The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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A flying visit to Milan

Posted by on in European Travel

Not so long ago while doing some holiday research I discovered that Milan’s Malpensa airport offers a wider selection of destinations at better prices than our local airport Nice.  Having taken everything into account – fuel, motorway tolls, airport parking and even overnight hotels - we found it was cheaper to fly from Milan to Scotland despite the 3.5 hour drive.  As far as I was concerned there was also the added bonus of a flying visit to Milan itself. If a flight from Malpensa meant we got to have a couple of meals in Italy and a blast of Italian culture then all the better.  So what did we get up to in Milan in approximately six hours?

Milan Duomo and statue

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Silent Sunday - 25 May 2014

Posted by on in Lou Messugo

  breakfast at Lou Messugo


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Café Gourmand - love or hate?

Posted by on in Food & Drink

The café gourmand ("greedy coffee" or coffee for someone who really likes their food) is a relative newcomer on the dessert scene in French restaurants.  I think I became aware of it about four years ago but I can't be sure.  The thing is, it's got the food critics all in a twist -  they either love it or hate it.  What is it and why such strong feelings?

                  mon café gourmand

The café gourmand is basically your after-meal coffee - for a French person this is always going to be an espresso, for me it's a "noisette" (an espresso with a drop of milk) - accompanied by a selection of mini desserts, usually around 3 to 5 depending on the establishment.  These often include chocolate mousse, crème brulée, a cake of some sort like a madeleine or financier, perhaps a fruit tarte, a macaron, some ice-cream, panna cotta, the list is endless and only limited by the chef's imagination.... By serving coffee and dessert at the same time the client saves time and has dessert without really having dessert!  And if you're like me and can never make up your mind what you want, the choice is done for you.  A little bit of everything.  Perfect.  

                  café gourmand

But there are purists and critics who don't like it.  Some say it's a way for the restaurant to get rid of its leftovers and that the quality isn't great.  Some say a coffee should never be accompanied by dessert, it should always be afterwards. But I'm all for innovation and even if it is a way to use up leftovers, that's ecological in this day of food waste, isn't it?  I'm definitely in the "love" camp.

                                   café gourmand 2

What about you? Have you tried café gourmand?  Do you like the idea of it?  Love or hate?


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café gourmand the best dessert in France


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