Last Friday at lunchtime I was seated at a little bistro in Bordeaux. We had reserved a table for three but so far it was only me and Gaïa (that is if you’re not counting Humfri our smooth fox terrier). Half an hour later the situation hadn’t changed, the waiters and some of the other diners were starting to cast sympathetic glances towards my table, encouraging little smiles. I knew I was in trouble when the owner came over and offered me a glass of champagne – that’s how long we had been waiting. With a heavy heart I politely refused the “coupe de champagne”, and pointed to my bump (I’m gently easing into my sixth month now) – what does a woman waiting in a restaurant on Valentine’s day need if not a glass of champagne. Gaïa was very happy with her bread and grenadine water combo, Humfri had the treat of his life – the owner prepared him a few snacks. My husband, as usual, was not answering his phone – this was not how you do Valentine’s day. Then of course he came, with the loveliest pink roses and the whole room nodded approvingly. The elderly gentlemen at the next table even applauded and when he pulled out a bottle of perfume, there was a whole chorus of “well played monsieur” and bravos. He was forgiven – just about.
Sitting idly in a restaurant for almost an hour has its advantages. You get a real feeling of the room, how the waiters operate, how attentive they are, what the other clients are like. Le Petit Commerce is a Bordeaux institution, a good time place with an air of “joie de vivre”. My eyes were drawn to a very interesting table near the window, a curious mix of five men and a lady. Boy were they having a good time, apéritifs outside, a nice bottle of wine inside, that table never stopped laughing. They were on very friendly terms with the “patron”, the one who offered me the champagne. Writing these posts I find myself saying frequently “one of the things I love most about France”. I guess I must say it often because there is a lot to love. Well, one of my favorite things are these long lunches in restaurants, particularly on Fridays, when people have put the most serious business behind them and the weekend is just around the corner. What better than to meet friends for lunch over a bottle of wine and nice food, share stories and laughter and then put in a “light” shift at the office before heading home to the family. It turned out to be a memorable lunch, the owner, a real character and the kind of man every restaurant needs, refused to be photographed unless we put on the restaurant uniform – blue working jackets, and then we posed with him behind the bar (unfortunately these pictures were not in focus at all). We did, however, get to keep the jackets – they’ll be very chic on the 1st of May. In the end, when the staff had started having a meal of their own in one corner of the restaurant it was just us and the five men + woman left in the restaurant. They had a final drink, then left one by one – such a fun group. We didn’t find out much about them, one of them looks like Bill Murray, another one is a psychiatrist (he arrived on bicycle) – one can only hope he had no serious consulting to do after a lunch like that. Fabien Touraille, the charming owner, gave us a bottle of the house white wine and soon we found ourselves in the car hoping to beat the clock as we had a bunch of kids waiting at school.
It was a fabulous lunch and funnily we almost didn’t have it. In fact had it not been for another much worse one, we probably wouldn’t. Three days earlier we had been in Bordeaux, this time with all the kids, to attend to administrative affairs. It was raining but we had high hopes for a place we had never tried. It wasn’t very satisfying (so I won’t name any names) and it never stopped raining, not even for 10 minutes. After lunch I left Oddur with the kids and told them I would be back in an hour. I was wrong – I was back in three, French bureaucracy at its best. I accidentally took Oddur’s wallet so he, three children and a couple of dogs were left walking the street of Bordeaux in the rain. He tried to be inventive, they spent an hour at Mollat, a large and lovely bookstore, they found a playground that was partially covered. Mostly they just walked. I am told little Gaïa was a trooper, never complained once until the very end when she said “I want maman” (she speaks a strange mix of French and English). That’s when Oddur could resist no longer and took them all to a toystore. The toystore, alas, does not accept dogs so he was forced to wait outside with Humfri and Jeanie, and watched in horror through the glass as the kids ran riot in the store. Luckily I arrived just in time with the funds, they all got a little present and even a ride on the carrousel to round off the day. On the way home Oddur said “we’re definitely going back on Friday for a proper lunch”. If at first you fail, then try again.
So what has all this got do to with the menu I prepared on Sunday? A lot actually, I was inspired. I wanted fish and I wanted fun. I woke up in a fantastic mood and the first thing I saw was that blue jacket on the chair in my bedroom. Then I admired my roses – I put them in a vase I found at Anne’s brocante last year, very 20’s and goes so well with pink roses. Selfishly I kept them all in the bedroom – they are MY roses. Then it was the perfume on my bedside table, it’s called “Portrait of a Lady” by Frederic Malle, a blend of Turkish roses and cinnamon – I’ve been wanting it for a while. In the kitchen the bottle of wine greeted me, It has a drawing of fish on it. Le Petit Commerce is all about freshly-caught fish and I wanted more of it. This pregnancy all I want is seafood, citrusy things, almond milk. It’s the same as when I had Hudson, our boy, so we thought we’d be having another. It isn’t, it’s another girI, we are thrilled to bits – you can never have enough of those. We’ll be doing our own version of little women.
I wanted to make a sauce with cider in it and what better to pair with a creamy apple cider sauce than a beautiful sole. A tasty touch were the little “crevettes grises”, that add extra flavor. We started with some cod roe on toast with olive oil and lemon, some couteaux with garlic, herbs and lemon zest. Since artichokes are making an appearance in the markets these days I had to find a way to include them too and I made an artichoke à la barigoule, a Provençal dish. Because of my almond cravings I made an almond milk flan the other day but it wasn’t very popular in the house, although it was just what I wanted and reminded me of Chinese desserts. So I made it up to the kids with a “proper” milk and cream flan with pomegranate syrup.
It all came off wonderfully and was so tasty, and more importantly we had such a good time – once again the lunch lasted for hours. A rowdy lunch at a fun restaurant, a “quiet” lunch at home – I am as ever in awe of the powers of good food – it’s at the table where the very best things happen.
