Hot Chocolate at Brasserie La Belle Epoque, Lourdes, France

Today I was one of over 5 million tourists and pilgrims to visit the town of Lourdes each year. Yes, 5 million. Lourdes is a famous little place because of 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous who, back in 1858, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a cave (she saw the vision 18 times actually). It then became a centre for pilgrais. Now there are so many visitors each year, that Lourdes actually has more hotels per square kilometre than any place in France other than Paris (270 hotels). It was obviously low season when we went because not [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:51+00:00April 6th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Lourdes|

Hot Chocolate at Cafe de L’Europe, Pau, France

Opening a café on the main square of any town in France is a no brainer. Today it is 21 degrees Celsius in March and everyone is outside. We grab the only two free seats at Café Europe and order two hot chocolates. In France unlike many other countries, being a waiter is a respectable profession, one that is taken very seriously. The ones working here today show that it takes a lot of skill. There must be over 50 tables outside with 2-3 chairs per table. The three men carry trays taking and filling all the orders in an [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:51+00:00April 4th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at River Blues, Pau, France

I can’t imagine that there are many cafes where you can have a good hot chocolate while watching Olympic level kayakers practice. All this with the Pyrenees in the background. River Blues is exactly that. Located on the second floor of the building half of this café/bar/restaurant is indoors with windows on three sides and the other half is a covered outdoor terrace with comfy chairs. From here you can watch, depending on the time of day, anything from elite kayakers to absolute beginners (20 euros for a lesson if you are interested!) The venue is the Stade des Eaux Vives, a [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:51+00:00April 2nd, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at deNeuville, Pau, France

Across from a very large church and the courthouse is a pretty green park with a water fountain in the middle. Right next to the water fountain is this little chocolate shop. As I have mentioned before there are lots of chocolate shops around Pau most of which don’t serve hot chocolate. But this one had a few little tables and chairs outside. Promising… I ask inside and not only do they serve hot chocolate but they serve a whole selection of them and in various sizes. There is the natural hot chocolate but you can also get it flavoured [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:51+00:00March 28th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at I’Isle au Jasmin, Pau, France

 Perched on top of a hill in the middle of town is the Castle of Pau. This is where King Henry IV was born and, if you are interested in that kind of thing, also houses the biggest and most beautiful collection of tapestries outside of Paris. The castle and its gardens are open to the public until sunset and are free of charge. After walking through the castle, if you come out via Boulevard des Pyrenees and you can’t miss I’Isle au Jasmin. The terrace is covered with green beach chairs, each giving customers a stunning view of the [...]

2017-01-04T22:42:01+00:00March 26th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at L’Aragon, Pau, France

Aragon sits on a corner with a large outdoor terrace. From this traditional brasserie, with its simple metal tables, red chairs and waiters dressed in black pants and crisp white shirts, you have a clear view of the Pyrenees and today the weather is perfect. The hot chocolate here is the hottest hot chocolate I have ever had which gave us lots of time to take in the surroundings as it cools to a drinkable temperature. As the sun set, dozens of people came out to walk up and down Boulevard des Pyrenees. A German Sheppard runs by and then [...]

2017-01-04T22:42:01+00:00March 23rd, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at L’Atelier du Chocolat, Pau, France

In the heart of Pau, right off the main square is a little chocolate shop called L’Atelier du Chocolat. It isn’t the only chocolate shop in town, as there seems to be one on almost every block. The locals obviously love their chocolate. Most of the chocolate shops don’t sell drinks, however this one had a sign in the front window saying it did. How could I ignore it … We entered and asked for two. You have a choice, you can get standard hot chocolate, or one with cinnamon, coffee, orange, ginger or even pepper. As she prepares our [...]

2017-01-04T22:42:01+00:00March 19th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Pau|

Hot Chocolate at Les Arcades, Toulouse, France

Sunday mornings are usually pretty quiet in France. The stores are closed, the roads are bare. A man walks around the corner with a copy of today’s newspaper and turns into a local café. A small truck arrives nearby. Three people get out and set up a table with a red tent and start selling baguettes. Magically half a dozen people appear within minutes to buy these. Slowly but surely Toulouse starts to wake up. Right in the heart of Toulouse is Place du Capitole. On one side of the square is the city hall, a stunning building that dates [...]

2017-01-04T22:42:01+00:00March 17th, 2012|EUROPE, France, Toulouse|
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