Category Archives: travel

Experiences near and abroad.

A new bookshop for foodlovers: Badiane of Lyon (FR)

picture of Badiane

In this world of the online bookselling behemoth Amazon (in its seven personalities), it’s always nice to find an independent bookshop catering to one’s specialist area of interest. There is a handful of bookshops specialising in gastronomy and oenology, but they are often unknown to many potential customers. Few large countries seem to be able to support more than one real specialist and the advantage that chain retailers have in publisher discounts and freight contracts means that business for any specialist is hard.

Imagine my joy when I found a new gastronomic bookshop — and purely by chance. As the rain poured down on me on Place Bellecour in the French city of Lyon, I frantically looked around for somewhere to take shelter and spied a bookshop bearing the words ‘la librairie de toutes les cuisines’ (the bookshop for all cuisines).

Opened early in 2007, the bookshop Badiane — ‘la librairie de toutes les cuisines’ includes a fairly large, attractive retail area, a children’s area, a kitchen and small gallery. Badiane stocks new books, mostly in French, and the owners, Marianne Vellieux and Catherine Guérin, schedule regular food events and cookery classes. There’s also an online catalogue. They told me that they plan to offer English-language courses to cater to the tourist market — a great idea, as Lyon is well known as a gastronomic destination in France (and is a very attractive city too, even though all the Parisians I know asked me ‘So, why do you want to go to Lyon?’).

– DM

A sense of humour at Eurostar

The train that thinks it’s a plane seems to have a sense of humour. Putting to one side Eurostar’s once unenviable reputation for tardiness and forgetting momentarily Eurostar’s legacy-airline pricing model (no affordable one-way tickets, a maximum return price of €760 for a journey of less than three hours), one can’t help being impressed by this touch of humour on the company’s website (my emphasis):

To check in, all you have to do is insert your ticket into the machine (which will hold onto it exactly long enough for you to start to panic, just a little bit) and then walk through the gate with your baggage. Easy. If you need help, our staff are always around, and we’ll be glad to check you in ourselves.

When To Check In
This depends mainly on what ticket you have. Unless you’ve been advised otherwise, please check-in at least a 30 minutes before your scheduled departure. Below are the full details, just bear in mind that if in doubt, arrive with time to spare. And have a croissant.
Link to original

Not only is this refreshingly lighthearted, but it’s present in the other languages available on the Eurostar site as well:

Il vous suffit d’insérer votre billet dans la machine (qui ne vous le rendra qu’aprés avoir observé chez vous un début de panique et un premier geste d’appel au secours en direction de notre personnel d’accueil”)
En cas de doute, prévoyez large et arrivez en avance. Et savourez un bon croissant.

Om in te checken hoeft u alleen biljet in de machine te steken (die het net lang genoeg zal behouden om u een beetje zenuwachtig te maken)
Hieronder vindt u alle details, maar denk eraan dat in geval van twijfel het beter is te vroeg te komen. En een croissant te verorberen.

Consistency in translation (where culturally appropriate) is second only to godliness and a good millefeuille.