Le Petit Commerce, 22 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux Tel: 33/05 56 79 76 58
For the prettiest flowers in Bordeaux: Sadia Fleurs, 26 Allée de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux
Couteaux (razor clams) baked with herbs and lemon zest
300 g/ 2/3 pounds razor clams, about 15 razor clams/ couteaux
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Lemon zest of ½ lemon
A tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A handful of coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme
A few sprigs of parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Clean the razor clams under cold water. Then dip then very briefly in a bowl of very hot water so they can open, then dip them again in cold water. Remove/cut off the dark sand vein (usually filled with sand) as well as the dark tip of the ‘neck’.
Place the razor clams in a baking dish, sprinkle the lemon zest, a dash of lemon juice, thyme, chopped parsley, bay leaf, garlic and spring onion. Scatter the chopped hazelnuts, drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place in a preheated oven 240°C/ and cook for approx 8 minutes. Serve immediately.
Artichokes à la barigoule
8 to 10 small baby artichokes
2 small carrots, diced
1 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
80 g/ 3 ounces lardons/ bacon, chopped finely (matchstick size)
1 branch of thyme
1 branch of rosemary
1 small glass of white wine
30 ml/ 1/8 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Trim all the dark leaves from the artichokes and remove fuzzy choke. Slice the lemon in 2 and rub the trimmed artichokes to prevent them from darkening. Place the artichokes in a bowl of cold water and squeeze in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Dice the onion, carrots, lardons, garlic and set aside.
In a deep sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the artichokes (pat them dry first). Add the diced onion, carrots, lardons, thyme, rosemary and garlic. Continue to stir for 3 minutes, then add the wine. Reduce for 2 minutes and add the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the artichokes, lower the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes (depending on size of artichokes), or until artichokes are tender.
Sole with cider cream sauce & shrimps
This old-fashioned Normandy-style dish is so rich in flavors, from the delicate apple cider sweetness to the deep nutty taste of the brownshrimps. I used small crevettes grises (brown shrimps). A lovely way to prepare sole, served with steamed ratte variety buttered potatoes. You can also prepare this dish with sole fillets (or any of your favorite white fish), you can ask your fishmonger to prepare them for you if you prefer.
4 filets of sole, skinned
230 g/ 8 ounces brown shrimps/ crevettes grises (uncooked if possible)
4 shallots, finely chopped
430 ml/ 1 & ¾ cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons salted butter
1 bay leaf
A small bunch of parsley
350 ml/1 & ½ cup apple cider (brut)
A dash of piment d’espelette
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and slice shallots finely. Heat 30 g salted butter and sauté the shallots for 4 minutes, until softened. Add the bay leaf, 2 sprigs of parsley, salt and pepper and the cider. Bring to a soft boil, lower heat and reduce to half. Strain the sauce through a sieve, return to pot, then add cream and stir for a few seconds on a low heat. Take off the heat and set aside.
Dust sole with flour on both sides and season with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the rest of the butter with a dash of olive oil. Cook sole about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Set aside on a plate and sauté the shrimps on a high heat until cooked through, about 2/3 minutes. Place the fish on a serving plate, add the shrimps on top, and pour the cider cream sauce on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Season to your taste. Serve with steamed potatoes.
Flans with pomegranate syrup
These little flans are so light, lightly flavoured with maple syrup (I like these flans semi-sweet, as the grenadine syrup is very sweet). They are so easy to prepare, all under 5 minutes. I served these with a lovely pomegranate syrup, inspired from my pomegranate meringues recipe.
240 ml/ 1 cup milk
240 ml/ 1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons maple syrup (more or less to your taste)
2 g agar-agar
For the pomegranate syrup
Juice of 2 pomegranates
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom (optional)
In a medium saucepan, heat milk and cream on a medium heat. Add the maple syrup and whisk in the agar-agar. Bring to a soft boil, lower heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. Pour the mixture into individual ramekins, leave to cool and refrigerate for a least 2 hours.
In a small saucepan, heat the pomegranate juice, orange blossom (optional) and sugar for 5 to 8 minutes on a medium to low heat, or until the mixture becomes glossy and thick, like a syrup. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
Unmold the flans, sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds on top and drizzle the syrup.
159 thoughts on “Gaïa goes to town, twice”
Quel beau bouquet ! Je crois que valais la peine d’attendre !
Une fois de plus, j’adoré le texte écrit d’une manière si original et les photos! J’adore les artichauts, je crois que vais essayer de faire ta recette! Et la sole aussi! C’est drôle de voir Bordeaux, la ville ou j’habite. Mes enfants adorent le manège, spécialement le petit avion. Bon semaine Mimi et merci encore pour le clafoutis, on a aime beaucoup!
Merci Eva! Je ne savais pas que vous étiez de Bordeaux! Quelle ville charmante – je me réjouis à chaque fois que j’y vais (nous sommes à 1h15 en voiture du Médoc). Le manège est tout à fait charmant – n’hésitez pas à partager vos bonnes adresses Bordelaise- je suis cliente 🙂 Bonne semaine – elle commence bien avec ce beau rayon de soleil! Mimi x
Effet, c’est mon mari qui est bordelais. Je suis madrilène et comme vous j’ai mis un peut de temps à m’adapter mais maintenant j’adore Bordeaux et je ne voudrais pas partir d’ici! Je suis d’accord, c’est un ville avec un charme fou. J’adore aller à Cadiot Badie !
Oh, moi aussi – j’adore Cadiot Badié! Les chocolats au whiskey pour mon mari et au nougat pour moi 🙂
Lovely post. … dipped in one of my favourite colours “bordeaux”.
Mimi, today you are mon amoureux … i love seafood!
