Thursday, 5 March 2015

#TBT: A GASTRONOMICAL FEAST in LYON, FRANCE


After my old portable hard drive broke, I've been even more conscious about archiving and filing older and new digital photos. It's inevitable to find folders or photographs I have almost forgotten.


I was meant to go to Lyon in east-central France for work three years ago, but it was cancelled. But since the Mr has close friends who live there, we decided to go ahead with the weekend trip. 


I wasn't blogging then and had a rickety camera that not even pensioners nowadays would use, so the quality of my photos are not up to my current standards. I'd like to share that trip with you nonetheless. 



Main entrance to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière



Up to see a panoramic view of Lyon



Panoramic view of the inner city of Lyon from the roof the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière


























Can you spot me in the middle of Place des Terreaux?




This fountain was sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in 1892. You may not have heard of him before, but some of you may have seen his most famous design: the Statue of Liberty in New York.  La Fontaine Bartholdi will be temporarily removed this year for restoration.



Lyon is a major silk production and weaving hub (the main reason why I was originally meant to travel there for work), and a significant setting for the beginnings of cinema as it was there where Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph. The most famous Lyonnais is the aviator and 'The Little Prince' author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


France's third largest city (after Paris and Marseille) is also reputed as the country's gastronomical capital. You read it right: it's not Paris.



Our Lyonnais friends are neighbours with a Japanese chef who owns a restaurant the size of a tiny studio flat in London. If you've ever watched Rachel Khoo's cooking show where she also hosts diners in her tiny flat in Paris, our Japanese chef's dining area was smaller than that.


He served us a seven-course meal for dinner -- a dinner that stretched for five hours.  I have experienced dining in Italy which starts late, from around 9pm, but still finishes before midnight. In Lyon, we started eating at 8pm. By 1am, we were served a platter of cheese each after a first round of dessert. To an Asian like me who almost always would find cheese simply as garnishing on my pasta, I stayed away even from cheddar for a couple of weeks back in London. 



























After three years, I think I'm forgiven for not remembering the names of any of the food I had that night, but you can agree with me that it was well-documented, to the amusement of our French and Northern Irish hosts who would wait for their Asian guest to finish taking photos of each plate after every course. Remember, that was before the time most have taken on the annoying habit of Instagram-ming every meal while everyone else around the Instagrammer is also on suspended time.


The following day, our friends took us to the market to stock up on charcuterie and cheese (yet again!) for our Swiss meal of Raclette.



Won't find these in England, but definitely in the Philippines, also with the heads still attached



Cheese overload



The Raclette grill ready for take off



Coupelles at the ready





























Raclette is always accompanied by baby Bintje, Charlotte, or Raclette variety potatoes, pickled onions and a melange of other preserved vegetables. The Marlboros are optional.








There are places you go to just to drink, and then there are places you go to just to eat. It was the latter, one weekend in Lyon in 2012.  There are more spots to see and more cheese to eat there, of course, and we'll be back in due time. Perhaps when La Fontaine Bartholdi is restored.



Have you been to Lyon? What makes it different from Paris?






5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place, I'd love to go and see it!! Love the buildings. Love all the cheese as well, haha. I always eat loads in France :))) I hope you have a great weekend my dear xx

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  2. I can't believe that I didn't have any raclette this winter. I've never been to Lyon; it looks like a great place to visit!

    www.LUXESSED.com

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  3. I had no idea that the author of Le Petit Prince was from there! It's one of the books I bought whilst living in France and a favourite of mine. Although I have visited many areas of France, I can't believe we have still not had the weekend in Lyon that we have often discussed!!! Your meal sounds amazing. Lyon's reputation for good food is one of the reasons we had planned to go. You have reminded me to take out the Raclette set from the back of the cupboard too!

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  4. I have been to Lyon some years ago and I have enjoyed to see the city again in your post! It's a lucky you could take new photos...I am sure you loved your staying there!

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  5. The place and the food looks amazing! thanks for sharing!

    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

    ReplyDelete

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