London and Paris – the real must-sees

Wondering what the must-visit sights are in London and Paris at the moment?

Sure, in London you can visit Westminster, ride the London Eye, lunch at the Ledbury and dine with Heston. But my pick is a small place in Soho – 10 Greek Street – introduced to me by a good friend, full-time lawman and part-time foodie, MrNobody. Now MrNobody is a bit like a hipster bicycle – only one gear, doesn’t get there first, but that’s made up for by an abundance of charm and taste. 10 Greek Street is MrNobody’s favourite restaurant in the whole world, and I can see why.

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10 Greek Street menu

The menu changes daily, with a good selection of dishes worth sharing – there might be chorizo, crab, lamb. And the wine, oh my! Unfortunately I drank them out of 2009 Nine Popes (cheaper in the restaurant than Australian bottle shops) – sorry! – but the short list as smart and will please most. One other recommendation? If you can, sit at the bar – as I did with TheFlamingo – and chat to the staff, see what comes out of the kitchen, order as you go.

Chorizo sandwich - how good does this look?!

Chorizo sandwich – how good does this look?!

And as for Paris? Obviously there’s climbing the Eiffel Tower, gawking at the Louvre and an overpriced, overly long boat trip along the Seine, but skip all that and head straight to Septime. Now in the world’s top 50, Septime is not only smart, modern French cooking, it’s unbelievable value – you can do a three course fixed lunch for 28 euros. Yes. Madness. Utterly delicious madness. Given that so much food in Paris these days is made in factories and frozen (mon dieu!), this restaurant is a gem.

Dessert at Septime, Paris

Dessert at Septime, Paris

Also in Paris, if you want to push the envelope and try something even more modern, grab a seat for dinner at Bones. Chef James Henry (formerly from Au Passage – also worth a look) will challenge your pallet with a creative and smart degustation menu – duck hearts were a favourite on my visit.

Duck hearts at Bones

Duck hearts at Bones

Any visit to Paris is incomplete without something sweet, and I highly recommend the eclairs at Eclair de Genie. Christophe Adam is an artist and these sweets should probably hang in the Louvre. At around €8 an eclair, they’re not cheap, but the ingredients are superb – like this pistachio and strawberry eclair with intense French alpine strawberries.

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By all means marvel Rothko at the Tate Modern in London, and climb the stairs to Paris’ Sacré Cœur if you have time, but put 10 Greek Street, Septime, Bones and Eclair de Genie on top of your must-see lists. They’re the real treasures you won’t forget.*

*Can’t get away? Try Ester in Sydney and Garagistes in Hobart 

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Categories: Food, London, Paris, Travel, Wine

Author:manversusbean

coffee, food, calculated rambling

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