Ah, a visit to the City of Light! How romantic!! But wait – not so romantic when moms have three teenage boys in tow who want to explore the culture, meet the locals and eat, eat, eat!
Upon arrival, we set out for lunch at Café de Flore on Boulevard Saint-Germaine, which offered fabulous café food and wonderful people watching. The Salade de Nicoise was just the thing before exploring Paris and the Picasso Museum.
After enjoying the buzz of the city and an eventful visit to the catacombs, we ventured to Les Climats, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the 7th District.. We had a table in the beautifully appointed bar, where we were surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wine. The sommelier recommended a bottle of wine that was a crowd pleaser, and we were given the most fabulous amuse-bouche of fluke, lemony avocado puree and zucchini. What a way to start the evening! We then ate filet of beef that was served with mushrooms and a pinot noir bernaise sauce (which I am still dreaming about) and pigeon that was served with asparagus and delicate potato crisps. We were then treated to an assortment of delectable desserts. What a meal!!!
On Sunday we ventured to the 9th District for brunch at the highly-acclaimed Buvette and to visit with our friends, the Mayers. At Buvette the boys scarfed down a plate of perfectly cured and beautifully sliced prosciutto, lots of fresh-squeezed orange juice, croque monsieur, potato pancakes with smoked salmon, lentils with trout and eggs with more delicious prosciutto before venturing out to the Louvre.
The Café Saint-Germaine was a favorite stop throughout our stay where the boys enjoyed late-night orders of croque monsieur, and the local cafes were always good for buttery, flakey croissants and jolts of café au lait or the perfectly seasoned chicken. A street vendor who served up tasty, smokey kabobs was also a hit with the teenage crowd.
After a full day of exploring the city, when the boys ventured out on their own, the moms ventured out too! One stop was the historic Bar Hemingway at the Ritz. The Ritz, one of Paris’ most romanticized Belle Epoque hotels, first opened in 1898 and just re-opened after a four-year renovation. Collin, the bartender at the Hemingway, is a genius who mixed up the most delectable cocktails while entertaining those of us who were lucky enough to find a seat at the bar.
Another great stop was the Four Seasons Hotel George V near the Champs-Elysees. The flowers throughout the hotel were breath-taking, and the cosmos at Le Bar were especially appreciated after a full day of enjoying the neighborhoods, the museums and the parks.
Café Lipp, which was established in 1880 on Boulevard Saint-Germaine, was the final stop on our eating adventure. This iconic Parisienne restaurant and Historical Monument serves French bourgeois cuisine and is full of friendly, attentive waiters and beautifully decorated ceilings. The delicious and fun meal when the boys wrote lots of postcards to loved ones, ended with amazing desserts that included profiteroles, floating islands and napoleons. It was a fantastic way to end a memorable visit to Paris.
Maybe not such a romantic visit, but fun, fun, fun (and delicious) nevertheless!
By Guest Blogger Jill Lloyd, Director of Development