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Posted 4/17/2018

I am presently in France and staying at a guest establishment close to one of the airports. The most important criteria are as follows: that the bed is clean and the bedding fresh. And of course the room is a non-smoking one.

I commute into Paris by train or bus. The one is less expensive and quicker, the other, more scenic. The objective of this exercise is to write a piece provisionally titled ‘Pauper’s Paris’. This title will change, I’d imagine, since it is the title of a book lent to me be friend.

The book appealed to me since most people who are aware of Paris – and its magic – know how expensive it is. How wonderful, then, to search out the little bars, eateries and delis where the locals shop.

My friend and I found a bottle of particularly delicious Pinot Noir at a wine store. Armed with a bottle opener and two plastic glasses, we then found a baguette, some delicious cheese and salami, olives, a tomato that tasted of the sun and went to the banks of the Seine where we had our picnic.





We were especially delighted since, when flying on the new AirFrance Airbus, Business Class the previous night, this wine was served as one of the red wine options – and we loved it. Being comfortable when travelling across oceans is important to us. And honestly, at the time we could afford it.

That doesn’t mean that we squander money. It also doesn’t mean that we need free meals. And as a food writer, restaurant commentator and judge of many chefs’ competition, I cannot see why a good review of a restaurant takes one to the subjective conclusion that the writer was paid by someone. Actually, writers do get paid – more often than not, a paltry amount. I consider myself a reasonably good cook. And with a not-inconsiderable portion of experience, awards and unsullied reputation under my belt, it all makes for a delightful life, in which I can voice my opinion in any way I wish.

Actually, I do wish we were being hosted and toasted around Paris. Imagine being paid to write good reviews and as an added extra, having the food and hooch on the house.


But then, the truth is different …