Europe, France

Paris: Gentle Gourmet Café

I’ve been busy and I’m back here in the U.S. currently testing some recipes for a few cookbooks. I’ve so much to reveal here to you, but not just yet… In one month, we head to Mexico City and I’m hoping to share most of my travel posts before we go. Let’s see, we spent December and some of January in Paris exploring gourmet shops, crafting vegan comfort dishes using local French produce/ingredients and sipping local ciders and wines. It was lovely to be offline for awhile to absorb the local culture of Paris unlike our last trip to Paris in 2008 when we devoted most of our time seeing the iconic landmarks. I had the pleasure using fresh herbs like French tarragon in my pasta dishes and sauces; their tender and long dark green leaves have a beautiful aroma that is reminiscent of anise. I wish I could have fresh tarragon in my kitchen here all year round.

Yesterday at a local market (here in the U.S.), I was tad annoyed with their leeks, chopped down to just the whites. Where are their fabulous dark green leaves – the ones I can use in my stock and sautéed dishes? In Paris, leeks keep their beautiful dark green leaves.

Let’s start with Gentle Gourmet Cafe, I’ve been following the owner on Instagram for a long time and enjoyed drooling at their vegan French desserts, especially the croissant (sadly I didn’t try it during my time). Their website is currently down and has been down since December (due to being hacked) fortunately I have photographed the menu pages. As of January 2014, they are open from Tuesday – Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30 pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm. So we went a few days after Christmas Day and it wasn’t too busy that day and there was only one waiter. Service was superb (they even have English menus available if you need it) and all the food was delicious, but we most enjoyed our starters and desserts.

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: For the starters, we had their vegan cheese balls in a cider-based batter, deep-fried and served with a mixed lettuce salad with apple slices, walnuts and a cider-based dressing (€11) + cassolette of wild mushrooms with a cream and herbs sauce (€8). The fried cheese balls contained Vegusto cheese, and they were pretty tasty. I would try their cheese balls first if I were you.

In French:
1. Salade Honfleur avec trois beignets de fromage végétal sur une salade mesclun, lamelles de pommes vertes et rouges, cerneaux de noix et vinaigrette au cidre et à l’échalote (€11)
2. Cassolette de champignons sauvages, sauce à la crème et aux fines herbes (€8)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: For the main, we had a New Orleans Filo pouches stuffed with a mix of three rices, pecans, kale, shallots, green pepper and chiles and served with a lightly-spiced cajun sauce (€17). This is my favorite main among the other two I’ve tried.

In French:
Aumônière Nouvelle-Orléans farcie d’un mélange de trois riz, noix de pécan, kale, échalote, poivron avec sa sauce cajun légèrement épicée (€17)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: The heart-shaped potato puree from the main was interesting. It was a tasty dish though. The main was tofu scallops with a soy cream, grainy-mustard and red onion sauce with sautéed green vegetables and a herbed potato puree (€16). I like the grainy-mustard and red onion creamy sauce, especially the creamy potato puree.

In French:
Tofu sauce moutarde a l’ancienne accompagné d’un sauté de légumes verts avec et une purée de pomme-de-terre aux herbs (€16)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: For the main, we had a bourguignon of portobellos, seitan, parsnips, chestnuts, prunes and carrots in a herb-infused burgundy wine sauce served in a roasted Hakaido pumpkin half (€22). The bourguignon was rich and hearty with great flavors. We enjoyed the fact that the seitan wasn’t too prominent in the dish, allowing the other ingredients to stand out as well. This was the most expensive main on their December Gourmet Mains list.

In French:
Bourguignon de portobellos, seitan, panais, marrons, échalote et pruneaux marinés dans une sauce au vin rouge. Servi dans un demi potimarron. (€22)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: I had to try something unique and chose this dessert because of my recent love for candied chestnuts. The waiter commented on my choice and kindly added, “Excellent choice, it is very good!” The name of the dessert is a Christmas Napoleon with vanilla and chestnut pastry cream and sprinkled with candied chestnut pieces (€9). I enjoyed the sweet nutty flavors from the cream and the candied chestnut pieces. It was the heaviest of the three desserts we’ve tried.

In French:
Mille-feuilles de Noel à la crème pâtissière a la vanille et à la crème de marron aux éclats de marrons glacés. (€9)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: We also had a crème brûlée with Grand Marnier and glazed oranges.(€8) I was very excited to see a memorable garnish: uchuva (Colombia) aka golden berry, there are many names for it. I would love to go back to Bogota or Colombia again! It was a good dessert, had nice flavor from the Grand Marnier, good crust and on the softer side underneath (more like a pudding). Or should I say sweet, citrus-based creamy custard with a delightfully cracking sugar crust?!

