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Since we have no tours to advertise at the moment, we thought you’d enjoy to read the journal of our latest sojourn to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. We will be making a fact-finding trip to Alsace in February. Some of our associates have indicated interest in joining us for this “non-tour. If you would like to consider this, please email email@example.com
Arrived Paris around seven am. Customs was strange nothing more than a couple of guards carelessly glancing at passports: I asked where to go for Customs and was waved off to the right, which took me out the door and on my way to the TGV station!
On the way to the train, I met Aussie Sue Ada from Queensland; she’s in France to teach English for a year – in 3 different towns. We hung out and bought our tickets. I rode to Lyon with her in 1st Class on my 2nd class ticket. No one was on the train, anyway! Cabbed to Hotel Célestins. It’s NOT the same place I stayed in 99: that was Hotel des Artistes (make note for future reference) but this will do nicely, and probably a lot less money.
Hotel is fine. Fairly bare bones but clean and safe: Owner will let me use his Internet for free: That’s good.
Napped until 6. Marianne called at 4 and woke me up. She will meet me around noon tomorrow to hopefully tour round the countryside by Lyon.
Walked around downtown a bit. The holiday lights are spectacular. Each street has a unique design. I DO love this city. I sauntered over to Rue Mercier (a pedestrian street) where I figured there would be a few places open for dinner. Bistro de Lyon, one of (my friend) Jean Paul’s (Lacombe) small places was open. Everyone was drinking Champagne or Kir Royales, so I joined in. Had a fine dinner of Salade Lyonnaise and Beef Cheeks with Carrots. Instead of a sweet, I opted for Cervelle de Canut for dessert/cheese. Tho Jean Paul has owned Bistro de Lyon for only a few years, the restaurant is a historic site. The ceilings were painted with cherubs, blue skies and clouds, gold leaf. Holiday decorations glittered and glowed throughout the restaurant.
I chatted with a Dutch couple who spoke great English AND French. We swapped cheeses, as they had never tasted Cervelle de Canut (a local favorite made with fresh cheese and herbs). I walked home window shopping, and taking photos of the beautiful holiday lights for which Lyon is famous. I feel a sense of belonging here in Lyon I don’t feel anywhere else. I would really like to have a place here: Start saving!
1-2-05 — Lyon
Lunch at Bouchon de Vins on Rue Mercier was Velouté de Potiron au Chataignes (Pumpkin Soup with Chestnuts); Saucisson Chicago avec Lentilles Verte (Green Lentils) and Galette des Rois (the traditional King Cake) — which I could not finish, so I don’t know if I got the baby.
Marianne is coming around 2 to take me to see a medieval village
Marianne arrived around 2 in her new bright blue Renault Twingo. We drove off in search of gas for her car; as she said where she was taking me was too far for the amount in her tank: Finally we were off on the motorway for Perouge; a medieval village on the road to Geneva; Swi. The surrounding countryside was lovely; even without leaves on the trees. On the way she announced she had a surprise for me; a place we were going before Perouge.
The surprise destination turned out to be her cousin’s castle in the little town of Montellier. It is the oldest castle in the Département, built in the 14th Century. No one was home, but we got out of the car and took pictures of it, and ourselves with the horse and donkeys that were on the property: Then on to Perouge. It’s a charming old place rebuilt after WW2. The cobblestones made walking very difficult: We took some photos and made our way to the Inn on the property that has been there for hundreds of years: We stopped for a glass of cidre and a slice of a traditional Perouge tart, Galette Bressane.
M was very nervous about getting caught in crowds of returning motorists on the way back to Lyon:; so we took back roads until she could avoid the motorway no longer: Went back to her home, where we exchanged Christmas gifts. Then drove into Vieux Lyon for dinner at Comptoir de Boeuf. Again started with Salade Lyonnaise; and had Chicken in Vinegar Sauce; followed by some wonderful warm Madeleines with honey ice cream.
