A day after Mum and Dad left, I had two more visitors! Amy and Hope came to Paris on the friday morning and I met them for lunch during my break at work. We went to Le Moulin de la Galette. A famous restaurant which had inspired the well known painting. It was great to see them again and we had a really nice lunch, to start I had foie gras which was delicious, followed by beef. The presentation was beautiful and good value with the 20% off thanks to Lafourchette! Then I had to get back to work, I met them at my flat that afternoon and we went to Rosa Bonheur, a café/bar in le Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Where we met some of my other friends had some delicious birthday pattiserie!
The next morning, we went to the Musée D’Orsay, and then went for lunch in a café nearby. We went to the Orangerie then walked around Paris, through the Tuileries and Place de la Concorde to Notre Dame where the new bells were being rung for the first time for the 850th birthday. There were loads of people there so we stayed for a bit, then went into Shakespeare & Co, busy as ever with people buying books! On the way to Saint-Michel for dinner we passed a young group playing in a brass band which was really good! Léa came with us for dinner and we went to a very typical french place. I tried frogs legs for the first time! They came as actual legs which I dont think I was expecting. That put me off a bit, but I tried them and they were indeed quite like chicken! After dinner we went on a boat trip to see the city by night, with some sparkling wine. The Eiffel Tower looked lovely.
The next day we got up early and ventured out into a very cold Paris! We went to visit the memorial to Diana – La flamme de la liberté, and Hope wrote a message on the wall amongst the many others. Then we went into Notre Dame where there was a special Easter service on so it was very busy! We then went to visit the lock bridge, Le pont des arts and put on a lock. Then I took them to Angelinas for hot chocolate and Amy rushed off for her flight back to Valencia. Afterwards Hope and I went to Montmatre and then to Les Deux Moulins – the café which Amélie works in in the film. I’d wanted to go for a while and it was exactly how it was in the film and a really nice bar, we had fruit cocktails. Then came home and Hope went to get her megabus back to Newcastle.
On wednesday morning, I went over to mum and dads flat for breakfast for the final time. After tidying the flat we went to visit Musée Carnavalet – a museum dedicated to the history of Paris, housing 580,000 objects in two adjoining mansions. There was a lot to see, and unfortunately we didn’t get to see all of it, so I plan to return. Some of the paintings were beautiful, I liked those which showed Paris how it used to be. Women in dresses and men in suits walking along the Champs Elysées, dining in extravagant restaurants. There was a real variety of things to see, from sculptures to furniture, signs to hundreds of paintings..
Afterwards we headed over to Saint Germain de Pres to go to Les Deux Magots where we met Anne and Ken who were in Paris for the weekend. I had always wanted to visit this café since it is so well known for being the preferred spot of the likes of Hemingway and Picasso. I had a croque monsieur which was delish! And we recommended lots of places for Anne and Ken to go, Anne told me they loved the falafel! Mum and Dad had a few hours left in Paris so we walked to the Eglise Saint Chapelle to see the Rose line from the Da Vinci Code which was nearby and they tried their first Ladurée macaron on the way which they loved! Then we went home and had a cup of tea and I helped them with their bags to the Gare du Nord and we said our goodbyes.
On Monday morning I had to go back to school, but afterwards I met Mum and Dad at the musée de Luxembourg to see the Chagall exhibition. It was very good, and I liked how it showed the progression of his painting through where he was living/what he was living through at the time, i.e. the War, then he was deported, then the death of his wife. Dad noticed that there was a goat in almost every painting, he must’ve liked goats! Afterwards we went for dinner and Adam joined us at La Boussole – the compass. I booked the table through lafourchette so I got a 40% discount on the bill which made it very good value. I had the baked seeded camembert followed by duck with a crispy top, tonka bean sauce and homemade mash, it was delicious. For pudding I had a white chocolate panacotta with rhubarb.
The next morning I had school again but I met Mum and Dad for lunch at Au p’tit Grec where we had the most delicious galettes. Mine was cheese, mushrooms, aubergine, potato and salad, mum had one called savoyarde and dads was with feta. Very full, we walked over to the Marais and to the musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. They had changed it since i had last been, they had temporary exhibition about targets on so they had those all over the place. This time we got to see the tigers properly which were beautiful. Mum and Dad liked the big polar bear. We then walked to Place des Vosges and to Victor Hugo’s house. It was quite small but we walked around a few of the rooms, then went back to the flat as we were tired. We had dinner and watched district 9 about the man who turns into an alien, then I went back home.
The next morning we had breakfast at Mum and Dads flat then whilst the others went to explore the catacombs of Paris, I took Pandora to see Monet’s Waterlillies at the Orangerie, which she loved. We then went to Angelina and shared a white hot chocolate and some macarons, the chocolate and passion fruit one was delicious!
