I’ll admit to you all, I’ve caught wanderlust especially after going on two business trips in two weeks. As much as it was tiring I loved going to each place and exploring and understanding the culture. One of my business trips was to Cognac, France. Unfortunately I can’t tell you all about the cool things I learned on the job but I can tell you about my favorite foods and finds I discovered at the airport and in the town of Cognac (along France’s countryside).
First off, let me start by saying France is gorgeous. I’d love to come back and really visit Paris sometime and see all it has to offer. But I did embark on my journey to and from via Charles de Gaulle airport. If you don’t know this yet, France is known for it’s wine (of course), cheese and chocolate. Each region has its own specialties to, for example: Cognac is a producer of cognac (pass the Courvioisier), Champagne produces champagne, etc.
Here are some of my favorite shops, products, and foods I discovered while I was there:
1. Quiche- I had a lovely spinach quiche one day when I wasn’t feeling great after traveling. I came across this little spot, La Mie Caline in Cognac that served quiche and other fast, on-the-go dishes. The quiche was ideal for a light lunch and I had this awesome Agrum (citrus) flavored Schweppes with it.
2. Macarons- I was so impressed with La Mie Caline I had to stop in again…especially when I saw them in one of the pastry cases in the store. They were about 4 EURO each which isn’t too bad and I brought three home to bring to my loved ones. They were a delish deal indeed!
Note: I also found a delish place with quiche at the airport but unfortunately I forgot what the place was called. I wish I remembered because it was a cute little place but just proves how good and popular quiche is in France.
3. Chocolate- Chocolate in France is extraordinary and that isn’t an understatement at all. On my way back walking to the hotel one day, I saw this chocolate shop, Jeff de Bruges was open so I stopped in. It smelt amazing so I picked a few small boxes to take back. I actually didn’t try it until I came back. It was so good I was tempted to order some online a few weeks back.
Note: I also picked up some cool, string-shaped chocolates in the airport. They were great but Jeff de Bruges definitely took the cake!
4. Pineau- Also known as Pineau de Charentes is a regional apertif local to Cognac. I was looking for something other than cognac to bring home and someone on my trip recommended I bring Pineau, which is a popular drink for locals of the Cognac region. It is a fortifed wine made from a blend of lightly fermented grape must and Cognac eau-de-vie. It’s aged similarly to cognac but smells like grape juice. It’s sweet and delish! I brought home a bottle of red & white so my family could taste it. Cheers!
Also, in case you didn’t know….the wine in Cognac is from the Bordeaux region (pictured above) so it also tastes great. I loved this 2010 Legende blend!
5. Kusmi Tea– While I was shopping in the airport before we left, I saw a brand I recognized, Kusmi Tea. A few months back, Kristen Heard (of the #SCBDTeam) wrote an article about them. I didn’t get to try the tea myself but I know she loved it so I picked up some Earl Grey tea to bring home. It’s tastes great and still have some at home that I look forward to drinking. Check out their website and tea selection, here.
6. Steak Frites- I never got to try a crepe in France (it’s on my bucket list) but the night before we left I got to have traditional steak frites at a restaurant in cognac called Le Coq D’Or (pictured above). The restaurant was adorable and the staff was extremely accommodating! They also had an amazing wine & beer selection!
The steak frites (above) were delicious, my steak was cooked to perfection and served with a small salad and frites, of course! It was cool seeing how the restaurants work in France too. The steak frites I got was actually on a prix-fixe menu but you could get any of the dishes seperately. The portion was perfect and the food tasted phenomenal.
7. MS MODE– This is for all my fashion followers out there. One of the last nights I was there I kind of strolled past this cute little boutique, MS Mode. I thought the clothes were really cool and stylish and I saw they had a sale. I actually need a shirt for the next day to fly back home in. So for 7 EURO I got this comfy, cute, pink long-sleeve shirt. The company MS Mode is actually a Dutch company that has stores all over Europe. I loved it!
I was only in France for a quick 5 days and on business but I’d say I still got to get a glimpse of what it’s like. I would gladly take an opportunity to go back and see what the other regions of France have to offer. Santé