Paris – the City of Light.
After a nice time in London, I wasn’t sure what to really expect in Paris. I was fairly confident the food would be more to our liking, but I wasn’t positive at this point. My confidence was a little shaken.
I could tell that public transportation was much more reasonably priced than London (1.3 Euros for a one way trip) and would get us to just about everywhere we wanted to go. I was relieved to know that going in to it. No more $70 US cab rides just to get to/from dinner 15 minutes from the hotel.
We spent 5 nights in Paris, and I took a lot of pictures. Probably the most in one city. I edited them down to a manageable number, though I still ended up with twice as much edited pictures as I did for London. Either way, I think we got some good ones. See the link/selected pictures below:
The last 2 days, we ate lunch at 2 of the best restaurants in Paris. Why did we decide to do lunch rather than dinner? Basically, dinner is expensive. Like, really really expensive. Both restaurants have lunch options in which you get to experience these first class restaurant for less than 1/2 the price. Each one is a classic French fine dining production. I don’t use the word “production” loosely. Not everyone appreciates what goes into these fancy shmancy meals. That’s OK. It’s not for everyone (my own sister thinks the whole thing is ridiculous). But, we both love to sit back and watch all the ritual and tradition that makes these meals so special.
Both Le Taillevent and Le Cinq are located in the Champs Élysées (a word that Justin and I have both been trying to pronounce since we got here) and just a short metro ride away from the hotel.
I’ll start with Le Taillevent: Justin said that this is the more “classic French” of the 2. We really had a fabulous meal here. When we first walked in, I noticed that it was very crowded and somewhat “bustling.” Perhaps it is a Friday hotspot for the Parisian business lunch crowd?
The lunch menu consisted of your choice of an appetizer, entree, cheese course, and dessert. You could also get 2 glasses of wine, water, and coffee for a little over 100 euros per person (about 130$). This was a super bargain as water can sometimes cost up to 15$ per bottle. So we each got the menu, including the beverages and Justin drank my wine.
Sidenote on the wine: Apparently, the traditional way to decant wine is to pour it into the decanter over a lit candle so that you can see where the sediment starts. I have never seen this but it was really neat to watch!
The amuse bouche was a shrimp roll thingy (although much fancier, of course) and it was very good. For my starter, I got Foie Gras, and Justin got oysters.
Rain rain, go away! It was a pretty yucky day in Paris today!
After breakfast, we decided to hit the highlights: The Arc de Triomphe and The Eiffel Tower.
We walked along the Champs Élysées and tried to stay dry. It wasn’t very cold unless the wind was blowing strongly. I enjoy walking around Paris much more than London. There is just something so special about this city.
We made it to the Arc de Triomphe and took lots of pictures. Next, we headed towards the Eiffel Tower. The rain started coming down a little stronger, but it was still manageable.
For our first full day in Paris, we started at The Louvre. We walked around the outside of the building, which is impressive in itself, and debated whether or not it was worth going in. There was a fairly long line to get through security. We decided to go for it and waited to get through the security line for about 30 minutes.
We left the London hotel around 9 am and headed for the airport. Guess what? It was raining. Again. We caught a taxi to the Paddington Station and took the Heathrow Express to the airport. All of this was uneventful.