Ten Days in Paris Recipe

I packed my bags for Paris recently when Clotilde and I decided to trade apartments. I went to Paris, she came to San Francisco. I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures and reading a list of highlights from the trip.

Ten Days in Paris

Update: 4/2/12 I'm consolidating my Paris information onto a more current page. It includes a map, a long list of places I enjoy in Paris, and links to other Paris references. Here's the link: Paris: Places I love.

It's 5:45 in the morning, the sky is starting to glow ever so slightly near the horizon, and all is still and quiet outside. I'm sitting on my sofa wide awake. My body thinks it's the middle of the day, and there is no way around it - I'm in for a couple more early mornings before I can shake this jet lag. So. I thought I'd make myself some tea, watch the sun come up, and take a bit of time to share my notes on Paris, before the details of this adventure start to slip my mind.

Ten Days in Paris

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Clotilde and I decided to swap apartments. She came to San Francisco while I went to Paris. Wayne and I spent ten days in Paris criss-crossing the city on foot and by subway, darting into patisseries, taking photographs, and sitting on benches in flower-lined city gardens. We ate well in Paris, and I found plenty to be inspired by in the little cafes serving up seasonal tarts, salads, crepes, and quiches.

We settled into Clotilde's lovely Montmartre apartment just short walk down the hill from the Sacré-Cœur. After the long flight Wayne and I unloaded our bags and walked five minutes to Rose Bakery for a late lunch. I'll tell you right now, I could eat there everyday for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. The curried yellow lentil soup I ordered hit just the right note that first rainy day in Paris. The rain cleared in the afternoon and we eventually walked up the hill to the Sacre Coeur. It was a nice (if not touristy) way to start our exploring. Paris at your feet, the sun threatening to set behind the Eiffel Tower off in the distance, Parisians lounging on the steps with wine in hand.

Ten Days in Paris

We then dove right in to the museums, cafes, and hussle-bustle of Paris. There were many things worth remembering about this trip, but I tried to condense it into a list of highlights - places I loved, great food I tasted, the best things I did. Hopefully the list can serve as a bit of inspiration if you find yourself in Paris sometime soon.

Paris highlights: Shopping for seasonal gems at the Saturday morning President Wilson Market - fresh hazelnuts, currants, flame-tinted grapes, pretty flowers and piles of golden chanterelles. // Cartier-Bresson exhibit at the Musee d'Art Modern // Planet Parr exhibit at Jeu De Paume. // Picnic lunch & people watching at the Luxembourg Gardens. // Good pizza with arugula, frosty beer, and friendly service at La Briciola in the Marais. // Browsing hundreds of stalls of books, chandeliers, and vintage wares at the Sunday flea markets in Clignancourt - I should also mention we had a tasty Breton-style buckwheat crepe with egg and a bit of cheese, just down the road a few steps from the market Dauphine stalls. Highly recommended if you need a quick bit of shopping sustenance. // Stopped into Mariage Freres for a few tea-related gifts. // Best fallafel sandwich ever at L'as du Fallafel in Le Marais - enjoyed while standing in a nearby doorway. // Best espresso we had in Paris was close to L'as du Fallafel at Pozzetto (great pistachio gelato too). // Seeing Matisse's Nu aux oranges at the Centre Pompidou, then snapping pics of the Paris rooftops from the escalator and finishing things off with a visit to the easy-to-miss Atelier Brancusi down below. // Walking the city with David was a real treat- bought some rosemary flecked fougasse and pain à l'ancienne at Du Pain et des Idées. Dinner was at Le Verre Volle, a charming little spot with a handful of tables - just my speed. Plenty of seasonal deliciousness, cheese, and wine all around. You can pull bottles from the wall and drink them with dinner, or purchase them to go instead. // We browsed lots of bookstores including: La Chambre Claire, Librarie La Hune, and WHSmith.

Ten Days in Paris

There was macaroon sampling at Gérard Mulot, and Ladurée Royale. // Nice paper products - notebooks, clipboards, stationary and the like at Papier+ and Calligrane. // Browsed the quiche pans and copper pots at E.Dehillerin. // Walked up to the middle platform of the Eiffel Tower. // Had a simple and perfect "formula" lunch at Cuisine de Bar - your choice of tartine, salade du jour, and glass of chardonnay. Then next door to Poilâne. // Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson for August Sander exhibit. // Gift shopping at Ets Lion in Montmartre. // Gruyere buckwheat crepe with mushrooms, a drizzle of cream, and a pinch of Espelette pepper at Breizh Cafe (reservations required!) // Seeing Monet's Water Lilies (Nympheas) at the Musee de l'Orangerie, then later in the week, a day trip by train to Giverny to see his actual gardens. I can imagine during peak season this could be a mobbed, touristy nightmare, but we enjoyed ourselves. The village wasn't entirely overrun, and we had lunch at La Terrasse - a cute, little unassuming place with a menu of good ciders, crepe, and tarts. // Loved the Degas paintings upstairs at the Musée d'Orsay, a few rooms down from the Van Gogh crowds. // Stumbled on Kitchen while walking around one day - good, healthy eats. You choose from a board listing a daily juice, soup, salad, sandwich, stew, etc. We shared a 9-inch avocado futomaki roll, a simple sandwich, and a lentil and rice "stew" with roasted vegetables. Hit the spot. // Stocked up on easy-to-pack food items like spice blends, salts, mustards and sugars they don't have at home at La Grande Epicerie. // The Ferdinando Scianna and Ara Güler exhibits at the Museum Maison Europeenne de la photographie. // Queueing up at Berthillon for a nice custardy scoop of vanilla. // Diving into a jar labeled "prune sauvage", a treat from David. Limited edition, made from wild plums - it was the prettiest shade of rose, not too sweet, with a whisper of acidity, and a hint of floral in it.

