Avec toi à Paris

This weekends horrific events in Paris prompted me to write all the beautiful things that I remember from my most recent trip to the City of Light. Despite devastation, Paris has a special place in my heart and the hearts of millions more and these acts won’t ever take away it’s sparkle. #prayforparis
I’ll never be done with Paris, those poky and historic apartments, the way Parisians carry themselves, the way everything looks like a perfect doll’s house. This trip was particularly special – after 8 long months apart Will surprised me with a trip to Paris and the Champagne region to eat, drink, stroll, people watch and love every minute, together. 

 

in awe
 
The heart of St Germain the 6th arrondissement was our home for 2 nights. A stunning and trendy area of Paris, I particularly loved looking over St. Germain from our tiny apartment. 

gazing

We ate….

Croque monsieurs whilst sipping double espressos at Les Deux Magots…. €50 later… But that’s a sunk cost as I write this (a delicious sunk cost!). 

The most delicious 8 course degustation at Le Comptoir in 6e whilst being serrenaded with an accordion straight off the street. So, so special and quintessentially Parisian. 

 

le comptoir – after the 8th course
 
Rabbit and duck, stumbling upon a packed restaurant at 930pm, up a rickety staircase and brushing elbows with our neighbours – I love finding places like this in Paris! I can’t even remember the name but the memory stays with me. That creme brûlée cheesecake…

that tart…

Of course, croissants and espresso on Rue de Buci watching Paris wake each morning. 

 

morning pastry happiness
 
Having already been to Paris, it was the perfect opportunity to just enjoy and soak it all in …we took un flaneur across Rue st Honoré, Le Tour Eiffel / Garden de Tuileries / Le Pont des Arts / Le Louvre / Sacrecouer et Montmartre.   

beautiful finds on our flaneur

 For the next 2 days I popped my Champagne cherry and I’ll do it all over again! 

 

just one for now
 
There is no way that I cannot come back to champagne and sip on a glass of sparkles from every champagne house, learning and appreciating the long process of making champagne (which you can only call Champagne if it’s from Champagne!). I now appreciate it much more and must think twice before smashing it back like water at the next work Christmas do. 

 

sampling a little one
 
We explored the big champagne houses, mostly based in Reims. Tattinger and Veuve Cliquot were our picks and it was exciting to be in the caves, learning the process before sampling the bubbles. Some vintage bottles are kept for 10 years and a ‘vintage year’ is determined via a group of professionals that ascertain the year with a ‘perfect harvest’. Glorious weather and an abundance of perfect grapes means that all vineyards around Champagne pop their corks in celebration for a vintage year.  

 

the caves where the magic happens
 
Reims is a stunning mini-Paris with more space, more fresh air and vineyards close by. They have a fabulous food scene, where epiceries source goods from all over France and will be happy to explain the details of where each cheese and cured meat comes from. We gazed over rooftops with champagne, drank champagne after exploring the original Nôtre Dame, dined with champagne and learnt about champagne. Frankly my alcohol consumption is about to get a whole lot more expensive! 

Not to mention what we ate…. 

Le Coq Rouge – for Mademoiselle, fish and vegetable chorizo risotto. For Monsieur – lamb shoulder + tagliatelle . followed by a bright green and surprising pistachio and Rasberry creme caramel 

Epicerie au Bon manger – we had cheese, cured meats and champagne from here there and everywhere, articulated to us by a very excited epicurean.  

Suzzette and Sazzarin Crepes – not much to say after explaining the following flavours…. 1x goats cheese ham and walnut crepe, 1 x egg ham tomato and cheese crepe + 2 x chocolate, banana and caramel butter crepes = brunch. Miam. They were made with blé noir, a healthy alternative to plain white flour which made it ok to have 2 each. Right?!

  
There must be another trip to France next year, bien sûr. I couldn’t possibly get through 2016 without one. 

Pop! 

EC xx

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