With all of the holiday craziness, this post is slightly overdue! Just before Christmas, the BF and I flew across the pond to enjoy a week in London and Paris! It was the BF's first time in Europe and a trip of a lifetime at that. Of course it was filled with fantastic food and drink (and a few sites and sounds mixed in).
Thanks to the BF's job, we are able to fly standby AKA we get on the plane if there are seats! Good news: there were seats. In first class. That's right, we flew directly to London in the comfort of American Airlines' Flagship Suite. Upon boarding, we were showered with stuff: glasses of wine and champagne, a travel kit complete with anything you could possibly need on a seven hour flight including a sleep mask, ear plugs, toothbrush, lotions, face wipes, etc, as well as slippers and PAJAMAS. We all pretty much looked like we were in The Hunger Games wearing the same unisex gray sleepwear. The BF and I were living the dream.
|Is this how the 1% live?|
Obviously I have to tell you about the food. We were treated to a four course dinner of our choice which included some highs and lows. But hey, they could have fed me unlimited peanuts and I would have been happy. I ordered this pistachio-crusted tilapia that wasn't too shabby. The real delight was the giant Ben & Jerry's hot fudge sundae! We felt like giddy children. Best part? No sharing! Another plus: our seats swiveled 270 degrees so the BF and I were able to sit across from each other as if we were dining at a restaurant.
|Pistachio Crusted Tilapia|
|Ben & Jerry's Hot Fudge Sundae|
We only had two days in London which resulted in me playing tour guide and showing the BF as much as I could. We traveled by foot and tube around central London, I showed the BF my old university, Piccadilly Circus, and The National Gallery, we explored the craft beer scene in Southwark, including The Kernel Brewery, checked out Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge (it was as exhausting as it sounds).
|'Twas a Beautiful Day!|
|Duck, Pork Belly & Sausage Cassoulet|
|Bagel with Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese|
|That's what I'm talking about|
|View of St. Paul's Cathedral from Millennium Bridge|
|Fish and Chips|
Our last night in London happened to be a Sunday...perfect for grabbing a traditional roast supper. After our originally planned pub was no longer serving supper upon our arrival, we headed to The Albion in Islington. Good news. It was the most adorable pub I have ever been in. I'm not sure adorable is the right word but it was truly, truly a gem. We ordered a whole roast chicken to split, which was served with roasted potatoes, greens, carrots, and gravy. It was wonderful.
|Sticky Toffee Pudding|
|In Front of Sacre-Coeur|
Dinner our first night in Paris was at La Chaise au Plafond, a lovely place recommended to us with fantastic chocolate mousse! The BF ended up eating French onion soup every night we were in Paris (can you blame him?)!
|French Onion Soup|
|Breakfast at Carette|
|Raspberry Macaron from Stohrer|
|Champagne at the Holiday Market|
|Champagne at the Holiday Market|
|Le Grand Colbert|
|Wine Tastes Better in Paris|
|Come Here Little Snail!|
|French Onion Soup|
|Sirloin Steak with Pepper Sauce|
After dinner, we decided to check out the Eiffel Tower at night which sparkles for five minutes on the hour. It was a magnificent sight!
On our last day in Paris, we were treated to a one-of-a-kind experience in the champagne region of France thanks to the lovely Monika Dixon of Monika Dixon PR who was kind enough to organize the meeting!
A short train ride away landed us in Chigny-Les-Roses at the beautiful Cattier champagne vineyard which has been family-owned since 1763 and is currently run by the 11th generation of the Cattier family.
We met with Philippe Bienvenu and Jean-Jacques Cattier, president of Cattier, and learned so much about the brand and what makes its champagne so special (it doesn't hurt that Jay-Z is a fan and partner). Cattier produces 1 million bottles per year from its vineyard which features pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes. Some 60% of Cattier's champagnes are exported to more than 80 countries including Japan, Australia, the US, and China. You've probably seen bottles of their Armand de Brignac, or "Ace of Spades" champagne before. It's hard not to recognize that magnificent gold bottle!
|Arnand de Brignac Champagne Produced by Cattier|
|Range of Cattier Champagnes|
Unfortunately on this visit we didn't get a chance to view Cattier's cellars which are 30 meters deep! However, we did enjoy a wonderful bottle of Cattier Blanc de Blancs and now have a reason to come back (not like we needed one!). The Blanc de Blancs is made with chardonnay and is VERY easy to drink. It's mainly sold in France and is velvety with no acidity. Our time at Cattier was truly memorable. A trip back to the champagne region is definitely a must the next time we return to France.
|Cattier Blanc de Blancs|
|Cheeses at La Grande Epicerie de Paris|
|Breads at La Grande Epicerie de Paris|
|Underground at Chez Georges|
|Cheese & Charcuterie|
I know it might not seem like it by the length of this post but these are not even all of the places we went...just some of our favorites! What are some of your favorite restaurants and bars in London or Paris?