Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Loved Paris in November

Still jet-lagged from our trip to Paris, but there will be more posts soon. In the meantime, a photo of our suite from the hotel web site (better than our photos, but we didn't have the fruit and flowers). We could easily imagine we were in a château, with that velvet-canopied bed, the inlaid parquet floor as slick as a skating rink, the tapestry walls, beamed ceiling and all the antique furnishings.

Our bathroom had a soaking tub, a huge old-fashioned sink, and a casement window with a deep outer sill that was ideal for keeping bottles of water and green tea cold. With an expense account for meals, and maybe a couple of extra drawers, I could have lived happily in that room for at least a couple of years.

Here's a list of the pastry I enjoyed on a typical day:
1. Breakfast: Two smallish croissants (plain and raisin or chocolate) with soft cheese, butter, and jam.
2. Snack: A chocolate éclair, usually with a dark, rich filling better than anything over here.
3. Lunch: A nutella crêpe from a stand on the street, perfect food for walking (as are éclairs).
4. Tea: A tart citron, gâteau chocolat — or a wonderful wedge of dark chocolate, candied orange peel, amaretto, and almonds, called Florentine farfelu, at my favorite tea shop, Charlotte de l'Isle.
5. Dinner: Mousse au chocolat or crème brulée for dessert, after a far less memorable entrée.
6. Snack before bed: A chocolate-almond croissant, dusted with confectioners' sugar and flaky and divinely sweet, unlike any over here.

My packing worked out pretty well, although lugging the suitcase from the airport on the RER was a real drag. I still need to work on packing more minimally, but the two coats, three pairs of boots, and four turtleneck sweaters all came in handy. It was frequently cold and damp, but always beautiful.

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