Paris Food Diary (in photos)

Less than one week ago, I was in Paris. I went to Paris for 5 nights to spend time with my best friend, who is in Paris for a few weeks doing research for her Ph.D. I went to belatedly celebrate my golden birthday with her since she was away for my actual birthday. Since we’ve both been to Paris before, we didn’t want to do any sightseeing – we simply wanted to thoroughly enjoy the food and wine! And that we did. Read on for many of the delicious things we ate…

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I was welcomed at 12:30 a.m. with this lovely birthday celebration – a bottle of Kir Royale and a gorgeous little chocolate tarte. This is also when I was introduced to the best butter on earth – French butter with flecks of Normandy sea salt. I didn’t think I could possibly like any butter more than Irish butter, but I was wrong!

Picnic-ing in the Tuileries

Picnic-ing in the Tuileries

Day 1: We went to multiple shops in Montmartre and bought food for a picnic in the Tuileries. It was the most gorgeous day imaginable.

Picnic view

Picnic view

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Fresh baguette, goat cheese, Comté (our new favourite cheese!), figs (lovely paired with goat cheese!), cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and San Pellegrino

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The most amazing produce shop I’ve ever seen. This wasn’t even half of it.

Not a bad picnic view

Not a bad picnic view

We went for a long, leisurely walk to the Eiffel Tower and ate the rest of our strawberries (and salted caramels) with this incredible view.

Charcuterie

Charcuterie

Before dinner, we were starving and needed something to hold us over. We decided to go for some red wine and charcuterie, but we certainly weren’t expecting the platter to be this large!! I’ve never eaten so much cheese in one day.

Birthday dinner at La Part des Anges in Montmartre

Birthday dinner at La Part des Anges in Montmartre

Reblochon cheese salad with honey and cinnamon // Salade de reblochon au miel et à la cannel - @ La Part des Anges

Reblochon cheese salad with honey and cinnamon // Salade de reblochon au miel et à la cannel – @ La Part des Anges

Possibly the best salad I’ve ever had in my life.

Duck in cognac sauce // Magret de canard

Duck in cognac sauce // Magret de canard “bio” au cognac @ La Part des Anges

Lamb with herbs and ratatouille // Souris d'agneau confite aux aromates @ La Part des Anges

Lamb with herbs and ratatouille // Souris d’agneau confite aux aromates @ La Part des Anges

Birthday dessert @ La Part des Anges

Birthday dessert @ La Part des Anges

This may not look like much, but it tasted like the best brownie batter I’ve ever had. This was also the first time I tried a noisette (espresso with milk froth) and I loved it.

Day 2:

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Fancy yogurts in ceramic pots for breakfast

Pierre Hermé, the haute couture of macarons

Pierre Hermé, the haute couture of macarons

K introduced me to the incredible Pierre Hermé and I simply can’t believe I didn’t discover this French wonder on my first trip to Paris. We went every day and I tried almost all of the flavours.

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé chocolates

Pierre Hermé chocolates

Falafel round 1 (from Le Marais)

Falafel round 1 (best falafel I’ve ever had, from Le Marais)

This is another thing I can’t believe I didn’t have on my first trip to Paris. Easily the best falafel I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, L’As Du Fallafel (known as the best falafel in Paris) was closed when I was there due to Rosh Hashanah. Thankfully other neighbouring shops were open and they didn’t disappoint.

L'Eclair de Genie

L’Eclair de Genie

I’ve read about these eclairs and I’m sad to report, this one (salted caramel) was disappointing. The bread tasted stale. It looked pretty, though!

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Noisette and macarons in Galleries Lafayette

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Fish tacos and margaritas at Candelaria

Fish tacos and margaritas at Candelaria

Candelaria is a fab place, I highly recommend going here when in Paris. At the front is a casual taqueria bar and they serve small and basic but delicious tacos and a couple other dishes. Be warned: the price is per taco, not per 2 tacos (what we thought when we were ordering!) We ended up spending a small fortune, especially because we were really enjoying their small but delicious €7 margaritas – loved the chilli flakes around the rim!). If you walk through the back door, which doesn’t look like an entrance to anything, you’ll enter a whole new, wonderful world. This is their beautiful cocktail bar and is a really nice place that we very much enjoyed.