In French:
Crème brûlée au Grand Marnier et oranges confites. (€8)

Paris, France: Gentle Gourmet

Gentle Gourmet Café: We had an AppleTatin with calvados and cinnamon-laced caramel served with whipped cream. (€7) Caramelized juicy apples, calvados, and light puff pastry taste lovely together. A classic French apple confectionary.

In French:
Tatin de pommes caramélisées au calvados et à la cannelle. (€7)

Gentle Gourmet Café

address: 24 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France
contact: + 33 1 43 43 48 49
connect: website + facebook + twitter + instagram
hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30 pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm

photo diary: paris #1

December 2013











Have you been to Paris and/or Gentle Gourmet Café? Which dishes would you like to try from this post?

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  • Reply Stefanie 2014-01-17 at 11:38 pm

    Oh man, Paris is the best. I would love to be able to go back and try a vegan croissant!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Stefanie ♥ I’m loving your vegan fashion pieces. Now a favorite fashion blog to read! :)

  • Reply Caeli @ Little Vegan Bear 2014-01-18 at 5:05 am

    Wow Rika, what beautiful photos! The food all looks amazing, but I especially love the look of the filo parcel. The dessert also looks like some kind of centrepiece decoration. Wow! Look forward to hearing more of your travels :)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Caeli ♥ I’ve been enjoying your W.A. trips, too! The Christmas Napoleon was an interesting one, it is worth to share it with someone! Thank you, I’m excited to reveal a few more travel posts here! I’m excited to hear yours, too!

  • Reply Johanna@Green Gourmet Giraffe 2014-01-18 at 5:09 am

    that sounds amazing – I love paris dearly but have never had much luck with finding nice cafes to eat (though I have loved eating from markets) – I hope I might return to Paris and have bookmarked this post for that happy day because this is where I want to eat – all looks amazing – esp that filo parcel – glad to hear you have been enjoying your travels
    Johanna @

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks Johanna ♥ You are 100% right. It’s hard to find vegan and vegan-friendly cafes in Paris, except for bakeries (most of their breads are vegan if you ask them in French). I love eating from markets, too especially their local produce.

  • Reply Sally Rowles 2014-01-18 at 5:23 am

    Great tips for my next trip to Paris. I hope its soon! Nice photos too. Thanks.

  • Reply Angela @ 2014-01-18 at 6:44 am

    I have to make my own version of those Filo dough pouches, awesome.
    You always share such wonderful adventures Rika and the food is to die for. Have great, safe fun in Mexico City 😉

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks Angela ♥ I found a vegan recipe on the Filo dough from today’s New York Times magazine. I might give it a try and I am tempted to make a pot pie using her dough recipe. Thank you, have you been to Mexico City?

      • Reply Angela @ 2014-01-19 at 5:26 pm

        I think Pot Pies would be perfectly yummy with the filo. That’s one of those dishes I miss with being Vegan, so comforting! Can’t wait to see your version 😉 Haven’t been to Mexico City, Paris years and years ago but haven’t been south of the border for some reason. Very found of their cuisine for sure, have fun!

        • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 10:02 am

          What do you think of Mexico City? :)

  • Reply Cadry 2014-01-18 at 7:27 am

    I have been so eager to get back to Paris, so that I can visit the Gentle Gourmet. Everything looks divine! The filo pouches & creme brûlée look especially good.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Cadry ♥ I agree with your choices. The filo pouch was my main and the creme brûlée was my partner’s. Miam to both! :)

  • Reply Kelli Roberts 2014-01-18 at 9:01 am

    Wow ~ I haven’t been to Paris since before I was vegan and I have wondered how I’d survive not getting to eat all the amazing pastries if (when!) I go back. Now I know ~ I just need to go immediately and go to the Gentle Gourmet! Their desserts look incredible!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Kelli ♥ Gentle Gourmet does yummy French desserts, hope they will keep them on the menu! It was for their December menu.

  • Reply Sharon 2014-01-18 at 9:47 am

    I’ll be visiting Paris in a few months time and I cannot wait to dine in the Gentle Gourmet. It looks so stylish and the food sounds amazing! I’ve never imagined I’d ever get to eat French desserts as a vegan, and I’m especially excited to try the Creme Brulee. Thank you so much Rika for this post. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every word & pic ♥

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks Sharon ♥ You’re welcome and stay tuned for a few more posts on Paris. I enjoyed exploring their produce markets and gourmet shops more than dining. I wish their produce markets are as nice as here in the U.S. I’m happy that Gentle Gourmet offers vegan French desserts, not just “American” desserts. There is a 100% vegan bakery in Paris, too, but they don’t carry French desserts , most of them are a bit American to me :( that’s why I went to Gentle Gourmet to try their vegan French desserts! I just wish there are more vegan bakeries that sell macarons, eclairs, and much more!

