It was Fall 2014. My best friend and I were headed to Thailand, but he hadn’t been to Paris yet. I told him we HAD to make a Parisian pit-stop for 2 days before we headed to ride elephants and sunbathe on the sandy beaches of the Phi Phi Islands. We arrived at CDG, got settled into my favorite hotel, The Marriott Rive Gauche, and hopped on the RER to begin our adventure. After a day filled with pictures on Le Tour Eiffel lawn, casual strolling down the Seine River to the Notre Dame and taking pictures on the Love Lock Bridge and in front of the Louvre, we decided to shower and get dressed up for dinner.
Hair Done. LBD. Check. Peep-toe booties. Classic Elevator Mirror Pics. Locals staring at us on the train like, “Who do they think they are?” Ha! We definitely felt like a million bucks that night. Happy. Soaking in every moment. We ride to the Eiffel Tower stop, hop off and eagerly navigate down the back streets behind the Eiffel Tower for about 10 minutes with the poorly handwritten directions from the Marriott Concierge to Le Clos De Gourmets, his recommended dinner location.
The restaurant was delightful. The ambiance. The exclusivity. The location. The locals. The food. Oh, the food. My mouth is watering as I reminisce. I had been to Paris three times before, and never really enjoyed the food (blasphemy, I know). I do not care for desserts, wine and chocolate, so naturally Parisian cuisine has never been my cup of tea – other than the delicious croissants and crepes, of course. Le Clos De Gourmets changed that for me.
Daniel had the Crispy pig’s head, fresh herb vinaigrette, ratte smashed potatoes with salted butter-half, which may have been the best thing I ate all 2014! Unfortunately, I went the safe route, had the Roasted young Gers chicken, confit new potatoes and bay leaf juice while stealing and slowly savoring bites of Danny’s pig head. I sipped on the Bourgogne red wine wondering what good I had done to deserve that little moment of happiness while he devoured his dessert.
Full and happy, we walked out of the restaurant just as the Eiffel Tower put on a light show just for us. We must have taken a million pictures down that side street. Time stopped. That street was ours. The city was ours for what felt like eternity.
We hopped in a cab, sang to the lyrics to the American hits jamming through the speakers and recorded video (that I will never release) of ourselves speaking in the worst French accents known to man as we drove along Le Champs Elysees. It really should have been a scene in a movie. Somehow we ended up on Rue de Berri at The Freedom and Firkin Pub. Free is the best word to describe how I felt that night We danced the night away with locals, strangers and ex-pats who turned into friends that ended up taking us to breakfast the next morning for a real Parisian experience before our flight to Bangkok.
This may not seem like any extraordinary night, but for someone who had their Parisian fantasy ruined early on by some pretty negative experiences my first few times in Paris, this was the first night I fell in love with the city of love and felt all the magic that truly is Paris. Now I can honestly say, Je T’aime Paris!
I cannot wait to get back in a few months for something SUPER exciting. Stay tuned for that blog post!
Check out our 2014 Parisian Pit-stop Gallery here
I want to hear from you! Where are you itching to get to this year? Be sure to head over to the TRAVEL page and let me know!