Monday, August 17, 2015
I can’t believe we’ve already been in Paris for a week!
Today’s breakfast was a tasty pain au chocolat from the local bakery. Alexandre was asleep so I walked there by myself. These photos are awful – I’m definitely sitting by the window next time! This was quickly re-toasted in the oven for max shattery-ness and melty chocolate. I was so sad because almond croissants were sold out… again.
We RER’ed and Metro-ed to our first stop, the Galeries Lafayate by Station Auber. The walk there was short and quite lovely, but filled with Asian tourists.
The Galeries were so fun to shop. Seline liked looking at all the makeup and designer bags, but I preferred the unique food market section. We purchased a jar of truffle salt for 9 Euros. I’m planning to use it on eggs, pasta, potatoes, and even fish. Can’t wait!
Lunch was at a cafe inside a museum. Seline proclaimed that this place was a hidden gem because it was so beautiful and ornate – with not many customers. The place was called la Musee Jacquemart-Andre, located about 10 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe.
We spent our lunch in this quaint and elegant tea room. Seline wanted to sit outside, so we did.
Since we have to pay for bottled water, I always ask for a “carafe”, which is just a big jar filled with tap water. Seline finds it so entertaining to pour water. I think she’s secretly four years old or something. 😉
We had quite an interesting lunch…
“They’re all salads,” Seline whispered when she saw the menu. “I don’t know what I want.” In the end, she decided on this salad, supposedly filled with angel hair pasta, avocado, and crawfish. Imagine her disappointment when she saw this Chinese-style salad with Asian cabbage, carrots, and herbs.
To be honest, I thought her dish was delicious. The dressing, made with soy sauce and honey, was perfectly flavourful and matched the salad very well. The crawfish were incredibly fresh and tasted excellent with the other ingredients. After Seline’s first bite, she gagged and told me it tasted like a garden. She couldn’t even eat another bite.
My salad came at the same time: smoked salmon on a salad with fish egg mousse, cherry tomato with black caviar, steamed potatoes with dill aioli, and a vegetable flan.
So, so delicious! The salad was a teeny, tiny bit overdressed, which was my only complaint. But the fish egg mousse was FANTASTIC and I had three baguettes while alternating bites with the mousse and salad.
My favourite part of the entire meal, though, was the vegetable flan. It tasted like a goat cheese and zucchini egg bake. It was amazing and tasted custardy and almost pudding-like. I could’ve eaten three or four more. I saved this for the end because, you know, best for last.
Seline didn’t eat any more of her salad, and she kept telling me how it tasted like a garden. I was so upset because I don’t like to waste food. I ate more than half of hers while Seline helped herself to five pieces of free baguette and all my potatoes. 😦
I finished every bite of my own, but left some on Seline’s plate because I was too full. It honestly was a great salad, but like Seline and I discussed, her taste buds aren’t quite mature yet. 😉
For dessert, we shared this lovely chocolate cake with a biscuit bottom. It was quite hard to decide – I was debating between this one, the chocolate-caramel, and the raspberry frangipane. Seline chose this one, obviously. She’s not a fan of caramel, berries, or basically anything she’s not used to.
These were made by the famous Parisian patisseur (pastry chef) Stohrer.
Luckily, both of us loved this. I ate between 1/3 and 1/2 of this. The dark cocoa on top, with the silky mousse centre and crunchy, nutty base were awesome together. Seline liked the biscuit crust the most, but I liked all the flavours and textures blended.
Do you want a bite? 🙂 We got our “addition” and I paid with my card.
Then we paid for museum tickets and spent an hour in la Musee Jacquemart-Andre.
We got a student discount and were able to explore the lovely mansion for just 10 Euros each. A great price for such a unique museum, IMO. Seline really liked these stairs so we took plenty of photos here.
I thought the ceilings, railings, and little details in picture frames the the best part.
Every room was different: there was a working room, a “fumoir” (smoking room), a music room, and so many more.
Seline thought it would be fun to take some selfies. I usually HATE taking selfies but this was actually fun! Luckily there weren’t many people in the museum at the time. We almost felt like we had a huge, beautiful 19th-century house to ourselves.
One more selfie and stairs photo before we leave, Seline!
We took a 20-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe, our next destination. Seline actually found this boring, but I am glad we saw this famous Paris attraction and wish we had the chance to go up. Maybe next time!
We took turns taking photos of each other. I wanted to go closer, but to be honest, I have no idea how to cross this major street. Plus, Seline was getting tired and wanted to start shopping in the Champs-Elysees, a famous shopping street.
The Arc de Triomphe is so much grander in person. We were quite a ways away from this monument and it is actually massive! There is even a museum inside.
Since Seline was too tired, we went to McDonalds so she could munch on a filet-o-fish, fries, and a Sprite. She found, when compared to Canada’s fish burgers, that the bread here is a bit firmer, the fish thinner and crispier, and the amount of tartar sauce much more generous. There was also a larger piece of cheese.
After she was energized by the McDonalds, we shopped the entire Champs-Elysees. There were plenty of stores there that we both liked, including Yves Rocher (The Body Shop – French version!), Sephora, Pierre Herme, and Monoprix. At the end of the 30-minute walk down the Champs-Elysees, there is the Place de la Concorde, where many historic people were guillotined. Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, and Maximilien Robespierre were all executed at this site.
“Will there be blood? I want to see their dried blood.” – Seline
There was a short walk to Laduree – I HAD to try their macarons and compare them to Pierre Herme’s.
The place was beautiful and the macarons around 2 Euros each. I bought six – chocolate and vanilla for Seline, pistachio, Earl Grey, caramel, and coconut for me.
As we left, Seline wanted to eat her vanilla macaron. She took one out of the bag and I was a little suspicious – there were no vanilla beans. “Are you sure that’s vanilla?” I kept nagging her about that until she smelled it very carefully and declared yes, it was indeed vanilla. As soon as she took a bite, though, she knew it wasn’t vanilla… SHE ATE MY COCONUT MACARON! I was so sad, especially since coconut is one of my absolute favourite flavours. She enjoyed it, though. 😥
We got home a before 8:30, and Eric cooked a classic French dinner for us while we talked and ate a lovely starter. I did not have any sausage or cheese today. Alexandre screamed because he didn’t want to be in his baby chair, so we came to sit with us. He behaved pretty well for most of the dinner – unlike yesterday when he DRANK a bowl of olive oil-balsamic salad dressing. 😀
Our dinner was a “blanquette de veau”, which is a creamy stew of veal with spring onions, mushrooms, and carrots. This was served with some white rice. The sauce was mild but creamy, made with veal broth, cream, an egg yolk, and some other spices. There must have been some cornstarch in here to thicken it up, too.
Then, for dessert I had my macarons! The salted caramel was by FAR my favourite, followed closely by the pistachio and Earl Grey. I didn’t eat the chocolate one because that’s Seline’s. Laduree’s caramel macaron is better than Pierre Herme’s, in my opinion, and Pierre Herme doesn’t have as many flavours as Laduree. I was disappointed with the Earl Grey, though – I expected a hint of vanilla and a bit more sweetness. Still a great dessert – eaten at 10 PM!
It is now 8:45 in the morning and we have another exciting day planned. I want to eat breakfast but we decided last night to make crepes, so I’m going to have to wait until everyone wakes up. I might just have some yogurt and fruit with Seline though… we’ll see 🙂 Have a great Tuesday everyone!