  • Reply coconutandberries 2014-01-18 at 2:16 pm

    Ah la belle Paris! You know I’ve spent time in Paris and didn’t have any trouble eating vegan. The Gentle Gourmet Café opened in my last couple of weeks there so I only visited once and sadly my meal was actually a little disappointing. I can’t remember what I had so it definitely can’t have been very special. Your experience looks much better! I’d love to try the apple tarte tatin 😀
    Hope you’re enjoying your time back in the US. Sounds like you’re keeping busy!
    P.S. Beautiful pics as usual.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Emma ♥ Were you in Paris in 2008? I remembered just snacking on falafel, hummus and bread during my time in Paris, and there was this fancy vegan restaurant we liked, but it was closed few years later. I was surprised that there was a lot of them closed upon my arrival… sigh! Sorry to hear about your experience at Gentle Gourmet perhaps the December menu had more interesting dishes for the holidays!

  • Reply Andrea@WellnessNotes 2014-01-18 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve been to Paris 20 years ago. Would love to go back some day… So much to explore. Your pics from Gentle Gourmet Cafe make me hungry!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Andrea ♥ I hope my posts aren’t affecting your weekly meal prep planning! And 20 years! I wish I went there 20 years ago when the euro is not so bad! :) I hope you and your family get the chance to visit Paris, it’s a lovely city for families to go to!

  • Reply chowvegan 2014-01-18 at 7:06 pm

    I would love to go to Paris, never been before. It all looks so yummy and beautiful. :-)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks @chowvegan:disqus ♥ I hope you get to go to Paris! I enjoyed cooking using local ingredients in Paris more than dining. After drooling at your bagel creation, I need to pick up some vegan cream cheese + coconut bacon right away!

  • Reply cquek 2014-01-18 at 11:32 pm

    I can totally see my self devouring an entire…I mean, a moderately portioned plate of this.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 4:56 pm

      Thank Quek ♥ It was the right portion for the three of us! Hope you’re doing well!

  • Reply Katrin 2014-01-19 at 6:13 am

    As you know I have been to Paris but not to this cafe. Now I am craving vegan croissant and I would like to try the Apple Tatin. I really have a sweet tooth. :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 4:55 pm

      Danke Katrin ♥ How are you doing? Miss you! Such a shame we missed each other in Paris, perhaps next time! Croissants are one of my favorite delights, but it’s so hard to find a perfect veganized version!

      • Reply Katrin 2014-01-20 at 5:44 am

        It really is a shame! Hope it will work out next time! Still don’t know where we will end up but we will see. I am doing good and I am still craving croissants! So delicious! <3

  • Reply TheHealthyMaven 2014-01-19 at 7:50 am

    I feel like I just took a mini vacation to my favourite city in the world! I am hoping to return in a few years and will definitely need to check out Gentle Gourmet!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks Davida ♥ Miss you and your ramblings! When did you go to Paris?

  • Reply Koko ( 2014-01-19 at 4:17 pm

    Such gorgeous dishes! I have to go there if I ever travel to Paris. I would have picked that dessert, too- I’m soo in love with anything chestnut!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Koko ♥ How’s NZ so far? I’m going to check our your blog in a bit. Honestly I enjoy the local produces & groceries more than dining in Paris! Chestnuts all the way!

      • Reply Koko ( 2014-01-19 at 4:56 pm

        Do you really!? They must have just beautiful markets….I probably would enjoy that more, too. It’s always nice to get a beautiful meal cooked for you though :-)
        New Zealand is great so far! Soon I hope we will have a car and be settled down with a place so I can start checking out all the veg and vegan places. So far we have just been at the beach and relaxing on holiday. It’s a bit sucky how few bakeries and cafes here cater to vegetarians though. It seems to be an up and coming seen though so it should only get better. Perhaps the places we’ve been just haven’t been the right places though! The grocery stores have been quite good though with lots of options. I know of several amazing looking cafes that are on my list to go to! I’ll be blogging about them of course :-)

        • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-19 at 5:14 pm

          New Zealand also have beautiful produce & markets! I love them, just wish I have more time to stay and cook :) My partner is figuring out our Asia/Oceania trip for the fall, and I hope New Zealand makes the list.