Day 3:

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Breakfast: fresh baguette, pain au chocolat and pain au chocolat et pistache

Noisette (espresso with milk froth) on a rainy day

Noisette on a rainy day with a view of Au Printemps

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Tartine and a glass of red @ La Tartine

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Enjoying people watching on Rue de Rivoli

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Galette with egg, ham, Gruyere cheese and onion confit slow cooked in cider

Next up: Breizh Cafe for galettes, crepes and cider! This was my first time having a galette (savoury crepe) and I enjoyed every bite. I highly recommend making a reservation otherwise your chances of getting a table are slim-to-none. You can always go into their shop next door and order from the same menu if they don’t have any tables (which is what we had to do since they never answered their phone when we tried to make a reservation).

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artichoke, ham and gruyere cheese galette

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Salted caramel crepe with ice cream

Day 4:

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It’s always nice to start your day with macarons!

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Breakfast

Supposedly the best cheese shop in Paris - I would have to agree based on my experience

Located on Rue Montorgueil

Supposedly the best cheese shop in Paris – I would have to agree based on my experience. It was very crowded when we went in and had a lovely atmosphere. I bought yet another slice of Comté.

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The oldest pâtisserie in Paris, located on Rue Montorgueil. Do yourself a favour and GO HERE. They have incredible pastries and sweets but they also have savoury deli-style foods as well.

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Inside Stohrer

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One of my favourite photos I took while wandering from one meal to the next

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I can now say I’ve never had French onion soup before this, because this was to die for.

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Mango and passion fruit eclair from Stohrer

HIGHLY. RECOMMENDED. Explosion of flavour! A pastry I will never forget.

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More macarons… and no, I didn’t photograph all of the many macarons I ate!

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My last dinner in Paris at Les Cocottes de Christian Constant

Poached egg with crispy bacon and rocket salad // Œuf poché aux lardons croustillants, belle salade de roquette

Poached egg with crispy bacon and rocket salad // Œuf poché aux lardons croustillants, belle salade de roquette

Potatoes stuffed with pigs’ feet and caramelised // Pommes de terre caramélisées farcies au pied de porc

Potatoes stuffed with pigs’ feet and caramelised //
Pommes de terre caramélisées farcies au pied de porc

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Old fashioned shellfish bisque with combawa chantilly (served chilled) // Bisque de crustacés à l’ancienne, chantilly combawa

Old fashioned shellfish bisque with combawa chantilly (served chilled) // Bisque de crustacés à l’ancienne, chantilly combawa

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plat du jour: beef and potatoes with an herb vinaigrette

All of the dishes we got were delicious, but this was K’s main, and it was by far one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Easily THE nicest beef meal I’ve tried. The herb vinaigrette was to die for – so good, I could drink it! If this happens to be the plat du jour when you’re there, ORDER IT!!!

The fabulous Christian Constant Chocolate Tart // La fabuleuse tarte au chocolat de Christian Constant

The fabulous Christian Constant Chocolate Tart // La fabuleuse tarte au chocolat de Christian Constant

I’m probably starting to sound ridiculous, but this is, hands down, the BEST chocolate dessert in existence. I promise you. It was recommended to me by a friend. She told me she dreams about it at night and now I can see why. No other chocolate dessert could ever live up to it!

The view from nearby Les Cocottes

The view from nearby Les Cocottes

Breakfast on my last day in Paris at Eric Kayser

Breakfast on my last day in Paris at Eric Kayser

Noisette, pain au chocolat et pistache and a pastry for the plane journey later

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Tip: Go into as many artisan boulangers as you possibly can. Artisan = made there!

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Falafel round 2!

With picante sauce, as always.

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I went into a Jewish bakery/deli in the Marais and was overjoyed when I saw kosher dill pickles. Dill pickles are my #1 favourite food in the world and this is something Ireland does not have (good ones, anyway). The woman laughed at me when I asked for just 2. I would have gotten more but was flying home in a few hours time. These pickles may have been the highlight of my time in Paris.

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Rue Montorgueil – my favourite street in Paris

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financier a la pistache

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Until next time, Paris! I will constantly be dreaming of your cheese, wine, butter, bread, pastries, falafel and even pickles!

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Iceland Road Trip: Days 3 (Höfn to Egilsstaðir) & 4 (Egilsstaðir to Akureyri)

Here’s the link to my post about Days 1 & 2 in case you missed it!

Day 3 (Höfn to Egilsstaðir):

This day was our most uneventful day, which was good timing because day 2 was our longest, busiest day so we were quite tired. We were also happy there weren’t many sights along the way because this was the worst weather we had our whole trip. It was very rainy and terrifyingly foggy which made driving quite an experience! There were long gravel roads on this journey which certainly were an adventure in the rain.

