My greatest challenge during the creation process of Delicious Days was keeping abreast of changes from afar. Addresses can vanish in a puff of smoke or suddenly close their doors for renovations. Chefs can change, standards can drop, and even from day to day meals, staff and the ambience of a place can vary. As the process of creating Delicious Days was nearing its end, however, I had to say ‘enough’ and draw a line, for there will always be more changes. As a writer, it’s also important that you trust your instincts, for often a passage reflects an experience on just one particular day.
While I was in the midst of writing, a favourite restaurant closed suddenly and I had to find another to replace it along the route. I also ditched an entire chapter on the Ritz Paris featuring Colin & his Cocktails, the Best Barman in the World. Shortly after I wrote the chapter I learned that the graceful old hotel on Place Vendôme was closing for a 200 million euro refurbishment in a bid to qualify for the new category of ‘Palace Hotel’. To leave the story in was just too risky. Thank goodness I didn’t for the hotel is still closed, with these kind of major upgrades sometimes taking years. On the Ritz website today is a statement that reads, ‘Currently closed and continues its journey towards the grand opening’.
Here’s a photo of the Hemingway Bar where I was lucky enough to watch Colin Field create his famous cocktails.
With the above in mind, below you will find a handful of major changes and updates since Delicious Days was whooshed to the printers…
- I am still mourning the news that my favourite little chocolate shop in Paris, A L’Etoile d’Or (p 155), was blown up in a gas explosion on Valentine’s Day. The investigation will take some time, and after that, who knows whether Madame Acabo will decide to rebuild.
- After a five year refurbishment and a series of delays, the Musée National Picasso (p 122) is currently scheduled to re-open on 25 October 2014.
- Jacques Genin (p 132) is reportedly no longer making his divine, individual-sized pastries to takeaway but apparently you can still order a mille-feuille in the tea salon, along with a ‘pastry of the day’. I got my Concierge Extraordinaire onto it a couple of weeks ago to check it out once and for all, and he emailed me from the salon to report that he was munching on a made-to-order mille-feuille and a lemon tart washed down with jasmine tea. Lucky him! You can still order desserts for four or more people in advance.
- One of my favourite tableware stores in the city, Dîners en Ville on Rue du Bac (p188), has sadly closed its doors. My Concierge Extraordinaire also reports that a second Jacques Genin store will take its place, so all is not lost! It is unclear yet as to whether his exquisite pastries will be sold here…or if there will be a tea salon on site, but you will definitely be able to buy those wonderful caramels, chocolates and fruit jellies.
- Le Violin d’Ingres on Rue St Dominique (page 98) has been refurbished and modernised and now has an open kitchen.
- Yukiko Vintage Paris (p 123) has changed its name to 25 Janvier but remains at 97, Rue Vieille du Temple, 3e.