          I can’t wait to read all about your vegan eats in NZ, is it Auckland right? I heard Auckland is more vegan-friendly than Wellington…lets hope that is true!

          A car sounds fabulous especially in NZ! Safe drive and have a lovely time there, say hello to the Kiwi birds for me! :) Hehe! ♥

  • Reply Sarojini 2014-01-19 at 11:45 pm

    I love your pictures of the food anf of PAris. I haven’t been there in ages- things have sure changed: in the 80s it was “Croque monsieur without the ham; no wait the cheese isn’t vegetarian- plain bread, then…” (I wasn’t vegan then.)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 10:01 am

      Thank you Sarojini! In 2008, there was a few vegan places that I liked, but they were closed within two years. I’m just happy Gentle Gourmet still exists in Paris. ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply Jessie 2014-01-20 at 2:05 am

    What beautiful pictures! Your Eiffell tower pictures in particular are stunning. We were in Paris for 26 hours about a year ago and it was amazing (I wrote a post on our whirwhind trip!). I’d love to try the cheese balls and Christmas Napoleon especially!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 10:01 am

      Wow, 26 hours, this should have been in NY Times! I need to go back to your older post about Paris….Thank you Jessie ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply sonja @ vesenmork 2014-01-20 at 9:52 am

    omg, i want those cheese balls haha! i’ve been to paris once, before i went vegan. wasn’t a big fan actually, i’m not one to enjoy grandness (unless in nature) and that’s the impression that the city gave me in the weekend we were there. there’s probably loads more to discover than those iconic landmarks we hit up the, so maybe i should give it another try (certainly after seeing those cheese balls), so i’m looking forward to your further travel experiences there.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 10:00 am

      These cheese balls are fuggin’ amazing! Have you had Vegusto cheese? They were made of Vegusto cheese and some other ingredients. Thank you Sonja for your support! Wishing you a full recovery! ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply Abby Bean 2014-01-20 at 11:07 am

    I follow the Gentle Gourmet too; so happy to finally get an inside glimpse into the dishes!

  • Reply Kelly @ Life made Sweeter 2014-01-20 at 2:23 pm

    Welcome back girl! These pictures are stunning and the food looks so delicious at the Gentle Gourmet Cafe, thanks for sharing girl and hope you have a great week and get to relax a bit before travelling again :)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-22 at 11:35 am

      Thanks lovely! I can’t wait to see your photos of your newborn! :) xx

  • Reply flickingthevs 2014-01-22 at 1:10 am

    I’ve been meaning to get to that place for ages, glad it lived up to expectations, particularly the dessert – I’d have been all over those chestnuts!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-22 at 11:34 am

      Chestnuts are sooooo delish! Love the chestnut butter, too! x

  • Reply Dixya Bhattarai RD 2014-01-22 at 1:58 pm

    filo parcels looks soooo good.

  • Reply Shawn 2014-01-23 at 5:58 am

    Yum! Reading your blog always makes me feel so hungry. 😛 I’ve never been to Paris before, but I’d really like to and while I’m there I’ll make it my goal to try all of these dishes. :)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:58 am

      Haha, I’m so sorry! My blog always consists of food and never will be something else! How’s the weather in Taiwan? ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply Asha Shivakumar 2014-01-23 at 8:44 am

    The food in Paris is lovely, although I didn’t get a whole lot of chance to explore. We plan on a culinary trip, just the 2 of us once the kids are a bit older so we get to enjoy the place and it’s food culture to it’s best.
    Girl, seems like you are having fun.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:58 am

      I find Paris very family-friendly…it’s so fun to explore museums and the landmarks together! I hope another time, you guys can experience a culinary trip and taste the food of Paris! ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply Celeste DiMilla 2014-01-27 at 3:41 pm

    I hope I make it to this place someday Rika. The thought of eating vegan food in Paris sounds amazing. First, however; I’ve got to get myself to Paris. One day for sure!!!! Lovely photos! Celeste :)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:56 am

      Thank you Celeste ❤ Paris is a great city…I love the local produces, gourmet shops, and everything else. I feel like home there already! I hope you can visit Paris soon! Bonne journée!

  • Reply Shundara@savynaturalista 2014-01-27 at 4:50 pm

    Vegan in Paris!! These dishes are so elaborate an magnificent to be made in a cafe and be vegan! How lovely… I am looking forward to the good news as well..

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:57 am

      Ah, I need to reveal the good news… it’s mostly about my official 2014 travel plans! Thanks for the reminder, Shundara ❤ Bonne journée!

