Le Marché de Noël, etc.

Catching up from last night -- we went to an outstanding restaurant, La Vache et Le Cuisinier (The Cow and the Cook), right up the street here in Montmartre.  We didn't have a reservation, so we arrived at the moment they opened and were able to get the only table available for the whole evening.  What an amazing dinner it was -- razor clams and foie gras marinated in Sauternes for starters, and then duck, quail, rabbit and steak for our main dishes.  (Again, we're in France.)

Quail in honey and lavender sauce

My quail (I don't know that I've ever eaten quail before) was outstanding.  Incredibly delicious.  Everything was cooked to perfection.  We can't recommend this restaurant enough -- but it's very small, so it's best to have a reservation.

We came home to a huge disappointment.  Ed and I were supposed to go off to Bruges for just an overnight trip, but Deb happened to be looking at the U.S. news and heard that as of yesterday and continuing through today, Brussels is on terror alert #4 -- a likely terrorist attack.  They were telling everyone to stay off the streets, and particularly to avoid places where people gather . . . like train stations.  And the only way to Bruges is to change trains in Brussels.  The American Embassy was recommending that we not go, so with great sadness we decided to stay in Paris.  

Here's a link to the story:   Brussels Imminent Attack

It's a little hard, having dreamed of this trip (not just Bruges, but Paris as well) for so long, that we've experienced some disappointments.  But we've forged on and in many ways had a wonderful time.

Today we decided to go to Le Marché de Noël, the Christmas market down on the Champs Elysees.  We had a great time, exploring all the booths, enjoying the festive atmosphere.

 Blocks and blocks of stalls with food and arts and crafts to buy.

I came back with some lovely soap made in Provence, and a beautiful pair of knit, lined fingerless gloves made by a women's cooperative in Nepal.  Deb bought soaps and a Christmas ornament in the shape of a perfume bottle, which she says will have great memories for her.  And macarons.  We had to get a dozen macarons.  The only person not having a great time was Ed, who is not a big fan of what my mom and her friends called "shoppy-shoppin'," which means wandering around stores looking at stuff, not necessarily buying anything, just enjoying the shopping.  My dad did not like shoppy-shoppin' and would find a place to sit down and just wait until the ordeal was over.  I think Ed and my dad would have found a lot in common.

 Deb and me with a very large Xmas ornament.

Tonight we're off in search of moules frites, mussels with french fries, a signature dish in Paris.  We've found a place not too far off, past the Abbesses Metro station.  Will report back on that one.

One more photo for today -- I believe this is the Grand Palais (if I'm wrong, please correct me).  It feels as if this represents Paris at the moment -- a glorious, sunny day, an incredibly beautiful building and statue, and a police car parked below.  There were many police cars parked in that particular spot.  We'll remember this as "our" Paris.



  1. So sad to hear you are not able to go to Bruges. That was the one detour I was looking forward to reading about! Somehow, I hope the rest of your time in Paris will more than make up for that...

  2. It is -- you can really never run out of things to do in Paris. Today's our last open day; tomorrow morning we girls have our rescheduled watercolor class, and in the afternoon we have to pack and clean up the apartment. We leave Wednesday morning for home --


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