And then there was Paris . . .
And then we made it to Paris. What an amazingly lovely city on the Seine, rich with history and culture . . . and FOOD!
I’d wanted to go to Paris for at least the last 10 years. With our fourth anniversary approaching, Weston and I decided France would be our anniversary gift to each other.
So, arriving in Paris was interesting. We again rented a flat through VRBO, and although it lacked the charming owners of Villa Margarita, it had its own appeal. At 123 Rue Saint Honore, it was so close to the Louvre that we were able to walk the grounds every day. We were also above a very highly rated patisserie (that appeared in our Paris Insight eating guide) and every morning we were greeted with the smell of baking bread.
Our first day in Paris was spent relaxing from our travels, and walking through the Tullerie Gardens that are adjacent to the Louvre. On our way back to our flat, we found a small Italian place with a cherubic Italian chef out front giving passers-by a hearty thumbs-up. I, once again, had a Carbonara dish, if only to see that lovely orange fresh egg yolk, and Weston also had his Four Seasons pizza. It was becoming “our thing”.
The weather seemed to look a bit hit or miss for Sunday, and because it was the first Sunday of the month, admission to the Louvre was free. And it was absolutely mobbed. So, although it was a bit chilly, the sun was out (mostly) so we decided to walk to the Arc d’ Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and around the Champs-Élysées in between bouts of rain. Highlight of my trip in terms of shopping? Walking through the Cartier on the Champs-Élysées. Did you know that Cartier makes handbags? I certainly didn’t until I ascended to the second level of the flagship Cartier.
Sunday night was our night to indulge. After doing some research, W found a restaurant located by the Pompidou Centre that served authentic Auvergne food. Every tripadvisor review gave L’Ambassade d’Auvergne 5 stars, except for a few who were obviously unfamiliar with the French dining protocal. Every single person raved about the aligot, an Auvergne specialty of potatoes, garlic, and cheese that is worked to a pliable consistency that absolutely melts in your mouth.
Before your main course is served, the waiter brings a well-worn copper pot by your table to show you how your aligot has fared under the constant stirring. The thick consistency looks a bit iffy, but once you take your first bite, you begin to understand why so many people raved about it. Rich, flavoured with garlic, and super creamy, I have had dreams about this along with the duck that Weston ordered and the Blanquette de Veau that I ordered. If you do go to the restaurant, make sure you have the chocolate mousse. It is not to be missed!
Stuffed from dinner the night before, Weston and I decided that the rainy Monday would have to be our day to see the Louvre. We made sure to stop by and attempt to see the Mona Lisa, but quite honestly, I don’t see the appeal. Waiting in that crowd was a flashback to my ska concert going days. I’m too old to stand shoulder to shoulder and face to neck with hundreds of people who just want a glimpse of Leonardo Da’Vinci’s most famous painting. I think Weston and I made it only about 5 minutes in that mess before we decided to bail. My heart isn’t broken over it.
By far, my favourite exhibit in the Louvre was Napolean’s apartment, with a close second to the antiquities on the same floor. Those of you who know me are aware of my fascination with shiny objects, and there were plenty of them in this wing!
By Tuesday morning, we were ready to come home. To our house. To our kitties. To our routine.
Hopefully that means some more food related cooking posts that have been made in my kitchen.