Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday 13 December - L'Entrecote and Star Wars

Rain was forecast for today and it was spitting as we set out to walk to L'Entrecote near the Porte Maillot.  It is always a pleasant walk especially along the rue des Ternes where we always stop to look in the window of the patisserie.  They even have fougeres (top right) which is not very common in Paris.

We arrived in good time at the restaurant and were able to wait in the covered and heated area.  With no reservations taken it is first come first served and the door is not opened until midday.  The meal is always the same -  a lettuce salad with walnuts and a mustard dressing then steak and frites.  The only decisions one has to make are how the steak is cooked and which of the five red wines to choose.  We both chose seignant because the second helping of steak stands a little while,  The frites are thin and crisp and our plates were piled high.
The vacherin always generates comments from our neighbours.  The tables are placed so close together that almost always we have a conversation with the people around us.

From Porte Maillot we walked past the Etoile and down the Champs Elysees and were in good time for the Star Wars movie which opened today.  

It was raining when we came out and so we took the metro back home.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday 12 December - Champs Elysees

I took this picture because I liked the way the light brought out the texture of the tree just off the Champs Elysees.
We are still sleeping late from jet lag but it was a pleasant bright sunny day and we went for a walk through Parc Monceau to the Etoile then down the Champs Elysees and back along the rue du Faubourg Ste. Honore.  All told about 10.6 km.  There were the usual loud mouthed oriental tourists taking selfies but the wide boulevard was not particularly crowded. There was a large climate change conference in progress with a lot of important people attending.  Half of the Champs Elysee was cordoned off  by police and there was a row of at least 100 limousines waiting to take the Mr. Bigs back to their hotels - I wonder how  many of these burnt gasoline.
On the top of the Hermes building on the rue du Faubourg Ste. Honore.
A very pleasant walk as long as we could avoid the police cordons.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday 11 December - Aux Iles Marquises

We got off to a slow start this morning - still feeling the effects of jet lag. However we managed to get over to the rue Gaite by 1230 and were delighted to find Mme Thiery still in control.  We were greeted with open arms and our reservation for New Years Eve was confirmed.

The restaurant was busy with a number of groups celebrating the holiday season but the food was superb. Mary started with crab while I had the terrine.  The main courses were beyond compare.

I had the kidneys in a wonderful sauce with fungi, peas, potato and grognes. The sauce was out of this world

Mary had cendre, it was so good that she couldn't wait for me to take the photo.
For the past several years M. and Mme have been threatening to retire but we are pleased that we can still get such incredibly good meals there.

We then made our way back to Saint-Lazare to take a look at the window displays along boulevard Haussmann. We felt the displays at Le Printemps were excellent this year but the interior decoration in the art deco dome of Galleries Lafayette was spectacular.  The sidewalk was not excessively crowded although the store itself was full up with Asian tourists anxious to spend their money.

A G scale train in Le Printemps window.
We found the Marks and Spencer Food Store which was supposed to have closed during the year and stocked up on items such as Battenburg cake and digestive biscuits.

The one disappointment of the day was at the Gare Saint Lazare where the La Vie du Rail bookstore was closed because of flooding.  They have an alternative store close by which I will visit later. On the good side I saw one of the new trains in platform 2, previously the haunts of the much older stainless steel trains running to Versailles.  They should all be replaced in the near future.
How the post goes through at Saint Lazare

New train on platform 2 Saint Lazare.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday 10 December - Flaneurs again

Woke up late because of jet lag. It was bright and sunny although the wind was high. Went for a walk through Parc Monceau and then the Square des Batignoles.  Lots of people all running  anti-clockwise in Monceau where the persimmon tree was loaded with orange fruit.  We were pleased to see the two male Mandarin ducks and the one female at Batignoles where the frost has all gone and the geese were happily cropping away.

A pretty lazy day but with enough walking to keep us fit.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday 9 December - Flaneurs

I woke up late and went out for a walk through the Batignoles Organic Market where I found a gougere. I came back though the Square des Batignoles. The sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky.

The Canada Geese were rooting for food within the frost.
This afternoon we went to Montorgueuil, Les Halles with a meal at Le Pied de Cochon.

 The green wall is flourishing and the many plants are doing well in this vertical environment

 The restoration of St. Eustache is coming on well

There is a Christmas market at Les Halles this year to take the place of the one cancelled on the Champs Elysees

Cafe Gourmand with Calvados (Colin) and Grand Marnier (Mary) was a great way to finish after soupe a l'onion gratinee and scallops/rognons

The lights on Montorgueuil were admired by the heavy crowds.

Thursday - Friday 7 - 8 December Travel to Paris

Some things don't change. Air Canada's new jets have even less space than the older ones - hence a nasty trip to Paris.
At CDG we got through passport control and picked up our bags in good time. We walked to the RER station where police had blocked the entrance because of a mysterious bag. We were allowed to go through after some ten minutes and found our way to the platform only to find out there were no trains - and this after we had validated our tickets. We eventually took a taxi into town and enjoyed several delays in the narrow streets while delivery vehicles were working in the middle of the day.

We met Gail at the apartment and some 45 minutes after arrival we had snagged a table at Le P'tit Canon where we said bonjour to our good friends Christian, Frederick and Isabel, who came out from her kitchen to greet us specially.

We had lunch with Gail and Colleen, from Toronto who is also renting an apartment in the area. The Saumur Champigny was excellent as was my Cassoulet and the Parmentier de confit de canard for Mary. After a long lunch we had to hit the shops to stock up which made it very late to unpack our bags and get sorted out.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Thursday September 28 - Travel Home London to Ottawa

We had a very leisurely trip out to Heathrow. I always like to use Heathrow Express, not because it is so very fast but because I can relive 50 year old memories of working on the Great Western main line - firing a Castle steam engine, Old Oak Common, Acton Yard, Hanwell Viaduct.
The flight home was long and uneventful.

We were delighted to see how our orchids had enjoyed their vacation staying with out neighbor Pat who also kept an eye on the apartment.  The flowers are amazing - thank you Pat for looking after them so well.

It was a good trip with so many good memories.
-St. Cattwg's church at Llangattock, near Crickhowell - listening to the congregation singing Canol lan at a funeral.
- the Jacques Tatiesque fun and games at Abergavenny station
- the Magic Flute and Midsummer Night's Dream at the Theatre Severn
- visits to the Welshpool and Llanfair and the Vale of Rheidol Railways
- visiting with cousin Hilary in Newport.
- meeting up with old school friends in London
But above all we have enjoyed living in Shrewsbury with its many simple delights from coracle racing to country dancing.
Shrewsbury here we come, again - next May.