This summer, in search of inspiration, I invited a few friends on a tour of France. We decided to see the sites, check out the local culture and most importantly taste the food in each area. If you are going to start a foodie tour of France there is no better place to start than Paris.
What I love about Paris is that it is so rich in history, fine architecture and art, yet very modern in style and culture. You can wander for hours through parks and along the Seine and almost forget that you are in the heart of a great city.
We stayed in the 6th arrondissement between the Jardin du Luxembourg and Boulevard St. Germain in a lovely boutique hotel called Hotel St. Paul. From the hotel we walked endlessly to see how much of this amazing city we could fit into each day.
The 6 best things about our time in Paris were:
1. Enjoying a relaxing lunch in an outdoor café in the Jardin des Tuileries after a long tour of the Louvre. There were four cafes in the park each offering a different menu, a quiet place to eat and rest before heading out for more site seeing. We chose a lovely spot and enjoyed a fresh Quiche Lorraine and salad finished off with our favourite café crème.
2. Touring the Rodin Museum and the surrounding gardens is always a special day. The gallery is housed on a mansion with picture perfect gardens. The sculptures are shown throughout the grounds and inside the house.
3. Exploring Rue Cler for food delicacies. This street is located near the Eiffel tower in the nearby neighbourhood and is home to some lovely food shops, patisseries and cafes. It is a food lovers must see.
4. Sitting in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the afternoon sun and watching the families play while listening to a free concert and sipping café crème. Parisian families scatter throughout the park enjoying the gardens and listening to music.
5. Dinner at Il Suppli. We found this lovely Italian restaurant one evening not far from our hotel. This cozy, family run bistro made us feel welcome even without a reservation and never rushed. We lingered over delights such as light and fluffy Gnocchi with buffalo mozzarella and Scaloppini Limone that was fork tender. The wine lists boasted some very nice Tuscan varietals that paired perfectly with our main courses. My desert was a rich Tiramisu that added the perfect ending to a great meal.
6. And lastly, the thing that I loved the most about Paris was the abundance of Macarons. Those fluffy little meringues in a rainbow of colours and flavours filled the shops with bright circles that remind you of buttons on a child’s sweater. Their light texture and subtle flavours tease the palette with sweet delight.
Part 2-Provence to be continued………………….