Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ooh la la – A weekend in Paris

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of spending a weekend across the channel in the magnificent and ever beautiful city of Paris. It still completely bamboozles me that in the time it takes to get half way up England you can be in the French capital. We set off after lunch from London and by late afternoon we were sipping a glass of red in Paris' Latin Quarter. Saturdays don't get much better than that!

As one might expect from a weekend in France, and from even the briefest of perusals of this blog, the time was largely dominated by food and a great deal of adoration of it. On the first night we ate in a restaurant that resembled someone's living room but that had been decorated in a rather unusual style. Given that it was Valentines night it provoked much mirth that I was eating the world's best beef bourguignon under a wall decorated with bras!

We spent out days in the city just walking around and enjoying the city. On the first day we went to Versailles and soaked in the rich history and sumptuous décor.. I found myself somewhat worryingly at home in Marie Antoinette's house given her eventual fate. Every surface possible in her rooms was decorated with flowers embroidered into the furnishings and painted onto the walls.

The Grand Trianon from

The grand summer house, or Trianon, on the estate had two major wings separated by a covered, arched walk way which looked out on the countryside around. My husband I mused that life would be considerably easier if we had a wing each in our house. No more fighting over whether the Playstation or reruns of Call the Midwife dominate the telly. How tempting! Great to see romance blossoming in Paris, eh?!

Having resisted the temptations of luxury we spent most of our time in surroundings much more suited to our station, in the studenty back streets of the Latin Quarter. There the streets are a maze of typically elegant Parisian buildings, neighbourhood eateries and dusty bookshops. Possibly the greatest combination of these was the restaurant La Fourmi Ailee.

La Fourmi Ailee from
It used to be a feminist bookshop and is now the sweetest little cafe serving food on into the evening. We could hardly tear ourselves away. There I tucked into a plate of Provencale stuffed vegetables washed down with a gorgeous bottle of French red. There may have been some chocolate cake to finish the meal too, but that would really be telling!

Needless to say I fell well and truly in love with French cuisine. On our way back to the station yesterday we stumbled across a Fromager where I picked up some Brie and Camembert. This involved spending the rest of the day guarding my purchases from being squashed on the Metro like they were my first born but it was well worth it. I now have a week ahead of cheese and baguette reminiscing on such a wonderful Parisian adventure.

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