Paris - With a 1 year old.
So we've been to Paris many times before. We've enjoyed romantic meals in small, french only speaking bistros and walked the streets hand in hand in the beautiful sunshine. We've been to most of the landmarks and tried many different cafes enjoying a bottle of wine and the Parisian lifestyle, watching the world go by whilst chatting long into the night.
This visit was always going to be slightly different. We were traveling with a toddler in tow. The journey was going to feel longer and less relaxed and the evenings were going to be cut short for a more reasonable bed time, but we didn't mind as we were a three now. It was going to be an adventure... Right?
The train journey there was pretty untraumatic. It was a great start to a chilled weekend. There were no meltdowns or embarrassing situations to be seen. We arrived in Paris together and talking with no cross words exchanged. YES!
We even made it to the hotel and unpacked with no drama. It was Saturday afternoon and the sun was shining on Paris. It was looking like it was going to be a great drama free day. We wandered the local area, down to Bastille and along a great street filled with fresh fruit stalls and patisserie shops, everyone more tempting than the next. Also, I must say. The french know how a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) should be made. Pure chocolate melted with hot milk. Non of this powder c**p. We made a pitstop for some delicious cakes. Because, were on holiday, so why not. Chocolate and raspberry mousse cake, summer fruits cake and an opéra cake (we had to take this back to the AirBnB as it was too much cake, even for us.
It was time for some dinner and this is where our first problem of travelling with a toddler came. We struggled to get into 'nice' restaurants. Its almost like they saw the baby and decided that they were full of reservations and they couldn't possibly squeeze us in. We ended up in an italian restaurant. Somewhere we never thought we would go when in Paris, with all of that parisian food on offer. But we were there and we needed to eat and they welcomed us with open arms. I could say with ease that it was the best meal of the weekend. Yes, it may not have been the 'best' food but the waiters and the atmosphere was great and when parents are relaxed, babies are relaxed and the evening is relaxed, happiness all around.
On Sunday we wandered down to the Sunday food market at Bastille. It was rows and rows of fresh food vendors selling meats, cheese, fish, vegetables. Almost anything you would need. It was so lively and there were so many people that had come down for their ingredients. Even in the rain, nothing stopped these Parisians coming to buy some fresh food to cook their sunday meals.
As it was raining our next stop was the Lindt store, a chocolate lovers heaven. A dream pick n mix of every lindt chocolate you could imagine. Chocolate orange, hazelnut, cookies and cream, white chocolate. Just so many! We almost chose every flavour. I was worried it would come to €30 but it was only €12!
Also included is a Lindt cafe. Hot flowing chocolate taps. It would be rude not to have a hot choccie here. So sooooo good. We certainly over indulged in the chocolate this weekend.
The food journey continued on a more savoury note on Monday. We wanted to use our last day to wander further afield and have a picnic in a park as the weather was much better than the previous day. It was time to indulge in some cheese and meats. A short walk from where we were staying was a small yet brilliant farm shop. Everything was fresh. It had everything you needed to cook under one roof and everything was of the highest quality. The butcher in the back cut his meats in front of you. The deli counter had every meat you could ever dream of, the cheese fridges. Just divine. We bought meats, cheese and beautiful french baguettes to do a DIY picnic in the park. If we lived close to somewhere like this, we would be bankrupt and extremely obese. Soft creamy ripe brie with a truffle centre, this is what dreams are made of.
My truffle dreams didn't end there. I had heard of a counter in Galeries Lafayette dedicated the beautiful little underground nuggets. Once we entered the food hall, I turned on my sniffer dog nose and literally sniffed out the truffle. There it was, hundreds of different foods incorporating truffle and even big truffle nuggets for sale. I would have sampled everything if I could afford it. But at €26 for some dried tagliatelle pasta. Im afraid I just couldn't do it. Definitely give it a visit if you love the black gold that is truffle. Worth a visit just to see and smell for yourselves.
So we weren't able to enjoy our fancy bistros, or sit and drink too much wine but we had different experiences and we spent the weekend together, walking, chatting, laughing and eating together. Yep, its super cheesy but it was a lovely weekend and we made new memories in Paris as a three.