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Photo courtesy of Courtney Allen of courtingadventure.com

Photo courtesy of Courtney Allen of courtingadventure.com

This drive takes approximately 3 hours (in good weather) and when we were about half way there, I REALLY needed to pee. It was raining quite hard so I kept holding it, but it got to a point where I simply could not wait anymore. Of course, the moment I got out of the car was when it rained the hardest. It was certainly a memorable experience to relieve myself behind a mound of dirt on the side of the road in the lashing rain and heavy fog in the middle of nowhere in Iceland.

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Our sweet Opel getting dirty!

Our sweet Opel getting dirty!

Egilsstaðir is a lovely town and there is a Bonus grocery store, FYI. This is where I first found Goldfish, which I was extremely excited about since they don’t have them in Ireland. Iceland has more American foods than Ireland does, which I certainly wasn’t expecting! We really wanted to buy some alcohol since we arrived early and had no plans for the evening, but we forgot it was Sunday and the liquor store closed at 4. I was craving vegetables, so I went to Subway and got the most amazing salad of my life. I love pickles more than anything and she literally gave me about 75 pickles. I made sure to tell her Subway is better in Iceland than in any other country.

Accommodation: (in Egilsstaðir)

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This was probably my favourite place we stayed, which says a lot because I loved our accommodation every night. The decor was beautiful and very modern. I would highly recommend this place.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4599984

Day 4 (Egilsstaðir to Akureyri):

This was a very eventful day. This is approximately a 3 1/2 hour drive non-stop but there are many sights to see along the way, so prepare for a long day if you’re doing this drive!

Our first stop was Dettifoss – aka the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Wow. Its vastness and power is awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, the weather was bad when we were here. The small “trek” there is difficult when it’s raining hard because to get to the waterfall, you have to walk for awhile on lots of big stones, which are very slippery when wet. When we got to the waterfall, we didn’t want to stay long because the weather was so bad, but regardless, it is a must see. Before we left, I used the public toilet and laughed at the irony of the sign above the sink that said “There is a shortage of water in this area”.

Dettifoss

Dettifoss

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All of us soaked at Dettifoss

All of us soaked at Dettifoss

Our next stop was Námafjall, a high temperature geothermal area with mud pots in the Mývatn region. The temperature inside the mud pots reaches 200 degrees Celcius. The steam produces fumarole gas (hydrogen sulfide), which is where the horrific smell comes from. You (sort of) get used to smelling sulfur everywhere in Iceland, but I promise you could never get used to the extreme smell of this area. Revolting. No other word for it. At first, I thought it was bad, but then it got to the point where I was physically gagging and had to get out of there immediately. Having said that, I highly recommend visiting this area, just don’t expect to stay long. It’s a very interesting experience and I really did enjoy it despite what it may sound like! The surrounding area is also very colourful and beautiful.

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Next stop: Viti Crater, near Krafla volcano. We stumbled upon this stunningly vibrant turquoise-coloured crater on accident while searching for Krafla (we never found it, mostly because we didn’t have the patience due to hunger!).

Viti Crater - photo not edited at all!

Viti Crater – photo not edited at all!

Viti Crater - it was freezing!!

Viti Crater – it was freezing!!

Next stop: Godafoss, personally my favourite waterfall that we saw in Iceland. It’s extra impressive because it’s multiple waterfalls in one. There was only one disappointment for me: there was no sun. I’ve seen many photos of this waterfall with the most spectacular rainbows and was really hoping to see that, but we weren’t lucky in that department. Oh well! The 4 of us had the song “Waterfalls” by TLC (“Don’t go chasing waterfalls“) stuck in our heads for a lot of the trip, but we didn’t take that advice, especially not at Godafoss. In fact, we decided to go for a bit of a swim. We crossed a good bit of Godafoss to get closer to the edge and what an experience that was! We had quite an audience and a lot of laughs. We felt very victorious at the end and I still smile when I think of this memory. My hiking shoes took 4 days to dry and I was SO thankful I brought an extra pair of shoes!

Godafoss

Godafoss

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Crossing Godafoss

Crossing Godafoss

I don’t have any photos, but when you are coming from Egilsstaðir and are nearing Akureyri, be prepared for the landscape to be absolutely stunning. Akureyri is set in a stunning setting with unbelievable landscape surrounding it. I wasn’t expecting to love the Northern capital city so much, but we all did!

Gravel road

Gravel road

Random sulfur spring we passed

Random sulfur spring we passed

Note: We also visited Lake Mývatn, which was, not surprisingly, a beautiful area.

We stayed in Akureyri for 2 nights, so in my next post, I will detail our accommodation (another Airbnb).

Still to come: Days 5-7 of our road trip plus 2 bonus days of adventure!