Celebrating Paris with Friends

Celebrating Paris with Friends

Paris, France
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Why not join us in Italy for New Year’s Jazz? 

I’m sure you must have some Paris favorites, as we do… I always love to include a stop at Angelina, for their decadent hot chocolate, to get at least a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, to stroll down favorite lanes. So our Parisian Christmas Gift to each other really gets going when we meet Jack and Anne at Angelina on Rue du Rivoli.

A pot of rich chocolate, almost thick enough to use a spoon, and a bowl of whipped cream – yes, decadence in a cup!

We have a couple of hours to flaner (just stroll and enjoy – I think a Parisian invented the word!) before we join Ed and Sandy for dinner, and as we turn right out of Angelina, we’re asked to wait before crossing in front of the uber-classy Meurice Hotel as an Asian dignitary arrives. Flashes pop, security men scan, and they walk in the door.

Looking right as we stroll, the column centering Place Vendome gleams,

and to our left the glittering Grand Roue de Paris on Place de Concorde, swingshigh for the holidaysshall we? The views will be great – why not?!

We’ll continue our stroll around big Place de Concorde and get on the roue just before 6 so we can watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle on the hour.

It’s just glowing stately and golden over the Seine now, lovely as ever.

Up we go, and the tower begins its hourly twinkle.

We ooh and aah from our perch,

then gaze down on the traffic -filled Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe just visible in the distance.

We’ve talked together for years about all six of us (who met via a travelers get together in the DC area) gathering in Paris at the same time, and it’s finally happened – Sandy and Ed are here for one of their twice- annual lengthy stays in the city, and Anne and Jack have been in France for a few weeks.  Sandy suggested Chez Dumonet, “a delicious sepia- toned experience of pre-war Paris” according to Alec Lobrano.

We all appreciate the vintage Paris feel, and our jovial waiter makes us feel like regulars, joking, even singing a tune.

Each dish is a faithful and delicious rendition of classic French  – Jack says his Coquilles Saint Jacques are the best he’s tasted,

and Anne oohs at the house specialty, classic beef bourguignon – a half- portion is more than enough!

As we pose for a photo of the “three girls”‘  our waiter jumps into the picture,

and when we order dessert, suggests the three “best ones” to share – an apple tart, a mille feuille (napolean), and a soufflé to share. Great idea – aren’t they gorgeous? And they taste as good as they look!

What a fabulous Grand Marnier soufflé! It arrives with a glass of the liqueur, poke a hole in the top of the soufflé and pour it in!

But wait – there’s more! A platter of tempting mignardises – little bites of deliciousness to go with coffee.
We can barely waddle out the door, and walk around the neighborhood a bit before metro- ing back to the Madeleine neighborhood.

It’s our only chance to see the decorations on the Grands Magasins at night, so we walk a few blocks for a peek at Printemps, cheerily lit in red and white. Ho Ho!