I just came back from a trip to Paris and London. I had a great time. Before I went I would have thought that the food in Paris would have been better than the food in London but that was not the case.
This was partly because we wound up staying in a fairly touristy neighbor near the Tuileries which made prices more expensive. Also the language barrier made inquiry more difficult.
There was something else at play as well. In Paris I felt like I should eat “French food” That turned out to be hard to do and was expensive. Two of the best meals we had and for which we got the greatest value were savory crepes at a Greek place in the Rue Cler pedestrian mall and Chinese food in the Marais near the Carnavalet museum.
In London, before getting there, the thoughts in my head were about how bad English food is and how we ate mostly Indian food when we were there 23 years ago. This time we didn’t eat any Indian food but we did eat Asian, Italian, tapas, as well as pub food.
The breakfast at the hotel which was included in the price for the room was the least appealing of all the meals. It was a typical English breakfast with eggs, porridge – actually oatmeal, sausage, bacon, baked beans, stewed tomatoes, some kind of fish in some kind of sauce and stewed prunes. None of it was done very well and some of it tasted horribly.
The meal we had that I felt was truly English and tasted really great was a lunch at a church, St Martin in the Fields. It was cool because you eat all the way in the bottom in the crypt. We had vegetable soup and a berry cobbler with custard. The soup was delicious and the custard was scrumptious.
One of the best meals we had in Paris was a simple omelet and then for dessert crepes with salted caramel sauce. Divine. Salted caramel seems to be a flavor in Europe, particularly France that we don’t have in the States.
After eating in both countries, the globalization of both French and English culture really stood out. Many restaurants have burgers. In England at a pub we had chicken wings. It is really hard to go someplace that doesn’t feel like the place you left.