Midnight in Paris
"You're going to Paris on your own?!"
I paraphrase, but this was a frequent remark from the majority of people who knew I was going to Paris. They were all remarkably surprised that I was venturing to the world's most romantic city alone. Except my Mother who was just worried that ISIS would choose the past few days to launch their next attack. For those of you wondering, by the way, this blog is so called not because of a love of croissants (though I do have one) or because I will exclusively be blogging about croissants (or, indeed, about trips to France). I will leave you to guess the reason, though given my other blog is called The Cous Cous Diaries, another food themed title seemed appropriate.
I have, indeed, ventured to Paris alone. Believe it or not, as I write this, I can confirm that I have survived. ISIS did not attack Paris (though fellow human beings were not spared terrorism in Normandy on the day of writing) and I have managed to keep the demons of loneliness at bay as I wandered around a city famed for its love and romance. Whilst I did not have a companion with whom I could fall in love, I fell back in love with the city as I knew I would. Perhaps I get carried away with the idealism of it all, maybe it was enjoying breakfast where Jean Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir spent their days (Les Deux Magots) but whatever it was, something about Paris chimes with me.
As I had been before, visiting Paris was never going to be about the sightseeing (though I did find my way to the obvious places) but always about the food. Call me unadventurous but I actually ended up going to the same place for dinner three nights in a row (it was that good), whilst I only went to two breakfast places. Breakfast is usually the highlight of my day when it comes to food on holiday, but I chose a simpler affair here in Paris. Les Deux Magots and Richer both offered fresh juice, toast, croissants (of course) and the hot drink I required to give me energy to wander around until my next meal. For atmosphere and a sense of history, one cannot really beat Les Deux Magots. Alongside this, despite attempting to speak French, the waiter saw straight through me and immediately began conversing in English, as if I were an idiot for even trying. There are also Pokestops near by, if this is something that interests you.
I decided to treat myself on my last day to the George in the Four Seasons hotel. A little bit of fine dining never hurt anyone and, indeed, the meal did not disappoint. Most notable were the two 'half' desserts, pictured, (a tiramisu and, for want of a better name, chocolate roll - though do not let that description fool you, this was some proper cooking on display), though the entire meal was worth writing home about, which, for the record, I did with regular updates to my parents on what I was eating and just how delicious it was. I'm not much of a food writer and this is not a food blog, so I shan't try and give you a detailed breakdown of the ingredients or how they were masterfully brought together on the plate. Instead, just trust me when I say it was worth every Euro even with the current exchange rate.
And I enjoyed the Louvre - free entry if you are under 26 and a citizen of an EU country - and the Eiffel Tower and all the other touristy stuff I did, but the real star of the four days was Richer, though not for breakfast, but for dinner. This was so good I am providing a link to its website so that you can all find it and enjoy it when you next visit Paris. Like all good places should be, it is unassuming and does not look like much from the outside (seriously though, why does everyone feel the need to juxtapose the simple look of a restaurant with the food it serves?) but the food was absolutely delightful. In fact, it was so good I went back again. And again. And on the last night I had two helpings of the dessert, which is easily the best thing I have ever eaten in my life ever and believe me, I have been around when it comes to food. To think I only ate here the first night because it was 30 seconds from my hotel. If you have the chance, it comes with my highest recommendation - just go early because they fill up and there are no reservations.
I suppose I am meant to describe some of these photos. This is the Sacre Coeur. It looks a lot nicer in the photo than it does after walking up the stairs, believe me. Having said that, with all the food and wine I had been having, the stairs were a good way of fooling myself into think I had done some exercise whilst on my excursion.
So that's Paris. It remains a wonderful city to visit - even alone. Don't let ISIS deter you. In case you were worried, the Eiffel Tower is still an eyesore, but a loveable eyesore.