Monday 6 September 2010

Breakfast in Melbourne/Lunch in Paris

This is a close up of my breakfast, taken with my phone.
I went to the French patisserie on Wellington Parade (nearly got blown away en route – very windy in Melbourne yesterday) and ordered a brioche and a CafĂ© au Lait (well, a flat white, but the idea is the same.)
And as I ate I read Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.
I’ve read a lot of travel books of the fall-in-love-buy-a-house-move-to-a-different-country-cook&write-about-it variety in the past year, for reasons you can probably understand. (Although have you noticed that almost all of them are set in France and Italy? Where’s the girl who upped sticks to move to, I don’t know, Hamburg?) I’ve read so many, that I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of the genre.
For example, you can be patronising about the locals (PETER MAYLE, I’m looking at you.) You can complain all the time (one I read recently by an Australian girl, When in Rome, was very moany.) You can wander off into the poetic and lose the plot entirely (Under the Tuscan Sun).
But Lunch in Paris is good – really. Realistic about the problems of making a new life in a foreign country, but – but, but, but – acknowledging what many people forget to mention. The rewards!
“I’ve always known that by living abroad I made the choice to be a little bit uncomfortable, one-sixteenth of an inch out of step. That’s the price I pay for not being bored at home.”
The author likes a lot of the same things I like about Paris (she also started off in a museum-related field, so we have that common ground) which is congenial.
And, of course, she takes a close interest the food she encounters, whether as an eater or a cook. I’m not always convinced that the ‘story with recipes’ combination works; too often one is sacrificed for the other. But I think I would genuinely try some of the recipes in Lunch in Paris and I did enjoy the story.
And my brioche.


  1. oh my goodness... looks absolutely yummy! xxxxx

  2. A kindred spirit - another Victorian lady stuck in the 21st century. So glad you enjoyed the book! EB