Je ne regrette rien

August 2, 2011

There has been no better way to finish our French adventure than with a couple of days in Paris. The best thing about this city is that you can visit once, twice, a hundred times and you’ll always find something new. Learning from the ‘lets not walk for five hours’ lesson, we decided to hire bikes. Now riding around Paris is the best. Riding around in Paris when it’s really hot is still the best, but slightly marred by the fact you have to walk around with a sweaty ass that I like to call swamp ass. In Lyon, where we also hired bikes, Luke got annoyed that I kept on getting off to air my ass. So in Paris, my ass stayed on the seat so I wouldn’t get the ‘get back on your bike because I’m sick of stopping bitch’ face. Needless to say, our biking went extremely well, I kept pace, there were no annoyed faces, just a soggy ass after riding from Montmatre to the Marais for L’As du Fallafel on Due des Rosiers (mmmm fallafel), along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and then back all the way uphill to Montmatre again. Now, this whole sweat thing wouldn’t usually be a problem, but our last stop was a supposedly amazing patisserie that I had read about. I’m not sure about you, but sweaty asses are not conducive to chocolate eclairs. Luke, on the other hand, had no problem stuffing an almond and chocolate pastry down his gob.

For dinner, we felt like we deserved a night out and the couple whose apartment we were staying in left some recommendations. We decided French mountain food was the way to go (I mean, when is it not?) and we found ourselves across the street in an empty restaurant with a plate of five different charcuterie meats, raw beef and cheese to put on a BBQ for a raclette. At the time, charcuterie, BBQ beef and melted cheese went together like Torvill and Dean, however when you look back and think about it, it makes you want to barf. However, this might be because I panicked at lunch today at the very lovely Cantine Merci and ordered a plate of parma ham and mozzarella. Clearly I hadn’t had my fill of meat and cheese from the night before. Neither had Luke as he ordered the same thing but with a different cold Italian meat product. Lesson: we’re both dumb asses.

Now, what I’m about to tell you might also make you feel a bit vomity, as after our meaty lunch we went for gelati at Maison Berthillon, a place I’ve been meaning to go to for the past six trips to Paris. And to this moment, I’m still not entirely sure parma ham, mozarella and coffee icecream go together all that well. After not even walking twenty metres before finishing our ice creams we decided a bit of culture was in order before our next food stop and made our way to the Musee Jeu de Paume (highly recommended by the way). After seeing Claude Cahun’s self portraits that made us feel like unusually mainstream and dare I say, normal, we went to Angelina’s for what is supposedly the best hot chocolate in Paris. Now, 25ml of this stuff has 444 calories (I saw this on a takeaway one in the store after) and we drank about a litre of it with a serving of whipped cream on the side. I’d like to tell you that’s all we had, but we may or may not have had a ‘fraises’ dessert with toasted brioche, Crème anglaise and glazed strawberries.

I have to stop, I feel sick.

On a final note, our two months in France has flown by and it truly has been one of the best things we’ve ever done. Its been hard at times but also so very brilliant. Not only have we visited places we might have never seen, but we’ve also met so many funny and weird people who have been fantastic material for this blog and any future dinner parties we might have. Surprisingly, we’ve learnt a few things along the way, not very much French, but more those things some people like to call life skills. If anyone needs any concreting, you know who to call. Next stop is London for a few days and then we’re off to New York for chapter two. Needless to say, we can’t wait.