Grand Dame - Grand Marnier Soufflé

The star of the meal is the soufflé, served with a glass of Grand Marnier. 
It is impressive and is certainly worth the hype. We also ordered the millefeuille Jean Louis, a burnt-caramel coloured crunchy pastry with slivers of creme patisserie. Every bitter-sweet bite was such a contrast to the soft, fluffy soufflé. 

We really enjoyed our meal and our catch up, so much so, that we were the last to leave at a quarter to four in the afternoon. We were not hurried at any point, life is for living in these parts. 

The end to a lovely meal 

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