*Want those collants*
Hello Aileen! Thank you! Bordeaux is so inspirational, such a beautiful city filled with little surprises. Oh, and those collants – I love mixing a dash of leggy color with a black dress – it makes the day much more fun 🙂 Bonne semaine, Mimi x
Congratulations Mimi – a girl! How wonderful – lucky her, she has such well dressed sisters! Thank you for this wonderful l post – I’m desperate to try the razor clams, they look fabulous. Funnily I totally went off fish when pregnant which was v surprising (I’m half Basque from the coast by San Sebastian!!!!) and am just starting to come back to my senses – more with seafood, crab etc. I just want to add I’ve tried about 5 of your recipes now and we’ve loved them all so cannot wait for your book and to try more! xx (What beautiful roses!)
Thank you Lili! Funny how pregnancy accentuates one’s desires! You come from one of the best ‘gourmand’ places in the world! Lucky you! For my new book (out October 28th) I have included a Basque crab recipe – it is so delicious! So happy to hear you have enjoyed a few of the recipes on ‘Manger’ – wishing you many more happy meals! Cheers from Médoc! Yeah, it’s sunny today 🙂 Mimi x
Yes the food in San Sebastian is wonderful – especially the seafood and my favourite food is from the Sociedades (Men’s working clubs) or my aunty and mum, both in their 80s now. The first time my father went (and funnily the same happened with my boyfriend) and there was a big lunch, he stuffed himself with jamon, foie gras, aspargus etc not realising these were just the appetisers! 4 more courses followed. Excuse the off topic question but I’m desperate to know your skincare/beauty regime – you always look radiant and never tired – do you have any must have products you swear by?
Oh I can just imagine the best food is home-cooked or in one of your Sociedades. I grew up in Hong Kong where you had ‘resident’s club’ (special local food from a specific province in China, and you usually have to be a member through your family). They always had the best food, and my absolute favorite is Shanghainese and Ningbo food. Regarding your question, well, first, let me thank you for the compliment! I do think pregnancy makes a woman glow, so perhaps that is the secret? 🙂 My beauty regime is very simple – good positive happy thoughts always, a lot of sleep, lots of water, lots of rich moisturizer (I use almond face oil and cream from Weleda, Aesop fabulous face oil), Clarins peeling once a week, I only clean my face with eau micellaire from Avène (water is too hard for my skin) and I love French pharmacy beauty products, they are the best! I eat a lot of ginger, because it is anti-inflammatory and I believe in health prevention. This is pretty much my routine I stick too, always. Best, Mimix
Thank you Mimi! Yes you are glowing! I’m sure your little girl has something to do with it and you are so right about the positive thoughts – I recall a line from Roald Dahl’s book the Twits saying something like good thoughts will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely but ugly thoughts make you ugly! I don’t get much sleep at the moment so thank you for the product recommendations – good products and routines help a lot too and you always look fabulous! I love Avene and French pharmacy products so will try the eau micellaire. A friend gave me Weleda lavender bath which is heaven so keen to try their other products and also the Aesop oil. Shanghainese food sounds amazing, I’ve never heard of Ningbo food so would love to hear more about this type of food. For your seafood cravings – a quick and simple Basque seafood staple is hake with clams and parsley: cook open the clams in white wine, set aside and reserve liquor. Salt and dust flour on hake fillets, make a sofrito with some white onion and garlic, then add the hake and fry 2-3 mins each side, adding some more white wine and the sauce from the clams (and a little fish stock if fillets are thick). Just before done add the clams and fresh chopped parsley y listo! When you described your cravings I immediately thought of the River Cafe crab linguine recipe (just garlic, chilli, salt, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, parsley mixed into the crab and served on the pasta) and also delicious Basque squid a la plancha. Ooh and Basque squid cooked in its own ink which is v easy to make (and used to terrify me as a child because everyone eating it, their mouths turned black!!) but that’s quite rich so maybe not for right now! Anyway thanks so much for replying, I’m very grateful! I bought some wonderful razor clams this morning at the market so will try your recipe tonight xx
Your daughter is so adorable I can’t stand it! She is a doll x
Bonjour. Thanks! Gaïa is a her cutest these days, and also at her funniest! She makes me laugh all day long 🙂 Have a lovely week, Mimi x
Great post Mimi, sounds like a valentines day well spent. Those razor clams look so alien to me, all the more reason to try the recipe 🙂 Have a wonderful day.
Thank you Morris! I just love razor clams – they are more meaty and so unusually shaped. Everytime I cook these I wonder why I don’t do it more often – they are simple to prepare and so satisfying. Enjoy! Mimi x
oh Mimi I love the photos and your stories as much as your recipes. I can so hear the crowds saying “bien joué, monsieur” for example 🙂
very elegant, it’s obvious that you put your heart in it.
Betül depuis Lyon ensoleillé 🙂
Bonjour Betül! It’s ensolleilé here too – we all went outside to catch some rays – it feels wonderful! Oh it was a lovely moment in the restaurant, I just love a good atmosphere, and I usually end up talking to a few tables! The owner, Fabien, is such a good spirit too! I hope you will visit Bordeaux soon 🙂 Mimi x
Love this Mimi – Your wine coloured tights, your beautiful bouquet, daughter, dog and the way you weave words so evocatively accompanied by your wonderful (even if late for lunch on Valentine’s Day, cough, cough!) husband’s photographs… I too love soaking up the atmosphere of restaurants and cafes, trying to figure out who’s who etc.! Hurrah too for a new baby daughter! This is gonna be a stellar year! x
Thank you so much Mary! It’s always a treat going to Bordeaux – I never seem to have enough time to do eveything so I am always going back for more! Have a lovely week! Mimi x
Hi Mimi – I love your blog, and was absolutely enchanted by this post! My question is not directly on topic, but where do you – or would you suggest- to shop for plates? I’m about to move on my own and have to purchase a new set, but I love love your style – especially the blue/white ones pictured.