Got home to find I had left my Food Lovers Guide to Paris at the resto: I’ll go get it tomorrow. Oops! It was downstairs by the computer.
1/3/05 — Lyon
Monday walked over to Le Cordellerie (Marianne said he is the best shoemaker in Lyon!) – they open today at 2 – I can get my purse fixed. Hooray! Went to tourist office. There are no traboule tours in English while I am here. Poo. Nice T-shirts on employees. They sell for 15 Euros but the shop won’t be open until tomorrow afternoon. Walked back towards shopping area. Found some darling tiny music boxes and got one for Nancy that plays “Lili Marlene.”
On Rue Emile Zola met a couple of photographers from US oohing over macarons in a patisserie window. They were on their way to Mégève to pick up his show. We chatted, walking along, and decided to get some lunch. Since I knew Bouchon des Vins was close by, reasonably priced AND delicious, we went there. Enjoyed a Navarin of Lamb and some more Cervelle. Walked back to hotel. Took my purse to be stitched, and went back to wait for Marianne. We are planning to go get foie gras at her cousin’s stall in the covered market.
Marianne came racing into the hotel breathless and literally grabbed me, saying we had to hurry to meet Claude Morin (her cousin) at the foie gras store. We ran all the way across downtown and arrived at the store to see Claude circling the block looking for a parking space. We went inside to wait for him and I started making my selections. The price is up considerably from 2 years ago, so much so that they now have an intermediate size package. That along with the worthless $$ means I won’t be able to splurge like I’d thought I could. Phooey. Claude arrived and after I paid for my purchases, he took us next door to Bar Cintra (one of the oldest bars in Lyon (circa 1936) for a New Year’s drink – and copious pictures, à la Marianne.
Claude went on his way to his appointment, and M and I went to Brasserie Georges for an early dinner. (The French rarely dine before 8, so arriving at 7 meant the cavernous room was empty of all but waiters.) It’s a huge room located behind the Gare de Perrache at the north end of the Centre Ville, and has been in operation at that site since the mid 1800’s. I really enjoyed the Velouté of Mussels with saffron that started my meal, and also the pear cake…
1-4-05 — Lyon
Got up early this morning to wash my hair and get going. At breakfast in the hotel I met another interesting American couple. She’s retiring as an Art History professor in PA. They’re having a tour of the Traboules this morning. I thought about asking to join them, but I have to go to the Post Office and mail my stuff home…… another trip!
First stop was the Post office to mail home the foie gras, my Christmas presents from Marianne, and all the other “stuff” I’ve accumulated in just 3 days! (When you’re traveling with a rollabord there’s no room to pack souvenirs.) The PO is in a perfect location for a walk in the Marché along the Saone. This is the main place the chefs in Lyon come Tuesday through Sunday mornings to buy vegetables and some of the regional specialties for their restaurants. The Marché stays open until noon for the general populace. Got some good shots of the vendors and their beautiful wares.
Sunday Marianne told me about a place in Lyon where the best Quenelles in the region are sold. Giraudet ‘s home is in the Bresse area, but they have shops in both Lyon and Paris. For lunch I walked over to the southeast end of the Place Bellecour to see what Giraudet was offering. Wow! A little lunchroom and a takeout store in one. I ordered the Quenelle of the Day (Morels) and a small cup of Cauliflower soup, and purchased some quenelles in tins along with their special sauces, to ship home… These were wonderful!
Went to the Tourist Office and bought one of the T-shirts I saw yesterday. Unfortunately they only had one large size, and since it’s so warm here, I really need to wear it instead of my wool sweater. And I wanted to get one for Nancy. Too bad. Walked back to the hotel a new way, and discovered La Voute! This is one of the long-time traditional bistros of Lyon, and the one where my Vinegar Chicken recipe originated. I had been told by several people that it had gone out of business. Not so! The original owner, Lea, has retired, but one of her acolytes, Chef Philippe Rabatel, has purchased the place. I happily made a reservation for dinner tonight at 8:30. I really don’t need any more food, but I just have to try their vinegar chicken.
