A Family Affair: Day 1-2
Day 1 – The Late Arrival!
Visitation rights are something you have when you have been separated from your normal surroundings – such as, as an inmate in Jail.
Well, mine is a self-imposed exile of sorts – a once in a lifetime, extra-ordinary, and incredible one – but nevertheless, I have for 1 year separated myself from all that I know and love – especially my friends and family, who although are at the end of an email or video-call, they are still a mile away and definitely no longer in my life on a daily basis.
So when someone visits me in Paris, or I am able to catch them, even for a second in-person, it is a privilege and pleasure.
To have my sister and brother-in-law visit for a full 3 days was like winning a lottery – only I got the jackpot!
This weekend was certainly a Family Affair, not only with me seeing my sister but in their meeting their extended family for the very first time!
Having lived in Paris for more than 2 months it is as if I have known my long lost French cousins my whole life – they have welcomed me with such open arms that their company is like that of a second home. I know that as soon as I walk into their apartment I feel relaxed and happy. I know that I can count on them and that they are family. I really enjoy their company and I know that we will be friends for life.
BUT, my sister and brother-in-law can finally say that they have met at least some of the French clan. Exhausted after a long day at cooking school in London, and catching the Eurostar, they dragged themselves from Gare-du-Nord to my cousins’ apartment in the 17th arrondissement to meet everyone that could make it to Friday night dinner.
And so everyone was introduced and then relaxed conversation was had over Buche Pistache, Alhambra, Pithivier and fresh fruit.
It was already a very late night and so we all headed to bed, ready for an early start in the morning. Of course, everyone refused photos after a late night and train ride – understandably of course!
Day 2 – The Trip Actually Begins!
Meeting up in the early morning we had a light Parisian breakfast at Place du Vosges.
Tartine ou beurre, Croissant et confiture, Jus d’Orange, Café et Thé
It was in stark contrast to the breakfast we shared in London on my arrival but in total agreement with our surroundings.
After a long and leisurely walk through the Marais and a short visit to my apartment we headed to Les Halles.
Walking along the famous Rue Montreguille we had a Panini for lunch and then after some thought headed to the incredible professional kitchen stores for some extensive window shopping and a few select purchases.
Ice-cream from Berthillon was a lovely surprise on our walk home.
And so began the mutual training opportunities – I divulged secrets from the bastion of Pastry in Paris to aid in their work back in London, and they trained me in the art of turning vegetables creating barrel like 7 sided vegetables for final presentation.
After a short rest we then headed back out to a wonderful rendezvous.
Dinner was with our whole family at Les Botanistes – It was a lovely way for everyone to spend time together over good food and wine.
But after dinner had concluded everyone was in the mood to keep the night alive and so we headed out for some drinks in the 14th arrondissement.
Our cousins had the great idea to try the bar at the top of Montparnasse Tower but with a 45 minute wait looming we left for alternative locations – a simple local bar.
Leaving each other behind was easy with great plans for the day ahead already made…