Tuesday 27 November 2012

French Foodie in Paris: From Cupcakes to Crêpes (Day 1)

Arc de Triomphe

I made a little surprise for Mr. FFID and booked a 5 star hotel on Wagram avenue: The Renaissance Arc de Triomphe. This contemporary hotel is located only a few minutes away from the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe one of the most famous Parisian landmarks. FYI, I’m not rich, just have travel industry perks sometimes!

On arrival we were lucky to get an early check-in and even luckier to be upgraded to a Prestige room facing avenue Wagram. The room was fabulous and spacious with contemporary decor.

Fashion magazines in the room, of course it's Paris

Mr. FFID turned on the TV while I was getting ready to go out. Do you think he would try to watch some French programs to improve his language skills? Nah, he started watching “Scooby-Doo”  cartoon in English. Sacrebleu! But guess what? Scooby-Doo and his team were all Frenched up on this episode!

Scooby-Doo in English looking French!

We headed to one of my favourite Parisian districts: le Marais. We actually got off at “Hotel de Ville” because I wanted to walk along some of the streets I like. We passed the back of the museum of modern art “Centre Pompidou” and then headed towards a place that I already blogged about, Berko cupcakes. Elaine Walsh from the Cookbook Club would love this place, n'est-ce pas Elaine?

Some beautiful mini cupcake

Since my last visit they had numerous new flavours and some of their cupcakes looked even more amazing!

The smurfs cupcakes
M&Ms and Speculos cupcakes

They had enormous cheesecakes made out of famous chocolate bars.

Bounty cheesecake
Mars cheesecake
Oreo cheesecake

Mr. FFID had his Oreo cupcake and I had the Carambar one (made of a French caramel sweet), I thought mine looked better than it tasted but my other half enjoyed his very much!

Carambar cupcakes
Pistachio cupcakes for Cuisine Genie

I wanted us to head to Breizh café for some of the best crêpes in Paris and noted the address as “Rue du Temple”. We arrived there and there was no creperie. I was so disappointed and thought I wrote the address wrong!

As I was starving and cranky, we decided to stop in this place I didn’t know in the heart of the Marais called “Cafe Marais”. There was a mention from the famous “Marie Claire” magazine stuck on the window and the place looked nice so we gave it a try. Inside it looked like a nice little café filled with people in their 30s.

There were a lot of what we call “Bobos” in French which means “Bohemian Bourgeois”.

I ordered the “Asiette Marais” (Marais Plate) which had Goat cheese spring rolls with a pineapple sauce, a courgette gratin, mixed leaves and piquillos (Marinated red peppers with black olive tapenade). It was good, I loved the goat cheese spring rolls and will try to recreate it at home, the gratin was tasty and cheesy. It was a light lunch though, I was kind of still hungry afterwards.

Assiette Marais

Mr. FFID had the Beef tartare served with fries. He’s very French sometimes in his choice of food. The fries were golden and crisps. The tartare was nice to mix with the strong French mustard.

Mr. FFID's beef tartare

Then we went for a walk around the Marais and decided to walk toward a covered market called “Marché des Enfants rouges” located rue de Bretagne. There are loads of places to eat there and terraces where you can sit outside.

 There were fruits and vegetables stalls, Moroccan food, Asian food, fish stall, cheeses, anything you wish for to cook French food or eat onsite.

North African food

Weird shapes

The French love their crepes!

On rue de Bretagne, we passed “Fromager Jouannault”, a lovely cheese shop already Christmassy and filled with so many cheeses that I almost passed out.

Jouannault cheesemongers
Yummy Comté
A bit of meat too

We walked along rue de Bretagne and turned towards “Rue vieille du Temple” and of course, the creperie Breizh Café I wanted to go to earlier for lunch was on this street and not “Rue du Temple”. I had to make Mr. FFID taste what a real crepe from Brittany is, so we kind of had a second lunch!

Breizh cafe is a busy creperie and has an impressive selection of savoury and sweet crepes, some of them being real gourmet crepes. Because we had lunch before I couldn’t order a full savoury crepe and went for an “amuse-galette”  (like amuse bouche but a crepe). The filling was Andouille and cheese. Andouille is maybe not for every palate since it’s a sausage made out of pig stomach and intestine but I can assure you it’s really tasty (don’t judge me please)!

Amuse Galette and Cider

To finish on a sweet note we had a Salted butter caramel crepe which was so easy to eat while drinking some French cider. Hmm... As we say in French “Miam Miam” (Yum yum).

Caramel beurre salé crepe

That's it for now. You need a little rest after all this food, don't you? I leave you with this sweet crepe until the next post about Paris.

A suivre... (to be continued)

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If you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I'd appreciate if you could leave a review and rating on this website http://www.expatsblog.com/blogs/652/french-foodie-in-dublin 
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Sleep at the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe?
39 Avenue Wagram,
75017 Paris
01 55 37 55 37

Visit Paris?
Eat mini cupcakes and cheesecakes in Paris?
23 rue Rambuteau
75003 Paris
My blog post about Berko here 

Lunch in Le Marais district?
Cafe Marais
10 rue des Haudriettes
75003 Paris

Shop food like the French?
Marché des Enfants Rouges
39 Rue de Bretagne  
75003 Paris
01 40 11 20 40

Eat  a real crepe?
Breizh Café
109 Rue Vieille du Temple  
75003 Paris 
01 42 72 13 77