Marianne met me at 3 and we went to Printemps, where she had an admission card for their “Pre-Sale.” The real sale doesn’t begin until next week, but by then the regular customers will probably have picked over everything pretty well. She took me to the section where they sell the beautiful Jacquard tea towels she brought me when she visited New York. They also have tablecloths and napkins, and the like. A new item is plasticized material made in the same beautiful jacquard designs. Now, it is also sold cut to order, by the meter. I bought 3 meters of a beautiful beige, green and blue for my dining table, and ordered 12 cotton napkins to go with it. Pretty expensive, but I can’t get anything like this at home. (I could feel Mom and Aunt Elsie hovering around me approving of my purchase.)
Then we went for tea to a serene tearoom above a bookstore. I found a wonderful 2005 date book in the store below. In addition to being the right size for my purse, it features drawings of Provencal scenes. As we were leaving, Marianne exclaimed that we were just across from the new hot chef’s new restaurant. So we went over and peered inside and read the menu posted out front. It’s more expensive than any place I’ve ever seen in Lyon! Nicolas LeBec is apparently a name to watch. He created quite a stir as chef at Cour des Loges in Vieux Lyon, but left after a few disputes with management, and set up shop over in the 1st… We made a few more stops, at Annick Goutal for perfume, and L’Occitaine to browse. And of course, more pictures!
I said goodbye to Marianne, as she has to get up early for work tomorrow.
I returned to my room to find the maid had removed my last remaining drinking glass without leaving another. So I had to take my vitamins drinking water from an ashtray! Good thing I don’t smoke!
Only bad thing about this trip to Lyon is not getting to see Fabienne and Jean Paul. They are still on holiday in Romaneche, and won’t return until Thursday.
Farewell dinner at La Voute (Chez Lea) started off with yet another Lyonnaise Salad. This was unlike any I have ever had. Instead of being made with Lardons, it was made with Herring. Although I know that’s a traditional ingredient, I’ve never had it like this before. REALLY yummy! Instead of the salad being topped with a poached egg, hard-poached eggs were cut up and tossed throughout the salad along with garlicky croutons. I could have made that salad the whole dinner, there was so much in the dish, but then I wouldn’t have had room for the Poulet au Vinaigre! I have to say I like mine better. Chef Philippe’s sauce is smoother, but mine has a better taste… Probably the difference in vinegars?
Chef comped me a Marc de Bourgogne — great as a digestif!
I “floated” back to the hotel to pack.
I was unable to post last evening as I was attacked by the retrospect demon. This morning I was finally able to disconnect it. Right now I HAVE to pack and get to bed. I hope I can remember all the things I wanted to write tomorrow!
1-5-05 – Paris
Took the 9 am train from Gare Part-Dieu for Paris. Sad to leave Lyon.
Arrived Gare de Lyon at 11:20. It’s the first time I can remember the TGV being late. I awoke from a nap on the train to find us sitting on the tracks outside of town (in a rather seedy neighborhood).
Called the hotel (using my French phone card from ’99!) to check on the address. Cab took me a rather long way around (à la New York!) Arrived at Hotel des 3 Colleges around 12. Room is small, but fine. Great value in my favorite part of Paris – the 5th.
The plug in the room won’t charge my laptop. Yuck! Off to the Paper Store to buy a notebook. Shoot! Transcribing later will be a pain. Oh well…
Walked in a fine mist (read “rain”) to Willi’s for my traditional “Welcome to Paris” lunch. Passed a store on the Rue de Rivoli that had some cute aprons in the window. I know the place is a tourist trap, but wish I had stopped to get that one with all the different wines on it. Maybe I can get back there later.
