Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bonjour Paris

Very pretty at night
I had to write a quick something on Paris before I forgot some of the details as it was such a great weekend.

On Saturday morning I was up stupidly early to catch a train from Flitwick into London. Lara was a legend and got up to give me a lift to the station which, on a weekend, is a quality thing to do at that dark and cold time of the day. It was a nice easy journey into London but checking in through Eurostar was a big mess. They had people checking your tickets, baggage security and then passport control all within about 20m of each other which made a real hash of any order. The worst thing is that they were rushing people through who were turning up late for their trains and it was just bunching everyone up in a tiny space. Not good on their part that!

In the departure lounge I thought I would have a coffee and a Panini so headed to a Costa, ordered my Panini and coffee before sitting at a table. I got my yummy all day breakfast Panini and started drinking my coffee and was sitting nice and happily. After finishing my food I heard one of the guys behind the counter saying ‘did anyone order a Panini?, your Panini is ready’ after about 10-15 seconds (a time I feel reasonable to claim some food if you are standing waiting for it) nobody had said anything so I thought, screw it, claimed the Panini and shot out of the shop quick as you like, haha. I haven’t done it before and I doubt I will ever do it again but if that happened to be you waiting for a Panini that never came on Saturday morning – I’m sorry - it was very tasty if it makes you feel better.

On to Paris, the Eurostar is pretty damn quick, and surprisingly smooth! There was even a plug socket to charge my iPhone ready for the day after playing / reading on it all the way there. We had a delay along the way as someone jumped in front of a train at the station while we were en-route but other than that it was a nice and easy journey. I met up with my mate Nico, back to his to drop off my stuff before heading out to see the city. First port of call was lunch so we headed to a lovely French restaurant where I had some snails for a started. As I have developed a bit of a taste for wine lately we had a nice bottle of Bordeaux red with our meal too. I had steak (cooked perfectly) and Nico had Andouillette which he couldn’t explain what it was in English. It was extremely tasty and full of flavour. Here is a link to what it is - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andouillette - (basically bits and bobs of intestines and stuff made into a sausage, was lush though).

I loved the snails
Andouillette - Surpisingly tasty
After that we did some tourist things, the Louvre, Camps Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and I saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night which was really nice (Blog Photo) then back to Nicos to relax before a night out. Now, in England pre-drinks usually consist of either some beers, ciders or some form of spirits, but in France its different. Three of Nicos friends came over to meet us before heading out and they all bought a bottle of red wine with them. So there we were drinking wine and having some bread and cheese before our night out – how sophisticated! We didn’t leave the apartment until 10pm to head for dinner which is perfectly normal in Paris, when we got to the restaurant at 10:15pm there were still people arriving after us. In here we had some more wine and then I had some duck that was just absolutely amazing, it was just seared and the sauce was just delicious. The French certainly know how to cook!
The most amazing duck I have ever tasted

Off to some bars now and they were doing some crazily cheap deals on 10 shots so we had a ridiculous amount of them, including some absinthe and a load of Jager Bombs. The absinth felt like someone had walked into the bar and smacked us round the face with a bat, god it was strong. I was drunk enough to be telling people that the matrix tattoo on my arm meant that 'I have one cat, one horse and a dog with the library being on the right and left down the road' but I was saying this all in French of course! About 3am we thought we would head to a club…. At 3am!!! Most places in England are shut at 3am! Partied the night away with some champagne and more jager bombs before leaving the club at about 5:30am. Now, my one hate for the weekend were Taxi drivers, it was like they weren’t interested in doing their job. None would stop, the ones that did stop said they weren’t going where we were going (I’m sorry what’s your job again?) and it took us absolutely ages to get home! But other than that it was a great night.

Sunday we were feeling a bit rough but we headed out for some more tourist stuff. We had some lunch (amazing burger with the tastiest orange juice ever!) and saw the Notre Dame Cathedral, the city hall which was massive and then the Sacre Coeur. There were some street performers but one football juggler that was immense. I will try to get a video up on YouTube of him, but he was doing keep ups hanging from a lamp post and everything! After that it was back to the station for the long journey home - What an experience.

So yeah, the food was just out of this world incredible, the wine was just delicious and Nico and his friends were just brilliant company. It would be nice to be able to do something like that again sometime, maybe Lara will get over her dislike of being in France and we can pop over there sometime - I will certainly miss eating the proper French food until then!


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