It is Sunday night and I am trying to get myself ready for my review week at school before my exam. The problem is my brain is still on a high from such a perfect Saturday in Paris! I usually head back to Belgium after school on Friday’s however this week the trains weren’t running as usual. Instead of going home, C drove here on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend in France and Saturday in Paris.
Saturday morning we drove into the city to meet a friend from school for a full day of shopping and eating. The three of us went for lunch at A La Petite Chaise, one of the oldest restaurants in the world. It’s a beautiful dining room with a classic menu. They offer a 36 euro menu featuring an entrée, plat, and dessert, featuring every item on their menu. We had originally planned on heading there for dinner, but without reservations decided that lunchtime might give us a better chance at a table.
Each of us ordered just a main course, all of which was delicious. My duck was great, C’s duo of cod and salmon was incredible, and L’s beef was cooked just how she likes it (a rarity considering she prefers her meat ‘bien cuit’). The service was wonderful and it was the perfect start to our afternoon.
Since we were in the neighbourhood we stopped into Le Bon Marché. If you have never been you absolutely must go! It’s one of my favourite stores in the city. It’s a department store similar to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but a bit smaller and much less crowded. It also features an extensive supermarket, Le Grande Épicerie, that I could spend hours in.
The majority of our afternoon was spent wandering between cooking stores near Les Halles. There are several stores located within 5 minutes of each other an all of them are ‘must visits’. Mora was the first stop on our list, partly because as Lenôtre students we get a discount. This little store is for amateurs and professionals alike, and has a wide assortment of products.
Bovida is located across across the street from Mora and is very similar, but a little bigger. They also carry catering/take away boxes, located on their upper floors. Their selection of brands is a bit different than Mora so it’s nice to visit both stores.
The main stop on L’s list was G Detou. This odd little store is a stop for any foodie visiting Paris. It’s name is a play on j’ai de tout meaning I have everything. And they do. From chocolates to almond powder, spices, and even maple sirup, this gem is where you can find a ton of specialty ingredients.
My personal favourite cooking store is E Dehillerin. Known for their copper pots, this store can be incredibly intimidating the first time you visit. (and the second, and third…) Each item is marked with a reference number that you have to locate in folders posted around the store in order to find the prices. The staff are incredibly helpful though and are happy to share their knowledge.
After a detour for éclairs at L’Éclair de Génie, we wandered our way along the seine, stopped for a drink, and attempted to have dinner at one restaurant without reservations, before ending up near the Tour Eiffiel for incredible Italian food.
Villa Verdi is located just beside the Champs de Mars with a view of the Eiffel tower. Everything we had was delicious. We shared an antipasto platter, and each had a pasta. The view was the icing on the cake to a wonderful meal and an perfect Saturday in Paris.