Started out by getting stuck in the bathroom at Willi’s. The lock would NOT budge. They took about 10 minutes to get me out. I thought they’d gone to get someone to take off the door when I heard scratching on the other side, and one of the cooks was standing on the other side with a paring knife. Not fun, but silly. Mark (Williamson, the owner, my friend) came over from Macéo to try to get me out of the Loo, but I was already out by that time. We laughed… he bought drinks.
Lunch was St. Jacques with veggies in a scallop shell, and a BIG green salad with Parmesan shavings. A couple of glasses of very good Alsatian Riesling went along fine. Had a desert of a silky Mocha Pot de Crème. It was served in a little glass jar. I must remember to ask Mark where he got them. He won’t be at Macéo on Saturday night as his nephew is being christened. Said he’d “take care of me,” but it won’t be the same. I’ll have to remember to bring Mac’s wine on Saturday.
Met a couple from Philly at Willi’s. He’s an MD who likes to paint, and wants to do a poster for Willi’s. Mark told him to submit his idea. Left with them and wandered the area a bit. Found “La Grande Colbert” (from that Diane Keaton/Jack Nicholson movie –can’t think of the name) on the rue Vivienne. Looked a lot like it did in the movie, outdoor lights and all.
Decided to walk over to the wine tasting in the 4th, as I wasn’t sure which Metro I should take from where I was. Again, it was not “really” raining, but very soggy. It was farther than I‘d anticipated. The dampness was kind of hard on the knees.
Olivier Magny is a charming young Parisian who definitely knows the wines he presented. The wine bar where he holds forth is on the right bank of the Seine, and has an old-world charm (as opposed to being modern and trendy). We wound up a very narrow staircase to the second floor dining room. Three other Americans were in attendance: a young couple from California (he’s an artist who does large installations), and an expat whose company offers English-speaking tours of Paris and France. Altogether, an interesting group of people, and an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon in Paris! It turns out that Rachel, the expat, and I both are Northwestern grads who studied at Medill! We’ll meet Saturday for breakfast to get better acquainted. Olivier ended the tasting by offering each of us one of the half empty bottles to take home for “later.” A nice touch.
Walked back to the hotel and made a reservation for dinner at an old-time bistro I’d been wanting to try, Chez Maitre Paul – not a long walk from the hotel (it’s still drizzling).
Chez Maitre Paul turned out to be a bit farther than I had thought, but the warm welcome made me feel less damp. I enjoyed a delicious dinner of Montbéliard Sausage with warm potato salad (olive oil dressing), followed by chicken with morels in cream sauce. For dessert, I finally got to taste some of Berthillon’s famous sorbets. I chose Pear and Mandarin. Guess what? I thought they were too sweet!?!?!
Found a shorter route back to the hotel and found an internet café just one block away. At 3 Euros an hour, it’s not too bad, especially since I didn’t have to pay anything in Lyon.
1-6-05 — Paris
Totally overslept!!! Bummer. Awoke at 9 am instead of 7:15. Didn’t hear the wakeup call. Must leave the blackout curtains at least cracked tonight as I cannot afford to oversleep tomorrow and be late for my market tour! I had planned to go to Montmartre today. Well, maybe this afternoon?
Tom called at 10 to confirm dinner tomorrow evening with him and Maggie at Bastide de l’Odeon at 8:30. Sounds fun.
Washed my hair and got stuff ready to go to the Post Office. Finally got out of here about 11:30 – running on low fuel. Mailed the tablecloth and Marianne’s gifts and quenelles home. Then went for film and a notebook and cash. Went to the Metro station and bought a carnet of metro tickets. Decided not to go to Montmartre. Next trip…. Picked up a sandwich on rue Soufflot and walked back to hotel.
The hotel checked out the plugs in my room and also out in the hall. I’m still unable to charge my laptop. Went over to the Internet café to email Mança, my techie. Realized how awful I’m feeling – probably too much walking in the rain yesterday. Bought a small lemon tart at the café across the street from the hotel and came back for a nap. I sure can’t afford to be sick tomorrow!