Bonjour Bianca! Thank you so much for your kind words! Over the years, I am most satisfied with ‘service’ (sets of dinner plates and serving plates etc.) which I find at brocantes or antique stores. They are usually for 12 to 24 people, so it’s perfect for entertaining my friends & family. The style is just what I love, and to be quite honest I just can’t see anything as pretty in contemporary stores (and certainly not as well-priced!).Some designs are just timeless! Lately my favourite place is Anne’s brocante (Coté Gironde), located in St Christoly in Médoc. But really, if you scout around little villages and look for Brocantes, you will hopefully find something wonderful! Mimi x
AW, thank goodness, and lucky save with the roses and perfume! Husband’s a keeper after all. 🙂 This Valentine’s Robert and I were in different countries, and I guess you’ve heard of all the flooding in the UK. He sent me a little video called, “Look what I found”. He walked out into the flooded fields and under that freezing rushing water, constructed an “I” and heart and a “U”. He’s a keeper too…lol. I know what you mean about being able to sit and observe in a restaurant; or any public place. So many of my stories or art pieces come from doing just that. I miss the very long lunches I used to take in France. That doesn’t seem to be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Hope your week is shaping up to be a great one. 🙂
Bonjour Veronica! The video your husband sent you sounds so charming – he’s a keeper indeed! 🙂 I hope the weather will change – it’s been too long now! Long lunches are part of France’s culture – the longer, the merrier! Bonne semaine! Mimix
Definitely my favorite post thus far….and that’s saying a lot. I felt as if I was with you the whole time. Well done, as always. 🙂
You are too kind, merci beaucoup! Greetings from Médoc! Mimix
So enjoyed your wonderful story,photos and delicious recipes – can’t wait to try the razor clams and have a garden full of artichokes that now have a destiny. Found you via a Facebook friend in the States even though I live just north in Poitou-Charentes, thank you again for reminding me why I live here.
Lucky you, a garden filled with artichokes! Quel bonheur! Enjoy! Mimi x
I’m always inspired by the pics in your posts. Today I created 3 pallets based on one of them. http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/3248538/le_petit_commerce_2
Thank you! Mimi x
Bon jour. I have recently discovered your blog and am stunned by your beautiful words and your husband’s stunning photographs. I have gone back and read each and every entry. I look forward to following new entries and I thank you for sharing your life and gorgeous family.
Oh thank you Susan! I am so touched! Welcome to our world – wishing you lots of fantastic meals! Best, Mimix
Your photos are so beautiful! I have discovered your blog just few weeks ago and I’m addict already, You are a wonderful family! Greetings from Spain 😉
Greetings from Médoc Kiti! My husband is the photographer – I am the cook and write about it 🙂 I hope you will enjoy ‘Manger’ – wishing you a lovely week, Mimi x
You are one lucky lady! …Hope you are having a lovely week as well 🙂
Razor clams are one of my favorite things. We normally have them when we travel to northern Spain, though we can actually find them anywhere in Portugal.
Seems you guys had a lovely valentine’s lunch after all. We didn’t do anything special for that day, Marco was working at the hotel until past midnight… But we had a lovely sunny sunday instead, so it was great. Plus, he made dinner, so I was just enjoying the evening 🙂
Bonjour! Razor clams are so meaty – I really enjoy cooking them – simple is good! I always enjoy a little outing in Bordeaux – there’s so much to eat & discover! Bonne journée, Mimi x
I’m not usually one for roses, but your fluffy pink ones might be changing my mind!
I love that more and more I come to your blog not only to discover new recipes but to also ready deliciously composed stories.
Happy Valentine’s, Mimi +co.!
Bonjour Sacha! Thank you! These roses are so pretty – our florist in Bordeaux always has such pretty flowers – I am looking forward to renoncules and peonies. Enjoy the recipes! Mimi x
Felicidades por su blog tan maravillosos!!! Las flores son preciosas y la receta para las navajas ya me la anoto. Todos los veranos pasamos mucho tiempo en las costas gallegas y allí hay mucho marisco y pescado fresco. Creo que la próxima vez que prepare navajas intentaré probar su receta. Gracias!! Sonia ♥
Muchas gracias Sonia! Espero que te encantará esta receta! Buena semana! Mimi x
Such a wonderful post, I really felt as If I was there, watching you and your family, the restaurant owner and the 5 men/1 lady group from a corner of that restaurant. Beautiful pictures, as always, beautiful Bordeaux, I’d really like to visit it one more time. Good luck, Mimi and your family! 🙂
Merci! It’s was a wonderful moment to be shared! We were so lucky to have a great crowd, and Fabien Touraille was a great host! I am sure you will love Bordeaux – you must visit one day (and Médoc of course!) :)! Happy Monday, Mimi x
That fantastic menu, I love everything! What a great little companion Gaïa. You have had some wonderful and well-deserved gifts. (I made the Navettes and are delicious, my family really liked). Mimi a hug.
Bonjour Yasmina! So happy to hear you enjoyed the navettes. Bordeaux was very inspiring indeed, can’t wait to go back later this week. It’s funny, but since I have been living in the country, I like this little ritual of going to town, appreciating what a city has to offer! Makes me feel like I am living in the old days… now all I need is a horse & carriage 🙂 Best, Mimi x
Wonderful, go buy a car with a horse. What fun!
A girl! So happy for you and your family. Your lunch in Bordeaux sounds so magical with the roses, flowers and entertaining patrons. The man at the table with the lone lady and other 4 men does indeed look like Bill Murray. I know how you feel about going to the “city” when you live in the country. I feel the same way when we are at our lake house. A trip to the “big city” of Asheville is always a treat. Your Sunday meal would also be a treat. Lovely post Mimi.
Merci Penny – thank you for your kind wishes. Your lake house sounds divine! Wishing you a lovely week! Best, Mimi x
Everything looks wonderful! I eat so much meat and poultry in France that I am desperate for some fresh, light, healthy seafood and your post just tipped my dinner recipe for tonight in seafood’s favor:) Also, artichokes own my heart, and I would love to try your barigoule recipe soon. Once again, thank you.
