Day one of the tour started bright and early with a bus trip from London to Dover to take the ferry across to Calais and then onto Paris. We arrived late afternoon so our first destination was the hotel and then on to dinner a nearby restaurant. As it was our first night in Paris, we were treated to a typical French meal of Escargot, French Onion Soup and Beef Bourguignon. Dinner was followed by a night time driving tour of the ‘City of Lights’.
The next day we were free to explore the city sights. Started at the Notre Dame, walked along the river to the Lourve where we took one look at the line and decided we weren’t that keen to see the Mona Lisa so took some photos of the building and left. Walked along Rue de Rivoli to the Place de la Concorde and then up the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Across the river to grab a French Baguette from a little sandwich shop for lunch under the Eiffel Tower. After resting our feet, we walked down to the Military Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb, didn’t go inside but it was impressive enough from the outside. We still wanted to see some art while we were in Paris so we visited the Rodin Museum to see “The Thinker” among other amazing artworks by Rodin and others. Headed back to the Champ de Mars to eat a picnic dinner supplied by Topdeck under the Eiffel Tower.
Thankfully all the walking around the city, made me feel less guilty about the many Paris’ culinary delights I stopped to sample which included macarons and a croissant from Laduree and bag full of cookies from La Cure Gourmande.
While the challenge of preparing snails or frogs legs was appealing, I decided to go with something a little more simple for my Paris inspired dish and make Beef Bourguignon. While the recipe I choose had some extra steps (marinating the meat with the vegetables in wine), the end result was that rich and delicious it was worth it.It wouldn’t be a return to France without any macarons. So I found my somewhat successful macaron recipe and set about re-reading a dozen different macaron making guides to try and re-create the perfect macarons. Unfortunately as it was the first time I’d made macarons in my current oven, they weren’t as perfect as I hoped but paired with a salted caramel filling, they still tasted amazing.