Since we hired an apartment for our time in Paris we didn’t really dine out much, but I suppose we did have a decent sampling of the markets and little shops as well as the restaurants and cafes. Paris is an expensive city to visit but the markets are fun to peruse, so I think having your own kitchen is the way to go! Here’s a few of the things I sampled:
- People really will line up for an hour to get the best baguette. I have to admit I wasn’t that patient and just got mine from whatever boulangerie was nearby. A bit of bread, a bit of French cheese and some wine makes a pretty decent meal.
- The markets on Rue Moufftard were an easy walking distance from our apartment, so I had fun buying cheese, wine and roast chickens with my extremely limited French. Food shopping in a Parisian market was on my list of things I wanted to do there, and it was a big tick from me!
- In our few meals out we tried French delicacies like confit canard (duck cooked in fat), steak tatare (raw minced steak with sauces and toppings) and steak frites (steak and chips). My favourite dish was duck cooked four ways – confit, pate, terrine and roasted. Unfortunately I can’t for the life of me remember where we ate it!
- Wine in bottleshops is very cheap by Australian standards – a pretty nice tipple can be had for about 5 euros. Out and about it can vary widely depending on how touristy the place is – we paid a lot for a really horrible half carafe of red wine in a jazz bar, which sadly was a bit of a mistake.
- We visited the iconic Ladurée on the Champs Elysee, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. It probably is the worst Ladurée location to go to in terms of crowd (we waited in line for about half an hour), and I’m not sure that the quality matches the exorbitant prices. My (expensive) éclair was a bit on the dry side, although The Boy had no complaints about his little cake. Of course I couldn’t resist getting a box of macarons, which were decent but paled in comparison to others we had elsewhere in France. Still, I do love the pomp and the branding of the place, and service was of course impeccable. The pretty macaron box was the perfect size to keep our Instax photo in, so ended up being my only souvenir from Paris.
- Coffee in general was pretty average all through France. I think we’re spoiled in Australia with our big coffee culture, so I was a bit disappointed!Pastries are everywhere, of course, and I ate them every chance I got. Patisseries and boulangeries vary in quality, but it’s usually pretty easy to tell which don’t make their own pastries in house. The best pastries I had were purchased down the road from our apartment, very early in the morning, possibly because they were incredibly fresh!
My favourite pastry? Pain aux raisins!