My ideal day in Paris...

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

I have a love/hate relationship with Paris (like I do with London, New York and Hong Kong), perhaps it's like any human relationships, the less you know, the better. Now that I keep a fair distance from Paris, I am able to enjoy it more. Contrary to the advice from travel guidebooks, my ideal time to visit is when all the Parisians and tourists are away: August. It just means that I can enjoy Paris without the crowds. Paris is hedonists' heaven because it is where they can indulge in all kinds of sensual pleasures, whether it is food, wine, fashion, jewellery or art etc. My ideal day in Paris would revolve around food and art; since I love food markets, I would visit the local food market in the morning, followed by a leisurely brunch/ lunch. Then a visit to the museum or gallery, and if possible ( when the weather is pleasant) a stroll in the park. An afternoon tea/ coffee at a good pâtisserie or tea room is a must too.

However, since I only had one full day to enjoy Paris, I chose to pace myself rather than rushing around trying to fit everything in...

One of my favourite Parisian markets is Marché biologique des Batignolles, an organic market in the 17th District. The produce include cheeses, vegetables, seafood, meat, jam & honey, nuts & dates, bread and cidre etc, although the produce here are pricey, everything tastes so fresh that it's hard to resist. The market only opens once a week on Saturday mornings, and since I missed it, I went straight for brunch instead at a Philippe Starck designed chained eatery called, Le paradis de fruits. From its name, you can guess that the restaurant offers healthy fruit-related menu with lots of salads, smoothies, juices and cocktails etc. I chose the 'mer rouge' salad which turned out to be a lot more substantial than I thought but it was healthy and yummy at the same time!

The trip to the museum lasted hours, and I was getting slightly peckish again, so I went to another favourite spot minutes away from Colette, L'Ecume St-Honore, a fishmonger with a seafood/ oyster bar. It seems odd to see a fishmonger close to the most exclusive fashion brands in the world, but perhaps that is why I love this shop. I have been coming here for years and it hasn't changed a bit... The service is always friendly and I esp. love the seagull sound in the background! I chose the 6 oysters with bread and a glass of white wine for €14.50, which I think is pretty good value esp. for this area.

Not far from the fishmonger is a tea salon/cafe that I like to visit when I get the chance because it is not as busy as Ladurée or Angelina but serves equally delicious cakes. Located on top of its chocolate shop, Jean-Paul Hévin's tea salon/ cafe is often overlooked (luckily) by tourists who only pop in to buy their famous chocolates. One of my favourite is their cheesecake, which is light and fluffy, unlike the American style that makes you feel heavier after only a few bites. Their truffles are also heavenly...

Just as I was feeling disappointed about not being able to visit the food market, unexpectedly, I stumbled upon one near Hôtel de Ville which still had Christmas trees and lights on! Happily, I bought a few items to bring back to London to ease my craving for French produce...

In the early evening, a short stroll along the river is the best way to appreciate the wonders of this city. And no matter how many times you have been here, it is hard not to be stunned by its beauty. It is also a perfect way to end the day.

 


This post was posted in Food & dining, Travel, Paris and was tagged with Food & dining, paris

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