Well, we came back from our break in Paris trip last week and despite having very sore feet at the end of each day, we had a lovely time! A great deal of walking was done and I really feel like I’m getting to grips with all the areas in the city now. Before we left I loaded up my phone with plenty of apps to make things a little easier and we managed to find everything we were looking for… Eventually! This trip was all about trying to steer clear of the usual tourist traps and as usual we spent quite a lot of time eating.
We were on our fourth house swap with a lovely french couple whot we’ve been exchanging abodes with for three years now, which is great because I don’t think we would have been able to afford a holiday this year otherwise. Our swaps with them are so easy and they have a really nice apartment, only ten minutes from the Eurostar at Gare du Nord. It really feels like we are going to our second home these days and I’m hoping this is a swap for life! I know a lot of people are cautious about home swapping, but we’ve been doing it for years in countries as far as Australia and have had no problems at all. I urge you to give it a go if you can.
We didn’t do much cooking this time as the weather was so good. We either took a picnic or grabbed a baguette and stuffed it with delicious meats. Yes, I ate a lot of wheat and did suffer with the bad skin consequences on my return! As I was looking to find places where Parisians rather than tourists hang out, we opted to meet some of Alex’s family in Parc des Buttes Chaumont – a very hilly park, which made picnicing somewhat of a mission. It was super-hot and it was particularly funny to see the French move closer and closer into each others personal space to get into the shade. A far cry from the British who 1) chase the sun when we see it and 2) aim to have at least a mile between each other if they can!
We ate at a few good restaurants and two of my favourite places to eat this time round were Verjus and Bistrotters. Verjus provided us with a sandwich, dessert and drink for 15 euros each – It may sound pricey, but Paris is Paris and boy, oh boy they were delicious! I opted for the Bakesale Betty – a crisp and moist fried chicken sandwich served with slaw in a bun. Alex had the Midnight Cuban- braised pork shoulder with roasted garlic mayo, pickled chiles, and cilantro on a grilled baguette. Fever tree lemonade and ginger ale were our drinks of choice and as usual I opted for the fabulous gooey chocolate brownie and Alex went for a blueberry slice. I highly recommend you stop here if you are in town. We chose to eat in because without a tray we would have got a tad messy, but you can take away and sit in the local park if you are slick, non-messy eaters!
Bistrotters comes in at number one on Trip Advisor and I was a bit wary about booking because I’m not usually one to enjoy things that everyone else does. I’m really glad we went though as it was Alex’s birthday and we had such a lovely meal in an intimate setting, with fantastic service. It’s a little way out from the usual spots, but really was worth the mission to get there – Make sure you book ahead to get a spot as it’s a pretty popular place with locals and tourists alike.
We bought tea at Mariage Freres, ate flower shaped ice cream at Amorino and had above average, but not mind-blowing burgers at Honest Burger. We also felt a little bit robbed in Helmut Newcake, a gluten free patisserie – Let me set the scene… Sitting there on the side was a nice chunk of chocolate brownie. It’s priced at about 3.5o euros, which you convince yourself is worth it for the lack of gluten and guilt. You order it and then watch in horror as the shop assistant removes it from the shelf and cuts it into three before bagging one tiny slice for you to take away. Yes, I was very sad, and yes it was also very tasty… BUT 3.50 euros?!! Why do we always ave to pay so much more for gluten free products? Grr.
Have you got any favourite places to eat in Paris?