Paris - part 2

The next day was Iain’s day to have fun. He headed off for a cheese and wine appreciation lunch. It lasted for a couple of hours and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Here is his review: “It started by going to the incorrect cellar which was dark and dingey – very narrow with a flight of stairs going into darkness! Then I was directed to the right place, where I met the other participants – 2 Americans and myself. It was very interesting and informative and our sommelier described various areas of France – he was very entertaining. A lovely way to spend time in Paris”.

Whilst Iain was enjoying himself, the boys and I went shopping for Hannah’s birthday present. We went to Galleries Lafayette – a department store with 6 levels and the most beautiful stained glass domed roof.

I discovered there were so many nooks and crannies and when you thought you had walked around one floor, there was more around a corner, and then more……….. We saw these huge jars of nutella - 5kg

Wednesday was our 20th Wedding Anniversary so we headed off to see the Eiffel Tower and the obligatory kiss underneath. OK well maybe not that about this? (Sue, I had your necklace on, as promised)Nothing can really prepare you for understanding the ‘hugeness’ of it, until you see it for yourself. It is an amazing piece of architecture. We bought tickets to go to the 3rd level – which is as high as you can go. Again we had to queue for tickets, then queue to get into the lift to go to the 1st floor, queue for the next lift up and then vice versa.
The view is amazing, as you would expect and it was great to be able to recognise some of the places that we had already visited. We spent most of the day there and then caught the bus back to do some shopping, on the way back to the apartment. The boys had an early dinner (McDonalds!) and then Iain and I stopped at a restaurant for ours. The waitress brought out little bowls with different meats – prosciutto, salami & a couple of other meats, then some nuts and olives. I had French Onion Soup for my entrée and Iain had Escargot’s. Nicholas was the only one who didn’t try one and we were all impressed with how tasty they were (quite salty). For our mains, Iain had rump steak and I had duck breast, both were lovely.
This was the first time we had eaten out – we hadn’t planned it to be like that, but we discovered that by the end of the day and we had walked up our 5 flights of stairs, the last thing we felt like was going out again, so we ate at the apartment. Likewise the dream of Iain going to the local boulangerie every morning to get me fresh croissants for breakfast didn’t happen because we discovered we didn’t have a boulangerie really close to us. Next time……..
Our last full day in Paris saw me heading off early to do the Market Cooking Class. We met outside a train station – again 4 students – a couple on their honeymoon from USA, a USA girl studying in Paris for 6 months and me.
Pino, the chef, took us to a street nearby – first off to the cheese shop. I have never seen so many cheeses. He described the various methods of making cheeses, the areas they come from, and how they are displayed in the shop.
Next stop was the butchers where he showed us the different meats – rabbits are sold with their heads on, so they can be distinguished between cats and rabbits. Years ago, some 'shonky' butchers had been selling cats instead of rabbits and the tradition has been carried on. Horse meat is very popular in France although the butcher we went into didn’t have any – apparently it tastes like Venison.
We (the students) got to choose what we wanted to cook, so we opted for force fed duck breast.
Then we went to the fish mongers and from there we chose scallops and mussels.
Onto the fruit and veg shop, where we got Jerusalem artichokes, onions, shallots, parsley and raspberries.
Finally the boulangerie – this one uses a woodfired oven so all the breads and other products are very brown but it is also apparently one of the best boulangerie’s in Paris. We chose some olive bread, baguettes and walnut bread.

Back to the cooking school we then started preparing and cooking our lunch menu: Seared Scallops and Mussels in Saffron cream sauce with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree Duck breast (magret) with Poached Pears Our cheese board
Chocolate icecream with raspberries

We then ate it!
Marion - how is this for a box of dark chocolate couverture and pure vanilla (it had vanilla pods inside)

It was such an enjoyable day and I would recommend it to anyone who hopes to visit Paris.

Whilst I had been cooking, the boys all went to see the Statue of Liberty replica, near the River Seine and then did some shopping. Our shopping time was pretty minimal, during our stay. It was just an hour here and there, and of course it was always when we were on one of the tours or in a taxi or bus, that we would see shops with nice displays and we couldn’t just stop and go shopping!
Driving and crossing the streets in Paris is crazy, even when you get a green pedestrian light, you still need to check the traffic as cars would often still zoom past. Iain became very ‘parisienne’ with walking across the streets whenever the light was red much to the frustration of the rest of us left standing on the edge of the kerb. The driving is 'crazy'!

On the morning that the airports in Europe finally opened, we looked up while having breakfast and counted 12 jetstreams, criss-crossing the skies. It continued like that, all day.

We loved our time in Paris.

Read Users' Comments (6)

6 Response to "Paris - part 2"

  1. Stephen Agnew, on April 26, 2010 at 7:41 AM said:

    When do you buy something for ME???? Ben and Nick i want to hear from you two too!!! SEE YOU SUNDAY.

  2. Barbara, on April 26, 2010 at 8:10 AM said:

    Hey there again. I want to go to Paris after seing all your pics. Everything looks fantastic and so much fun. The traffic not so much fun and you can keep the duck breasts. But everything else looks great. Gorgeous kisses under the Tower. Woo Hoo.

  3. Kirsty, on April 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM said:

    Gee you are a posting maniac now!!!
    All looks great, hope you have some photos of the hotel rooms....I love seeing rooms!!!
    That shopping centre looks amazing, I had a look at the live Paris cam on the web the other day and I saw a couple having a kiss under the tower.....had no idea at the time it was you!!!LOL
    We had our 16th on Friday and ACTUALLY remembered!!! we shared a bottle of bubbly!!!
    Looking forward to catching up next week.

  4. sue, on April 26, 2010 at 3:59 PM said:

    You really did wear my necklace - wow - thank you so much! I am loving sharing this trip with you guys - it is like being there - well almost! I loved how garlicky the snails were ...

  5. marion, on April 27, 2010 at 7:18 AM said:

    Thank you for starting my morning on such a high! Photos are wonderful. Oh the tulips, oh the shop windows (brought back memories), Oh the kiss, the chocolate, the fine dining etc., etc., etc..... I am sure you are already planning your next trip!
    Had better go and feed the babies! Looking forward to this time next week, I will have the coffee ready and made some Macarons yesterday as a trial run!

  6. margaret j, on April 27, 2010 at 9:54 PM said:

    guess you are nearly packing your bags and back to exciting Stansbury see you soon with my bags packed ready for your next trip. Margaret j.