Allison Day
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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Les Cocottes, Paris {May 2014}

On our last evening in France, we decided to go to another nearby restaurant – Les Cocottes.

We had heard it can be difficult to get into, so we were there before it opened for dinner service, and got a seat at the bar right away.

We started with the salade roquette – a salad with rocket, poached egg, bacon, and balsalmic vinegar. A must-order!

I’m pretty sure this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever been crazy about a salad.

As seems to be our theme in Paris, we tried the foie gras de canard again – tasty, as always.

Between this and the foie gras we had at 7eme Vin, Les Cocottes’ foie gras was our favorite.

Son picked out the cocotte pomme de terre – potatoes stuffed with pork trotters. It may sound a little odd, but it was an excellent choice.

We also ordered the cocotte de palourdes – pasta with clams – which wasn’t bad, but we weren’t nearly as crazy about it as we were the other dishes.

However, while the entire meal was fantastic, the real winner was dessert. We shared their demi gaufre – a waffle with chantilly cream and salted caramel.

We were practically licking the plate by the end of it, the caramel was so good. We got the half portion, but definitely should have gone for the full portion.

We seriously considered getting a second waffle, but decided that would be overdoing it.


After a fantastic, flawless meal… their entire payment system went down! The chef – Christian Constant – even showed up, trying to help them get it fixed.

It was all to no avail, but luckily they had a sister restaurant just a few doors down, so the waitress was able to take us over there to pay.

After dinner, it was a warm, pleasant night, so we took one last stroll around the area – determined to take advantage of our last night in France.

Goodnight, Paris!

Le Marais, Paris {May 2014}

Across the river from the Notre Dame, we took to the streets, wandering Le Marais.

The contrast to chilly, rainy London was quite striking – it was so warm in Paris that day, we decided to stop for gelato!

We got a three-scoop cup of vanilla, mango, and passionfruit gelato. Refreshing, and really delicious – we almost went back for more, but a huge line had formed after we bought ours.

More wandering – I love finding these little nooks of greenery in the middle of a city.

It was already getting late in the day, so we took the Batobus back to the Eiffel Tower, and stopped by our hotel long enough to eat the vanilla eclair with speculoos filling (omg so good!) before heading out to dinner.

Ladurée, Paris {May, 2014}

After a very long and food-filled first day in Paris, we got quite a late start on day two.

By the time we made it out of our hotel room, it was already past noon – so we started our day with another pain au chocolat as well as a jambon panini from the bakery downstairs.

It being a Monday, the crowds around the Eiffel Tower had quieted down a good bit, so we were able to find a quiet bench in the park to enjoy our breakfast/lunch.

And a macaron.

As you do in France.

After a short ride on the Batobus from Eiffel Tower to the Saint-Germain-des-Pres stop, we unexpectedly found the Ponts de Arts – the love lock bridge.

It’s insane how many locks there were on that bridge!

No, we did not add to it. Not really our thing.

From there, more walking, more wandering.

Wandering, but not aimlessly!

Ladurée Bonaparte was our goal today, to try the other famous macaron bakery in Paris.

We were there for the macarons, but if only we had time to try all the other beautiful sweets there! Everything looked so delicious, but alas, we only had 24 hours left in Paris, and a body can only consume so much in one day.

After making our purchases, we walked back to Saint-Germain-des-Pres, and took the Batobus to Notre Dame exit.

Of all the memorable moments we had in Paris, the one that sticks out most to me is the moment we walked into the plaza in front of the Notre Dame. The cathedral is spectacular – one can’t help but feel a sense of awe standing next to it.

As usual, we weren’t of a mind to battle the lines to get inside, so instead we wandered.

There’s a pretty little park behind the Notre Dame, so we sat in the shade a bit, and got into the macarons we bought at Laduree.

So which were better – Ladurée or Pierre Hermé?

Well, Ladurée’s macarons were a little more vibrantly-flavored, while we just slightly preferred the texture of Pierre Hermé’s macarons.

In other words… inconclusive! Guess we just have to go back to Paris and eat more macarons. You know, just to be sure…

After resting a bit (and sharing a few macarons), we took a little time to wander around Notre Dame island, before we went off to explore the other side of the river!

La Fontaine De Mars, Paris {May, 2014}

After a day filled with macarons, chocolate, tasty French food, and plenty of wanderings, we found dinner closer to home base.

La Fontaine De Mars

We had walked by La Fontaine de Mars a few times already, as it’s on one of the little streets between our hotel and the Eiffel Tower.

When Son looked it up and found it had good reviews, it was an easy decision.

Allison at dinner

We were seated outside, which afforded us a nice view and a quiet meal. However, our table was practically in the street, which meant there were a few times we nearly thought we were going to get run over by a speedy passing motorbike or a car trying to squeeze down the narrow alleyway.

After perusing the English menu they keep on hand for tourists, Son decided on the confit canard (duck confit) – no surprise there.

Seriously, Son has had duck for every sit-down meal so far in Paris!

As for me, I got the Poulet aux Morilles (roasted chicken breast with morels and morel cream sauce). The chicken by itself was nothing special, but those morels! And that sauce! *swoon*

After dinner, we wandered just a bit more to walk off the meal, and go see the Eiffel Tower all lit up.

Paris is beautiful at night.

Jardin de Plantes, Paris {May, 2014}

After a lovely lunch at Tourn’Bride, we set off to wander more.

Not even a minute after we set off, Son suddenly dragged me into a random patisserie on Rue Mouffetard – “We’re getting something here.”

Well! I’m certainly not going to complain when Son insists upon dessert.

After a quick browse through all the tasty-looking sweets at Les Chants de Blé (at the corner of Rue Mouffetard and Rue de L’Arbalète), we made our decision and then headed off to find somewhere to eat.

Jardin de Plantes fit the bill perfectly!

Gorgeous landscaping, and plenty of shaded benches were the perfect place to sit, try out some of the treats we bought, and people-watch for a while.

First, we sampled the eclair au café that we bought at the patisserie.

Unsurprisingly, it was fantastic.

Then we got into the chocolates we bought before lunch from Chocolat Mococha.

The passionfruit chocolate was incredibly tart, but quite tasty.

And of course we had to try the wasabi chocolate with sesame praline. We couldn’t taste the wasabi much, but the sesame was fantastic.

The Jardin de Plantes is lovely to walk through. It’s beautifully landscaped, and contains hundreds of different varieties of plants.

There’s also a huge greenhouse, which from the outside looks like it might contain an entire rainforest.

It looked like they required tickets to enter, so we passed on that this time.

Instead, we meandered around the rest of the Jardin de Plantes, and found… kangaroos!

Apparently there’s a small zoo attached to the gardens.

After wandering through the zoo, we made our way back to the river, where we took the Batobus back to the Eiffel Tower stop.

Before heading back up to our hotel room, we stopped at the bakery downstairs, and bought some more goodies.

Back up in our room, we sampled the pastries – the chocolate and vanilla eclairs were tasty, that canelle was a little weird, and the flan apricot was delicious.

(Vacation is a totally valid excuse to eat sweets before dinner.)

After emptying my bag of all the random souvenirs we picked up throughout the day (and, let’s be honest, resting and catching up on Facebook for half an hour)… it was time to be off for our next meal!