At the beginning of this week I spent a few days in Paris to escape my birthday. Not that leaving the country has ever stopped me aging a year but it’s become something of a tradition to never graduate to a new year in the UK.
Going back to Paris was something I’d wanted to do for a while and, though I’ve seen them before, taking in the sights with Mr SB (for complete lack of a better label) was a total treat. It did however mean that the focus was less on sightseeing and more geared towards shopping and eating and doing as the French do. Paris is just one of those cities I feel at home in. I could quite easily move there tomorrow, probably even more so than London, if money were no object.
You may have gathered from the title of this post that I’m splitting the Paris post into two; one in the same photo-heavy nature as the previous Jet-set summeries, and the second purely to chat about French skincare products I picked up whilst in the City of Light. Très important.
So welcome to the first of the two posts. If you’re following you’ll be aware this will be the one that’s predominantly photos (though none actually of me) and potentially very little waffle. Et voila, les photos.
We were staying near the Pont des Arts bridge, the famous Lovers’ Bridge over the Seine with all the locks on so, cheesy though it is, we added our own lock to the bridge. Romantic, non?
The Galeries Lafayette is a stunning designer department store, a cut above John Lewis to say the least. I *may* have spent some of the other half’s money at the Givenchy counter while he was picking up some new man perfume.
And, of course, one can’t leave Ladurée without buying a stupid amount of macarons and tiny gâteaux. The raspberry and passion fruit tart was divine.
(Yes, that’s me being a dick, showing off my Ladurée bag on the Champs-Élysées.)
Sometimes the traditional French breakfast of pain au chocolat and coffee just isn’t enough and it can be tricky to find a more filling alternative. On Rue de Écoles, just over the Pont De La Tournelle, we found Breakfast In America, or BIA as the locals call it, satisfied our hunger.
The bottom right picture is scrambled eggs, bacon, peppers, cheese, ham, sausage, onion, fried potatoes and avocado. Served with iced tea or an unlimited mug o’Joe.
Perhaps the best meal of the trip was at Le Petit Bourdelais, on the Rue Surcouf (near the Eiffel Tower but off the beaten track). I have the boyfriend to thank for this one as he found the recommendation and made the booking before we went. The menu was a surprise, showing a real flair for flavour, the staff were beyond attentive, highlighted when between courses a waiter came out with a tool solely designed to remove the crumbs from the table cloth, and the food was superb and very reasonably priced, especially for Paris. To give you an idea we had (roughly translated) Fried langoustines and ‘surprise’ of pumpkin, chestnuts and hazelnuts served with a vinaigrette of meat juice, Asparagus gratin with marrow, parmesan and chips of duck, asparagus jelly with gizzards, Roasted fillet of Guinea fowl from Challans, small stuffed cabbage and ventrèche with pepper, Grilled steak of beef served with a red wine sauce, vegetable fricassée and potato Dauphinoise. I’d eat it all again if I could. Dessert was some kind of mille-feuille of coffee and praline mousse, with caramelised wafer pastry thing that I can’t remember too well (blame le beaucoup de vin rouge) and, for me, a huge vanilla soufflé with dark chocolate chips. With a candle in because *someone* had told them it was my birthday. The chef then came out to chat to us at our table for a while, bring us some handmade sweets and help me into my coat (yes, really) before escorting us to the door of his busy little restaurant and wishing us a good evening. An amazing end to a wonderful night. Merci beaucoup Le Petit Bourdelais!
No trip to Paris would be complete without a pilgrimage to one of the French pharmacies. Or, in particular, City-Pharma on the corner of Rue du Four. It’s a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare. It was also my boyfriend’s worst nightmare but he followed me around, holding my basket like a trooper and a true gent. Due to it’s popularity and reputation as the cheapest and most comprehensive pharamacie in Paris it’s super busy and the aisles are frustratingly narrow. It’s also a little daunting if you don’t know what you want or speak particularly good French. My French is… passable but I still tried to avoid asking for help and just grabbed what I wanted and paid as quickly as possible to get back out into the open and on our way to a café.
As discussed, the bounty I returned with will be the subject of the next post so if that sounds like something you’d be interested in then definitely stay tuned for that. For now, au revoir Sarah Fans!