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Anotherjudy's Paris/London report

Old May 9th, 2004, 04:10 PM
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Anotherjudy's Paris/London report


I made a too brief solo trip to Paris and London in April and had a wonderful time. My favorite thing to do in both cities is to just wander the neighborhoods and that is just about all I did.

While in Paris, I got to the Orsay to visit some old friends that I have invited to my home in Dallas many times, but the curator won't let them come. The only "scheduled" thing I did in Paris was take a Segway tour. What fun. They are at www.ParisSegwayTours.com. I bought picnic stuff in rue de Buci for a couple of eat-in nights at the hotel and feasted on pate, cheese, fruit and wine while listening to the jazz quartet in the hotel bar through my open windows and resting up from walking a couple of inches off my legs. I met some Fodorites one evening for about at hour at a wine shop - Julie and her husband Val, their friends Jan and her husband and Melissa and her husband Joseph. That was a fun way to start the evening.

I took the chunnel to London. I bought a "cheap" one day return ticket and just never showed up for the trip back to Paris (shame on me). I headed out for my wander one morning and when I got to The Mall here came the band in their red jackets and bearskin hats. I turned into a gaga tourist! I loved it! The only thing I had scheduled in London was to see Judi Dench in Alls Well That Ends Well. Wonderful!
Here are a few of my recommendations:

1. Access Academy, 60/62 rue St Andre des Arts in the 6th. This large internet café has a lot of "qwerty" keyboards and good rates. I paid 5E for one hour access which was all I needed for 4 days. They are open from 8AM until very late at night. Their internet address is www.accessacademy.com. And they speak English.
2. La Cigale, 11 rue Chomel, 7th. I had lunch here and it was divine. The special mini soufflé for the day was spinach and gruyere and they made it for me in a regular size. I had the soufflé, a green salad, mineral water and a half bottle of wine for 33.45E.
3. Au Bon Accueil, 14 rue de Monttessuy, 7th. Fabulous dinner here. 3 courses plus a half bottle of Chateneuf du Pape for 67E. Not only did the food taste wonderful but the presentation was beautiful. I had a wonderful cream of vegetable soup, braised lamb shoulder that had been shredded and shaped in a timbale served with parsley, a sauce and mashed potatoes, then finished with a baba rhum. There was one other table with Americans and I only heard French from the rest of the tables that I could hear. A wonderful restaurant. I stepped outside after dinner, turned right to head for the taxi stand and there was the Eiffel Tower all lit up. WOW!
4. Chez Maitre Paul, 12 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 6th. I had a really good dinner here on Sunday - kir, cassoulet and a glass of wine for 31E. Again, only one other table of Americans. There were lots of patrons who were clearly regulars who got effusive greetings by the host.
5. Portraits, the restaurant on the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery in London. I got to the museum shortly after it opened and made reservations before going through the gallery. They were really filling up when I left, so I recommend reservations. I had a large salad of belgian endive, walnuts, stilton and poached pears and finished with a plum tart with clotted cream. 12.90GBP. Excellent!
6. The Courtauld Institute. It isn't a large collection but, oh my!! The impressionists are incredible. And you don't have to peer over 5 people to see the art. It is on The Strand in Somerset house.

Hope all of you have a great time on the trips you are planning.
Judy
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Nice trip report from another Judy! I am glad to hear Portraits was good. Did you like the atmosphere? Glad you had a great time, Judy
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:54 PM
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Hi, Judy.
The atmosphere is modern/stark. Not at all cozy/clubby. The staff was attentive and helpful. The view is looking west over the roof of the National Gallery past Nelson's Column (the restaurant is below the level of the statue of Nelson) and down Whitehall. Quite impressive. I don't remember what all was on the menu but I had to chose between several things that sounded tasty. Not at all one of the places we all wind up in where there is one thing that sounds good.
Judy
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Old May 10th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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Interesting review, Judy.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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Nice report, and thanks for the restaurant notes! Where did you stay in both cities?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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Margie,
In Paris I was at the D'Aubusson on rue Dauphine in the 6th. In London I was at The Stafford in St. James. The D'Aubusson's location is terrific. This was my first time I to stay in the St James area and really haven't gotten my bearings there. Access to St James and Green Parks is handy.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Judy, I thought La Cigale had moved to rue Recamier. Someone reported that in their trip report recently (can't remember who it was). Can you confirm that? Thanks!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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susan, I was about to ask the same question.
Thanks Judy.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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You are right. I was picking up the address from the conciege's slip and he had it wrong. It has indeed moved to rue Recamier. Mea culpa.
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