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STOP…butter time! 15 Ways to pamper your TASTE BUDS in Paris

Posted Aug 17 2013 11:06pm

STOP…hammer butter time! Right in the heart of the European winter, we had finally arrived in Paris aka the wondrous land of pastry and butter and I couldn’t have been happier. We were seated next to an ‘excessive talker’ who made the flight feel way longer than it should be. I don’t mind sporadic conversation during a flight, but I dunno, if someone has their eyes closed, does that mean they’re in the mood for non stop conversation? NO MAAAM. Plus, the flight was already delayed by 3 hours.   At one point, I swear the endless chatter continued in my dreams and then I woke up to find that I was in fact, having a Planes, Trains and Automobiles moment. I did however,  find solace in my noise cancelling headphones. Whoever invented this is a genius.

As we stepped out of the airport doors, I had to blink twice as a snowy blizzard was happening right before my eyes. Never seen anything like it. Barcelona seemed more like the Sunshine Coast compared to this, I thought. Fortunately, we booked a hotel transfer and our friendly driver came hand in hand with those giant sized umbrellas, the sturdy kind that can withstand more than just my uncle passing wind.

boulangeries in paris

Now this was one of those posts where I said to myself, “Self, where the heck do I start?” That question didn’t help. So I back-tracked a little and asked myself what information I wanted on Paris but couldn’t really find that easily. I wanted to know what the locals loved to eat, how to get it and where to stay so I can live like a local without having busloads of tourists to front everytime I step foot outside the hotel. I wanted to be surrounded by good food, art, history, culture, nightlife but still be central to all the attractions and transport. Hell, I wanted it all. Did I get it? YES MAAM.

paris in winter

Research is the key. Hours upon hours was spent on gathering enough information on where to stay and what to eat. I didn’t want to spend my time aimlessly wandering the streets, eating at tourist traps and only doing typical tourist-type things. Apart from listing where you can pamper your taste buds, I’ve also noted down a few places where you can chill after a massive meal.

Where to stay that oozes all kinds of cosy

Deciding on a place to stay wasn’t easy. There were so many options and recommendations from friends, it was easy to get lost in it all,  but we stayed focused on finding an apartment rather than your traditional hotel. Thankfully, we came across Paris8 Apartments ( MAP ) Initially, Saint Germain was our first choice but decided to stay in the Marais. The area is unique, with its street art and culture, hidden gardens, history,  a great nightlife, close to transport, central to the attractions along with a diverse range of restaurants made it an easy choice. Going off the pictures, the apartment was hot but seeing it in person, wow. Situated next door to an art gallery, the spacious one bedroom apartment is fit with a sizable kitchen decked out with stainless steel appliances, cutlery that I wanted to take home, two bathrooms – the second with a huge a rainfall shower head and most importantly, heating bbbrrr.  They did an amazing job with the refurbishment, I couldn’t tell that I was staying in a 700 year old building! I was having all kinds of Les Miserables moments. For reals. Oozing all kinds of cosy, I truly felt Paris. The only fault was dragging you luggage up two flights of narrow stairs!

paris8 apartments parisparis accommodation

best hotel to stay in paris

#1 First Bite is the deepest

It may have been a hella cringy  thing to do, but as soon as we unloaded the luggage, we ran downstairs and grabbed a croissant at the local boulangerie, Gwen Choc ( MAP ) Nothings compares to your first true bite of croissant.

This became an obsession and part of the daily routine. The ladies that run the boulangerie are real friendly and so passionate about what they do which of course, enticed us to try nearly everything during the trip.

gwen choc paris

#2 Parmentier Crepes Research pays off man. Paris is like the land of cigarettes crepes. Most recommended place was Creperie St Honore ( MAP) . Oooh, this place was gold. I went for the ‘Parmentier’ filled with potatoes, yolky egg, gooey cheese and sour cream. Despite walking nearly an hour to get there, it was still freezing  so gulping this down gave me the warmzies.

Parmentier crepe La Crêperie Saint-HonoréParmentier crepe La Crêperie Saint-Honoré paris

Fwoooaaar…

#3 I wasn’t leaving until I had a nutella crepe!

nutella crepe La Crêperie Saint-HonoréLa Crêperie Saint-Honoré

#4  Beef Bourguignon at Au Bourguignon du Marais As soon as I booked the flights to Paris, I immediately thought of Beef Bourguignon so off we went to hunt and gather up where to find the most authentic as recommend by locals and came across  Au Bourguignon du Marais ( MAP ) and booked it straightaway. Luckily we did as the place was packed. Conveniently located 15 minutes away from the apartment, we were greeted with a candlelit tables, warm bread and our first taste of butter on Paris soil. It was bliss. I could have just had the bread.

Au Bourguignon du Marais

Of course, the Beef Bourguignon was their signature dish and rightly so, it was slow cooked meat at its tender best and eating it in Paris of all places just made it that extra special.

