Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Four days in Paris

Besides walking myself silly and eating far too much, I managed to do a little bit more this trip to Paris than shopping.

I didn't quite make it to the Orangerie, deciding my time would be better spent at WH Smiths. I know, I know, but remember I live an English-book-deprived life here in the south and the thought of browsing shelves of books won out over the Water Lilies. Next time, I promise.

While I was there I managed to note down a restaurant to try that evening, L'AOC, in the 5th. (I always stay at the Hotel de la Sorbonne, it's cheap, well located, and in a safe area for women on their own.) The food was simple but delicious, from the vélouté de poireaux served over lardons to the cochon rôti with mash and then the most beautiful moelleux au chocolat (pictured). Sel de Guerande and a peppermill on the table, Laguiole knives, soft yellow walls, candlelight and an old copy of Larousse Gastronomic on one of the shelves; this little resto was a good find.

The next day, after a run in the Jardin de Luxembourg in the morning and then an hour spent at the Jacques Prévert exhibit at the Hotel de Ville (definitely worth the loooong wait in line), I travelled up to the 19th to the Hammam Medina. What bliss! And the perfect way to spend a rainy Friday afternoon. Just one word of warning though, don't be put off by the facade of the place, which according to the Duke looks like a porn palace. I took the Formule Détente which included the hammam, gommage (imagine sandpapering your entire body), massage and tea and pastry for 55 euros. My skin still feels like butter....

Saturday was a day of walking and shopping and then I met up with some friends in the Marais for dinner and drinks. Sunday morning was filled with reading the Sunday paper at Le Rostand cafe, overlooking the Jardin de Luxembourg, and then finding some good secondhand Ladybird Early Reader books for the oldest little lady at Shakespeare & Co. My train left the Gare de Lyon at 3.20 which was actually good because by that point I wanted to cut my feet off.

So, a perfect mix of doing, watching, being, eating, walking and relaxing. In theory I should now not need to get away again for a few more months. But funny how traveling has the opposite effect on me. The more I do it, the more I want to do it...

2 comments:

Mouse said...

A perfect Paris interlude!
Thank you for sharing...

Betty C. said...

Paris is so wonderful. Glad you had a good trip.

I'm all for bookshops, but amazon.co.uk is great for getting books in English too...I mean when you don't have Paris in the vicinity...