Rice Pudding Brûlée

Do you love rice pudding? Do you love crème brulee? This just might be your new favorite dessert.

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, mix rice with milk and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, preheat broiler to high. In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla, egg yolks, and 1/3 cup sugar. Slowly stir egg mixture into rice and cook until super creamy and thicker, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Divide rice pudding among four (4-oz.) ramekins, then top each with 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (enough to cover thickly). Set on a baking sheet and slide under broiler. Broil puddings, watching closely, until tops are caramelized and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, caramelize sugar using a kitchen-style blowtorch.)

French Brands that create Ultimate Parisian Style

Over the last several years, new contemporary brands from all over the world have been using French names to establish themselves as purveyors of cool, sexy, but totally effortless clothes.

These 10 indie labels, however, are the real deal. Born in France, with a deeply ingrained sense of French-girl style (which pivots on simplicity, sensuality, and confidence), these are the names to remember if you want to truly channel icons like Caroline de Maigret and Lou Doillon in real life.


Founded by French style icon Jeanne Damas (pictured), this affordable direct-to-consumer brand is all about down-to-earth basics and sexy but understated dresses that make you feel like a It-girl in your own right.

Vanessa Seward

Seward cut her teeth at Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Azzaro before launching her namesake label in 2014 with the help of A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou. Her clothes are minimalist, but with a luxe-y, French girl twist.



Advice from French Pediatricians

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that Type 2 diabetes progresses faster in kids than in adults. What’s worse, though, is that when kids get Type 2 diabetes, it’s harder to treat. What to do?

In an editorial this past Sunday, the New York Times calls for more health care programs. More health care programs.

Are they nuts?

I’m all for health care programs, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to fight obesity and to keep our kids from suffering the devastating effects of diabetes, which can include heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure.

We need more than programs. We need a cultural shift in how we think about feeding our kids.

For instance, let’s talk about snacking. It’s widely accepted by parents and their doctors that children need to snack. But do they?

According to Karen Le Billon, author of the new book French Kids Eat Everything, French kids don’t snack as regularly as American kids do. Indeed, Le Billon reports that French kids, even very young ones, snack only once a day — in the late afternoon.

It’s not that French children have special French metabolisms that allow them to go more than two hours without eating, or to get through social gatherings without food. The French have a different cultural idea about food, eating and, most importantly, about hunger.

Le Billon writes:

If asked, many American parents would prefer to give something unhealthy to their kids rather than make them wait. If French children are hungry, on the other hand, they are simply promised that they’ll be able to eat well at the next meal. (p. 147)

Americans try to prevent hunger. The French cultivate it.

From the French perspective, Le Billon reports, hunger between meals is a good thing. It produces good eaters, teaches kids self-control and produces discipline around eating.

Alternatively, as a sociologist who coaches parents on teaching their children to eat right, I can safely say that American parents go to great lengths to make sure their kids are never hungry.

American kids snack and snack and snack. And the more kids snack, the worse they eat. An important study by Carmen Piernas and Barry M. Popkin at the University of North Carolina shows that:

What are we teaching our kids? Piernas and Popkin wonder this too. They ask: “Is the physiological basis for eating becoming disregulated, as our children are moving towards constant eating?”

I know that some people claim the healthiest way to eat is to eat often. But the jury is still out on this. There’s plenty of research that shows that eating frequently throughout the day reduces your chances of becoming overweight. Unfortunately, there’s also plenty of research that counters this, too.

And while the USDA continues to recommend two meals a day for preschoolers (see their suggested snack patterns) the American Academy of Pediatrics simply advises parents to “limit snacking during sedentary behavior or in response to boredom and particularly restrict use of sweet/sweetened beverages as snacks (e.g., juice, soda, sports drinks).”

So by all means let’s declare a national emergency for childhood obesity. But let’s not answer the call with just more health care programs.

Let’s change the way we teach our children how to eat.