Beef Bourguignon Au Bourguignon du Marais

#5 Foie gras. Enough said. Do it. foie gras paris Au Bourguignon du Marais

#6 Sweetest Berries at Rue Mouffetard (Latin Quarter) Markets One thing that was evident : Parisians rarely don’t buy any fruit, cheese and fresh produce at the supermarket and why would they when their markets are some of the best I’ve seen. You’ll find artisan bakeries, cheese, fresh seafood whilst you smell the aroma of roasting chickens.

markets in paris

cheese cheese cheese

I couldn’t help but buy a punnet of fresh berries and a good hunk of cheese from regions I won’t even attempt to pronounce every chance I got. It was total bliss walking around town munching on the most juiciest and sweetest berries I’ve ever tasted. No exaggeration.

berries at paris markets YASS! MORE YASS! strawberries at Rue Mouffetard market

#7 A secret seafood rendezvous at Huitrerie Regis

After getting over some pastry indigestion, lunch was not on my mind. In fact, I needed tea to calm the belching. Then, out of nowhere came  Huitrerie Regis. ( MAP ) One look inside this quaint boutique eatery, my eyes started to bulge out Ren and Stimpy style. Without hesitation, we walked in and sat ourselves down.

Huitrerie Regis paris

Forget about the menu. Just take a look around and see what everyone else is having. The menu isn’t that expansive anyways so I’d suggest going for the seafood platters. On the tier were a variety of oysters sourced locally from Arcachon Bay, Normandy, the Loire Valley and Brittany that were flavourful, they hardly required a sqizz of lemon.

oysters at Huitrerie Regis

I know I may get yanked for saying this but I actually enjoyed the prawns more. They were so beautifully poached, I went absolutely bizerk guzzling down the wine that matched it ‘too’ well. We were so happy to randomly find Huitrerie Regis for this seafood pitstop. Loved everything about this place.

#8 Did I have seven canelés? Really, did I?

Ahurr, yes. Can you blame me? I went on abit of a canelé hunt and no doubt, the best were from Carton. ( MAP )

canele from Carton Paris

#9 Too many berry pastries from Paul ‘maison de qualite’

Don’t stop till you get enough. This was my berry pastry motto throughout my time in Paree. Ever since tasting the berries at the markets, I was hooked. I wanted everything with berries in them and had grown attached to the berry pastries at Pauls . Perhaps it was good thing as it helped to build my immune system during the ‘OMG I can’t feel my face’ weather.The first picture below is the first I had whilst queuing up for the Catacombs (which you should definitely visit by the way!)

berry pastry from Paul Paris

More gloved pastry action…it was freakin cold!

berry pastry Pauls

Interlude…say aaahhhh
Believe it or not, I did stop now and then to look up and appreciate the stunning views across Paris. Everything looked like art.

paris view

dogs in parisTeehehe. This cutie waiting outside a boulangerie

#10 It ain’t all about the cliches- L’as du Fallafel

I committed to hitting up all the ‘what you gotta eat in Paris’ cliches first off the bat and then gradually ate what the locals ate from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures. Tucked away in the narrow streets of the Jewish Paris district was L’as du Fallafel ( MAP ).

le marais streets paris

I’ve never been a big fan of the fallafel and hardly ate it back home in Melbourne, but people were queuing in the snow for it so I just had to see what the big fuss was. We decided to bear the blizzard and bought time watching what others were ordering so when we were up, we were prepared for these crisp, garlicky gem of gems. They’re messy as hell as the cushy pita bread is also filled with red cabbage, cucumber, hummus but nonetheless, so much fun to eat as you try to keep it all together bite by bite.  I am a convert but unfortunately, have not found anything as great since! Oh, we had seconds and also tried the lamb which was also #pow.

Best meal that week!

L'as du Fallafel paris best meal

Where to chill and lock YO love

In between each meal, one must find some solace in a chair and some golden views. We found a very cool chill out spot near the Louvre and made most of the brief sunny periods.

where to relax in Paris

A secret garden hidden within the laneways surrounding Le Marais. Stunning.

Le Bucheron secret garden

Also located within the Marais district, Place des Vosges ( MAP ) was build in the 1600’s. Usually a sunbaker’s haven in summer, I was content to go slippin’ and slidin’ in the snow.

