9.3.17

A(NOTHER) WEEKEND IN PARIS

Paris - one of my favourite cities in the world. Last weekend I was back there for the third time in just over a year. This time I went with my mum, and we had the loveliest, whirlwind 36 hours (or less!) there. After an early start for one of the first Eurostar trains we headed straight to the airbnb studio I'd booked. Unfortunately our host had gone AWOL so we settled in at a local patisserie for coffees and freshly squeezed orange juice, before giving up on the airbnb host, leaving our bags with a very friendly man at his independent wine shop and setting off for a stroll around Le Marais, ducking in and out of galleries, gorgeous sun dappled squares and shops galore. I'd reserved a table at Amarante, which Lucy and I adored when we went this time last year, so meandered towards Bastille for lunch. Amarante is a tiny bistro on an otherwise residential road to the east of Bastille. But don't fooled by its random location - it's dishing up some of the best food in Paris and is 100% worth a visit. Mum and I went for the fixed lunch menu which is a steal at 19 euros for 2 courses, or 22 euros for 3. Our starters of tarama for me and liver pate for mum were perfect, followed by sublime ox cheek, greens and the jus of dreams; and fish and confit leeks for mum. I can't see myself ever visiting Paris and not eating at Amarante, and I suggest you do the same! Make sure you book though.




After finally getting hold of our airbnb host we were given the code to find the keys and let ourselves in, only to find the flat in an absolute state - literally like someone had stayed there for five days and just left moments before! It was finally sorted out, and airbnb have been great, but not the best first impression!!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon was spent mooching around Paris with mum and one of my oldest friends who moved to Paris last year. We wandered over bridges and islands, through the Jardins de Luxembourg, in and out of shops, all the time heading for Bon Marche, a department store that mum remembered from times when she lived in Paris, quite a few years ago. We had no idea what to expect, but I can honestly say I've never seen such a beautiful shop! It's a very high end store with concessions from the most luxury designer labels, so not somewhere I could afford to shop, but it's like a museum. Words can't really do it justice, just go if you're in Paris!



As the sun began to set we walked back up to the river to the Arab World Institute, where you can get up to the riverside rooftop for free and see the sights of Paris. I barely want to share this secret as it seems too good to be true - definitely head there if you want beautiful river views with no queues!



I'd heard good things about Ellsworth so booked there for dinner. Ellsworth is all about the sharing plates, something I've become pretty used to in London but I imagine is quite a novelty for Parisians. And having said that, I reckon 80% of the customers in there on Saturday night were not Parisian! Lots of British and American accents.... The food was good, but I wasn't blown away. Nice, simple plates - it reminded me of my much loved 64 Degrees in Brighton. I think the main issue for me is that I just want traditional French food when I'm in Paris, so maybe not the best place to go! Also, it's SO dark in there. Great and atmospheric but I could hardly even see mum, let alone take photos without using the torch from her phone to see what was in front of us. 




If you're looking for nice, relaxed post dinner cocktails in Paris then head to Mabel in Le Marais - a very civilised spot where you can sup on cocktails made using their homemade syrups and cordials at your own private table.  

Sunday was all about the Icons of Modern Art exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation - an amazing building designed by Frank Gehry in West Paris, where they had a vast amount of paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Picasso and others, that had been collected by French modern art afficionado, Sergei Shchukin in the early twentieth century. The exhibition has finished now but I feel privileged to have been able to see it.







Paris is a bit sleepy on Sundays so if you want to do any shopping head to the Marais before lunchtime, otherwise everything closes down. We swung by the Marche des Enfants Rouges (39 Rue de Bretagne), which is a hybrid of a farmers market cross with street food stalls, and picked up some treats to bring home, before a mooch through the Marais and finally lunch before heading home. If you're after typical French food from bistro type restaurants then head to Place des Vosges or the nearby Place Sainte-Catherine where you can find French onion soup, snails and steak frites aplenty. And if you're lucky, you'll catch this lot giving their best too!





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4 comments

  1. I missed out on the LV exhibit! =(

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    Replies
    1. Aw no. Was incredible, so lucky to have seen it. All thanks to my mama!

      Rosie xx

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  2. I don't really like Paris but your pro tips are making me want to give it another go...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GO GO GO!! I've got SO many more tips....

      Rosie xx

      Delete

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