March 2012

‘French Kids Eat Everything’ by Karen Le Billon

I happened to catch an interesting interview on Global T.V. this morning about a Vancouver woman named ‘Karen Le Billon’ who’d relocated to France with her husband and kids.  Karen and her small family spent a year there in a small village where her husband grew up in the northern part of Western France.

She noticed quickly the difference the way French parents were rearing their children from the way North American families do.  What surprised her the most was the way French children ate.  French children were not picky, fussy or difficult eaters.  In fact, French children began eating the way adults do, from the very young time they began to consume solid foods.

She commented that even at school, the cafeteria was not called ‘ cafeteria’ but school ‘restaurant.’  The children were fed with chef inspired and cooked meals that would be comparable to any 4 star restaurant here in Vancouver. Every meal was different and none were repeated.  The children were never allowed to snack between meals.

My own close friend Jean Francois and his wife Helene who live in Paris have two little boys, Louis and Constant.  Louis is now 3 and the way that little boy has been eating surprised even me from the time I could remember him beginning to walk.

During our evening visits to Jeff and Helenes, little 2 yr old Louis would come to the coffee table and join us eating hors d ouvres like Oysters on the Half Shell, bulots ( tiny snail like crustaceans ), pate de fois gras, Mussels, etc.  Never grabby or rude, Louis always asks his father for permission before taking anything!!

His proud father would remark  “my son is a gourmand from a very young age.”

An uncharacteristically bearded Jean Francois and son Louis (refusing to pose for a photo)

An uncharacteristically bearded Jean Francois and son Louis (refusing to pose for a photo)

I would always comment that’s only to be expected seeing that he’s named after the Kings of France. Jean Francois always beams at that comment! (To be honest, I always feel like were dining like King’s of France when I’m at Jean and Helenes.)

In any event, Ms. Le Billon has written a book ‘French Kids Eat Everything’ and while I have not read it, I think it’s worth a read.  Particularly for those who have children that are difficult and picky eaters.  ( hmmm…..that would include just about everybody I know with kids here in Vancouver )

Note* (Ms. Le Billon commented that French children are taught table and how to be quiet and polite during dinner.)

Please click on the link below to see where to buy the book.


French Kids Eat Everything Book Cover

Click on the book to see where to get it.

Pourhouse Restaurant Loves Antique Warehouse

Back in 2009 the award winning interior designers of Gastown’s ‘Pourhouse’ restaurant chose Antiques from our very own Antique Warehouse.  It’s not the first time designers have chosen Antiques from our store.  They’ve been doing it for over two decades now.

But it wasn’t until this week that Larry and I happened to be in Gastown and decided to stop into Pourhouse to have lunch (and to check out our Antiques.) (We also heard from several clients including our own Manager Gareth that the place was ‘cool’ and fun)

The two Ceiling fixtures flanking the bartender were from The Antique Warehouse

The two Ceiling fixtures flanking the bartender were from The Antique Warehouse. They are Brass 19th Century Chandeliers from France.

Pourhouse opened it’s doors in 2009 and quickly grew popular for its fun and unique atmosphere.  Fashioned after the prohibition speakeasy’s of the early 1920’s  the waiters run around attired in ‘theme’ appropriate wear…from the vests and suspenders to vintage style ‘newsboy’ caps.

The menu consists of mouth watering comfort foods like ‘Braised Beef over Egg Noodles and Sour Cream’, ‘Steak and Frites’, ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs’, ‘Steelhead Trout with Braised Red Cabbage, Fennel and Orange Salad’ and much more savoury selections.

Newsboy Cap C.1920

Newsboy Cap C.1920

Our waiter ‘Mark’ was an affable chap and most helpful in suggesting some unusual drink combinations to start. Larry chose a Whiskey Sour with whipped egg white.  I stuck to a ‘Stout’ beer which I have no idea what brand it was, but it was great nonetheless.

For starters, we ordered ‘Oysters on the half shell’ with an excellent ‘mignonette’ sauce ( just like in France ).

For the main course I selected a ‘Country Sausage on Sauerkraut’  (In France that dish is called Choucroute) and Larry had the ‘braised beef on Egg Noodles and Sour Cream.’  Both were decent sized portions without being ridiculous and both were excellent savoury choices.  (Something extra was added to that Choucroute because it had an unusual lovely flavour unlike the usual run of the mill Sauerkraut dishes.)

We took a ‘creme brûlée’ for dessert trying to find some fault with this restaurant’s cuisine.  Sorry, the creme brûlée was just as good ( if not a bit better ) than anything you could find in France.

We saw many of our Antiques placed throughout the restaurant.  The most notable being that gorgeous French Hallstand C.1900 they purchased through us.  We found that rare and beautiful piece in France and it looked beautiful displayed proudly in the special alcove the designers built for the piece.

Early 20th Century French Hallstand from Paris. C.1900 at Pourhouse

Early 20th Century French Hallstand from Paris. C.1900.

We always like to support clients but this was well worth the visit to Gastown. Would we go there again? Most definitely!

If you’re looking for something with atmosphere and heritage charm ( you probably wouldn’t be reading my blogs if you weren’t ) I suggest trying Pourhouse for your next dining destination.

Check out Poorhouse at there one location on Water Street in Historic Gastown at 162 Water St.

They are open 7 days a week.