Burger King back in France

According to The Connexion:

“BURGER KING is coming back to France after 15 years away.The fast-food firm has announced plans for outlets at Marseille airport and one on the southbound A4 motorway at Reims. The sites will be run in partnership with Italian company Autogrill, which already manages 140 Burger King restaurants.

The chain, which has 12,600 restaurants worldwide, left in 1997 after failing to keep pace with the rapid expansion of rival McDonald’s which now has 1,200 branches in France.

Head of Autogrill in France Vincent Monnot said they have been looking at France – “a very important market” – for a long time and want to develop as fast as possible.

Burger King’s manager for the Mediterranean area, Leo Leon, said: “We are confident Autogrill will help introduce the Burger King brand to French travellers looking for high quality, tasty and good value food.”

The chain will offer standards like the Whopper as well as some new menu items aimed at meeting French tastes.

It has not yet commented as to whether it also hopes to open town centre restaurants, an area in which Autogrill does not specialise.” ###


Diner de Noël – Christmas Dinner

The evening after the “Réveillon,” which is Christmas Day, there was another French family dinner – less formal but equally delicious as the one the night before.  This festivity started with sipping champagne at 8 p.m., with hors d’ouvres of spiced olives and smoked salmon toasts.  Gifts were opened around 9:30, and then dinner was served:  entrée, plat, and dessert – less food than the previous evening’s six-course meal which was a good (literally & figuratively)!

I suppose my New Year’s resolution should be to eat less or drink less champagne – pas possible! 🙂

Poinsettia rouge

Poinsettia rouge


Boudin (sausage) with apple & fig

Boudin (sausage) with apple & fig

Magret de canard (duck) with orange sauce & chestnuts

Magret de canard (duck) with orange sauce & chestnuts

Vanilla ice cream with creme de marron (chestnut glaze)

Vanilla ice cream with creme de marron (chestnut glaze)

Pontsettia blanche

Pontsettia blanche

Christmas Eve: Le Réveillon de Noël

At this festive time of the year, I enjoyed a French Christmas Eve dinner, known as “Le Réveillon” – a typical family-center meal that started with “amuses-bouches” (hors d’oeuvres) and champagne, followed by a delicious, six-course meal with a “pause cadeaux” (a break to open gifts) before the main course was served.  The evening festivities lasted from 8 p.m. to around 1:30 a.m. (dinner started at around 9:30 p.m.), with lively conversations and discussions about politics, wine, food, and an update on personal family topics –  a truly magical evening!

table decorations


Foie gras toasts, endive stuffed with cheese, smoked salmon, salmon eggs


table setting

des huitres

Traditional: Fresh oysters on the half shell

Raw scallops with mango & cilantro

Raw scallops with mango & cilantro

Pumpkin soup with croutons & pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin soup with croutons & pumpkin seeds

Risotto with shrimp, asparagus, and cheese straw

Risotto with shrimp, asparagus, and cheese straw

De-boned pigeon baked in a pastry crust with foie gras sauce

De-boned pigeon baked in a pastry crust with foie gras sauce

Buche de Noel - fruits rouges

Traditional: Buche de Noel (fruits rouges)

Buche de Noel - Black Forest

Traditional: Buche de Noel (Black Forest)

yule log cakes

Yule Log Cake:  “The origins of this most famous and delicious of French pastries can be traced back to the ancient Celtic tradition of celebrating the winter solstice. On this day, the shortest of the year, the Celts would search for a large trunk of either oak, beech, elm or cherry and would burn it. The burning log was a symbol of the rebirth of the sun as well as an offering of thanks to the sun for returning to the earth.”

Source: French Today

December – My “Baby”!

Anticipation, unknown concerns, expectations, worry, excitement, labor intensive, growth, and labor pains. Since I started my blog nine months ago, these are some of the feelings I have experienced – similar to what a parent-to-be goes through. Coincidentally, I was also a December baby.

Now with my blog’s “birth” this month, I need to continue to shape and nurture it, through attention and loving care, as it continues to grow and reflect my personal influence and experiences. 

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a “child” – so, to all of you who have visited, liked, followed, and commented on my blog, thank you very much – your support has meant more than you can imagine.

Wishing each of you a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year full of peace and prosperity!

Kim at 24/7 in France


palm trees

Marché de Noël – Christmas Market

Holiday photos featuring local, artisanal products at a local Christmas market.


Singing bear

Singing bear

Traditional santons

Traditional santons

Santons are small colourful hand-made Christmas figures part of a typical French Nöel crèche (Christmas Nativity scene), made in the South of France. The idea was started by an artist in Marseille and quickly spread through Provence and Languedoc Roussillon. The traditional nativity scene includes figures representing the characters from local village life such as the baker, the fisherman, the butcher, the blind man, the shepherd, the parish priest, the flower seller, the storyteller and the chestnut seller, etc. Typical santon scenes include musicians and dancers who dance the farandole with joined hands. There are two types of Provençal santons: santons d’argile (hand-painted clay figures) and santons habilles (figures dressed in real clothes and carrying real baskets, lavender, fishing nets etc).

