I had a short- lived monthly feature Sundays with Polly and Richard in 2008. My friend Polly from the blog Polly Vous Francais would go on a monthly outing with me either cultural or food related and we would each write a post about in on the same day. It was always interesting to read the different viewpoints and observations we each had about the same event.
I missed my outings with Polly for a while and could never find the right fit with someone else.
I met Carol Gilliot, of the blog Paris Breakfasts and my Parisian of the Month last month, for the first time when we went to see the Lichtenstein exhibit at the end of August. We hit it off right away and we discovered we had many of the same interests and taste in things.
Carol is an adventurer like me and likes to go on daytrips/short outings. She also likes quirky, offbeat things and is not on a set schedule, so if I have a day off from touring the last minute, she can be available spontaneously. I asked her if she would like to start a new feature with me similar to Sundays with Polly and Richard and she was very keen on the idea.
We decided to go on our first adventure last Sunday. We bounced a few ideas back and forth but in the end I asked Carol if she would go to Fontainebleau, since I had never been. (Can you believe that?) . She had already been a couple of times earlier in the year but generous sport she is, she said she would go again.
Carol is as a big or maybe even bigger sweet freak than I, and one of her first references about Fontainebleau was a fabulous pastry shop. So our first stop, not even passing GO after getting off the train was Frederic Cassel, a gorgeous pastry shop with a dazzling array of pastries and other delectable goodies. Cassel is president of Relais Desserts, a highly regarded dessert magazine. Late summer fruits and berries were adorning many of the pastries along with a refrigerated case of ice cream cakes and ice cream pops. We browsed the cases intensely, making our final decision as if we were answering the last question for Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I chose the pudding with a caramel topped with figs and raspberries presented in a cute Mason jar. Carol was overcome by the fraisier.
We were actually able to restrain ourselves from eating the pastries right away (no small feat!) and sauntered over to the flea and food market. We were both surprised at some of the sophisticated products at the market like homemade soups and stews in jars and intricately patterned wrought iron outdoor furniture in appealing and unusual colors.
We found a park with an idyllic setting of rolling green lawns and trees with drooping branches making big patches of shade. We ate our sandwiches on a park bench as efficiently as possible and tore into our desserts right after without a moment to loose. We oohed and ahh’d and swooned until every last bite was consumed. I forgot to mention Carol bought a supplementary dessert, (I can tell she is going to be a very bad influence in the sugar intake department), a cleverly packaged glass with the freshest mango sorbet on top and raspberry on the bottom in a separate compartment.
We languished to the massive Chateau de Fontainebleau with over 1500 rooms and 30 acres of land. It was such a beautiful day out we just ventured into the gardens, not going into the palace. We soaked in all the beauty and magnificence of manicured lawns and gardens and rich architectural details of the palace.
On our way back home walking through Gare de Lyon station I asked Carol of she had been inside Le Train Bleu restaurant. I was surprised she hadn’t and told her we had to go right then and there for at least a drink.
More tomorrow about Le Train Bleu, along with photos.
I am calling the new monthly series Day Tripping with Carol. Did you like our first outing?
Click here to read Carol's post about our day trip.
71-73 rue Grande, 77300, Fontainebleau
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.