Eating & Exploring Paris

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Temple-marche-fish
strawberries

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.


Temple-park-1
temple-park-2

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).


temple-street

Lilot-oysters
Lilot-soup
Lilot3
Lilot4
Lilot-cafegourmand
Lilot2

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.


jacques_genin1
Jacques_genin2

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.


OOTD
IRO-sandals
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).


dinner

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.


2014-04-14 02.11.31 1
2014-04-14 02.01.46 1

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
75003 Paris
Metro: Filles du Calvaire, Temple, Arts et Métiers or Saint-Sébastien Froissart


L'ilot
4 rue de Corderie
75003 Paris


Jacques Genin
133 rue de Turenne
75003 Paris
Metro: Filles du Calvaire, Oberkampf, République or Temple


Kunitoraya 2
5 rue Villedo
75001 Paris
Metro: Pyramides




24 comments:

  1. Stunning photography, I'm really drawn to the box of strawberries....so neat (neat as in tidy, not neat as in cool). Sounds as if you had an amazing time x

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    1. They were really sweet and thankfully, not expensive.

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  2. Thank you so much for your fabulous posts on Paris, Marlene. It's been delightful to experience it through you. So glad you had a wonderful time. I'll definitely save these tips for the next time I'm there. Merci!

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    1. You're most welcome, Laurel! I *ahem* vow to spend a bit more time on the fashion front when I'm in Paris again. Paris is......not just about food :P

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  3. I am so glad you did enjoy your stay in Paris. And I think you were lucky enough to get some sun and warmer weather, those last days are cold and grey and rainy. And April is still the right month to eat seafood.
    I'll be in London for a week next month, can't wait!

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    Replies
    1. I can't believe how lucky we were in Paris, weather wise. The weather there is just as unpredictable as the UK.

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  4. Oh the food looks glorious! (again priorities, I have none :) And good on Little L for being so adventurous, don't think anyone would have persuaded me at her age to have snails! Had regular snails a while back, they kinda taste like mussels? They were made with cheese and sorta herb-y butter and that makes everything taste better :)

    And that's why you have to love holidays, you change your surroundings, walk around a lot and kinda snoop on the regulars? I think the PC term is people-watch? :) And the biggest preoccupation is what to have for lunch/dinner :)

    Maybe you shouldn't have chucked that pedometer your doctor gave you? :) Am starting to get obsessed with mine, ate so much for Easter (it's kinda a big gorge fest thing here) so by mid-afternoon it was - enough of that, I'm going for a walk and I did 8 kms. Made me feel a bit better.

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    1. Oops. That pedometer is long gone...... The snails were fine but I'm really not a fan of oysters. Blech. I think I need more than just walking to get my fitness level up again. It's pretty shocking at the moment.

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  5. I will be in Paris with my son (age 8) for two days in June and would love to hear some child-friendly suggestions, if you have them. I am not "loving" enough to take him to Disney. :)

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    1. Dear Lord! I'm not THAT loving too. We only went because 1) Lil L did really well in school 2) it was her birthday 3) and most importantly, we got the 2 day Disney pass free via air miles. After all that torture, she informed me that she loved Tuilleries more (face palm). One of my friends wrote a series called Paris with Kids. Here's the link: http://www.swoon-mag.com/travel/browse/1.html

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    2. Thank you so much -- what a helpful series. Tuileries it is!

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    3. I think they'll probably set up that gorgeous carousel by the time you get to Paris.

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  6. Thank you for your blog, I've been enjoying the lovely photos of Paris - interesting and not clichéd. On a practical note - how much can you get in the WOC.? You look very petite I don't know where you hide the calories :-)

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    1. Erm.....I'm very petite and I LOVE slouchy clothes. That's why I eat the way I do and rarely feature my outfits..... Tell you what...I'll photograph what I can fit into my WOC this week.

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  7. Your pictures get better and better Marlene. The food looks amazing, what a lovely family trip x

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  8. Sea snails. I had one once - I was trying to be open minded. And never again. But I guess you have to try everything the once at least.

    The food looks so good and how on earth you didn't put on any weight I will never know! Lucky lucky you!

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    1. Actually, the sea snails were pretty good. It's the oysters that I can't handle. I ate smaller portions though. I think that's probably why I didn't gain any weight despite the non stop eating.

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  9. Beautiful photographs Marlene. You look like you got totally immersed in Paris. Such a lovely benefit of blogging all of the amazing people you have met and friendships that have been devloped. Those really are priceless. I think I would come back 10kg heavier if I visited Paris for 2 weeks. That food... my weakness.

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    1. Thanks, Mandi. Hm...I was rather surprised I didn't gain a ton of weight. Hope you get to come back over this side of the world soon.

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  10. I'm impressed with Lil L's eating habits! Now you've got me hungry for really good oysters. With a great white wine, nothing is yummier for me.

    You're a better mom than me, Marlene. Wild horses couldn't drag me from Paris to spend a day at Disney. No. Way. Heck - we live in Florida and I still avoid it as much as possible.

    You know - you should do a little "Marlene's Paris Addresses" post. Seriously. If I ever make it there again, that's all I need. And Ines' book..... :)

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    1. Well, that little rascal of mine has trying to convince me that it's a good idea to visit Disney World in Orlando. No way in hell. I've been meaning to update this layout so there's a proper travel section.

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  11. your photos are simply amazing ( i know i kno, i always say that but i can't help it everytime i look at ur photos im like WOW). those strawberries look SO good.
    xO!
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  12. Thank you for the dinner! I hope to hold many dessert plates for you in the future ;-)

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