Place des VosgesLock your love away at Pont de l’Archeveche! DO IT! Here is where to find it

Pont de l'Archeveche love lock paris

#11 Don’t sweat the sweet stuff. Macarons and chocolate at Georges Larnicol

You can’t go to France and not have any macarons. That’s like a crime. Know that. My first macaron was from Georges Larnicol ( MAP ) , located in Saint Germain.

macarons at Georges Larnicol
This wasn’t their only specialty, homeboy, you should have seen the amount of chocolate in such a small space. It was insane. There were various creatively designed chocolate sculptures everywhere.

chocolate at Georges Larnicol

truffles at Georges Larnicol

#12 Cheese, butter, bread and salmon tartare at Lou Lou

A couple of doors down from Georges Larnicol, is a way cool restaurant where you can relax after trotting around the city called Lou Lou . ( MAP )

salmon tartare at lou louTartare de Saumon au wakamé

cheese at lou lou paris

baked camembert with honey at Lou Lou ParisA MUST! Baked camembert with honey

Lou Lou isn’t your typical Parisian cafe. Yes, it has the people watching ensemble outside, but it has an American twist to the place without having to go full blown ‘diner style.’ You can order a Tartare de Boeuf ‘Charolais’ or if you need to be reminded of New York, a Pastrami Bagel is also on the menu. Lou Lou manages to pull it off without ending up tacky like many places that offer a ‘fusion’ type menu which made for a repeat visit. Everything  was top notch and your traditional French fare was on point.

inside lou lou paris

people watching in paris Lou Lou

#13 A macaron showdown amongst royalty – Ladurée at the Palace of Versailles

Nothings beats munching on Ladurée macarons at the Palace of Versailles , of all places. We hired one of those electric caddys to drive around because were were lazy plus, who wants to walk around the massive palace grounds in sub-degree weather?! NO MAAM. So I decided to to eat a macaron at each site we drove just for the hell of it. Having the sweeping views as the backdrop to each macaron close up was #pow.

Ladurée at the Palace of VersaillesLadurée macarons at the Palace of Versailles

And denn…

Ladurée macarons

Palace of Versailles

palace of versaile paris

#14 Super Giant seafood at Dorr Paris

As we continued to walk the snow filled streets, we were confronted with a mountain of seafood displayed outside Le Bar a Huitres , owned by Garry Dorr who also runs another 10 restaurants around town ( MAP ). That was enough to make us head straight in with no hesitation whatsover. We were hypnotised and you’ll see why.It was like eating at a fancy fish market.

garry dorr paris

I’ll give you a sneak peak right here as I plan on doing another post about this place too.

mussells at garry dorr

olive oil at garry dorrAnyone care for some cologne oilve oil?Don’t squirt ma eye!

le bar a huitres paris fish

So crisp, succulent. aaaahhhh!!!

Le Bar a Huitres Paris

#15 Beyond this planet take home meals Francart Maison Gourmande

Ok. If Francart Maison Gourmande ( MAP ) were in Melbourne, I’d go broke because this place is like gourmet meals on hyper-drive.  There were some nights where we couldn’t be bothered braving the snow so we opted to get takeaway. Fortunately, we found this gem as we walked home from dinner one night at Located in St Germain. As soon as you walk in, there are a tonne of locals bagging ready made gourmet meals, quiches, slices of cured meats, baked tarts and cakes, jars of salted caramel  and the list goes on. Whatever you need, they got it. SO FREAKIN GOOOOD!

Francart Maison Gourmande

I bagged one of these prune gems. Best. Prune Francart Maison Gourmande

Francart Maison Gourmande paris

Francart Maison Gourmande saint germain

baked goods at Francart Maison Gourmande

cured meats Francart Maison Gourmande

salted caramel Francart Maison GourmandeFrancart Maison Gourmande outside

#BONUS! I had to. Toffee Apple at Disneyland

A smile never leaves my face at Disneyland. I’m such a big kid. After all these years, the place still makes me all warm inside. The last time I was spotted at ‘It’s a small world’ was in Japan and the first time was when my mum took my brother and I to LA when we were kids. It’s the only place I can tolerate queues. I’m not one for rides, so I’d usually set myself a maximum of 3 then be done with it, with fast track tickets of course LOL.

The best thing about the queues this time round though, was that I was armed with something so simple yet so entertaining and sweet, it made queuing up a breeze. TOFFEE APPLE!!!!I’ve never appreciated toffee apple this much. DO IT.

toffee apple disneyland


And denn…no more.

Apart from the 15 eats listed here, there was so much more that filled my belleh during our time in Paris. Look out for more posts coming your way!

What were you fav eats in Paris?

Have you signed up for updates from Food Rehab ? Get on the list and I’ll do my best to keep us learning about none-other than glorious, GLORIOUS food! Also, follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you have either of those addictive things.

Keep eating…LIKE CRAZAAY!

Adrian

This was one of those posts where I said to myself, “Self, where the heck do I start?” That question didn’t help. So I back tracked a little and asked myself what information I wanted on Paris but couldn’t really find out there in Google land in one blog post. I wanted to know what the locals loved to eat, where to get it and where to stay so I can live like a local without having busloads of tourists to front everytime I step outside the hotel. I wanted to be surrounded by good food, art, culture, nightlife but still be central to all the attractions and transport. Hell, I wanted it all. Did I get it? YES MAAM.

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