21 March 2011

Lyon and Le Sathonay

Anne, me and a parapluie overlooking Lyon

I know, I know, I wrote about my 3-year blogoversary and then promptly disappeared for over a month. Not cool. The thing is, I've been focusing my creative talents pretty intensely on my acting career right now, a necessary and fun development. I thought about closing my blog all together, but I realized that when I have time for it, I still enjoy exchanging with my blogging friends and having a place for my recipes and thoughts about food (of which I still have many). So, I decided I just wouldn't worry about how often I posted, and I hope you all will forgive me for my intermittent presence!

The Saône

This weekend, D. and I went on a mini-getaway to Lyon to visit our friend Anne and explore the second largest city in France. Lyon is unique in that, not one, but two major rivers run through it: the Saône and the Rhone, and it is surrounded by two hills: "the hill that works," traditionally were the blue-collar workers lived and "the hill that prays," where traditionally the priests lived and where there are still quite a few churches.

And the Rhone (never get on a river's bad side by playing favorites)

Before we left, everyone told us that there's lots of good food in Lyon and I have to say that in general we found this to be true, especially on Saturday night when Anne brought us to one of her favorite little restaurants called Le Sathonay.

The traditional restaurants in Lyon are called "bouchon lyonnais," of which this was one, and true to typical lyonnais cuisine there were plenty on animal guts on the menu...er, I mean...[insert classier term that means the same thing here]. Of course if you like that sort of thing, I'm sure this would be a great place for it because everything we tried there was delicious. Also the staff was nice and attentive without being overbearing - just the right kind of service.

I started with the cervellé de canut and ham, which sounds like the brain of an unidentified animal, but is actually a kind of creamy cheese with herbs and garlic. It was absolutely delicious but you have to get everyone at the table to eat some (don't worry, I did) because you'll have major garlic breath afterward!

Then I had the special of the day, which was pork filet mignon cooked with spiced and potatos au gratin. The meat was very tender and moist and the spice-blend delicious. I wasn't hungry for dessert, but I had to try the creme brulée with rum anyway, and I'm very glad I did. I forgot until about half-way through to take a picture. We topped the whole thing off with some very decent lyonnais red wine and some digestifs at the end before heading back up the "hill that prays" for a quite night's sleep.

One of the strangest things about the trip was that it made me realize that somewhere in the last four years, I have become a true Parisian. I kept thinking "this is nice, but it's not Paris" and when we got back off the train at the Gare de Lyon (in Paris - I know it's confusing), I immediately thought "ah, home." Paris feels like home. It smells like home. Even the annoying people in the metro and big city noises that float in through the windows, all make me think "home." I feel like I belong to this city and this city belongs to me. I never thought that would happen. But there you go.

Typical Lyon blues

(thanks to D. for some of these photos!)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love Lyon and it's bouchons! Thanky for sharing.



Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you that you are able to work doing what you love best! Be sure to let me know when I can go see you next on stage!

Julie said...

What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing with us!

s said...

such beautiful beautiful pics..looks like u had a great time..
Best of luck on your career but i do hope you keep the blog going as well...

Hopie said...

Rosa - I was glad to finally get a chance to discover them! Good stuff!

Camille - Thank you! It is exciting! Right now my next engagements are in April in La Creuse and in July also in La Creuse, so it's a bit far for you, but I may have some dates in Paris soon too and I will keep you posted!

Julie - I love you taking you all on my trips ;-)

S - Thank you. I do hope to do both, so we'll see. I love reading all your blogs and posting on mine when I can.

Nic said...

I love Lyon! I went on a school trip about 10 years ago now and had an amazing time. I'm so sorry I've been rubbish at keeping in contact, work and college have been really hectic and I have just been offered a new job that starts in August so the interviews for that were pretty tiring too. I hope both you a D are ok. It looks like you had a wonderful time in Lyon :)

Hopie said...

Nic - I've been meaning to write to you too. It's been crazy but I've been thinking about you and want to hear all about the new job!

Ivy said...

I was so close visiting Lyon during our trip to Switzerland but Grenoble was closer, so maybe next time. Good luck of your career and don't shut down the blog. Just blog whenever you feel like it.