Thank you Sheila! Just like you, I am in the mood for seafood these days! So glad you like the idea of these recipes, now I hope you will enjoy them – the subtle apple cider taste is so delicious with the sole! I could seriously have artichokes for lunch everyday, and the ‘à la barigoule’ recipe is certainly filled with flavors! Enjoy! Mimi x
France will be almost the most romantic country for me. Even with small “situations”, it makes it more real.
mimi, you are a very very very lucky woman
Oh merci Annie, I guess I am! Votre maison d’hôte est absolument charmante! Bravo! Je note bien l’adresse au cas ou! Merci, Mimi x
I do not know why but this post brought tears to my eyes!You in your red tights and pink roses!STUNNING.
Your son with his red roses, your little one walking in the rain……and the NEWS you shared with all of us!You are ABSOLUTELY right we cannot have enough little girls………Just Beautiful ODDUR………this Contessa forgives you for being late!XXX
Bonsoir ma belle Contessa! My middle name being ‘Valentine’, I always feel extra festive on Valentine’s day 🙂 It was a magical day, Oddur really showered me with love! Isn’t it sweet to have a little girl – now I have even more excuses to get pretty little dresses and another doll’s house I have been eying in the Galerie des panoramas in Paris. The roses come from a beautiful florist in Bordeaux called ‘Sadia Fleurs’, her flowers are beyond beautiful, I am already dreaming of my next bouquet, pretty pink and powdery renoncules. Mimi x ps: the young man with the red bouquet of roses is not my son, just a romantic Bordelais dandy buying a bouquet for his love! 🙂
MIMI VALENTINE THORISSON…………….OH MY!Even more special YES!
I had a MAGICAL DAY TOO!
I realized that he was not your son after I had written the comment but it was too late……the tears welling up in my eyes made me not see clearly!Way to old to be yours.
I do not think we have your perfume here but perhaps I shall google and see.I would love to smell the scent of MiMi VALENTINE!
I love all the fréderic Malle perfumes – I’ve been ‘wearing’ ‘Lipstick Rose’ and ‘Dans tes bras’ for a long time now, and ‘Portrait of a lady” simply completes me! I hope you find them, I know they have them at Barney’s. Mimi x
Yes!Barney’s has it and I have a Barney’s here in SAN FRANCISCO!
I will head to the city in search of the MIMI VALENTINE fragrances!!
Hello Mimi! A wonderful and sweet treat to receive your post on Monday mornings always such an inspiration for the rest of my week. On St. Valentines, I decided to prepare sole paired with your roast potatoes and pear clafoutis it was all very yummy, however your sole with cider cream sounds velvety delicious- next time.
My husband and daughter loved mommy’s new dessert and potatoes. Simple yet delicious, and yes plenty of laughs and wonderful stories at the table of which I am so grateful. Merci, Merci, for sharing your life and all its funny, and at times messy and complicated moments, but nonetheless, a life lived well. Like that last triad of photos…”LA VIE EN ROSE”
“A Portrait of a Lady” hmm…sounds like the perfect tile for your next cookbook. (as I patiently await your first in October!) Keep up the energy, be well and a beautiful week to you.
Bonsoir Gee Gee! Your valentine’s dinner sounds wonderful! Oddur and I had such a sweet day last Friday, and Gaïa is the little one that gets to be with mommy and daddy all the time! She’s so funny, a real little clown, and has grown up to understand that everything (nearly everything!) we do is always photographed, so whenever we are about to eat, she patiently asks if she can go ahead, or will it be photographed? We are smitten by the baby girl news, can’t help but think of Maurice Chevalier singing ‘Thank heaven for little girls’ in GiGi! Very soon I will be able to tell you the title of the cookbook, I can’t wait 🙂 Bonne semaine! Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi! What a lovely story! I’m in the process of learning French and your stories make me want to visit France again soon! 🙂 I’m so happy for you and your family to welcome another girl soon! 🙂 xo,dana
Oh merci Dana! Je suis très touchée! Come back soon to France! Mimi x
Thank you for the wonderful post and pictures today! We moved from Honolulu, Hawaii a year ago to a tiny town in California with a small vineyard. It’s always nice to go back to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu but I soon long for the quiet and peace of country living. Please send some rain our way to California, we are in a drought!
You are so welcome Sandee! Congrats on your move to California – I am not familiar with the wine country and can’t wait to visit one day! Must be so beautiful! Sending you some rain – we’ve had enough of that here! Warm regards from Médoc, Mimi x
Oh Mimi, can you believe it? Me and my husband have been to Bordeaux just once, for three days, and we ate at La Tupina (you featured a few posts ago), and to Le Petit Commerce (twice)! We loved both, but the latter was unbeliavably good. It was a not-too-cold September Friday night and we were seated outside, we ordered soem chilled white and razor clams, oysters, tiny shimps, and just the most amazing assiette de coquillage…Perfect! The atmosphere was also brilliant – cheerful people and a busy, happy street of eaters. What a great memory you just brought back – thank you!
Oh Valeria that’s wonderful! That’s just what’s great about ‘Le petit commerce’ – it’s a little gem of a place, with great freshly caught seafood and wine! So charming, so authentic. I hope you’ll visit Bordeaux soon! Mimi x
A beautiful post, full of interesting words, thoughts and situations. That is one of the best places in Bordeaux for fresh good seafood, with a really reasonable price as well! Fantastic in the summer when you can sit outside in the small street, watching people go past with some jealousy.
Thank you Jesse! So happy to hear you enjoy ‘le petit commerce’ – it is une bonne adresse in Bordeaux! Mimi x
Merci Jane! Mimi x
Certainement le plus beau blog culinaire! Tout est magnifique.
J’attends chacun des nouveaux articles avec impatience, ça me rappelle la France! Merci mimi :)) x
Merci Emilie! Je suis très touchée par votre gentilesse! Mimi x
I do love your rose coloured stocking, I feel quite inspired to find some for myself!
