31 May 2010

Paris Day 1

Well, it's been ages since I wrote, and the reason is that we went to Paris for a long week-end and prior to that, I had to empty the fridge. This exercise is nothing to write about, however Paris is, so this'll be a very long post.

Lundulph had never been to Paris before and last time I went was 11 years ago, so we pretty much repeated my sightseeing escapades from then. Lundulph did most of the photographing, averaging about 250 photos a day. Being two is much better than one, though and we also did a few restaurants and I did the snapping of our food and that's what I'll write about.

On our first day we lunched at Ladurée, the Champs Elysées branch. Both of us were sweaty, dusty and tired and generally scruffy looking, so it was rather odd to wander in to the elegance of the restaurant. But we were seated in the cooler outdoor(ish) section and were presented with their thick menu book. It was a nice relief that the waiters spoke English and were quite friendly. Both Lundulph and I went for a big salad and sadly we were too hungry to take time and photograph them. Also sadly the Ladurée web site is a year out of date, so the menu there doesn't have the salads we ate. Still, Lundulph ordered one with wild rocket salad and cured meat with mustard vinaigrette. When it arrived it turned out to have stealth cheese. Lundulph doesn't eat cheese and was rather upset about that, after all the menu had bothered to mention the type of mustard, yet had omitted to mention the cheese. He also thought the rocket was a bit overpowering, though was happy with the balance of flavours otherwise. I went for a salad with a soft boiled egg. Didn't pay attention to the green bits, but I think it might have been Summer purslane. I'd never come across it before. Though searching on the web, indicated that it might not have been, the leaves were a different shape. I think it was perhaps some sort of water plant. It had a fairly neutral taste, but lovely texture and crunch and looked very pretty. The egg was cooked perfectly and when I punctured it, I ended up with a great creamy salad dressing.

After further loads of walking in the heat, I thought we could refresh ourselves a bit at a tea salon. We'd just reached the Bastille and I thought why not pop in to Lenôtre? And so we did, it was wondefully cool and also there was no tea salon, but just a patisserie to buy loads of fab looking little things. As much as I would have loved to, there was no way I'd buy anything from there only to carry it around Paris for the rest of the day, so we quickly made a U-turn and walked out. I don't think the ladies in the shop even noticed that we'd been there. What to do now? Well, there seemed to be a tiny café next door, so we went in.

It was called Le Paradis du Fruit and turned out to be a smoothie parlour, a very colourful one. We were seated and given a menu and once again faced the agony of choosing. Agony, because there were a lot more things that we could possibly consume in one go. Lundulph decided on a raspberry-strawberry-yoghurt mixture, whereas I went for the Josephine Baker, which had passion fruit, mango and coconut. I also instantly regretted going for the regular size, where the big one would have been better.

While we enjoyed our smoothies, the children at the next table were served massive coupes of ice cream and fruits and I so hoped that we'd stumble across another of these parlours over the next few days, but sadly we didn't.

In the evening we went to look at the Eiffel Tower and had dinner at one of the brasseries nearby. That was nasty, I found two hairs in my dish and my fork was dirty (though I swapped it with the one on the next table). Our steaks were a bit on the gristly side too, but the chips were OK. The beers were ridiculously expensive. The whole thing was a mistake. But Saturday was over and we were knackered after a whole day's walking around.

Luckily for the next two evenings I'd booked tables for dinner from the Idéal Gourmet. Not sure how I stumbled across this web site, but I did and it had a list of beautiful restaurants and the possibility of booking online with a three course menu, all inclusive for a decent price.

Our adventure continues in Paris Day 2

1 comment:

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

Boo to stealth cheese, one of my bisggest restaurant pet hates is not listing things on menus properly.

Paris looks and sounds lovely, am jealous.