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Yesterday style journalist Karen Wheeler, a regular guest blogger on LLG, shared five things about France that any visitor should know to celebrate the publication yesterday of her first book, Tout Sweet, in America.  Today I’m posting the next five. Also —in  interests of full disclosure, you may notice that the quote on the front cover of the US edition is from a very familiar blog…it was taken from a review of Tout Sweet  before I knew Karen…

6 The best steak-frites in Paris is from Le Relais de L’Entrecote. The queue at the St Germain restaurant – there are three of them in Paris – can be up to an hour but it’s reasonably priced, the steak is delicious and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is on the record as eating there. No menu, just one question: how would you like it cooked?

7 Chanel No 5 might be the bestseller but Chanel No 19 is the connoisseur’s choice.  This expensive-to-produce, woody green concoction is considered ‘a perfumer’s perfume’ and has spawned many copies, most recently by Chanel itself with Chanel No 19 Poudré  – a new version loaded with expensive iris root.

8 Kugelhoff is the best kept secret in the boulangerie. There are few things more dispiriting – and catastrophic for blood sugar levels – than the continental breakfast but I make an exception when Kugelhoff is on the menu (which it isn’t very often). This sweet brioche-like pastry from Alsace that is vastly superior to it’s plainer counterpart the croissant.

9 Tete de Veau (veal head) and pig ear pate …are two offal dishes that taste exactly as you would imagine (gelatinous and crunchy respectively.)

10 French people love to tailgate you at 130 km per hour while simultaneously chatting into a hand held mobile …because the fine for doing so is only €35.

Karen Wheeler is the author of two bestselling books about her life in France. Her first, Tout Sweet: Hanging Up my High Heels for a New Life in France came out in the UK in 2009 & was published in the US this week by Sourcebooks.  More details of her life in France can be found at and you can follow her on Twitter at @mimipompom1

Previous guest blogs by Karen for LLG are here.


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It really is true about the steak frites. On one particular visit, my fellow diners included Karen Elson and a table full of Models 1. Models eating steak ?!!!
This book has my name written on it- Must buy! This is my ode to Parisian favourite Laduree…


I LOVE that steak – I’ve only ever had it in London, sadly. Relais has two branches, one in Marylebone and one in the City. The sauce! The fries! The salad! The house wine! The deliriously splendid lack of anything approaching choice! Here’s the English spin-off website.

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