  • Reply Nami | Just One Cookbook 2014-01-28 at 12:08 am

    LOVELY (and jealous)!!!! 😀 Oh Paris, I would looooooooooove to visit you one day… :) and I’m looking forward to your news about a cookbook! By the way, I learned the filo parcel method from another blogger 2-3 years ago. I forgot about that method until now. Must try it!

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-28 at 7:33 am

      Thank you Nami! I’m only testing for a few vegan cookbooks. I wish I have a new cookbook coming out 😉 Sorry for the confusion! Does that blogger still have that filo parcel method post? I would love to know how to create these!

  • Reply Bam's Kitchen 2014-01-28 at 12:36 am

    Paris shots are just gorgeous! I am excited to hear about your new cookbook. I love how travel inspires you in the kitchen. I can see from the display of all these wonderful dishes in Paris that you had some awesome meals and vegan does not necessarily mean low calorie as I stair at all of those eye tantalising desserts. Take Care, BAM

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-28 at 7:32 am

      Thank you! I’m only testing for a few vegan cookbooks. I wish I have a new cookbook coming out 😉 Sorry for the confusion!

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats 2014-01-28 at 6:36 am

    Wow, everything on their menu looks so good! So jealous of all the places you go… 😉

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:54 am

      Plenty of yummy vegan French food! Aww, I hope my post will change your mind to travel soon! ❤

  • Reply Hannah 2014-01-28 at 6:07 pm

    I’m positively green with envy! I couldn’t convince my omnivorous family to humor me while we were in Paris two years ago and have just one meal here, sadly. Now that I see what I missed out on, I’m even more bummed. I’ve just got to go back, I guess… Really beautiful pictures, from the food to the scenery, by the way.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:53 am

      Oh no :( What did you have in Paris? I, too have an omnivorous family. I remembered traveling with them in big cities in China (it was our first trip to China) and I only ate raw fruits and vegetarian-friendly rice rolls (with ingredients listed). I didn’t trust the food hawker stalls in China at all and my mom insisted that these baos are vegan, but they aren’t…what if they are made with lard?! Thank you Hannah! ❤

      • Reply Hannah 2014-01-30 at 10:02 am

        Ah yes, that sounds very familiar… I powered my way through Paris on lots of fresh fruit, veggies + hummus, baguettes, espresso, and soy yogurt (they actually had better choices in the markets at that time than in the US!). It can be so difficult eating out when there’s a language and cultural barrier; sometimes veganism just doesn’t translate, despite best intentions.

  • Reply East Meets West Veg 2014-01-28 at 8:30 pm

    The food looks lovely and so do your Paris photos! I would love to see Paris around the holidays. I have only been there in the fall.

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:51 am

      Thanks! I went to Paris in fall, too in 2008! I hope you can visit Paris during the holidays with the beautiful lights and festive events.

  • Reply Aimee R 2014-01-29 at 11:35 am

    Aw, I like the name of that cafe! And I enjoyed looking at your photos, as always :-)

    • Reply vegan miam 2014-01-30 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Aimee ❤ Gentle Gourmet is a lovely name indeed!

  • Reply India Leigh 2014-02-01 at 9:36 am

    The Gentle Gourmet is on the visit list. I’ve not been to Paris for years. Your gorgeous photos have given me a nudge to make this happen in 2014!

  • Reply India A Vegan Obsession 2014-02-21 at 11:50 am

    I’m getting the pull from Paris. I am hoping to visit in a few weeks. I shall be visiting the Gentle Gourmet for sure. Can you recommend a good area to stay? I was looking near the Canal. I’d love your advice! :)

  • Reply Helen4Morrissey 2014-02-22 at 2:46 am

    How did I miss this post?! Glad you made it to the GG – it’s a really good spot! And such beautiful photos, as ever!

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  • Reply Stéphanie 2014-10-06 at 2:17 pm

    Since I am from Paris (Montrouge exactly) and found of good cooking, I will give my humble opinion :) Well, I’m not vegan but everything on this menu seems very good. Just a little story about the Apple Tatin. Do you know why its name is Tatin ? The Tatin sisters used to have an hostel in Lamotte-Beuvron (it still exists :, and some customer came and asked for an apple pie. Unfortunately, one of them put the apples first in the pan, and cooked them without the crust. So, to catch it up, she put the crust ON the apples and cooked it this way… It seems the customer loved it and they decided to try it again ! I went once in this hostel, and it’s a region in France where you eat a lot (especially game – sorry for vegans – and goat cheeses)… so at the end of the meal, I could hardly finish it, even if I love this desert !

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