Buzz: Ice Cream in Paris
The French slurp 14kgs of ice cream annually per bouche, it'll probably be more this year and, unless you've been on the moon, you know why. Rumour has it that there's a current shortage of good glace (and air conditioner units, according to "a Spokesman" at BHV) in the city. "Let's walk/bike/take the limo over to the Ile Saint Louis to Maison Berthillon, hon". You get there and think great, no queue, how fantastic. But having schlepped across Paris you discover that Bertillon is shut, fermé: the most famous ice-cream parlour in Paris (since 1957) takes eight weeks' vacation in July and August! Chutzpah! Still, not to worry the weatherman is promising an Indian Summer so still plenty of time to make new best friends in the line waiting for a 2€ scoop of honey cake, amandine, whisky, chestnut or Earl Grey tea.
In the meantime, try "Calabrese", where papa Luigi sure knows how to maka da ice cream lika mama used to back home in the old country. The Godfather of ice-cream, has ways of making you love his basil and fennel sorbets, scoops up flavours like rose, zuppa inglese, kaki (that's a fruit dear), Bounty. And great shakes. Explosive!
31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ille. 4th
T: 01 43 54 31 61. (Metro: Pont-Marie)
Closed in the summer until Sept 2nd
15 rue Odessa, 14th.
T: 01 43 20 31 63 (Metro: Edgar Qunitet)
With a name like Carole Bouquet how could a lady not be crazy about wine? "For me, le vin, it's conviviality, it's evenings spent with friends", says the exquisite former face of Chanel. Count me in Carole.
In addition to a career as an actress superstar, Ms Bouquet is now a bonafide wine-maker, who says that a day without wine is a day without sunshine. Her Sicilian Passito de Pantelleria was launched at wine superstore Lavinia last autumn and is selling well. "I just bought 1.2 hectares at Lussac, Saint Emilion", she told BP. And Christophe David (ex-Lucas Carton) features both the Passito and Le Sangue d'Oro with dishes he's creating for the "Menu Degustation du Park" at the stunning Ed Tuttle designed Hotel Hyatt Paris-Vendome restaurant. "I didn't taste wine until I was over 20", admits Ms Bouquet. Ah yes, she remembers it well, "it was at the restaurant L'Ami Louis, I drank a Haut Morillon". Seems Ms. Bouquet has since tasted the best of Bordeaux, Burgundy and then discovered the wines of the South of France, "Domaine de Trevallon, sublime", she sighs. From there, with a little help from partner Gerard Depardieu, Bouquet went through the Jura, on to Australia, Spain, the world!"
Come September, as well as movie and theatre projects Ms Bouquet will be signing the wine list at the classic watering hole, "Pierre à la Fontaine Gaillon". Not surprising as her vigneron/actor squeeze Depardieu liked the place so much, he bought it. Of course, Jacques Garcia is tarting up the old place; they're putting in a new chef. Sounds exciting, n'est pas? Meet me under the table, Carole.
So don't you feel a fool without a vineyard then? All the celebs have them. Who?
Francis Ford Coppola
1, place Gaillon, 2nd
T: 01 47 42 63 22
Closed Sat lunch & Sun
3-5 Boulevard Madeleine, 1st.
T: 01 42 97 20 20 (Metro: Madeleine)
(Lunch and tapas served upstairs with wines)
The Park Restaurant,
Hotel Hyatt-Paris Vendome,
3-5 rue de la Paix, 2nd
T: 01 58 71 12 34
Mon-Fri Lunch & Dinner
Sat-Sun - Dinner
32 rue du Vertbois, 4th
T: 01 48 87 88 24 (Metro: Arts & Metiers)
Open Wed-Sun (Book well ahead)
And down South at the Abbaye de Lerins, on the tiny island of Saint-Honorat, opposite Cannes, Frére Marie-Pàques and his Cistercian brothers began the wine harvest three weeks early, due to the sizzling weather. "Wine is our main source of income", admits Marie-Pàques. "Cistercians have been here since the 5th century, and last year we produced 27,000 bottles", he says. Look for cuvée Saint-Pierre (white) and cuvée Saint Honorat (red) and if it doesn't rain between now and the beginning of September, buy Saint Honorat futures! It'll be a bumper year. Superchef Jacques Chibois features the wine on his menu at his 2-star Bastide Saint-Antoine, Grasse, as do many chefs in France and worldwide (it's really big in Japan). "You feel so blessed drinking it", observes Chibois. www.abbayedelerins.com
In vino veritas!