Tuesday, 22 October 2013

When My Mec Came to Visit

Mec is a guy in french. In this case, I'm talking about Adam who came out to visit me last weekend after not having seen eachother in a lonngg time. One of the other Mecs in my life (yes, that's you Daddy!!) came to visit me a few weekends ago. You can check out my post on that here. 

Last time I saw Adam was beyond emotional. So much so that I used the towel that Mummy had stuffed in my handbag (because I went over easyJet's 20kg limit) as a tissue. I think that says it all. So inevitably I was unbelievably excited to see him. Those who follow me on twitter you will probably have noticed... those that don't, you are missing out!

We obviously had lots to catch up on so we headed out for a very late dinner to the local bar/bistrot down my road, Cafe des Anges. Now being a proper Parisienne and all, I drank my red wine like a real lady and resisted a second glass. No cou-seccing here people.. So great news is I headed back in one piece! The following day Adam was kind enough to pop into the office to see the gals, intimidating to say the least!! So that evening he got his well-deserved drink (or two) at the incredibly cool-amazing-full of ambiance-super friendly-delicious-trendy- I'm running out of positive words....- restaurant which my good friend and colleague, Lucy recommended.

It's called La Mangerie, a seriously cool-Tapas-cocktail- (here I go again)-restaurant-bar-place. 
Now I'm not the biggest fan of Tapas. There is a time and a place for sharing things and to be honest I quite like a feast of a dish to myself. I honestly sometimes question if I was ever taught to share as a child as it is by no means something that comes naturally to me. 

Anyway, it came as a very pleasant surprise!

As soon as we walked in the staff were so welcoming, offering us a complimentary shot of vanilla rum. The ambiance is great- The music is loud enough that you have to lean in closely to speak with one another but not too loud that you feel you have to shout. It's got that cool cocktail bar thing going on too, with small benches and tables packed closely next to each other underneath a ceiling decorated with a twisted fake orange tree.

We started off with some cocktails.. Adam with a Mojito and me with a La Mangerie Special- Le Mimi.

The way the ordering works here is that you have your menu and you tick the circles of the Tapas that you want. I personally thought this was a nice touch, making it slightly more informal.

After long and hard deliberation (and slightly confused translation that you can see etched into Adam's face) we finally decided...

In the end we went for 5 plates to share between the two of us which is the perfect amount, especially as you get given baskets of bread to mop up all the sauce.

We chose the tapas of the day- it was the thigh of a bird with some spinach and rice tossed in there. (I may have lived here for a month but my menu skills still aren't quite up to scratch- she started making bird noises when I asked what exactly it was so I thought it only fair to just nod my head and order it.).

We also ordered Serrano ham, Patatas Bravas, Fish in a butternut sauce and fried shrimp with spinach. It was totally and utterly delicious and the perfect size which left us feeling content-ly full.

Oh....and some wine!!

The following day we woke up late, bought a baguette and some pastries and decided to head off to do some touristy things (which, by the way, is not getting old yet!! HURRAH)

To be honest we didn't have many plans (well, this is what Adam thought) until I whipped out Google maps and became my usual tour-guide self (I think I get it from my mum- minus the fanny pack)

So obviously- romantic trip away with the boyf... would be a shame to not to the Eiffel Tower....

...or apparently not? Despite these seemingly cute photos Adam's overall opinion was, I quote "It just looks like scaffolding. I don't know what the fuss is all about". Charming.

Right, after this cheeky comment I thought I'd show him something a little bit more beautiful...

No I'm not talking about the dinosaur in the the Louis Vuitton window..

Nope.. we took a stroll down the Champs-Élysées and eventually made it to the Arc de Triomphe.

Thankfully he was a little more impressed with this...

I saw this Crêpe-stall and thought it would surely be a crime if Adam didn't have his first proper French Crêpe.

Unfortunately however it was the hands-down worst I've ever eaten. I should've known really...

Anyway... the rubbish Crêpe didn't dampen our moods and we strolled all the way back down towards the Tuileries.

We had a little snooze by the pond and spotted the regular pond go-er with his home-made breadcrumbs which he brought from home in his Franprix bag.. wherever you are in the world I'm sure there's always one of these sorts.

We headed down back to the towards the Tour to Pond de L'Alma where the Bateaux Mouches departs.

We made ourselves super comfy on the top deck of the boat to discover Paris from the Seine.

