Chic celeb chef Rachel Khoo, star of TV series The Little Paris Kitchen, has been teaching us to cook french style in terms of food and space in her tiny Parisian apartment.
Amanda Statham caught up with her to get the low down on the Paris hot spots you have to try.
We love your style! How can we steal it?
Hit the vintage stores in Le Marais, such as Coiffeur Vintage on Rue de Rosiers. I also love Vide Grenier (people clear out their attics for car boot-style sales) where you can get a real bargain.
[Rachel Khoo's Wild Mushroom Terrine recipe]
[Rachel Khoo's Spring Lamb Stew]
Where are your favourite places to eat in Paris?
I like Mary Celeste a French tapas place which is great for oysters although it does get very busy, so might be worth reserving. The team behind it also own Candelaria Paris, a small taqueria, where you push a wall and behind it is a small cocktail bar!
I rarely go to blow-the-budget places which can sometimes be very stiff when all you want to do is relax and have a nice glass of wine and because not all of my friends are mega rich. I love Septime though, which is run by a young French guy who’s very creative, however it’s a bit of a nightmare to book since Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been!
And the best places for a drink?
Le Carmen in south Pigalle (SoPi) is very decadent and serves good cocktails. There are loads of wine bars, like Frenchie, which has a great wine list and small plates of charcuterie to nibble on. I also recommend Rosa Bonheur in my local park, Les Buttes Chaumont in Belleville, where you can enjoy a drink outside with all the hipsters in the great beer garden (be warned the queue can be crazy in summer).
How can we avoid tourist traps and live like a Parisienne?
Go to a market, there’s a great one in the 12th from Tuesday to Sunday, and choose some tasty salad, fruit and cheese, then pick up a bottle wine, some bread (my favourite bakery is Dupain et Desidees, voted best croissant maker in Paris) and sit by the River Seine at Pont Neuf.
When the weather's good, everyone hits the canal, it's really chilled and I like that everyone enjoys the wine but doesn't get drunk and have fights and throw up, there’s more grace to it. As an alternative to a picnic there’s Pink Flamingo by Canal Saint Martin, which is a pizza place that gives you a pink balloon to hold while you sit by the water so the delivery guy can spot you – I love it!
And if you're really Parisienne you go to the cinema in the 5th or 6th at the weekend, where there are loads of places showing old black and white movies (the American ones are always subtitled).
Final Paris tips for Brits?
The best website to tell you what’s going on in the city before you visit is Gogo Paris and for places to eat try Paris by Mouth. If you’re into music, you can often see a band that’s starting to make it big in the UK really cheaply in Paris – I saw New Young Pony Club for five euros and a free beer at Flechedor, a small venue opposite Mama Shelter. Oh, and if the seat’s been turned backwards on a (free) Vélib’ bike, it means it’s broken!
Rachel Khoo’s new cookery book My Little French Kitchen: Over 100 recipes from the mountains, market squares and shores of France is available to buy now.