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My Trip to Paris Part 2

Hello and welcome to Djalali Cooks! Today I have the part 2 recap of my recent trip to Paris. I am continuing today with Montmartre, restaurant highlights, my takeaways and a whole lot more!

Montmartre – The Bohemian Paris

We spent one day in Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement. Next time I go to Paris I will be sure to spend a lot more time in Montmartre. Up until 1860, Montmartre was not part of Paris. It was its own village. The charming old world village feeling is very prevalent in Montmartre. With narrow, winding cobblestone streets it really does feel like a separate Paris. The Bohemian Paris. For that I suppose we partly have to thank the artists who lived here and made it the scene in the late 19th century era known as the Belle Epoque.

Think Renoir, Picasso, Degas, Manet, Van Gogh, and don’t forget Toulouse-Lautrec; whose posters for the cabarets Chat Noir, Moulin Rouge and Divan Japonais changed the art world.

Also known as la Butte, it’s the highest point of Paris, so the view of the city from the Sacré-Couer (Sacred heart Basilica) is quite amazing. The area directly around the Sacré-Couer is very touristic. However it doesn’t take much wandering off the main streets to find quieter, less touristy streets.

Musée de Montmartre and Renoir Gardens

We visited the Musée de Montmartre and Renoir Gardens, an art museum with a permanent collection that focuses on the local art from the late 1800s. The museum is in a 17th century house and garden where Renoir and Suzanne Valadon once lived and worked. Suzanne Valadon’s apartment and studio are recreated in the house. The garden features the actual swing depicted in Renoir’s 1876 painting The Swing.

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Musée de Montmartre and Renoir Gardens

As we wandered the streets, we stumbled upon Le Moulin de la Galette. Which is a restaurant in an old mill (with one of the original windmills of Montmartre). And, because I have forgotten some of my art history education, it took me a bit to realize this is the spot of Renoir’s famous painting, (wait for it)…Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette. Which of course we were able to see when we visited the Musée d’Orsay.

Lunch in Montmartre

For me, the highlight of our day in Montmartre was lunch at Hôtel Particulier. Beth had come here with Mr. Style and her middle son during their time in Paris before we all met up in Italy, 5 years ago. They enjoyed Champagne out on the terrace. This time we found our way there and went inside, to the Grand Salon for lunch. We spent a couple hours eating, drinking, and waiting out a rain shower. During which time we struck up a conversation with the Americans sitting next to us.

A beautifully long lunch; with wine, an appetizer (we got the escargot); Galician Octopus and Artichoke 2 Ways for me and Charolais Beef Tartar for Beth. Wonderful service and atmosphere.

Restaurant Highlights

There are two other restaurants we found near our apartment on our trip to Paris: Le Rubis and Bakus. Le Rubis is a wine bar with a very local feel. Established in 1932, it is apparently unchanged, though I suppose the flat screen with futbol on is a newer addition. I really liked this place because of its local feel; it was loud and a little raucous. It was a little adventurous to read the menu! We had a terrine, which was delicious. Beth had a steak and I had Oeufs en Meurette.

Bakus is a wine bar, which was located on another famous boulevard in Paris, rue des Capucines, right across the Place Vendôme from our apartment. The vibe here was cool, we saw hipsters and families with kids alike. We sat at the bar and had an expertly made cocktail, followed by a charcuterie plate and wine.

Off The Radar

I want to finish with a couple of places to get a cocktail and a bite that might be off your radar. Each are very different from each other, but similar in that each is located in a fashion flagship. Even if you’re not into fashion, stopping in at each spot is a unique experience.

Ralph’s at Ralph Lauren was my favorite of the two because of its chic, yet comfy vibe. With jazz from the 30s and 40s playing over the speakers, the dark wood and vintage design of the bar at Ralph’s feels completely at home inside the 18th century building in which the Paris flagship is located. We did not eat here, but have heard the food is amazing (as is the outdoor dining).

The other spot we stopped in for a cocktail was the bar at the Dior flagship. The new Dior museum is located in the same building. Know that if you want to go to the museum, make a reservation! We were sad to miss it. Which is why we consoled ourselves with a fancy drink at the bar.

Cruising the Seine

We ended our trip to Paris with a dinner cruise on the Seine. A cruise on the Seine is a great way to wrap up, or open your trip to Paris. If you start with a cruise, it’s a great way to get the lay of the land. The dinner cruise on the Seine was nice and Paris lit up at night is beautiful. I will say though that the reflections of the interior lighting did make seeing out challenging while we were eating. If you’re picking one or the other, do a day cruise. It was convenient to take the cruise from the port at the base of the Eiffel Tower because I was able to get up close to the Eiffel Tower without making a special trip to do it (which I had been warned against because of the crowds…).

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What I Picked up Along The Way

So, when thinking of a trip to Paris: stay in a district that is close to many of the things you want to do so you can take advantage of walking as your main mode of transportation. Airbnbs are great for feeling like a local.

Get a Museum Pass which will help you skip the lines at the museums, but know that the big ones like the Louvre still require a reservation for timed entry. The d’Orsay doesn’t though…and there are many other museums that may be off your radar that accept the pass. You can see a list of all the museums that accept the pass on their website.

Just like trying to see everything in the Louvre is impossible, so is seeing everything in Paris. Pick a few things, and then just explore. Otherwise you might end up disappointed you missed things. Even if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for you, I promise you will be too tired, too overloaded and too sick of the crowds to try seeing a ton of things. Personally I believe you get more out of traveling if you skip some touristic things in favor of exploring local life.

