A Family Affair: Day 3 – Picnic!
Day 3 – Live like a Parisian!
Awaking early unlike most other Parisians, we had an exciting day ahead of us which started by meeting early at our favourite location – Place du Vosges.
We quickly headed off for a quick take-away breakfast from the famous Lenotré of pain aux raisin made with croissant dough and a perfect croissant au beurre. We then made our way to the huge Sunday Bastille Market to explore the hive of activity.
As we walked down the aisles past poisonierre, boucherie, fromagerie, verger and more we marvelled at the produce.
We foraged and snacked on the delicious food, buying some baby turnips to munch on, and some cherries and canelé.
All the while we schemed and scoured for possible picnic items – planning the perfect Parisian Sunday Picnic with friends.
We then caught the train to the west of Paris to meet up with our cousins closer to home near Boulogne with bags full of food in hand.
Driving in the car we unexpectedly headed towards the hills over the river on the outskirts of Paris to Parc de Saint-Cloud.
We drove around the whole park looking for the perfect picnicking spot past wide tree lined avenues, bike trails through thick forest and open planned areas with fountains and manicured trees.
We settled on an open patch of dry grass overlooking all of Paris – not a bad location for a Sunday Picnic in the warm sunshine.
By far the highlight was the amazing roast chicken made by my skilled cousin in the oven, which when combined with the provencal basil tapenade, fresh basil, cucumber and incredible French baguettes made for what has to be the ultimate sandwich – at least the best I have had in a very long time – and accompanied by a cider, the view and the incredible company made for the best lazy Sunday afternoon!
But Parc Edmond de Rothschild was calling out for us, and so we headed back down the hill into the outskirts of Paris to a former garden of the original Rothschild mansion.
The parking although masterful was a little dubious, but the perfect example of Parisian style parking executed to perfection, it is called the kiss and push – making a small space just wide enough to fit your car where it formerly did not.
We found the perfect location for a Frisbee match but it became clear early who were the winners in this equation – and I certainly was not one of them!
Some played with style and flair, reaching their targets every spin, others were partially challenged at reaching their destination but still seemed to make it look good.
I seemed to achieve neither purpose, however, I was slowly getting the hand of the SLR.
The gardens were incredibly beautiful and it seems that many local Parisian couples and families had exactly the same idea.
Here is a series of photos were I experiemented whilst being spoilt by the most incredible location, light and subjects… it evokes such great memories of childhood!
Leaving the park after a wonderful afternoon we were all pretty tired but content.
Heading back into the city we had late afternoon drinks with my other cousin from Lille, so that she could meet the esteemed guests from London.
Dinner was the perfect ending to a great day… I had finally made it to a restaurant I was longing to visit for quite some time – Robert et Louise – and with the ideal guests!
Robert et Louise is a local secret with a long reputation of great food and service. It is a simple concept executed to absolute perfection. Great meat, aged well, cooked over hot coals and open fire in view of the guests accompanied by great side dishes and wines. Upstairs it is rustic, warm and cozy, with each table being a unique old wooden table and you can feel the years of good use in the grain. Downstairs has vaulted stone ceilings and hushed conversations pervade the cellar which is decorated with old bicycles and brick-a-brack.
As you can see by our smiles and enthusiasm the plates were completely empty by the end of the meal – and yet somehow, on the advice of the waitress, we seemed to find some extra room for dessert!
We happily shared chocolate cake that was almost like a flourless chocolate mud cake brownie, and a Classic Crème Brulée.
Walking home, full and completely satisfied on every level. It had cooled down ever so slightly and we enjoyed the stroll back through the beautiful streets of the Marais.
It was an exemplary Parisian day if there ever was one – perfect sunny weather, picnic overlooking Paris, Frisbee in the park, drinks with cousins, a simple and satisfying dinner with family.
I had brought out all the stops to make the weekend work and I certainly had some help with a top of 28 degrees in May – almost unheard of in any normal year!