Monday, June 6, 2016

Spring in France, Chapter 1 - Paris

It's been a whirlwind 2 months of celebrations.  I admit, I took any and every opportunity to celebrate this new decade.  

I kicked things off in early April with a trip to France.  An opportunity to revisit some favorite spots as well as explore new-to-me regions, it was all so amazing.

We started in Paris, with 2 nights and one full day to explore the city.  

We stayed at the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais which I cannot more highly recommend, perfect location in the Marais, small but charming rooms, attentive service, all at the right price.  




We got in just in time to make our way to Le Garde Robe for an aperitif before dinner at Spring, full post to come on our fabulous meal.   

First charcuterie platter of the trip!
Early to bed, I woke up early Sunday morning and headed out in search of the "best" croissant in Paris.  This time around a friend suggested I try Blé Sucré, an easy 1 mile jog away from our hotel.  I set out on the quiet streets of Paris, the sun was shining and the sky was so blue, the perfect day!  I started running down Rue Saint-Antoine, which was surprisingly free of cars.  As I approached Place de la Bastille, I realized why, it was the last stretch to the finish line of the Paris marathon happening that morning!  The closest I'll ever get to a finish line of a marathon, I couldn't resist a selfie.


I made it to the bakery, and started to run back, croissants in hand.  By this time the real marathoners had started to make their way down the route; cheerleaders on the side were all yelling at me that I was going the wrong way!  I'll run for croissants but you'll never catch me doing 26.2 miles!

I got back to our room and set up breakfast, including the first of the Cavaillon melons and fresh strawberries from the Place d'Aligre market.  Better than any overpriced restaurant breakfast! 

And as for the croissants?  They just might be the best.....


Fortified, we headed out for the day.  We didn't get very far before we stumbled upon the cutest little coffee shop which also doubles as a bike rental shop.  Our barista Paul made us the finest pour-overs and then we were really on our way!


On to Ile de la Cité, the line to climb the stairs of Notre Dame was already around the corner, so we moseyed on, ending up at Sainte-Chapelle.   


I visited this church when I first visited Paris 9 years ago, but half of the church had been under renovation.  I was so excited to return on a sunny day!  The line was also pretty long, but insiders tip, we bought tickets online, while waiting on line, and were able to skip to the ticket-holders line, saving us at least an hour of waiting time.     




We carried on to Saint-Germain for lunch at one of my favorite discoveries of my last trip, L'Avant Comptoir, I've literally been dreaming of that bread and butter for 2 years.  We bellied up to the bar and over-ordered as we do best.  Artichoke, scallops, the infamous hot dog topped with duck confit, beef carpaccio, and not 1, but 2 desserts, the espresso crème brûlée and a chocolate pot de crème.   







Thoroughly stuffed, we set out to walk it off.  We headed over to the 7th and breezed through a brocante before heading to the Eiffel Tower.  We walked back along the Seine and ended up window shopping in the Marais.   



Couldn't resist a pretty box of macarons from Pierre Herme
For dinner, we met some friends who own Floyd's, a Parisian spin on homecooked American classics and BBQ.  

Cocktails taste better when made by friends!
Rabbit and waffles!

Our plan for an early Sunday dinner (since we were still so jet-lagged and all) somehow turned into flaming cocktails at Dirty D*ck and staying out until three in the morning.  Oops...when in Paris!




We tumbled into bed and got about 3 hours of sleep before we had to wake up for our train to Strasbourg.  More on that leg of the trip to come!

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