Ten Days in Paris

What an amazing city, I felt like I could be there a year and barely put a dent in it. There was so much to see, people in the streets all the time - I feel lucky to have been able to spend that much time there. Thanks to all of you who offered up suggestions and stories about your experiences in Paris. Between you and Clotilde, and David, and Dorie (who I just missed by a couple days!), I felt like I had a thousand little angels whispering in my ear.

- A google map of all the Paris highlights.

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Comments

Hey Heidi, I have been to Paris and I think it is the most romantic city in the world!! Can you share with us some easy to cook Parisian recipes please ? coz I always thought Parisian cooking is so eclectic that it would take years to master it ! I love your blog, I think you are the best food writer,reason you make the cooking experience so interesting not intimidating!! I wait for your posts.

SMITA IYENGAR

Hey Heidi, I have been to Paris and I think it is the most romantic city in the world!! Can you share with us some easy to cook Parisian recipes please ? coz I always thought Parisian cooking is so eclectic that it would take years to master it ! I love your blog, I think you are the best food writer,reason you make the cooking experience so interesting not intimidating!! I wait for your posts.

SMITA IYENGAR

You are such an amazing writer Heidi...and bring such value to this World...you inspire me to write...I am in India at the moment, visiting my daughter and grand-children... Glad you enjoyed Paris! Namaste! Isabelle

Isabelle Gagnon

I've been following your blog for about two months and have tried several recipes. But after reading your Paris notes I now understand that we are kindred souls. Always when I'm there one of my first stops is the Wilson Market. Last May in two weeks I made it to that market three times for just the reasons you mentioned - and we stayed in the Marais near As du Falafel! Did you get to Sasha Finkelshtajn'swhere they best apple strudel ever is sold? Such a glorious city. I'm vegetarian and always manage to eat my way through the city. HS: Hi Jane - I missed Sasha's, but it will go top of list for my next trip!

Jane

We always tell people going to Paris to go to L'As Du Falafel. No other falafel will do after that. My husband cradled a container of their hot sauce in his lap the entire flight home.Lovely post.

hoagy294

Great that you had a fantastic time... but, who doesn't when the setting is Paris? :-) I am revving up my personal engine, because I might be there to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary next March! Since we met in Paris, I guess it is the best place to have a second honeymoon! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

Ahhh Paris. The name of my firstborn daughter (15) and my favorite city in the world. You hit some great spots. Love reading your blog!

And now I want to runaway to Paris... You may have inspired a vanishing act. Michaela? Michaela? poof. gone. It was so lovely of you to take us along...

Heidi, I read your blog every day, I love it, it's like a daily visit with my foodie friend and it makes my trips to the market an adventure. I am so thrilled that you have a post about Paris as I have just started planning a trip for next Spring! Thanks for sharing the exquisite photos, mental images and tastes of your trip! Magnifique!

Melinda

Sounds magnifique! I also really loved //Seeing Monet's Water Lilies (Nympheas) at the Musee de l'Orangerie, then later in the week, a day trip by train to Giverny to see his actual gardens. // a little embarrassed to admit, but seeing that you liked it too makes me say it proudly.

SUCH a lovely recap. Thank you for sharing. I haven't been to Paris since the summer of 2003, and dearly miss it.

Oh my gosh, I actually *am* going to Paris! For the first time! Next week! And staying in Montmartre! This couldn't have come at a better time. Will print this out...

Amy

Thanks for renewing one's love for Paris: the pairing of references to art and the table inscribe the eye and the palate (what hold everything) to one's heart.

ceska

What a glut of goodness! I am in a lock-step phase of life right now, raising kids, pinching pennies. Glad I can experience the world through folks like you.

Thanks for the response Heidi - glad to hear it was easy to be vegetarian in paris!!! (and sorry about thinking you were not veg - i always get that piece confused between you and simply recipes as you are next to eachother on my google page!)

A veggie version of a Croque Monsieur now that would be fab :)

Rae

Wow, these photos and stories are amazing. I somehow missed your earlier post about Paris, though I lived outside of Paris for seven months. My first thought for you would have been, "You have to try L'As du Falafel." My favorite was to go eat the falafel on the Seine nearby, but the doorway was always an option as well, and one I loved. And my favorite tourist attraction in Paris is Le Sacre Coeur, so your trip just put me at "home" as I sit in my office. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Your recipes and photos are so beautiful because they are real, because they come from your heart. Thank you.

Rebecca

Oh Heidi! Thank you for sharing so much of your trip. It's been forever since I've been there, but your pictures bring back that soft autumn light. Beautiful.

Hello Heidi, it's nice to see you in Paris. I hope you enjoyed it as it looks great! Thanks for the tips.

Hi, My girlfreind and I went to Paris and anytime I see anything written on it,brings fond memories of our time touring the "The Bright Light City".Especially the great bakerys and great coffee.Most of all,the Great Art in this city. Love it all,want to go back. Thanks,Rox

Rox

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