Gallic charm brings slice of Paris to Dublin – Food & Drink, Lifestyle – Independent.ie
Whenever life is beautiful, I like to add a soupcon of French 1960s pop to the equation. It’s my way of heightening the experience, like adding a Technicolour dropper to your black-and-white life.
It can transform the dullest experience. A touch of Yves Montand‘s La Bicyclette is enough to morph your daily commute into a carefree jaunt on a merry double-decker bus where everyone suppresses indulgent smiles. When life is a little flat, Brigitte Bardot‘s Bubblegum is the perfectly wonky soundtrack to raise a wry smile. And Edith Piaf‘s Sous Le Ciel De Paris, well, that is for when life needs to be just a little bit more bearable. It’s just one of those things, like Madeleines, perhaps.
There is simply never a situation, I feel, that cannot be vastly improved by the addition of French accordion and French cake. Okay, I realise I’m veering dangerously close to another French lady who liked her cake a bit too much, and things didn’t end well for her, so, moving swiftly on …
What I’m trying to say is I am a Francophile. I love France — the art, the food, the way of life, the weather, the beautiful cities.
My idea of a perfect day is running around Paris until I fall down from exhaustion (or from too much Kir pêche), but that happens way less often than I would like.
Surprisingly, good authentic French restaurants are thinner on the ground in Ireland than you might expect and the best ones don’t tend to shout about themselves.
Take Les Freres Jacques on Dublin’s Dame Street. This restaurant has been quietly here since 1986 (no mean feat in itself) and most people pass by its unassuming window without even noticing it (its doorway is off-street, around the side of the Olympia).