We're back for a few days now and trying to detox by holding off sweets for at least a week. I caved in after 48 hours. Pffffftttttt........ 10 days flew past in a blink of an eye. I know I've said it before but I'm beyond grateful for the friendships that have developed from the blogging community. I've been to Paris 7 times before but our experience was enriched by the people we'd met, namely, Anne and Carin. Traveling has opened my eyes and mind to new cultures and ideas but when memories of places start to fade and details are forgotten, the warmth and the hospitality that I'd experienced from various individuals leave an indelible mark on my life.
The last time I made it to the Marché des Enfants-Rouge (the oldest covered market in Paris), it was closed. The place was practically heaving when we got there. We managed to get a small crate of strawberries but later, I was told by a Marais local that the creperie and Japanese stalls are absolutely incredible. Never mind......next time.
In the midst of the chaos that surrounded Place de la République and various road blocks, it was a relief to find a calm oasis within the historic Temple which is only a few minutes walk away. Families sat on the benches while the kids ran around inside the confines of the fenced playground which was in fact, a large sand pit. Lil L dived right in and joined the hordes of little cherubs running around while I sat back, people watched and surreptitiously (and unsuccessfully) tried to pap chic Parisians (the things I do in the name of blogging).
We'd set out to search for a particular restaurant that specialized in Lyonnais cuisine. If we were truly smart, we would've called and made a booking. Hence, we would've known that it was closed for lunch on Saturdays. D'oh! So I had another "brilliant" idea - that is, to wander into the small and narrow lanes because most of the best eating places are cleverly tucked away from high foot traffic streets.
We literally stumbled upon L'ilot, a compact seafood restaurant which looked more like a relaxed café. The customers, mostly locals were perched on tall stools, dining alfresco, sipping wine and slurping oysters. Lil L was the most adventurous out of the 3 of us. To the owner's delight, she worked her way through the plate of sea snails, oysters and smoked salmon pate with gusto. The fish soup was unbelievably good. We shared the cafe gourmand dessert and I had to stop them from licking the plates. Yes, it was THAT good. AND very very affordable.
I've been dying to try Jacques Genin chocolates for sometime. But even for a glutton like me, it was nearly impossible to eat continuously without a break. So I guess I'll just have to make yet another trip across the channel again.
Outfit: Rick Owens leather jacket, Isabel Marant x H&M sweatshirt, Zara boyfriend jeans, Repetto flats, Chanel sunglasses and Chanel WOC.
Lil L and I shared a slightly larger than a cabin sized 4 wheel trolley suitcase. I know we'll be navigating through the Underground maze and the equally challenging Metro once we've crossed the pond so I knew we had to pack light. I like clothes but I love eating more. Hence, loose fitting garments....... (you can tell where my priorities lie).
3 adults and 1 child polished the entire tray of dessert as well as the crate of strawberries in one seating. "I guess you want me to hold this up by the window?" asked Anne. You see? That's the beauty of hanging out with a foodie and blogger. They know exactly what to do without being told...... And if you ever wonder why Parisians can splurge on patisseries several days a week and never EVER diet yet they're so slim...... ask Anne (she biked 45 minutes to meet us at our apartment and 45 minutes back again). Anne, thank you again for your wonderful company.
Initially, Carin suggested we meet for coffee at Telescope, the hip cafe near Opera so that I can easily hop on the train to the godforsaken Disney park (where parents suffer various forms of torture because we love our kids). By 11.30, we were thinking about lunch......so I procrastinated and decided lunch was of utmost importance particularly if I had to gird my loins for the onslaught in Disneyland. Both Carin and the incredibly chic Parisian who sat at the next table insisted we have to eat at the newly opened Kunitoraya branch a few steps away from the cafe. The tempura was lipsmackingly scrumptious. So was the udon in the lightly flavored dashi miso soup.
Despite the non-stop-all-day gorge fest - I mean uncountable cakes/macarons/chocolate/crepes as well as anything and everything smothered in salted caramel that had passed through these lips of mine........ I have not put on a single pound. Incredible. I don't suppose I could count my kind of "walking" as a form of exercise because our short strolls are punctuated with copious cups of espresso and yes, whatever patisserie we happened to stumble upon.
Marché Les Enfants-Rouge
9 rue de Beauce
Metro: Filles du Calvaire, Temple, Arts et Métiers or Saint-Sébastien Froissart
4 rue de Corderie
133 rue de Turenne
Metro: Filles du Calvaire, Oberkampf, République or Temple
5 rue Villedo