These New Balance cross trainers were made for walking…
And that’s just what they did. For six full days in Paris. Wednesday with Ghislaine (21,017 steps, 9.3 miles). It’s no wonder that I have a sore muscle (or something) around my left ankle. No blisters, though, I am happy to report. One sore toenail, but Tom at Posh Nails will fix that. TMI? Probably! I did use the métro sometimes. It was a bit frustrating that the Châtelet station is closed right now and that messed me up while trying to get to the Ritz to have a drink with friends in Bar Hemingway. It would have been faster to walk from my hotel, I think.
It’s a good thing I walked so much because I ate exceptionally well on this trip. Bertrand of My Private Paris made a couple of recommendations and I found a café on Rue Saint Dominique that I’ve wanted to try for a couple of years (it deserves its own blogpost). And ACIS treated us to two great meals, one being the apéritif dînatoire at the Pullman Hotel from the last post and the other, our farewell dinner at Lapérouse, on the Quai des Grands Augustins. Not a place I would go on my own ($$$$) but what a thrill.
From the Mercier champagne to begin–
To the coffee and little coconut and jellied fruit bites to end.
And in between?
Appetizers served on the ground floor of the restaurant, with champagne.
I love the spoon. There were also gougères. And probably other delicious little bites. I always find myself talking too much to taste everything. Quelle surprise. I found Bill who shares my love of Van Gogh. Kristi and Angela and I had a great chat. Jeremy won for best tie (Starry Night). Scott and Cindy and I became fast friends and spent time together on the food tour and at Bar Hemingway, along with Kristi and Angela. Janel, my roommate. Luis from Texas (who shared his Angelina Mont Blanc with us at the hotel afterwards- yes, we ate more). Amber and Eric. Pamela and Phil. Kathy from Nebraska. Laurie and Sean. Jeannie, Morgan, Caroline Ann from ACIS U.S. offices. Claire, Isabelle, and Bouchara from the Paris office. Bertrand.
We were then ushered into a big room upstairs for dinner.
At first, my tablemates and I were a bit confused–
This was served in a rather large bowl. Hmmm. Some new fad in the starter courses, I wondered? But the handsome young man (pictured above first serving champagne) cautioned us to wait because the dish wasn’t finished. And sure enough, in just a few minutes, another waiter came to add to the bowl. Voilà! Velouté d’asperges. Cream of asparagus soup. Very, very good.
The main course was duck. Le canard. I am very fond of duck.
With sweet potato purée.
Dessert was a first for me. Soufflé. Oui, seriously. I’ve never eaten one nor tried to make one. Until this one. Caramel. Served with sorbet.
Heavenly. Fluffy. Airy. Cloud bites of caramel air.
It was a lovely, delicious evening, as always with ACIS. They treat their teachers like royalty.
Some random photos. If you read about the history of this place, you may be a bit shocked but amused as well, I think. There are lots of little rooms and I wasn’t brave enough to poke my head into many of them. Rumor has it that George Clooney has been spotted here. I wouldn’t doubt it.
I really hope to find a tried and true recipe for soufflé. Cindy from California is, from what I heard on the trip, quite a baker, and has promised to send a recipe when she returns home. She and Scott extended their stay until Saturday. They are even luckier than I am.
Bon appétit! I hope that you enjoyed my eating adventure. I think that I need to get out a map of Paris and highlight as many streets as I can that I walked on. Before I forget and my ankle heals! And before the student adventure in March. Eat something good with someone you love! Or eat solo. Or make new friends! Be adventurous!
I was able to blog on Wordpress but not on Blogspot while away. I had a fabulous, amazing, delicious week in Paris. Here are two posts I did while on the road--
It has been an amazing trip. With only one more night to go. It always goes by so (too) quickly. I bought the macarons and chocolate today during a Montmartre food/art/history tour with the amazing Bertrand.
If you ever need a guide to show you around, Bertrand is your man. He knows Paris like the back of his hand. We learned about cheese, foie gras, bread, pastries, Picasso, other artists who lived in this wonderful neighborhood as well as the history of the quartier. My Private Paris.
I saw where my beloved Vincent Van Gogh lived with his brother Theo.
There is so much to see if you take the time to follow the winding streets, such as Rue Lepic, to the top, instead of just taking the metro to Abbesses and then the stairs or funicular to the Sacré Cœur Church.
We had blue skies (Bertrand says he has an app for that on his watch) and wind, but, hey, it’s January. Who cares anyway? There are two things I cannot control during my trips– the exchange rate and the weather. Right?
I ate lunch at a little café Bertrand recommended, Le Colibri. Excellent. Stéphane, the owner/server (?) suggested “farandole de légumes farcis” and I took him up on it.
Delicious. Yellow pepper, zucchini and tomato. Now you see it–
Now you don’t. It was that good. Stéphane asked me if I liked it, I nodded enthusiastically to which he replied “Si vous êtes contente, je suis content.” If you’re happy, I’m happy.
I love making desserts, but I really don’t eat them all that often. Tarte Normande is hard to pass up, though. I’ve tried to make it, but without a great deal of success. It is not like this…
I suppose I will keep trying!
I have made some wonderful new friends and I saw a few from last year and the year before. This type of experience feeds my soul (as well as my tummy) and makes me a much better teacher. I put my heart into teaching and I am so lucky that I get to experience France twice a year. I think I bring that enthusiasm back to my classroom. I certainly give it my all.
This trip will deserve a much longer blog post and a couple of new recipes when I get home. Until then, how about a photo of tonight’s souple à l’oignon gratinée? A great dish for a chilly rainy evening.
Bon appétit à tous!!
The view from the street just as I turn the corner to my hotel, the Hôtel de Senlis, just next to the Panthéon.
I am just next door to Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Louis Braille and Jean Moulin. Just to name four. I feel very safe! And smarter and more courageous.
It is pretty glorious here in Paris. After walking all day, I decided to take a break in the shadow of Notre Dame. I went in to the cathedral to light a candle for Mme Christiane Buchanan, my high school French teacher.
I always do this when I am in Paris. Merci, madame.
There was delicious eating going on last night on the 10th floor of the Pullman Hotel (used to be the Hilton Paris). This was our view–
ACIS treated us to an apéritif dînatoire. Ready?
And looking at them now, I realize there were things I did not photograph before eating. Oops! My bad. Little bits of lots of goodness.
Check out this cute little eating utensil!
Breakfast today at hotel —
Lunch at a café near Le Grand Palais just off the Champs-Élysées-
The was the perfect bite– cantal cheese, gésier and a fried potato-
When I put those three together, I felt kind of like the rat In Ratatouille before he gets electrocuted.
And now, lo and behold, it’s dinner time. Off to explore the neighborhood around my hotel to find something yummy.