Slept about 2 hours, and feel some better now. Made a reservation for dinner at 8:30 pm at Les Fontaines on rue Soufflot. I remember a lovely lamb dinner there a few years back.
Changed clothes for dinner and left the hotel about 7 to check out the Pantheon Wine Shop for bargains I “need” to take home. Didn’t find any apparent “treasures.” Hopefully I will get to the Caves Taillevent on Saturday. I KNOW they have a lot of “goodies.” Cleared out my email and them went over to dinner. When seated, I realized the man at the next table (across from me) was E W, my friend F B’s long time lover! (and my awful landlord for 3 months back in Boston in ’88), If he recognized me, he said nothing. I tried not to stare, but he sure did have the same birthmark on his neck that I remembered.
I ordered the Endives and Bleu Cheese Salad. I liked the shredded endive mixed with the dressing. Then Onglet (hanger steak) with three potatoes – gratin, frites and beignets. The gratin was FINE! Dessert was apple tart with vanilla ice cream, the thinnest, crispest tart crust ever. Met David and Cynthia Lawrence of New York (seated on the other side of me). Had a nice conversation about places we all like in the 5th.
Home to get ready for my BIG day tomorrow.
1-7-05 – Paris
Le Cordon Bleu!
This is the big day! This is what I came for – my private sessions with Chef Marc Thivet at LCB.
I slept with the dark curtains open so any morning light would awaken me. (It doesn’t start getting light here until about 8 at this time of year.) The wakeup call did not work again, but I woke up at 6:15 anyway. Dressed and out of here by 8. Took the Metro from Cluny-Sorbonne to Sèvres-Babylone and changed to Line 12. The directions were perfect. Got to LCB around 8:30 and was welcomed by my friend Patricia Gastaud-Gallagher. Nice surprise! After morning coffee, went with Chef Marc Thivet and Leanne Mallard (my translator) to the marché on the Blvd Raspail. There were three different fish merchants one after the other in the first tent. Two were “artisan” fishermen, the one in the middle was “commercial.”’ The difference in the quality of the fish was really apparent. Scallops in their shells with their rosy roe were plump and luscious. I wanted to eat some then and there!
Chef talked about topinambours – Jerusalem artichokes – something I have never prepared, and not sure I have even eaten! He suggested peeling and steaming them, then puréeing with butter and cream. He said the flavor is somewhat like artichokes. We talked about mushrooms. Chanterelles are now cultivated, so no longer fall into the “wild” category. Chef bought some Cremini’s and will show me how to “turn” them tomorrow.
We all bought socks. Lovely, soft, thick cotton socks. Yum!
Then Chef and Leanne took me to rue Cherche-Midi. Chef pointed out a private hotel where Josephine entertained Napoléon for “tea” before she became Mrs. B. Across the street was a similar building where we could see the courtyard, and how a horse and carriage were able to go inside the property for complete privacy.
Then we went to Poilane, arguably the most famous (and delicious) boulanger in the world. Unfortunately we were unable to go downstairs to view the baking. Leanne bought a bag of rolls with walnuts – breakfast! Chef bought me a bag of butter cookies for the plane. On the way to the Grand Salon at Bon Marché, we passed a Maison du Chocolat boutique. We stopped so I could buy some truffles for Mel. Of course, we sampled several delicious bonbons ourselves. I especially liked a bittersweet truffle with espresso ganache.
Le Grande Marché is an amazing place – fun to browse, even if not buying. I bought a couple of packages of exotic teas to bring home for friends.
We returned to LCB on the Metro, where Cristina took me on a tour of the whole place. She told me the history of the term “Le Cordon Bleu,” which originated during the reign of Henri III. I saw all the facilities, and was amazed that Chef Patrick Terrien seemed to remember me from some classes I took back in ’97! (Could that be?)
