Paris is always beautiful, but I find her especially captivating in the spring. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Paris. The good news is, it's a quick train ride from Beaune and makes the perfect weekend getaway to meet up with old friends and enjoy a few days in the city. With just a few short days for a visit, I made my way around the city stopping at a few of my favorite spots. Although every first-time visitor must take time to check out the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Luxembourg Gardens, be sure to save some time to visit some of my favorites for a real taste of Paris.
Of course Paris is a food-lover's paradise. Whether you prefer an elegant meal at a famous 3 star restaurant or something as simple as a picnic in the park, everything always taste better in Paris. As a cook, you'll find the most wonderful shops filled to the brim with every cookware essential that you can lug home and the markets are a cook's dream. One of my favorites is le Marché Raspail-Rennes, a marché biologique, or organic market. It is held on Sunday mornings from eight-thirty to one. You'll see farmers from all over France selling their organic goods, from the seasons first bundles of asparagus and dandelion greens as well as raw honey, fresh cheeses and unpasteurized milk. Wooden boxes and baskets are filled with the season's fruits and vegetables that are so artfully arranged that they could be the focus of a still-life painting.
I also love to visit the Paris flea markets. There are several to choose from but my personal favorite isLes Puces de la Porte de Vanves in the 14th arrondissement. It's an open market held on Saturday and Sunday mornings and is filled with everything from vintage French kitchen linens to antique silver. It's very popular with the locals, so make sure you get there early.
Another must stop place for me when I visit Paris is E. Dehillerinin the 1st arrondissement. It is packed with everything a cook needs. It's the place for copper pans and it has a wonderful assortment of cook's tools. I always treat myself to something here when I am in Paris and then head off to Legrand Filles et Fils. Legrand has been in business since 1880 and is great place to stop for a glass of wine and a light lunch at the wine bar.
Paris really is a magical place. The next time you visit, make sure you stop by Gérard Mulot'sto pick up a gateaux with meringue and fraises de bois for dessert or a box of macaroons from Pierre Hermé and don't forget your glass of bubbly at Café de Flore to celebrate your good fortune to spend the weekend in the City of Light.