Even though I had a budget to spend on fancy food, my favorite thing was a simple saucisson beurre sandwich. (The oeufs en meurette is a very close second). But my point is that there is amazingly delicious, simple food to eat in Paris. (Buy a sandwich and pack a picnic!) Maybe I am too used to American food, but simple French fare seems way more exciting. There must be something about the bread…Lol!

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If you missed Part 1 of my recap, check it out: My Trip to Paris Part 1. Take care and be well. Au revoir! xo Kelly

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    ESTHER BULGER
    November 16, 2022 at 7:01 am

    My daughter and I visited Paris twice years ago and enjoyed simple foods and of course wine as well as coffee in street cafes.
    We walked everywhere and enjoyed many museums including a textile and tapestry one. Your trip brought back so many wonderful memories.

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 16, 2022 at 9:17 am

      Hello Esther, It sounds like you and your daughter had a wonderful time in Paris. I am happy my experience brought back your fond memories; thank you for sharing your experience in Paris. xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Mari
    November 16, 2022 at 9:25 am

    The pictures really bring the story to life, and it’s so much fun reading about your adventures in Paris. It almost feels as though we were there with you. What a wonderful vacation for a chef. All those glorious foods and you didn’t have to make any of them! It’s lovely that you and your mother-in-law are such good friends, and do things together. I miss my husband’s wonderful mother every day, and I am so glad to have had her in my life as long as I did. She was a good friend, a very amusing companion, and a great cook. She taught me to play bridge, and my friends and I played it often over the years. She taught me a lot of things, but pie crust was not one of them. She and my husband could break every rule in the book and still turn out a fabulous crust. It has taken me a long time, but I finally found a wonderful recipe that is completely Mari-proof! If memory serves me correctly, Belle Mere is French for mother-in-law, and mine was beautiful, inside and out. It’s very cold here. There was snow in the western part of the state, so winter is here whether it’s officially winter or not. Have a wonderful, sunny day. I will try not to gain five pounds just looking at the pictures!

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 16, 2022 at 11:23 am

      Hi Mari, What wonderful memories you have your mother in law. She sounds like quite a woman. You know, the other good part about making walking your main mode of transportation while on vacation is that you can eat and drink what you want, and walk it off! Stay warm! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Paula
    November 16, 2022 at 10:20 am

    I was in Paris years ago and this did bring back many memories. Thank you for sharing your trip. What good tips to remember when visiting. I’m sure the crowds are very different than when I went. I guess a trip could be planned. We’ll see.

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 16, 2022 at 11:25 am

      I am happy to spark some treasured memories for you, Paula. Consider that trip back to Paris! And if you can’t make it back, you can always watch movies, listen to french music and eat French food! Thank you for stopping by, xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Connie Morgan
    November 16, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I was most intrigued by your food and drink descriptions! Well done, Kelly.
    Connie

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 16, 2022 at 11:25 am

      Thanks so much, Connie! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    JoAnne
    November 16, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Yum, your saucisson sandwich! Agree with your assessment that the ordinary food was so extraordinary. Regular grocery cans of coffee producing the very best tasting morning coffee. The butter which could have been eaten solo except one would miss the opportunity to to eat more bread!

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 16, 2022 at 11:27 am

      Lol, JoAnne! You’re so right about the butter! I may have to practice Julia Child’s French Baguette recipe to see if I can replicate it – even remotely! Thanks for stopping by, xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Kathleen McCarty
    November 16, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Loved your travel notes, tips and pix! Paris is still on my bucket list…

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 17, 2022 at 6:56 am

      Thanks, Kathleen! I hope you get to check Paris off your bucket list soon! I trust all is well with you in the Bay Area… Take care, xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Sally Burke
    November 17, 2022 at 12:03 am

    Hi Kelly, thank you for sharing the remainder of your Paris stay. Like others who have responded and having spent time in Paris, it brought back wonderful memories. Before spending time there onthe second occasion, although I had learnt French at school I decided that every time I could I would out on a cd and learn many phrases which would be useful. It certainly helped until ,they spoke back-to me on French then I was totally lost. Still I managed to purchase what I needed. One memory of food was went to a local market near where we were staying in Vaugirard, the decision for dinner that night was seafood pasta, I noticed a place selling fresh pasta and there was another stall selling prawns, with such freshness of both items the meal was delicious. We also used to shop at the local supermarket, from memory called Casino, that certainly was an experience, and I managed to find some delicious salt Le Saunier de Camague, Fleur de Sel de Camague, Camague being a region in France which is located south of Arles between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhone Delta. I know some people may salt is salt, but no that is not the case as you probably well know.
    You both certainly walked in our footsteps, so thanks for the reminder. Things must have changed though since we were there, no queues or times to get into any galleries and it wasn’t that crowded. The only thing you didn’t mention and perhaps you were fortunate not to experience it, but we were warned about the gypsies who will try and con you into believing you have dropped something. I tried to warn one couple but “the guard” warned me off with a menacing look, so I wasn’t taking any chances.
    Bye for now
    Sally 🤗

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 17, 2022 at 6:55 am

      Hi Sally, I had heard from a friend that pickpocketing was getting bad there, but we didn’t have any issues. Thankfully. But we also didn’t go to many of the usual tourist spots like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower park. Thank you for sharing your memories of Paris. I bet the Camague was amazing! Have a great day, Sally! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Joy
    November 17, 2022 at 9:40 am

    It is the bread! It’s like nowhere else. A few places in New Orleans come close, but just not the same. Well, and the cheese….

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      November 17, 2022 at 10:38 am

      You’re right, Joy, it is the bread! The cheese is extraordinary too. Thanks for stopping by! xo Kelly

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