Patricia and Kaye Baudinette took me to lunch at Belisaire, a little bistro around the corner from the school. Chef Matthieu Garrel’s food was inventive and delicious. I had a Salade Haricot Verts with Foie Gras, and Confit de Canard w/ Pommes Sarladaise (olive oil, again!). Kaye had a Sea Bream Parmentier. (“Parmentier” always means there are mashed potatoes involved in the presentation.) In this dish the fish was flaked between two layers of creamy mashed potatoes. A great choice for a damp, chilly day. I would like to play with this concept.
My dessert was a “Soupe” of Mandarin Oranges. The syrup was anise flavored, nicely light and refreshing. This could be part of an “All About Mandarins” dessert plate.
Back to school where I sat in on the end of a Superieure Pastry Demo with Chef Nicolas. Tarte Creole (pineapple with coconut mousse filling) was a WOW!
Time for my first session.
Chef started with Gilt-head Sea Bream in Salt Crust. I’ve never had very good luck with this kind of crust. Chef used flour and egg in his crust. No wonder it worked! Phooey on all those “Spartan” recipes I’ve tried before. That same method would also make a better rye crust for my baked ham!
He prepared two mousselines, one of rascasse (scorpion fish – we can’t get in US) and one of salmon. The rascasse mousse was stuffed into zucchini blossoms, and the salmon into reconstituted morels. He also made a sausage with some of the salmon mousseline and stuffed it with morels. Everything was poached in a stock make from the rascasse head and bones.
Langoustine tails were prepped, along with baby vegetables and peppers. A soft tempura batter made with cream was the frying vehicle. The tails were lightly dusted with curry powder before being battered and fried. The dipping sauce was pureed in the blender – an emulsion with olive oil and Thai basil and other herbs.
The plating was beautiful, and the food tasted as good as it looked. Couldn’t let myself eat too much because I have dinner plans later. I DID take lots of pictures, though!
Back to the hotel to freshen up and go meet the Jazz Corner crew at Bastide de l’Odeon. Fortunately, it was only about a 5 minute walk.
It was really nice to see Tom and Maggie again, and Douglas also joined us. Although I’d thought I wouldn’t be able to eat much, I did enjoy minestrone with St. Jacques (Scallops), and Roasted Pheasant with Le Puy lentils. We drank a delicious southern Rhône wine, Coudelet de Beaucastel ’02 (just 38 euros for the bottle – here in US it would be at least double that price). For dessert, I chose shortbread topped with caramelized quinces (coing). Our lovely, low-key evening was topped off with a photo op out front before parting.
1-8-05 – Paris
Le Cordon Bleu
Up early to exercise and fix my hair. I’m meeting Rachel Kaplan at 9 for breakfast. It’s going to be kind of fun to take someone who has lived in Paris for 13 years to a whole new place, my favorite Paris breakfast, Café Mouffetard. The owners still make their own brioche, which may be the best I’ve ever tasted, croissants and pain complèt (whole wheat bread). We shared one of each along with large cups of excellent café au lait while getting acquainted. (You will be hearing more about Rachel on my web site very soon. She has a wonderful schedule of day (and longer) focused tours in English in Paris and environs.)
We left the café and walked through the 5th and 6th Arrondisements, for Rachel to show me some places she loves. The first stop turned out to be Delices Daubenton, the shop owned by c2c participant, Philippe Raynaud. I recognized him before Rachel could introduce us. It was very nice to finally meet him in person. His little shop sells a soupçon of all sorts of goodies like foie gras, and other French snacks. He also carries a line of Bordeaux wines from the little known area of Graves known as “Graves Vayres.” I purchased a bottle of white wine to bring home.
Our next stop was a traditional Chinese tea shop called La Maison des Trois Thes. Unlike any tea salon I know of in Paris, this one has a serene, Asian feel. Their specialty is rare Chinese teas, hand selected by the owner who claims to be descended from Confucius. It is a lovely place to go for tea and meditation (rather than pastries); I chose two unusual teas, a blue green tea and a smoky tea, to bring home.