Many thanks for the razor clam recipe, Ive always felt I needed some local insight into how to prepare them beautifully.
I too am an almond milk fan, my current daily delight is warmed almond milk wizzed in the blender with dates to sweeten, a couple of slices of fresh root ginger root & several shakes of cinnamon – bliss!
In your dessert, if I made it with almond milk is it a just a direct quantity swap of milk & cream for almond milk? Many thanks.
Mmmm, thanks Fleur, I will try your almond shake recipe! I often add one banana, a teaspoon of matcha green tea powder and a tablespoon of almonds – gives me so much energy all day long. Almonds are one of the best’food’ for skin (much needed in winter!)! For the almond milk flan, it’s the same recipe, just all almond milk and no cream. The flan is not as creamy as with milk and cream, but I enjoy it! Mimi x
I absolutely loved this post, made even more special for me in particular as we are heading to Bordeaux in April. I am just worried now about the restaurant you didn’t mention! One never knows- especially when I live in Australia. But Le Petit Commerce is on my list though. Thank you for a delightful read.
Bonsoir Joanne! I would also advise you to go to La Tupina and Le bistrot du sommelier in Bordeaux – 2 excellent addresses for a good meal! Cadiot-Badié for chocolates, L’intendant for wines… Enjoy! Mimi x
Love your blog!!! I love France and haven’t been able to go for a while so it is lovely to read about being there!!
Thanks Julia! I hope you will come back soon! Mimix
Wow, you are so radiant and fresh in the last photo; no one could ever possibly guess you are mother to seven! Your husband must take very good care of you – when he’s on time, lol…love how sympathetic and supportive the restaurant patrons all were : )
Merci Tunie – your comment is much appreciated!:) Pregnancy does good things for one’s complexion! Best, Mimix
Mimi, congratulations ! Little girl – thats wonderful! I really hope I will have four little girls on my own at some point in the future 😉
Ahhh, I adore your blog. Always makes me want to cook and eat. I am vegetarian who eats fish and sea food occasionally – your sole recipe sounds delicious, cant wait to try it. Greetings from Cracow 🙂
Thank you for your kind words Alicja! Thank heaven for little girls! 🙂 Enjoy the sole recipe! Mimix
Oh the long lunch. Once popular here in Melbourne but back in the 80’s, the government took away our entitlement to claim “business lunches” as a legitimate taxation claim. Quel dommage!!! It just about destroyed the restaurant industry…..many went under. The long lunch, in France, and absolute favourite of mine. To get off the streets into a calming atmosphere (depends where you are!!) and savour something delicious and sip a little wine.
Whether it’s cider and cream or Calvados and cream…..you’ll always have me hooked, so I can’t wait to try your sole dish.
Merci beaucoup Mimi and garder bien xx Anita
p.s. The perfume you described sounds divine. A touch of cinnamon you say. Frederic Malle must have created it with cooks in mind 🙂
Bonsoir Anita! Here I am sipping a hot cup of verveine infusion, Prune, our little dog is sleeping on my lap… I love these quiet moment in the evening! So lovely to catch up with you. I agree, the long lunch is one of life’s little pleasure. All the lunches at home with my aunt and grand-mother in the South of France lasted at least 3 hours! I hope you will enjoy the cider cream with sole – c’est un plat divin! A bientôt Anita, Mimi x
holey-moley i just adore your life! france does have a certain “air” of love doesn’t it? seriously though, there is a sense of passion, fun, wine, family, fresh food, ‘time’ and laughter there that the states (particularly kansas!) will never have…
congrats on bebe! -jo
Merci Jo! It’s very much part of our culture to ‘enjoy’, particularly at the table! We are longing to do a little road-trip in the States, one day, visiting all the little restaurants and diners – I am especially fascinated by southern cuisine! Best, Mimi x
oh indeed there are many places 2 visit here – including our beloved National Forests!
also, after seeing you in beautiful RED tights i have 2 recommend this children’s book:
“The Princess with No Kingdom” by: Ursula Jones, illus: Sarah Gibb
it is a beautiful story complete with her having been given a gift of red tights!
i believe you all will enjoy!
best wishes, jo
Thank you Jo! I shall look into it on Amazon! Merci Mimi x
Lovely post, as always! I wondered, for the sole is the “cider” you mention alcoholic (fermented) or unfermented fresh apple juice, as we call it here in the States? I would think the alcoholic variety would work better here, but wanted to check. Best, Ken
Bonjour Ken! I use the ‘Cidre Brut’, which is a strong dry cider of 4.5% alcohol. Enjoy the recipe. Mimi x
What a wonderful post Mimi!! I really enjoy all of them but this one gives such a nice feeling, the recipes, the flowers, the photos….congrats darling!
I´m actually living in La Coruña, Galicia and the seafood here is at its bests, so I´m writing down your recipes so as to try them! Enjoy those amazing flowers!!! Patry x
Gracias Patry! It must be so beautiful in La Coruna – how wonderful! I can just imagine the amazing seafood variety you must have. 🙂 Enjoy the recipes. Greetings from Médoc. Mimi x
What a great meal you prepared, more of a feast actually. Amazing!
Merci Cheri! Mimi x
So enchanting…you make me long for a visit to the roots of France!
Thank you Bethany – come visit France soon, especially Médoc/ Bordeaux/ St Emilion/ Cap Ferret! 🙂 Mimi x
I will put those on the list!
This post is exceptional! Love the recipes. I can’t wait to try the artichoke recipe and the flan looks superb!
You are beautifully pregnant and the photos of you are lovely. Congratulations on the upcoming baby girl. Only one grandchild for me – a five year old boy. He is so special, but at times I just wish I could buy some of the girly things I see in the stores.
Loved the comments about Valentine’s in the restaurant. Sounds like a lovely time, once your husband arrived.
