48 Hours in Paris

It’s become pretty expensive to fly in and out of Dublin, mostly due to the rise in tech companies who have made Dublin their European base. When I looked at fares, I realized it would be just about the same, if not cheaper, to take a short flight to Paris and fly to NY from there. I have a home exchange friend, Caroline, who lives there, so after confirming that she’d be in town, made the arrangements to stay for 48 hours. You can pack a lot into 48 hours!

I landed mid-day, dropped off my bag at Caroline’s and headed out to do my favorite Paris activity…roaming! Actually I was pretty hungry, so Caroline had recommended a place called Le Bouillon Chartier in Montmartre. I’ve always wanted to meander through the covered passages of Paris, and Caroline said I could see a few on my way to the restaurant. I took the Metro to Les Halles and walked over to Galerie Vivienne, the one I’d heard the most about….then got lost through a few passages that I don’t know the names of…before stopping at the restaurant. The passage & galeries are charming places with restaurants and shops to explore. Unfortunately, there was some construction going on in Galerie Vivienne, so some of the shops were closed, but it was fun and felt like I was taking a secret passage way to get from one street to another.

Le Bouillon Chartier restaurant is over 100 years old and quintessential old Paris. It’s large historical dining room seats many, and there are usually lines out front. I happen to hit it mid-afternoon, so there was no wait, but when you dine solo you sometimes have to be willing to sit with complete strangers at a small table. The couple at my table were nice, but it was obvious they weren’t planning on another “guest” at their table. I had the escargot, which came out very quickly…and didn’t linger, so they could have some alone time.

I continued to wander the streets of the 9th arrondissement and more little passageways for a few hours. It was Monday, so, of course, I had to stop in a corner bistro for dinner along the way for some pizza!

no, i didn’t eat the whole thing…but I was tempted too…it was good!

I knew I wanted to end my day at my favorite spot, St. Regis, a corner cafe on the Ile St. Louis. It’s the epitome of a Parisian cafe and I’ve stopped in for a glass of wine every time I’ve been to Paris. It has a beautiful view of the back of Notre Dame…which, sadly, looks a bit different now due to the recent fire.

not the view from the cafe, but wanted to capture the new facade

The second day I had signed up for a cooking class in a Parisian apartment at 10:45, so took the metro over to the 20th arr. It was fun meeting the others, all from the US,  and learning some new recipes.

Chef Fred
filet de turbot over julienned vegetables with cilantro infused coconut milk sauce
passion fruit souffle

If you want any new cookware E. DEHILLERIN is the place to go in Paris. It’s overwhelming…and awesome!

Tuesday evening I’d signed up for Caroline’s unique Parisian Jazz Club Experience and it was so cool! There were 18 of us in the group nestled in a cozy club for three hours of jazz and a tour of the 17th century part of the building. What a fun, relaxing evening!

There’s a tea that I love called Marco Polo, from Mariage Freres, that Caroline introduced me to the last time I was there and I forgot to pick some up. I hopped on the metro to make a quick trip there and bought a couple of boxes to take home (yes, I can buy them online…and have…but I was in Paris, why not bring some home!) Found some cute passages and cafes along the way.

A whirlwind, fun 48 hours in Paris!

coming up…four days in NY with Jude!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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