Wednesday, 9 January 2013


The lighter year has started with a bang. To quote Barry White .................................
"It may be winter outside but in my heart it's spring" 

 (go on you really didn't know that did you) but honestly I can't imagine him singing it!

All of us are on the straight and narrow  - hopefully soon to be narrow 'er' and in this cold and weary time of year you really need something to perk up the tastebuds - enter the magical world of L'Olivier

A wonderfully decadent store, which has been in Paris since 1822, although I should imagine that they have refreshed the stock a little since those days.

It is one of those places that you long for when trundling through the aisles at Tesco, designed to a fault, full of solid wood and plate glass windows, with a subtle whiff of expensive oils and herbs lifting the air. No trolly dash banging of shins here, oh dear me no.

Knowing I am a greedy foodie a very kind friend bought me a delightful mini hamper at Christmas, stocked with those things you would never buy yourself but once you have tasted them there is no going back.

One such delight was a sparkling jar of Raspberry Vinegar (as seen above) It was a taste sensation, totally transforming a humble plate of mixed green salad - with a small amount of fresh coriander thrown in for a bit of punch. Now I know it contains sugar (oh the horror) but a teaspoonful of the raspberry liquid goes a long way, so frankly who is counting. I know Raspberry Vinegar has been around for ages, in one form or another, but this was something else. Quite honestly you can imagine yourself the sort of person who goes out shopping in a smart suit and a pair of milky calfskin gloves, smelling of some delicious whiff or other. Just like me then, NOT.

Can I add that when I said "All of us" I was misleading you. Teenage son sticks solidly to the Pizza diet, he does vary the toppings occasionally for the sake of his health. As for the pooch he satisfies himself with a toilet roll palate cleanser and a contents of kitchen bin chaser, ever the gourmet. You can't please everyone - oh so true.

Do share your own culinary pick me ups - I am on the hunt for tempting but without too many calories.



  1. Hello Susan:
    Alas, as you will know only too well, it is no good looking to us for any culinary hints or, as you put it, pick me-ups. However, your Christmas hamper sounds to have been the most wonderful gift and we should have very readily fallen upon its contents. As for the store, from which it heralded, absolute bliss.

  2. Oh I love the new look's gorgeous!! And your post gave me some smiles and some laughter...just what was needed on another dreary January morning.

    I haven't much to share in the way of culinary delights but reading you today has made me want to check out some of the special aisles in my grocery store next time I'm in!

  3. A friend of mine just returned from Paris and is sending me some caramel sea salt to use in cooking. I'm so excited about that (it really doesn't take much to make me happy, ha) I can hardly to wait to get them. We have a Central Market, Whole Foods, and a Trader Joe's here in the States. I've been to two of the three and this month I want to go to Trader Joe's for a peek (its just been open for a couple of months or so). I've heard it is really a cool grocery store with all the bells and whistles that fancy grocery stores have.

    I love your new look!

  4. I was so happy when someone gave me smoked garlic. Wonderful.

  5. Just to let you know, Susan, that I am commenting here in a smart suit and a pair of milky calfskin gloves, smelling of some delicious whiff or other. It's the least I can do to uphold the undoubted dignity of your establishment. May I recommend the following:

    Wash a large breakfast mushroom. Remove stalk. Add a good dollop of goat's cheese and a dash of a nice sweet chilli sauce. Bake for 15 min in a warm oven.

  6. Thank you Mise that sounds rather lovely I shall give it a try this weekend.

  7. I am wearing Chanel No. 5 - do I qualify? Oh no, I have dirtied my gloves!

    Love the new look m'dear.

  8. What a glorious emporium! As for food, simplify and eat less is my January mantra! Happy New Year Susan and thank you so much for visiting the Lane, lovely to meet you,

    Sarah -x-

  9. That raspberry vinegar sounds divine! I'm on a temporary protein and veggie diet (no carbs)....very boring I must say. So for the next two weeks, I can't read any blog posts on sweets and yummy food :(
    PS - Love your new blog header :)

  10. I believe both you and Mise are a delightful duo I shall not miss checking on those grey foggy mornings of the (rain drenched) Pacific NW! If any resolution was to be made for 2013,(I never do!) it would be laughs, laughs and more laughs!
    Having blended the best of Flemish and Welsh cooking, any 'entremets' might just be on the little more on the heavy side than you desire...but oh, so delicious!
    L'Olivier reminded me how much I detest large food stores with their (decidedly dangerous at times) shopping carts...
    Intriguing banner...Looking forward to tomorrow...

  11. oh that sounds good. No tips - I use a lot of black pepper much to Joe's annoyance !

  12. A sprinkling of toasted pine nuts (ONLY a sprinkling mind), and a good slurp of balsamic and olive oil on a humble plate of mixed green salad is divine. And if I am feeling particularly decadent, a grating of parmesan too.

    I do believe I have a pair of milky calfskin gloves, never before worn. Not even to Waitrose. I could lend them if you like?

  13. I can only advise with regard to mush I'm afraid, as my jaw is still refusing to cooperate when it comes to chewing. I do find a nice blackcurrant sorbet most refreshing, and a far less calorific choice than icecream!

    Loving the new look!

  14. Ooh - I fancy a trip there myself, and the raspberry vinegar sounds divine! Sadly, they'd probably see me approaching, and based on my attire, bar me from entering after shoving a two litre bottle of Sarsons in my hands...

  15. Oh it all sounds so yummy! Unfortunately I'm trying very hard to NOT think about food so any culinary pick-me-ups have been locked away into that inaccessible part of my brain that also contains all things financial.


  16. Tried to comment yesterday
    and Blogger wouldn't have
    it. Sick in bed today with my
    trusty computer and happy
    that I'm allowed to leave a
    few words. I loved your
    description of your alter ego
    shopping for raspberry vinegar!

    We are also on the "lighter track"
    this month. I do think it is important
    that smaller portion size is balanced
    by greater flavor....So you are most
    definitely evaded in the right direction
    with these yummy condiments!

    Stay well and enjoy your weekend.

    xo Suzanne

  17. Ooooh and Yum. I am so far away from such goodness, but I can dream.
    No calf skin gloves here...fuzzy jammies and a hot water bottle waiting. It is damned cold!! All of that goodness, whew. I shall plan a dream tonight about shopping there. Love, E.