The primary reason that we went to Paris was to eat, to be perfectly honest. Notre Dame, the Seine, the Louvre were all secondary to the food. Paging through Julia Child's cookbook and my William Sonoma Paris cookbook left me salivating and eager to try out those delicious bites. I decided right at the beginning that I wanted to have absolutely no food regrets and so I ate everything that I wanted to (and a little more!!). If I scarfed down my apricot croissant and wished I had more, I ordered another and Ben dutifully counted out euros. Yes, no food regrets here. I am perfectly happy with what I got to eat.
I did insist that we eat as French as we could. There was one day we were hungry walking through the St. Germain district and Ben sniffed pho coming from a Vietnamese restaurant and immediately started in that direction. I put a halt to that and convinced Ben that while in France we should eat French. Steak tartare! Boeuf bourguignon! Escargot! Cheese! Croissants! Crepes!
My other favorite part of the trip was just walking the streets. I do have a tiny regret that I didn't buy a pedometer before the trip because it would have been fun to know the distance that we traveled. We walked and walked and walked. It seemed that there were so many great neighbourhoods and just when we'd turn a corner, there would be another lovely street with shops and cafes and markets.
Take a walk with me through some of the neighbourhoods and foods that we experienced.
I loved how the food and menus were readily visible on the streets. Roasting poulets, produce stacked up and crepe vendors were right there to feast the senses on.
French macaroons were everywhere in high end bakeries. My favorite was a chocolate and raspberry one which I shared with Ben, solely for the experience of him agreeing with me on how perfect it was!
I loved the fresh salads, many of them composed. Delicious with a little lemon and oil dressing.
Mussels and fries.
Loved how the evening light would hit the buildings.
Nutella crepes and cafe creme for breakfast. Oui.
The quality of the food in the open air markets was gorgeous. I have lots more of that in the blog on the French cooking class that we took.
So I have to say, I felt some gratitude for the French that I learned in school years ago. While certainly not proficient or fluent, I could navigate menus, signs and the basics pretty well. Ben took a stab at French words with a Spanish accent.
Creamy mushroom quiche, warmed and then gobbled immediately.
On fresh baguette, every slice was heavenly.
When we ordered the steak tartare off the purely French menu at Les Philophes, the waitress warned us, "It's raw...." We smiled and nodded and LOVED it. The tartare is so fresh, and tender and lean and with a drizzle of bearnaise, it was divine!
Boeuf bourguignon. We realized at the end of these three plates that we ate pretty much solid protein for this dinner.
We walked around Paris with the maps that Ben had on his phone...and sometimes we just wandered.
The first day when we ordered coffee, the waiters would give us a few options including,"American coffee?" No way! Not in France! We quickly realized that the cafe creme was the way to go.
French onion soup.
There I am, all wind blown, practically lapping it up.
The escargot arrived when Ben was in the bathroom and I confess I ate about 10 out of the dozen by the time he returned. Buttery, garlicky, tender goodness, with the leftover garlic butter sopped up with baguette.
After we toured the Louvre, we headed to Angelina's for the.best. hot.chocolate.ever. At eight euros a cup, it did not disappoint and came in a mini pitcher with a pot of heavy whipped cream.
Of course, we had to try the pastry too!
Music was played all over, especially in the evenings and on weekends.
At just about every restaurant we saw, you could dine outside.
Seeing famous restaurants that I'd read about was such a treat, especially when Fiona and Rodolphe treated us to lunch there!
The doorways and buildings all had such great character.
Savory lunch crepe of apples, bacon, camembert and fresh arugula.
At the end we evaluated if there was anything that we didn't care for that we ate and the only thing we could come up with was....the Starbucks coffee which was weak and burnt. Everything else was just as good as it looks! Bon appetit indeed!
The last Paris blog will be up next week including: the Eiffel Tower and the almost-had-my-camera-stolen-episode, our trip to Versailles, and a breakdown of how much it cost us (for those of you interested in planning your own trip!)
Here is the information I have promised on the Paris Print Giveaway that I am doing as well as an opportunity to purchase prints if you wish:
To see many of my Paris images or to purchase prints:
1. Go to the CLIENT GALLERY ON MY WEBSITE.
2. Password is: "Paris".
3. Click on "Purchase options and image info." at the bottom and place your order. (Free shipping on any orders $25 or over...otherwise $3 shipping will apply. Prices include tax).
To Participate in the Paris Print Giveaway:
1. "Share" the Paris Print Giveaway image on Facebook on my Cassandra Hamilton Photography Facebook Page and tell me what your FAVORITE vacation has been.
2. Leave a comment on this blogpost to tell me what WORST favorite vacation has been.
Winners will be chosen Monday, June 25, 6 P.M. PST. Four winners will get to choose (2) eight by 10 prints each (valued at $50 for both). I will choose two winners from blog comments and two winners from Facebook shares of the image "Paris Print Giveaway" so do both for double the chance! Bonne chance!