Source: Posterous Space

Unpainted santons

Unpainted santons

Products from Alsace

Products from Alsace

Madame Fee/Fairy

Madame Fee/Fairy

foie gras sandwich

Foie Gras

Foie Gras


Santa balloons


buche de noel 2

buche de noel 1


poster 2

Holiday pudding cake

Holiday pudding cake

(Above photos are mine)

From  24/7 in France

Political Serenade & Tax with a Capital “T”

With the real estate tax capital gains laws (English article link), newly  proposed by President Hollande, the below political serenade may just become a new national anthem 🙂

“Come back Sarkozy song is online hit:

A teenager’s song pleading for Nicolas Sarkozy to return to politics in France has passed one million views on YouTube in a month.Josh Stanley, 16, from Monaco, has recorded a song begging Sarkozy to return and save France from François Hollande.

The song also refers to “taxes that are sinking us”, Peugeot and Renault which have “broken”, and (big business boss Bernard) Arnaud who has “cleared off”.

Josh who was born in Monaco to a British father and German mother, has made previous songs from his bedroom, including one called The Good Life, and won “Idées jeunes 2012” – a competition held by the Monegasque education authorities for people aged 15-25. However his “Sarko” song is his first international success – his song is now being sold on iTunes and played on radio. (video below)

He told Nice-Matin he did not know a lot about politics, but had listened to radio news about the French elections and the new government “and I thought it was an opportunity for a song”.

However he may be disappointed – former First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy recently told French Elle magazine it was unlikely Sarkozy would return to frontline politics.

The lyrics include:

Nicolas Sarkozy, reviens je t’en prie, viens nous sauver la vie.
M. le Président, les français sont pas contents,
faut changer de gouvernement.
Tout ce que t’as juré, tu n’y arriveras jamais,
il est temps de dégager”

“Nicolas Sarkozy, please come back, come save our lives.
Mr President, the French are not happy,
it’s time to change governments.
All that you promised, you will never deliver,
it’s time to get out”

Source: The Connexion

Personal Note:  I have no political agenda in posting this article, as I couldn’t vote in the French election.

Mots Croises de Noel (Christmas Crossword Puzzle)

Try your hand at this Christmas French vocabulary puzzle – I had to do it to get the answers (posted below).

Bonne Chance!

Source: http://www.claudel.org


2- crèche

Paris et Ses Alentours – My ‘Like’ List

From my most recent trip to Paris, here are my ‘likes’ / personal recommendations:

Soupe a l’Oignon Gratinee

Soupe a l’Oignon in Montmartreâ

This can be tricky! Some brasseries and typical restaurants will take a boxed oignon soup, add onions, bread, and cheese and pass it off as the “real” thing. You can sometimes tell, as it will be very salty and have a more gravy-like texture. I always order (authentic) onion soup, as the entrée on the fixed menu, at the Cadet de Gascogne restaurant in Montmartre – you would think the food here would be just average, since this is a very touristy area of Paris, but I have been more than satisfied each time. I love to sit by the front window to people watch, as I enjoy a delicious meal there.


Since I usually travel outside of Paris to the Château of Versailles, I usually eat lunch at the nearby Taverne de Maitre Kanter. The entrance to this very large, Parisienne-like brasserie was theatrical: entering through a pair of red velvet drapes as if arriving on stage. It’s amusing to watch the lively hustling and bustling of the friendly and efficient staff, while enjoying “les delices.”

Chocolat chaud

This trip, I went to Angelina’s on Rue de Rivoli to take in the wonderful hot chocolate, decoration, and atmosphere of this well-known establishment. Their reputation precedes them, so expect to wait in line (yes, even in off season). During a previous trip, I had hot chocolate at Le Grand Colbert, featured in the 2003 movie “Somethings Gotta Give.”  You can also stroll through the nearby, covered galleries on Rue Vivienne to walk off the calories.

Château on the side

Photo: Official website

At the Chateau in Fontainebleau, I inquired about the horsedrawn carriage rides and was told that they only take place during the summer – WRONG!  I had spoken by phone, about a month prior,  to the carriage driver so knew he operated in November.  As I walked around the chateau, I happened to see a sign for the “calèches” and that one was running every 30 minutes or so.  It was a two-horse carriage taking riders around the grounds with a short narrative by the driver; ride lasted about 20 minutes and involved the horses both walking and trotting – very amusing and enjoyable.

Paris Walks

This well-known and highly recommended company provides 2 hour, guided thematic walks, which I always try to do while in Paris. The group walks are amusing and informative, taking you through back streets and areas off the beaten path. I first met the owners, during one of their walks, back in 1997, while I was living and working in Paris, and I still enjoy them.

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Fairies of the Forest: A Royal Ballet

Seeing that the Le Ballet des Fees de la Foret de Saint-Germain was being held at the Versailles Royal Opera during my recent trip to the area, I thought it might be fun to attend and watch a little classic ballet (read Baryshnikov).  I love baroque style decor, and this is the place where Queen Marie Antoinette performed – I was very excited!

The Opera was dimly lit and bigger than I imagined, although not huge, as I was escorted to my ground floor seat.

Stage curtain

The orchestra music began, with works right out of the time of Louis XIV and Molière, and I felt transported back in time.  The cast acted out a theatrical play, including Cirque de Soleil-type acrobatics and entertaining feats. What an absolutely delightful surprise – it was so well done and truly entertaining! (videos below)

Video clips: