3 Days in Paris...7/29/2013 09:45:00 PM
So, Paris! In the middle of our trip to Germany, we spent three days in Paris, visiting my friend Clarice, and taking Sandra's mum around as a birthday gift. Let's have a look at what we got up to! FYI - we visited quite a few different places, so rather than listing the full address/website/phone number of each venue, the names of the venues are in bold within the text, with a link to the website if they've got one, and with the address following the name in (brackets). I'm trusting you can Google them for further information if any of these places take your fancy! Allons-y!
Our first morning in Paris was a Monday, which meant that lots of the cafes and restaurants we had on our "must-visit" list were closed. We had a simple breakfast of very good croissants at a local cafe, Le Canon des Gobelins (25 Avenue des Gobelins, 75013), which had the requisite surly waiter and €6.50 cappuccinos - the quintessential experience for tourists in Paris?
|Croissants (€1.60 each), Pain au Chocolat (€1.80), Strawberry Jam (€1) at Le Canon des Gobelins|
|Hot chocolate at Angelina|
|Hot chocolate at Angelina|
For lunch that day, we headed to Le Garde Robe (41 Rue de l'Arbre Sec 75001), a cosy little wine bar with friendly service, interesting and varied charcuterie, and a cool selection of organic wines. We shared a goats cheese bruschetta and a fantastic platter of charcuterie and cheese, my favourite of which was stinging nettle cheese.
|La Garde Robe|
|The wine we drank|
|Bruschetta chevre pesto - €12|
|Assortiment de fromage et charcuterie - €26|
Afterwards we went on a walk through the Marais and the surroundings, having a little nosy through the multitude of cute shops, cafes, boulangeries, pâtisseries and more.
My other favourite shop in the area was the breathtaking E Dehillerin (18 rue Coquillière 75001), a cramped, charming professional cookware shop, with an amazing wall of copper pans and pots.
|Wall of copper|
We had buckwheat crêpes and apple cider for dinner at La Crêpe Dentelle (10 Rue Léopold Bellan, 75002). This lovely little crêperie was run by a very sweet Bretagne man, who appeared to be the chef, waiter and owner all in one, and his glamorous Barbara Streisand lookalike wife.
|La Crêpe Dentelle|
|Cidre de Bretagne / Apfelwein / Cider|
|Crêpe et cidre|
Bright and early the next morning, we made a stop at La Caféothèque (52 rue de l'Hotel de Ville, 75004) for coffee! (You may remember I visited the last time I went to Paris, and loved it!) Good coffee in Paris seems, unfortunately, to be the exception rather than the rule, and after a week of dire German coffee and average London coffee, I was totally hanging out for proper espresso coffee, made from carefully sourced beans, with perfectly steamed, creamy milk, and even latte art! (First world problems, I know!) I also liked how the drinks came on a tray with a little glass of water and a square of chocolate - it felt very much like they wanted the coffee to be an experience to be enjoyed and savoured.
|Coffee at La Caféothèque|
Galeries Lafayette (40 blvd Haussmann 75009) is my favourite of the big Parisian department stores, especially their food hall and Lafayette Maison, which sells fantastic cookware and has a Pierre Hermé macaron stall. Although the closest metro station is Chaussée d'Antin–La Fayette, if you get off at the Opéra station, which is only one stop away and a very short walk, you get this beautiful view of the Paris Opera!
Speaking of views, the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette is a really nice spot to visit, and has excellent views of the city.
|View from Galeries Lafayette rooftop|
Shopping makes you hungry, and we stopped in at Café Gallery (78 Rue de Provence, 75009) to refuel. This cafe is located in one of the streets behind Galeries Lafayette, so you will have to navigate your way through literal busloads of shopping tourists! (Sorry). I'm always wary eating anywhere that's in a major tourist location, and would have been racked with indecision if I'd had to choose our lunch venue, but luckily local Clarice pointed us in the direction of Café Gallery, where she and her Parisian boyfriend often stop in for andouillette sausage or tartines made with Poilâne bread.
|Cafe Gallery, corner Rue Mogador and Rue de Provence, behind Galeries Lafayette|
And then we went to see this old thing...
Just as essential as seeing the Eiffel Tower (for me, anyway), was visiting the Pierre Hermé boutique pâtisserie (72 rue Bonaparte, 75006). Whilst there are quite a few Pierre Hermé boutiques throughout Paris, most of them only sell macarons and other packaged products (e.g. biscuits, wafers, granolas, teas, jams, chocolate bonbons etc). The one on the Rue Bonaparte is the only one that sells the actual entremets (pastries), so if you want an Ispahan, or a tarte infinment vanille, you have to come here.
|Pierre Hermé macarons|
I also picked up some of these waffles, in both vanilla and Ispahan flavours, but wasn't a big fan, finding them super sweet and not particularly crispy, even when within the use-by date.
For dinner on our last night in Paris, we felt like something a bit different, and went for a casual meal at the bustling L'As du Fallafel (34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004), in the Jewish section of the Marais. (In English it sounds like "Felafel Ass", but the translation is closer to "Ace Felafel"!)
|"Recommended by Lenny Kravitz"|
|Cola; Za'atar pitas; Chicken pita; Eggplant with tahini sauce|
My other favourite pâtisserie in Paris is Sadaharu Aoki (56 Boulevard de Port-Royal, 75005). Clarice and I dropped in for breakfast on my last morning in Paris.
|Sadaharu Aoki - note the cute eclair-shaped paperclips!|
|Matcha almond croissant|
|Matcha croissant - €1.40|
We also shared a chou à la crème (choux pastry filled with vanilla custard and whipped cream). For me, these simple pastries were the most inviting thing in the shop! Look how good that filling looks, it's almost obscene!
|Chou à la crème - €3.30|
|Crème du Chou à la crème|
After that thrilling encounter, we all went for a walk on the Rue Mouffetard, one of Paris' oldest neighbourhoods, with lots of great shops, restaurants and an open-air market. It feels very "Parisian", in that way that we foreigners stereotypically think of Paris: cobblestone streets, fountains, rotisserie chickens, little pâtisseries, delicatessans, and on the day that we were there, even an accordion-playing busker!
|Clockwise from top left: A fountain, Carl Marletti, Rue Mouffetard; Le Boulanger de Monge|
Those rotisserie chickens and roast potatoes looked really tempting, but we restrained ourselves, as we had a booking at Bistrot Paul Bert (18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011) for lunch. Prior to the trip, we'd been tossing up between Bistrot Paul Bert and nearby Le 6 Paul Bert - both have the same owners and are well known for good food. (Check out David Lebovitz' blogpost on Le 6 - looks amazing and not too expensive!) The Bistrot does more traditional, hearty fare, whereas Le 6 seems to be a bit more experimental - think Bistro Thierry as opposed to Vue De Monde. In the end, we decided on the Bistrot as it seemed like a bit of a safer option that all parties on our trip would enjoy.
|Le Bistrot Paul Bert|
They had two three-course fixed price lunch menus - one at €36; the other with slightly simpler fare at €18. Bargain!! The whole menu looked awesome (well, what I could understand, anyway!), but given the incredible amount of food we ate over the three days, we decided to only have one main dish each, and shared two desserts between the three of us.
I had to go for the classic steak frites, with béarnaise sauce - my favourite!
|Entrecôte de boeuf bearnaise, frites maison - €25 by itself, €36 in the fixed price menu with an entree and dessert|
|Blanquette de veau aux girolles - €25 by itself, €36 in the fixed price menu with an entree and dessert|
|Onglet de boeuf aux echalots, frites maison - €13 by itself, €18 in the fixed price menu with an entree and dessert|
|Crème brûlée à la vanille|
Ile flotante aux pralines roses
And finally, we did a bit of last minute shopping (Uniqlo, Muji, Lafayette Maison yet again!), a bit of walking, and had a Berthillon ice-cream on the Île Saint-Louis to finish off the trip. I had a caramel au beurre salé (salted butter caramel) and passionfruit. The last time I went to Paris, I promised myself that the next time, I'd visit the Berthillon salon de thé to have a tarte tatin with salted butter caramel ice-cream, but we didn't have a chance on this trip. Just an excuse to make another trip back in the future!