Merci Linda – I particularly love artichokes, and this recipe is so tasty. It’s so simple, the only thing that takes a bit of time is the trimming part – but it’s well worth it! Thank you for your kind wishes – and congrats on being a grandparent 🙂 Warm regards from Médoc, Mimix
Bonjour Mimi, I never grow tired of reading your beautiful stories. The pictures are gorgeous and hope the roses smell beautiful. xo
Thank you Mel! You are too kind! Mimi x
I love Bordeaux. French cuisine. Living in China makes it most difficult to find all the ingredients to cook a proper dish. Maybe when I move to Hong Kong I will have more international choices. But for now I live vicariously through your blog. Very nice photos.
Hello Rita! I can understand it is not always easy to find all the ingredients abroad (I lived in Hong Kong and even there it was difficult at times – I relied on Oliver’s & Citisuper then). But there are always ways to improvise, especially with sauces and basic recipes. Have a lovely day! Mimi x
You always look so stylish…….I bought a red Goyard bag w/ my monogram (messenger style) my last trip to Paris and still have not carried it, thought the red was a mistake……………seeing it on you made me take it out of hibernation!
Bonjour Stacey! Take out your red Goyard bag right now! 🙂 I love a red bag! Mimi x
Although all the photos are wonderful, I particularly love the photo of your daughter, dog and door – very striking.
Thank you! I love that picture too, and will have to find the time to put in a frame. Have a lovely day! Mimi x
Mimi, you are absolutely fabulous! I love you all the way from Houston. This post was a delight to read. Wonderful story of Valentine’s Day and all the happy people.
All of you are gorgeous!
Thank you, merci! You are too sweet! Mimi x
je viens de vous découvrir votre émission et votre blog! j’adore!! Bravo!!
j’aime beaucoup votre façon de faire connaître une ville et son terroir.Connaissez-vous Aigues-mortes(Gard)? je suis sûre que vous aimeriez la ville et ses remparts dont la spécialité sucrée est la fougasse!!
Bonjour! Merci beaucoup, j’espère que les recettes vous ont plu! Oui, je connais Aigues-Mortes – quelle jolie ville! Bonne semaine Micheline, et merci encore pour votre visite. Mimi x
It looks incredibly yummy as always Mimi and, of God, Oddur’s pictures are just sooo beautiful !
You seem to be living in a sort of dream so I didn’t expect you to have to go through the burden of administrative affairs … Well I guess you live in the same world as the rest of us after all !
And I’ll try that litlle restaurant very soon!
Good luck with the last months of pregnancy (can’t believe you’re 6 months through and still that slim …)
Bonjour Alice! I hope you will enjoy ‘Le petit commerce’ – can’t wait for warmer days and sit outside over a plateau de fruits de mer. It’s got such great ambiance. As for the administrative affairs… I think it’s impossible to live in France without some administrative issues, wouldn’t you agree 🙂 Thanks for your kind wishes – I have a trimester and a bit to go and will try my best to enjoy it (i.e. rest as much as possible!) – Have a lovely day Alice! Mimi x
je decouvre votre magnifique blogg et partage vos adresses
habitant la meme region que vous et appreciant mes escapades a bordeaux c est avec plaisir que je vs transmettrai mes trouvailles
si vous souhaitez egalement decouvrir biarritz n hesitez pas a me contacter
bien a vous
Bonjour Marie-France! Nous partageons le même prénom! 🙂 Merci pour votre visite, et oui, je serais ravie de connaitre vos bonnes adresses! Bonne journée, Mimi x
How lovely to have another girl, Mimi! Eerily beautiful shots of Bordeaux, I half expect to see a little red clad figure in the background – spooky!
Thank you Zelda! Bordeaux is glistening under the cold rain! Bonne semaine, Mimi x
Greetings from London. A beautiful romantic valentine with the gorgeous roses and the beautiful scented perfume, I love the combination. Amazing photos and delicious recipes. You look beautiful Mimi, a baby girl sounds wonderful, congrats xx
Merci Rowaida – evr so kind of you to say hi! Hope all is well in lovely London! ps: You made me hungry with that Chinese birthday meal on IG! Congrats on your daughter’s birthday. Mimi x
Ayer tarde, durante el trayecto al colegio de mis hijos,iba pensando en el maraviloso relato que acababa de leer.Todo era tan hermoso,las espectaculares flores,las preciosas imagenes,las magnificas recetas… pero lo mas impresionante es la felicidad y.la alegria que transmites. Tu pequeña se ve tan feliz… Estoy fascinada con las fotografias de tu marido. Feliz semana Mimi.
Es un placer compartir nuestras historias en Bordeaux. Gracias por su amabilidad Rosa! Feliz semana tambien! Mimi x
Acabo de hornear el clafotis de pera, el olor es tan delicioso… estoy impaciente por cocinar las nuevas recetas, es casi seguro que lo hare este fin de semana. Por cierto olvide comentar lo mucho que me han gustado tus medias y tu bolso ,me gustaria atreverme…Eres siempre tan amable.Gracias Mimi.
Bonjour Mimi, reading this blogpost just made my lunch break, so lovely walking the ancient streets of Bordeaux with you. Those doors!! Beautiful, beautiful… I always try and keep your posts for quiet moments, in order to being able to fully enjoy them. 🙂 One question, how do you prepare the cod roe? Has it been smoked when you get it? I never know what to do with it although I like the taste!
Thanks! Christine x
Thanks Christine – glad you enjoyed this post! For the cod roe, I pan-fry it on both sides, with a dash of olive oil, coarse sea-salt, lemon juice and fresh parsley. It’s delicious on toast, and so good for you! My husband, being Icelandic, adores this snack! Mimi x
Thanks so much, Mimi, I am going to try it!! 🙂
Merci! 🙂 Mimi x
Roses fix EVERYTHING! Almost! This post was awesome. Made me laugh as it was so humbly close to home on what really goes on during Valentine’s Day. It is never truly pwerfect but thats what makes it humorous and beautiful. I love how through any mishaps or mistakes as well as torential rain storms your love for each other shines bightly! Your words are fabulous and so is that outfit. I love the deep red (like Anna Karina!)paired with a little black dress. One can never go wrong with one of those! I am SO happy for you and Mr. Thorrison having another sweet little girl! You know what they say! Who runs the world? Girls! Well that and an amazing seafood dish each night helps as well. Ahhhh the blessings of living by the sea!
