Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Paris, crepe and a surprise night event
Ever since we got together 7 years ago, we holidayed in Paris at least once a year, sometimes twice which makes Paris our favourite and most frequently holidayed city together, well apart from Glasgow - though I am not sure if that counts as we travel to Glasgow to visit Scott's family so not technically a holiday per se.
Similar to our previous trip earlier this year for Scott's birthday, we rented an apartment in the Marais area. This is definitely my favourite district - the shops, the Jewish quarter patisseries, the proximity to St-Martins Canal, Jacques Genin chocolate shop and our new found love-Alain Roussel crepe!
Alain Roussel was a surprise find. I initially had my heart set on trying the buckwheat crepe at Breizh Cafe after reading countless reviews about their crepe online. We got there for 12pm on Saturday, the shop was jam-packed with Americans and Chinese tourists and we were told we can have a seat in 2 hours. Shiteeeee - Gutted...we should have booked but when in Paris we rarely do, esp not for crepe! So we (more me really) shuffled out of the shop reluctantly and ended up in a Brasserie nearby which was actually pretty good for lunch.
After lunch, we walked around Marais and as the rain started sputtering down we seek shelter in Marche des Enfants Rouges. We were sniffing out the cheese and fruits when I caught a queue waiting for crepe...we got closer and the guy making the crepe looked familiar and then it strikes me! He was the guy in Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen TV series! So of course we joined the queue and while waiting, he passed round bits of crepes that he has sprinkled with sugar and lemon and it tasted good enough for us to stick around for our own! We had one crepe each (because it is cheap and I don't like sharing) - mine was with honey and Scott had his with sugar and lemon. The main difference is the texture of the crepe - soft, somewhat creamy but not in a dairy way and floppy-like unlike most crepes which tend to be on the thicker side. We had smiles between bites making it a happy-crepe-ending afterall!
We have done most of the 'must-see' tourist bits of Paris but every trip we try to see/eat/explore something new (to us). This time, we checked out Musee Carnavalet - a great museum all about Paris. Unfortunately, I can't remember the specifics of the museum as we were not allowed to take pictures and I was suffering from a lunch coma. It is larger than it looks - with rooms after rooms of amazing paintings - of the war, the revolution, Parisian in their daily life. My lack of knowledge of art meant I am not doing justice at describing the museum but please go if you are in the area, I enjoyed it and will go back again to cover the areas that were closed that day.
On Saturday night, we were also lucky enough to be in Paris for the annual Nuit Blanche event (White Night) - an annual event celebrating all things art and culture where various museums, galleries, city halls and other grand buildings open their doors for one night only, all night, free entrance for all. We didn't plan anything but as most of the events were happening around the Marais area, we just follow the crowd and saw light installations, dancing in a courtyard of a grand building, opera singing and the obligatory men being sick by the sidewalk...all part of the joys of late night entertainment. We have never see Paris that bustling around Hotel de Ville before.