After Bateaux Mouches (which I would highly recommend- especially in the evening), Adam and I were grateful to rest our weary legs on the sofa and scoff a little bit..actually a lot. A whole Carrefour Camembert, baguette and bottle of wine at that. Cushtie.

Although it was hard leaving Adam at the airport it's only 17 days-ish til I'm going home for the weekend in November, It's always nice to have something to look forward to. I do find weekends hard though... I tried to describe it to someone using the analogy of only being able to lick the sugar off a Tangfastic Haribo but not being able to eat it. However this is a bit weird so I'll have to think of another one. What I'm trying to say is that, although it's lovely seeing someone for a weekend it's not quite perfect. One minute you're saying hello and the next goodbye!

But at the end of the day it's better then not saying hello and goodbye at all I guess.
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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Scones, Soirées and Snapshots of Paris

After long working hours during the week I don't tend to do much on the weekends. However for the past two weekends I have been keeping myself thoroughly occupied, especially as Daddy White popped over from London for a weekend in Paris with me!

On Friday night Kathleen, Josie and I headed for a few cocktails at one of the many bars down my road, rue de la Roquette, near Bastille.

I then popped over to the 1st to see Will and Rosie after their romantic dinner for a couple of (very expensive!) G&Ts!

So as I said in my last Paris post I received some super delish Whittards Afternoon Tea for my birthday. So I figured why not make some scones to accompany tea as an after- dinner treat? Now I have never made scones before, ever. The prospect therefore of baking such an English delight to the French was quite a daunting one. I felt I had the whole of the British public relying on me this evening....

I had one quick look at Mary Berry's scones recipe online, decided there was far too much preparation and work needed so quickly went back to good old BBC Good Recipe. Always delivers. They were actually surprisingly easy to make and although were nowhere near the standard of my Granny's scones, they were still pretty good.

So last weekend it was time for my first visitor to Paris. I remember everyone saying 'Oh I can't wait to come and visit I'm sure you'll be able to show us around!!'. However this has definitely not been the case...although I do know my way around here very well seeing as I have been here for over a month, I hqdn't yet had the chance to do all of the touristy things so the thought of being someone's tour guide for a weekend was a little bit daunting..

First things first, on Friday night we went to a lovely restaurant which I found on Time Out's 50 Best Parisian restaurants called The Pirouette, in the 1st arr very close to Etienne Marcel.

I wanted to go to a French restaurant seeing as my dad was visiting, although this one had a nice modern - bistrot feel.

My lovely friend Sophie who is also on her year abroad in Paris came along as well as my flatmate, Maya.

A delicious little nibble to start..

...and some nice wine!

I ordered a delicious fish main course which is a bit of a treat as I've found fish very pricey in Paris!

It was so nice to see my dad as I hadn't seen him for over a month!

We all know one day I'll have a wall covered in this much wine...

After a scrumptious dinner I later headed to my boss' birthday soirée. Let's just say it was by no means an early night so the next morning the prospect of being a tourist with my dad for a day was looming over ominously. However a large Parisian brunch was definitely the ticket and was the perfect start to our busy day to come.

Believe it or not, this is scrambled egg!.. and a large portion at that.

After our enormous and filling breakfast we headed towards Sacré Coeur at Monmartre.

We stopped and checked out this amazing street artist.

Then took the metro to Madeleine... (I warned you this would be a touristy post!!)

We made our way to the Tuileries..

Even though exactly 181 years have passed since Manet painted Music in the Tuileries, the culture of strolling around these beautifully manicured gardens is still so alive.

We passed the padlock bridge..

For those who don't know, this is where the loved-up couples of Paris come to forever cement their relationship. The idea is you lock a padlock to the bars of the bridge and throw the key in the river. Kinda cute really.. Watch this space I think I cringey blog post may be coming your way when Adam visits in a few days..

We made our way to the Eiffel Tower to meet Ellie who was romantically reading her french novel in the gardens...!!

We were feeling slightly peckish after our early brunch so headed towards Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris' oldest food market.

It doesn't look too glam but the food was super delish, although not particularly French as you can see...

The following day we walked the short distance to Bastille's market to buy some breakfast before Daddy headed back home.

That afternoon Kathleen, Ellie and I devoured the chicken and baguette we bought at the market whilst watching a Trevor McDonald doco. We genuinely had to vacuum the sofa afterwards..


Until next time you cheeky monkeys...
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