I can hardly believe July has already come and gone. There’s a big heatwave moving through Paris today (102°F and almost 40°C) so we were lucky to escape to Normandy. After spending so much time there this year it felt like going home in a way, especially with Dalton. I’m excited to cook in a bigger kitchen, be outdoors as much as possible, and of course enjoy some of my Normandy favorite foods. This week’s Five Friday Finds from France include the gorgeous Palais Royal Roses, the best frites (and the best way to eat them) in Paris, a festive summer dinner table, the perfect tomato tart recipe and more!
In June when I saw the Palais Royal roses they were pretty, don’t get me wrong, but it felt like they were already past their prime. As it turns out I was wrong. I think they were still in recovery mode from the confinement and weren’t getting the kind of attention they were used to.
On Sunday I walked through Jardin du Palais-Royal to find them still completely in their prime. The red roses are of course my favorite, but there are also some beautiful purple roses that match the deep purple dahlias. I may or may not have leaned a little too far over the fence to try to smell them.
Le Voltaire Frites and Pomme Purée
My favorite frites in Paris are at Le Voltaire, and I’m not just saying that because I love Le Voltaire. There are lots of different ways to make fries and I really love them most ways. However, when we’re talking about the French version of frites, they should be exactly like they are at Le Voltaire. Matchstick thin and crispy yet simultaneously soft. I would have no shame eating an entire plate by myself because they’re that good.
The pomme purée at Le Voltaire is also incredible in that super French way – soft, silky, and buttery. So what’s my biggest guilty pleasure of all? Dipping the frites into the pomme purée of course. It’s super indulgent and I highly recommend it.
A Festive Summer Table
There was a period of time after coming back to Paris from Normandy that I was really making an effort with my table at every meal, even if I was just eating alone. I was using linen napkins, crystal glasses, and really making an effort to set the table instead of just grabbing what I needed right before sitting down to eat. But after I while that stopped.
We had dinner at a friend’s house last weekend and the table inspired me to step it back up. I love her colored crystal glasses, colored candlesticks, dinner and dessert plates and bamboo flatware. Being in Normandy also helps get into the spirit with all of the beautiful antique porcelain, silver, and tablecloths. I have an exciting announcement coming soon that may or may not have to do with l’art de la table.
Tarte à la Tomate au Pistou
If you’re looking for French food inspiration be sure to follow @stephencooksfrench on Instagram. Pretty much everything he cooks makes my mouth water. He recently shared a tarte à la tomate au pistou that was as delicious as it was beautiful. He was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and Romain was kind enough to make the entire thing by himself.
Romain used the basil from my window box garden to make the pistou and all of the ripe window sill tomatoes, although he did have to supplement with some others. If you’d like the recipe just email me and I’ll send it to you!
I haven’t done much shopping during the soldes this year because I told myself I can’t acquire any more clothes until I clean out my closet. And cleaning out my closet is about the last thing I want to do. However, this week there was a special sale on some amazing scarves – for 10€ each. I love browsing the selection at Les Rideaux du Bac. She has the best facemasks and the softest, easiest summer clothes. I couldn’t resist stocking up on the scarves – they make perfect gifts and are always good to have for travel and anytime.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Five Friday Finds from France. There will be plenty of Normandy and Dalton content on Instagram this weekend, and I’ll be back tomorrow sharing Weekend Links!