Thursday, 13 January 2011

Flying visit to Paris

JD and I undertook a pretty manic visit to Paris midway through last week for a few reasons:
  • to check out the Chrimbo "soldes"
  • to go and see the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais

I didn't manage to pick up great bargains but ended up splashing a lot of cash at Mora picking up all sorts of pastry equipment.

Since we weren't in town for long, we had to choose carefully where we would go for dinner - after a little bit of trouble securing a reservation, we opted for Argentinian resto Unico and dinner did not disappoint :)
 Selection of starters

 JD was not a fan of the roasted bone marrow so all the more for me!! Far superior to St John!!

 Delicious steak with a glass of "full of character" Malbec!

A whole dulce de leche fondant to myself this time!! :)

Being in Paris for just 2 days made me realise how lucky I was to have spent some time living there and having the luxury to explore the city at a more leisurely pace - I had completely underestimated how long we would need to get to all the places I wanted to visit.  

As mentioned, one of the reasons to come to Paris was to go and see the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais since it was the largest collection of the artist's paintings all under the one roof. All day tickets had sold out before Christmas so I was cursing myself for not booking them sooner. I had also read that the queues were also pretty horrific so decided to bite the bullet and buy a much more expensive "Sesame" pass which is essentially an annual pass to the venue which allows access to the Monet exhibition and we were also hoping, shorter queues. Buying the pass proved to be challenging (we found an internet cafe whose printer was broken!! and who knew you actually needed to scan in a photo as part of the app???!!) but we persevered and arrived just after opening on our last day in town. Unfortunately, there was a significant queue of people with "Sesame" passes but the "normal" queue had an average waiting time of 6 hours??!!! We managed to get in after an hour or so of queueing - the exhibition did not disappoint (except for the massive onslaught of crowds) and it really was lovely seeing all Monet's paintings in the one place, I guess it really highlighted just what a genius he was!

Of course, no trip to Paris is complete these days without arming myself with something sweet - as we were so short on time, the only things I managed to acquire were chocs from my favourite shop, Jacques Genin and I also splashed out on a Ispahan galette de rois from PH - a lovely visit and will make sure not to leave it so long the next time!! 

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