We met up o Rue de Rosiers for falafal at Chez Hana which was tasty as ever and afterwards we made our wayup to Montmatre. We walked around and saw all the artists, then went to the Sacré Coeur. We walked to the Cemitière de Montmartre on the way back and saw the grave of Degas (after searching for it for a long time!) Then I showed them my school and we made our way back towards place d’italie to the giant Carrefour where we bought ingredients for raclette. They had a modern raclette at the flat which makes it much easier to melt the cheese, and we all loved it but were very full of cheese afterwards! Then we watched looper which I had seen before but the others enjoyed.
The next morning we went over to the Musée d’Orsay. I feel I now know this museum very well having spent about 5 hours in it this week! Dad loved Whistlers mother featured in Mr Bean and Pandora loved the Degas. For lunch we headed over to Saint Germain de Près and eventually found a little place which made quiches and sandwiches which was very tasty. We walked across the River on Le Pont des Arts where there was a film being filmed actually. And also past a flower market where there were lots of tiny birds in cages for sale and then onto Notre Dame. We whizzed round as Heidi and Nick had to get back to catch their eurostar so we said our goodbyes. Then we went to meet Marie Laure, mum gave her some tea and dad tried a bit of french! Soon after I took Pandora to the Gare du Nord for her train back to London then returned for dinner and Tintin with mum and dad.
On thursday the 14th Mum and Dad arrived in Paris and I found them in the cheese section of Monoprix! They had rented a little apartment which was just next door to my flat which we found on AirB&B and it was quite nice! That night we had dinner then I went to collect Pandora from the Gare du Nord in the evening. Then the next day was my 21st birthday! We got up and went over to Mum and Dads flat for breakfast of croissants and pain au chocolats, then we went out for a boat trip from Pont Neuf, it went all along the Seine and round the Ile de la cité and Ile Saint-Louis and pointed out the main sites and famous bridges and we saw the smallest house in Paris! We then walked up to Grands Boulevards as it was a nice day and went to the Gyoza Bar (mum was desperate to try them after seeing it on my blog) Once there and seated suddenly Heidi and Nick walked in! I was very surprised to see them, had no idea! Everyone loved the gyoza, then we walked down towards Opéra and to Galleries LaFayette. Mum wanted to see the exhibition with the upside down flamingoes.. We walked through Place Vendome to the Tuileries and walked up to the Pont Alexandre III. Then we went home and had champagne and birthday cake and I opened my presents, Mum and Dad gave me a mulberry bag – a beautiful pink lily, an old cameo and a lot of chocolate! Heidi bought me an apron and a pearl necklace and Pandora gave me a mulberry iphone case which matches my new bag! We had to book a different restaurant as the table would not be big enough so went to Le Tournebièvre. Dad was happy as they had Faugères on the menu! I had snails for starters, followed by duckling and creme brulée, all of which was delicious. Dad and Nick said the steak tartare was the best they’d ever had! The food was really good and the restaurant was very nice, located on the river opposite Notre Dame..
The last couple of weeks have been non-stop. I have had my 21st birthday and LOADS of visitors so I’ll start from the beginning. Last saturday Jessica and Sara arrived in Paris! I met them at Tolbiac with pain au chocolats, then we went to explore Paris! It was a beautiful day so we went to the Tour Eiffel, then we hopped onto the metro and I showed them the Moulin Rouge and my school, and we walked up to Montmartre. We each bought a crepe and sat on the steps of Montmartre and ate them in the sunshine, listening to a singer/guitarists with hundreds of others. The view over Paris was magnificent that day and the two footballers were there doing their tricks on the lampost which was very impressive to watch! Afterwards we went to the Pont des Arts, and then to buy masks for the masquerade party that evening – Lucians 21st. We got the RER out to her house at Chatou Croissy and had a great time! I met a lot of her french friends and spoke lots of french. We stayed over and left the next morning.
After some breakfast we headed out and walked along the river to Notre Dame, I hadnt visited for a long time and it is beautiful inside, especially the Stain glass windows. We continued to walk along the Seine and stopped in some Animaleries then went to see the Louvre, and continued to walk up through the Tuileries. We soon reached the Champes Elysées and got macarons at Ladurée to go – Delicious as ever. We then climbed up the 254 steps to the top of the Arc de Triumphe and luckily arrived just before the hour so got to see the Eiffel sparkling. Then we went to Le Refuge des Fondues and feasted on cheese, bread, meat and wine!
The next day we went to Galleries LaFayette, and then walked over to the Jewish Quarter and had falafel. Then walked around a bit and met up with Luciana at Angelinas. We had hot chocolate and patisserie which was yum! We then headed home so Sara could catch her plane and Jessica and I had some dinner. The next day we woke to find Paris covered in snow, the weather certainly was crazy this week. We ventured out very wrapped up and saw the Pantheon, then to the Musée D’Orsay which we spent a few hours in, sheltering from the cold! Afterwards we headed to the Haute Couture exhibition at the Hotel de Ville which was good – lots of beautiful dresses, and we walked over to the restaurant I had booked with a discount on La fourchette called La mere michele. It was quite small but the food was very good. We shared prawns to start then I had the beef and Jessica had the veal. Jessica left in the morning, luckily her flight wasn’t cancelled due to the weather. We had lots of fun together, and I was exhausted when they left!