Merci for your kind comment Tiffany! Je t’embrasse! Mimi x
Lovely post. Happy Valentine’s Day! I was also frustrated on Friday because I hadn’t spent much time with my boyfriend in the previous days, but when I got home my love had roses and a cocktail ready for me. xo
Thanks! So happy to hear you had a great valentine’s day! Mimix
How wonderful Mimi… another little daughter… and no, we can never have enough baby girls!
Your lunches sound and look exquisite… and you are so right when you say, the best things happen at the table… :0
Merci Vicki! We are thrilled with the news 🙂 Sending you love from Médoc, Mimi x
I loved this post. It actually made me smile, I needed that.
Thank you Mimi
Mimi, that was one of the funniest articles you’ve posted!
As far as the recipes, Mon Dieu, sounds great!
Have a wonderful weekend!
THIS is exactly what life should be like. Living in the moment of a lengthy lunch, laughing your way through it and excellent seafood to top it off! My babies are still a bit too small to enjoy it in Spain, but one day…!
Oh beautiful! I actually save your posts so I can settle in and sit down and read through them slowly and properly and really savor everything. Thank you Mimi!
Mimi your cooking always looks so beautiful and inspires me to cook more. More importantly i was wondering where you got those blue plates, they are beautiful! Thanks, much love.
mimi, I love, love, your blog, your photography, your cooking, your children, your pups…as a new reader I’m confused, two kiddos away at school, how many altogether? names, ages? puppies too…. lol
thanks so much…greetings from texas
Mimi – truly inspirational. Just finishing another week of cooking for a group of eleven guests here in the snowy alps and reading your beautiful (pics and writing) blog – always gives me ideas for my next menu so thank you.
Being a ‘maman’ to Bibi,Lola and Dolly I do have a soft spot for girls – though they are always asking for a brother! Felicitations x
Bonjour Mimi,depuis longtemps je regarde et adore votre blog.C’est l’ideal, comme je voudrais le faire moi-même.Les photos créent une atmosphère ravissante.J’ai essaye aussi quelques recettes, hier par exemple la brioche a l’eau de fleur d’oranger (simple et genial).Normalement je n’écris pas des comments, mais depuis un demi an j’ai un blog aussi (malheureusement en allemand) qui connaissent seulement mes amis proches(www.suessealchemie.com).A Paris je suis très souvent, mais je ne peux pas attendre de visiter la région ou vous habitez de nouveau. Alors, merci beaucoup pour une inspiration enorme, je vais continuer a regarder votre publications avec enthousiasme.Isolde
You’re a true storyteller, Mimi! Loved this post all the way through – your words and recipes, your husband’s photos. And it’s a girl! Congratulations! xox
Lovely as always.
I must look for more recipes to use cider or Calvados. One time I had a customer, at the wine shop I work in bring me a bowl of Normandy chicken stew/soup she made with the Calvados I helped her choose.
Reading here this morning I am inspired to search for that recipe in earnest. The waning winter here in Santa Fe it may be the perfect end of winter sunday dinner.
Thanks for reminding me of that incredible sample she brought me.
Oh and Yes …. congrats with the news that you are having a girl… <3
I think this may be my favorite blog post of all time. Merci Mimi!
Hello Ms. Mimi, I really love your blog! I am only in my early 20s and single yet I enjoy reading about your family life/ cooking for family/ motherhood. I hope you don’t mind me asking what you majored in uni and which uni you went to? I just finished my degree and would also love to be a writer like you, but I have no journalism background. Thanks!
mimi, I so love your blog, your photos are gorgeous
Bonjour Mimi, I´m sooooooo in love with everything here!
I just saw your book on Amazon. Congratulations! I absolutely adore your blog and especially recipes – I tried few soups, desserts and few vegetarian dishes and everything came out splendid! It is really difficult to find working recipes these days! I would really love to buy your book but I am vegetarian and looking at your blog I know you cook a lot of meat. I am worried that most of recipes in the book will be for meat eaters so I am not sure I should pre order it. Please let me know Whats the percentage of the book recipes without meat. Cheers!
I just posted a comment and forgot to ask…. What is a great french red wine that you recommend for any occasion?
Gorgeous photos and beautiful stories. You are an inspiration and I am looking forward to your cookbook. I want to jump into these photos and eat and sip wine with the locals! I wish you continued success, a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful future with your family. I am sure Oddur knows what a lucky man he is to have such a beautiful wife who can cook as well as you do and who is a wonderful maman aussi! Bon Appetit!
I really can’t put into words how beautiful this post is… and how much it makes me want to travel! Thank you!
wonderful streets, despite the fact that it was a really long walk 🙂
Bonjour Mimi. Ce post de la St Valentin est toujours parfait, bien qu’il date déjà d’un an!
Moi qui suis une fille des steppes (je viens du Kazakhstan), cuisiner les fruits de mer comme les couteaux est toute une aventure, dans laquelle je ne me suis toujours pas lancée!
D’ailleurs, confession ultime, je regarde ton blog et tes photos … tout m’y parait tellement raffiné et beau! comme dans un musée, que je n’ai toujours pas réussi à faire une seule de tes recettes … trop peur de bacler!
Néanmoins c’est un régal de lire chacun de tes postes!
Merci pour ce régal visuel!
It’s so amazing. Everything you do for your blog. Your receipts just incredible and life so inspiring. I am dreaming about the same family as you have. Now I have my lovely husband and cute dog, but dream about big family. Thank Mimi for sharing your experience!