Away with Bae – Part 3 – Paris, Je T'aime
OK so Lisbon was followed by Nice, which was nice, but unfortunately, it's bigger, more character filled sister, Paris, takes priority for this third and final part.
So as you may remember from Lisboa, the B&C asked me to marry him, so the rest of the trip was referred to by moi as our engagementmoon and, like, I don't mean to put too finer point on it, but WE WERE IN PARIS… the city of love and light and romance, it was truly a dream come true. Not to mention the fact that we had friends in Paris, two very, very dear friends to celebrate our love with us.. ARRGGH!
We were staying in Le Marais, my favourite neighbourhood in the world. It's as if someone built it out of my dreams, the best food, wine, fashion, people, atmosphere, you can literally not wipe the smile off my face walking around there. We were also staying in the sweetest little studio apartment that just felt so truly like our home for the week.
When we were planning this trip, Paris was a non-negotiable, we were going there come hell or high water so I had done a lot of planning on what I wanted to do while there. Firstly, my 35th birthday would occur on this trip and it has always been on my wish list to have a birthday here so picking somewhere magnifique for lunch was a must. Secondly, mumma needed a new handbag and had saved all her pennies for a St Germain trip.
So as all of you who have been to Paris know, you are so spoiled for choice when looking at your dining options, so many amazing places, so many Michelin stars, it was a tough choice #firstworldproblems. But finally after much deliberation, I settled on L'Aperge. L'Aperge is the 12th best restaurant in the world today, has three Michelin stars and is run by the amazing Alain Passard. They are three very obvious reasons to go to this restaurant but there were two other big deciders.
Those that know me, know I speak a lot about dining dollars and using them wisely. Over the years I have spent a shiz tonne of cash on some of the most amazing experiences and meals ever, but I have also spent some of those hard earned dollars on really average experiences. I also LOVE when great restaurants do great specials, an example is Cutler and Co's Sunday lunch, arguably one of the best restaurants in Melbourne (IMHO) that does a legendary lunch for $75 on a Sunday. Now l'Aperge is a cut above this and to my delight do a 145 euro lunch menu, their dinner is 290 euro and while not as decadent, this I can assure you is exceptional value.
The other thing that intrigued me about the lunch menu, is that it is predominantly vegetarian, before people freak out, we got heaps of protein, but the basis for the menu is vegies. So if you're a "nothing with a face" diner, you are totally covered here and no doubt will ever look at vegies the same way again. It's insanely good. Everything seasonal, everything clever, everything tasty. The menu itself is a surprise, Alain and the team decide on the day what they will cook, so you are blind as to what you'll eat and how much you'll eat. I know that is not for everyone, but I like people taking the reins with ordering so it suited me just fine.
Now, I know some of you might have got the abacus out and converted that 145 euro to your local currency, particularly our Aussie dollar and thought, geez lady, that's some serious coin for vegetables. I might have agreed if we had not got for that 15 courses, 2 of substantial protein and two desserts, it was SUCH a lot of food, but more to the point it was so delicious that you could not really hold back on courses to save room, you had to compromise on not eating the bread and butter, which was heartbreaking quite frankly. My Louboutin loving bestie, Ange literally had to tell the waiter she couldn't eat anymore, it was a decadent and delightful meal.
I've spoken previously of not being a sweet tooth, but this trip turned me into Pinocchio, as my fave dish of this meal was the 'bouquet of roses' a beautiful apple tarte that looked like art and tasted like heaven. It turns out apple desserts are my happy place.
The best bit about L'Aperge is Alain coming out to your table to say bonjour. He was so excited to hear we were from Australia and talked about his upcoming trip to Hobart. He was also tickled pink at my handsome, bearded Aussie boy all dressed up and dining with two lovely ladies. He got kisses and cuddles for days, not once but twice throughout our lunch, which I will also point out was 5 hours.
I think every year I say it's been my best birthday, because I am always surrounded by people and things I love, but I will say this was the absolute best, surrounded by my one true love, my lady soul mate, fantastic food and wine and two chairs, one for a brand new Birkin (not mine in this lifetime) and one for my newly purchased Neo Noe LV which I am also in love with. Paris had delivered.
After lunch our friend bid us farewell and the B&C convinced me that we should go and see the Eiffel Tower since it was only around the corner. Our mate was delighted at this and ashamed at me for not really having thought to go myself. I had always wanted to come to Paris in love and here I was and hadn't thought of sitting under the Eiffel Tower?! Nuts.
It was eerily quiet this night, hardly anyone around so we got a prime spot right in front of the tower to watch the light show. We sat cuddled up, it was pretty chilly and people watched those around us. Some friends excited to see it for the first time together, others in love and feeling happy to enjoy that moment as we were, in one of the best cities in the world under one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. I'm not going to lie, I was very, very overwhelmed with emotion. I was so glad he convinced me to go and be a daggy tourist, because no matter how many times you see that tower in your life, it's as if you are always seeing it for the first time. I was seeing it for the first time in love, with the person I will spend the rest of my life with and that will be something I will never forget. Our last night in Paris, my best night of the holiday.
The next day we said au revoir to Paris and our trip to head back home to Australia, to see our family and friends and celebrate with them. I honestly can't gush enough about this time in our lives and feel so excited for the year ahead for us.
To the B&C who reads this every week, I love you so much and cannot wait to be your wife.