Monday, 23 September 2013

Flo's Weekender: Paris

Let me begin this post by saying don't do a long weekend in Paris at the end of August / beginning of September! If you don't already know (I didn't) the majority of good independent restaurants close up for the school holidays.

That said, I still had a wonderful time and discovered  one great place to sleep, one great place to eat,and a weird & wonderful place to see!

Where to sleep: rue des trois freres

I found this gem though posting 'does anyone know anywhere good and cheap to stay in Paris?' on Facebook. My ever-knowledgable acquaintances came up trumps and I was recommended a friend of a friend's apartment that is listed on Air b&b. The apartment is full of personality with quirky little design touches at every corner from road signs and traffic light lights to a gorgeous antique chaise longue.

Ideally situated in Montmartre with Abesses metro station on its doorstep, it is the perfect home away from home. The hostess (who stays elsewhere during your occupancy) also leaves you with fantastic local recommendations and a bottle of wine if you are lucky! The rue des abesses had a great bakery called Grenier pain, a wonderful delicatessen with pâtés to die for, and an extremely exciting fromagerie just off it on rue lepic (they sell truffle-centred Brie!!!) there is also a nice Thai-French fusion restaurant up the road from the flat whose name escapes me. 

If the apartment tickles your fancy, you can book here.

Queue for Le Grenier Pain

Indoor picnic

Where to eat: Chez Janou

This buzzing bistro is good fun and ideally booked in advance. We went twice. The dishes are hearty and pretty traditional. I had the calves liver which was cooked just right while the Mr had rabbit (which was less to my liking but still good). The next time we had ducks breast with a cherry sauce (the best dish so far) and a rack of lamb doused in a very meaty sauce.

The place is famous for its all you can eat chocolate mousse. They literally give you a humongous bowl from which you scoop out a reasonable (or in many cases unreasonable and unconquerable) portion. This is all perfectly fun but can leave you feeling pretty sick. What was fun was their expansive collection of pastis and absinthe. I had a melon one as a digestif.

Where to see: La Musee de la chasse et la nature

Following another good friend's recommendation, I discovered the museum de la chasse et la nature.

my blurry shot of the walls above! 

The museum was set up in the 60s by a country gentleman and his wife in order to display their hunting memorabilia. As such, it is characterful and quite personal, as well as in many instances, a little bit strange! 

Each room is themed by a different animal in which you find related art and artifacts from the middle ages right up to 21st century. The collection is as eccentric as it sounds and includes a huge array of feats in taxidermy from a gigantic polar bear to rare and eerie looking birds (see below). Refreshingly charismatic and definitely worth a visit!