May 13, 2024

Au Revoir Paris

I can’t believe my six weeks in Paris have come to an end. Living life as a local has been an incredible experience. If you missed my previous recap about Life in Paris, you can click the link to read.

I covered a lot of ground, literally! Paris is a very walkable city, which is a great reason to burn off all those croissants, or in my case, cheese! (insert face smack emoji)

I’ll be honest: being on my own had its high points and lows. Although my son and his girlfriend were nearby, I seriously didn’t want to be that in-your-face mom. Too late? Ha!

That said, I found out that I’m actually pretty good company all by myself; who knew? However, I do miss the company of a certain person (oh hey, Rob, that’s you!)

Highlights from the past few weeks

My son and I took the train to Beaune for “A Day in Burgundy” at the Cooks Atelier; click the link to read about our fantastic day, filled with learning, indulging, sipping, laughter, and connecting with an incredible group of individuals. 

Memorial de la Shoah

I visited the Shoah exhibit, an exploration of the history of the Holocaust. As I walked through the exhibition, I was struck by the multitude of stories displayed on the walls. Each photograph and anecdote served as a reminder of human resilience amidst immense tragedy.

Spring? Where are you?

It’s been surprisingly chilly and wet, and it felt more like January than April. However, the flower shops are ready; I’m inspired and wish I had a little terrace to plant some pretty flowers.

A trip to Jolly O’l England

I took the Eurostar to London and then the tube to Chalfont & Latimer to visit a friend for the weekend.

My hosts had everything planned, from dinner at The Jolly Cricketers Pub (don’t you just love the names?) to an afternoon at the Museum of Natural History in Tring (I’ve never seen so much taxidermy!), then a beautiful drive to the Cotswolds and lunch at Daylesford Farms. This is a lovely part of England that I’ve never experienced before. And there’s so much more; I’ll be back.

Midnight in Paris

Surprise, Surprise, one of my favourite films is Midnight in Paris. For those of you who haven’t watched this critically acclaimed movie, what are you waiting for?! It’s a who’s who of literary and artistic greats.

Watching the movie while in Paris inspired me to follow in Gil Pender’s footsteps. By the way, you don’t need to wait until midnight.

The steps of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, if you know, you know.

Polidor originally opened as a cheese store and restaurant in 1845.  In 1890, its owners closed the store to focus on the restaurant. It’s here at Restaurant Polidor that Gil meets his idol, Ernest Hemingway.

Rue Dragon

Located in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of those streets that keeps pulling me in. Why? Well, it’s home to three five-star restaurants that have caught my eye over the years—a sushi bar, traditional French, and one that serves classic Asian—plus there’s a stunning bar across the street, all under the helm of Chef Cyril Lignac. I finally decided to give it a go, opting for Aux Prés; the more traditional, the service and food were spot on, and it was definitely worth a trip.

Les Enfants du Marche

I sat down for a late lunch at the bustling Les Enfants du Marché, located in the Marché des Enfant Rouge, the oldest market in Paris (1615 to be exact) and one block away from my apartment. Score! I love the energy here. The menu changes daily, and the staff are great at helping with the wine selection. I had the mussels with gorgonzola—delish!

Champ de Mars

Also known as the 7th arrondissement, this area holds a special place for me. I stayed here for one month on my own during the summer of 2017. I love visiting, and there are so many fun memories.

La Fontaine de Mars

Whenever I visit Paris, I always make sure to book a table at La Fontaine de Mars. My landlady recommended it to me during my trip in 2017, and it has been my personal favourite ever since. The restaurant offers a wide variety of traditional tasty dishes, but the duck breast with creamy, cheesy polenta is amazing, as is the boozy Armagnac coffee. Wow!

Getting My Steps In

Yes, there were many walks. “It’s only a 15-minute walk…” However, getting to one destination, then to another, and another adds up to a lot of steps. That said, it never feels long or boring, and there’s always something new or interesting just around the corner.

Les Enfants du Marche – Take two

After inadvertently locking myself out of my apartment (seriously, WTF!) and reluctantly cancelling my only plan for my last day in Paris – a coffee meet-up with a new acquaintance – I was feeling utterly deflated. The least I could do was treat myself to a nice lunch. Since the Marché des Enfant Rouge was conveniently nearby, I couldn’t resist returning to Les Enfants du Marché for one final culinary adventure.

I joined the queue, eyeing the beautifully prepared dishes being whisked past. “Ooh…that looks delicious,” commenting to the fellow standing next to me, making a mental note of what I needed to order. As we struck up a conversation, I discovered that he was with two other friends, all visiting from Barcelona. We enjoyed a glass of wine together while waiting. “Join us for lunch,” the guys offered. I hesitated, “Me? Really? Are you sure?” They reassured me, mentioning their love for good food and wine, as long as I was okay with that. “Absolutely!” It turned out to be the best afternoon! We shared amazing plates of food and sipped natural wines, which were new to me but very delicious. I parted ways with newfound friends, a full stomach, and a cherished memory of my last day in Paris.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. So fun!

Au Revoir Paris.

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