Book Review: Lunch in Paris

Lunch in Paris

Visiting Paris someday is a big item on my bucket list.  I have a whole board devoted to Paris.  But then, I think everybody with a Pinterest account has a Paris board!  It's kind of like a wedding board, everybody has one.

Elizabeth Bard actually went to Paris.  And she never came back.  Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard is "the tale of an American who discovers Paris one meal at a time."  Her memoir is a love story.  It's the story of how she fell in love with a man, and a city, and it's food.  

While working in London, Elizabeth spends weekends in Paris visiting her French boyfriend.  Later she moves to Paris to be with him.  Once she moves to Paris, she experiences the city as a local rather than a tourist.  She walks through the city discovering its secrets, surprises, and delights.  She visits the museums and practices her French.  She discovers, much to her surprise, that her biggest delight is visiting the markets.  She quietly revels in the "pyramids of apricots and peaches . . .and wild strawberries that glow like edible rubies."  Not only does she enjoy finding new treasures at the market, but she discovers the simple joy of preparing them each time is never quite the same.  She quickly learns to cook like the French, without a recipe.  Before living in Paris, the author had a mental list of what she expected for herself and her life.  She found her life, her interests and her priorities taking unexpected turns while living in Paris.   She wonders if she can live her life the same way she's learned to cook, without directions and without adhering to preconceived ideas about what would or should make her happy.

Elizabeth Bard is a well educated and well traveled woman.  She also knows her way around a kitchen.  However, she doesn't come across as a pretentious foodie.  I loved the quiet, introspective way she told her story which was often peppered with humor and wit.  Lunch in Paris is a relatively short book, but she touches on many large topics such as love, relationships, travel, learning to reconcile cultural differences, hopes and dreams and how they change, personal fulfillment and finding out what really makes you happy.  

Lunch in Paris is a great book on it's own, but the icing on the cake is the recipes she's included.  The recipes relate to specific moments in her life, both in Paris and growing up in New York.  All of the recipes are intriguing and sound delicious.  Some of them actually seem do-able for a novice like me!

I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely put Elizabeth Bard on my short list of people I'd like to have dinner (or lunch!) with.


  1. Sounds like an interesting book! I will put it on my list to read. TFS


  2. Thank you for your kind reveiw of Lunch in Paris! We are now living in Provence - and running our own artisan ice-cream business! You can follow along on

    Merci and Bon Appetit! EB

    1. That sounds wonderful! I hope you're getting many great ideas for another book!


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