Amazing Peninsula Paris

A Hong Kong vision of Parisian luxury, lavishly redone with vast corridors, a reception dripping with glass leaves, panelled bar and meticulously restored rococo salon. A Chinese restaurant contrasts with a rooftop French restaurant and terrace. The 200 rooms, combining comfort and technology, are very spacious.


Originally opened as the Majestic hotel in 1908, briefly the seat of Unesco and later an international congress centre, the Peninsula Paris occupies an entire block near the Arc de Triomphe, and is still doing its best to persuade you it is really Versailles. The Champs-Elysées is around the corner and the avenue Montaigne couture stores are a breeze in the Peninsula’s own 1934 vintage Rolls Royce or customised Mini Clubman.

Style & character

This is high-shine hotellery with polished marble floors, a glass leaf chandelier that floats in the reception area, high-end boutiques and vast hallways, it’s very lavish and just a tad chilly – and if it’s small for an Asian hotel it’s a giant by Parisian standards, boastfully promising “to set new standards for design, luxury and comfort”, which the group compares to the quality of a luxury yacht. The sculpted stone facade and neo-classical panelling, mosaics, murals and gilding of ground-floor reception rooms have been meticulously restored by skilled craftsmen, new spaces opened up, roof terraces created, and three levels of basement excavated for staff quarters, spa, indoor pool and car park. White uniformed bellboys in sailor hats add a faintly colonial air.

Service & facilities

With more than 500 staff there’s plenty of it, but it still needs a little fine tuning. Breakfast staff brought viennoiseries rather than the baguette we had asked for; a maid was already cleaning our room, despite the fact we were checking out, when we got back.

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam
  • Wi-Fi


The 200 rooms and suites go from large to positively huge. Our suite was bigger than my Paris flat. A geometrical Art Deco of dark varnished wood and tasteful greys and beige by Hong Kong decorator Henry Leung Walls seems to hark back more to 1930s Shanghai than generic Paris: calm comfortable but, dare I say it, just a little bit dull. Still it was the bathroom that won me over, a black and white marble rotunda with sumptuous bath, double basins, the inevitable Toto loo, and a walk-through dressing room with that must-have nail-varnish dryer (how have I done without one for all these years?). And should you worry that it’s all just period polish, the rooms conceal a feast of 21st-century technology, with endless cabling and a sophisticated domotic system.

Tactile tablets and wall panels control lighting, heating, curtains, TV and anything else you might think of in a choice of 11 languages. It’s happily easy to use, though you can’t help occasionally wishing for something as old-fashioned as a light switch or a piece of paper telling you where and when breakfast is served, rather than scrolling down through screen after screen. It’s almost a surprise that you have to physically open the doors that conceal the televisions (plural). This is understated rather than ostentatious luxury: space, perfect soundproofing, excellent beds, and if you want to be left alone, a “valet box” hatch for avoiding the outside world in total discretion.

Food & drink

With six bars and restaurants, under executive chef Jean-Edern Hurstel, discovered on France’s Top Chef TV competition after a career in the UAE, there’s plenty of choice. The 6th-floor panoramic French gastronomic restaurant L’Oiseau Bleu, named after an early French biplane, has been gaining plaudits. The Cantonese restaurant LiLi, with its Chinese opera decor of lacquer and carved wood, varies between very good and dishes you’d find at any takeaway and staff need to be more clued up in advising what to order, the best approach seems to be to go for the more unusual sounding offerings. The Oak-panelled Bar Kléber is a comfortable cocktail haunt. The Lobby Kléber – the impeccably restored original white and gold neo-classical hotel dining room – serves breakfast (classic, healthy or Hong Kong), all-day international dining and afternoon tea, while its Terrace Kléber extension is for fine-weather people-watching under a striking modern glass and steel marquise.

Value for money

Double rooms from €795 (£625), including breakfast. Free Wi-Fi. The Peninsula is aiming at the high end of high (the Peninsula Suite costs from €25,000/£19,600).

Access for guests with disabilities?



Yes, there were a surprising number of families with children when we had breakfast.

 19 avenue Kleber, Paris, 75116, France.

0033 1 58 12 28 88