Our last stop of the day was an English Language bookstore in the 5th where Rachel had a book on order. By that time, I needed to head back to my hotel to prepare for my second session, so we said Au revoir and hurried off in our separate directions. It was raining, again!
I took the Metro to school, stopping to buy a ham sandwich, since I was “sort of” hungry, but didn’t want to get full. I felt as if I had never eaten so much good food in such a short period of time, and I knew the afternoon’s selections would not disappoint.
I arrived at LCB about 2:30, and purchased aprons to take home for Nancy and Barbara. I was disappointed they didn’t have English versions of the small Fish & Shellfish book on the stand in the hall. I was invited to sit in on a Beginner Pastry class. The subject was Apple Tarts. All the recipes looked scrumptious.
My second session with Chef Thivet began at 3:30. I don’t know which day was my favorite. My translator for this session was Laurent Mooney. He will be opening a bar in Pigalle soon.
Today we started by preparing the puff pastry for the Tarte Renversée de Tomates. The tomato flower that sits atop the pastry is filled with lightly marinated tuna. This dish is so pretty! The secret is not to season the tuna until just before service or it will cook too much and become mushy.
The whiting, though wonderful, might be more contrived than is my normal style. The accompanying onion, mushroom and tomato compote would go with many mains, but the mousseline sauce I would probably only do if I had a restaurant – and a salamander to run it under.
I approached the lobster dish with apprehension. I am not usually very fond of lobster, as it is so very rich. Chef paired it with grapefruit and oranges in this preparation, a sort of Lobster Salad. I really liked the way the acid of the citrus played against the rich meat of the lobster. The tart citrus vinaigrette was a perfect contrast. Here is a lobster dish that wants a Sauvignon Blanc!
I loved the “slightly warmed” oyster prep with white wine sabayon topping and spinach. Very sexy dish, it’s not quite cooked, yet not really raw, either. Chef blanched the seaweed for the oyster presentation. That turned it bright green and very attractive.
I found out Chef was trying out recipes on me that he is thinking of including in a post-graduate course LCB is creating!
Just as we started to arrange the table with all the dishes from our session, Patricia burst in saying she had come to take me hone! Yesterday she’d talked about a fish place in the 1st and now said she’d secured 3 reservations for dinner.
In came Chefs Patrick Terrien and Didier Chantefort, along with Katrina and Kaye. Everyone shared the food and I took pictures with the Chefs. Fun!
Patricia dropped me at the Citröen Metro stop. She and her husband, Gérard, will pick me up at my hotel for dinner. I called and canceled Macéo. We will take Mac’s wine by to leave for Mark.
We drove through the labyrinthine streets of the 1st looking for L’Eclume, and nearly missed it, From the article we had, we thought were looking for a restaurant, but it turned out to be an open stall fish market with high tables and bar stools in the back! Murals of sea life and gulls decorated the walls. A tape of seagulls added to the atmosphere. The plat du jour was face-slapping fresh seafood – oysters, mussels, Violettes, cockles, served on seaweed, with a side of rye bread and butter. The wine choices were Muscadet or Sancerre. We drank Muscadet. We decided to forego the cheese platter and headed for Ile St. Louis to find an open Berthillon store. At the very end of the island we found one! I must say I liked the ice cream much better than the sorbets of Wednesday evening. I thoroughly enjoyed a double of moka and vanilla.
We noticed the Eiffel Tower in the distance was blinking glittering gold and silver lights! A beautiful sight for my last night in France. What a fun evening!
1-9-05 – Paris
Well, I’ve checked out of Hotel Trois Colleges. Poo! I hope to be back very soon. There are always so many things I intend to do here and there is never enough time.
I’m finishing this chapter at L’Escritoire, a café in the Place Sorbonne, around the corner from my hotel where I’ve just lunched on Steak Frites and a Salade Mixte. Time to pay the bill and head for the airport. I’ll be home soon, Julia!