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Paris Is for Pleasure: Eight Days of Solo Dining, Wandering and Decadence

Paris Is for Pleasure: Eight Days of Solo Dining, Wandering and Decadence

Jun 2nd, 2009, 09:44 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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yk, I think Leely wrote sna*c*ky.

How much is Le Cinq charging for lunch these days? I ate there quite a few years ago (lunch also). Was there an explanation why this was the venue for the splurge lunch?
111op is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 09:55 AM
  #22  
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I think it's 90 for the lunch. I skipped champagne but had wine and coffee. Total was 141. La Grande Cascade was 117. Their lunch is 85 with wine. At LGC I had champagne and coffee as well.

I chose Le Cinq because it seemed to marry well with my Friday plan, which involved seeing the ballet that evening. Classy, right? Also, Briffard is supposedly getting better and better there. I have to say it was a superlative experience, although Julot did join me so we got an off-menu dish which was to freaking die for. And wine to go with that course. And Chef Briffard came over and I got to meet him. A charming chef, very happy guy.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 10:24 AM
  #23  
 
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Add me to the list of those living a vicarious solo week in Paris through your efforts. Thanks for bringing us along.
Nikki is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:48 AM
  #24  
 
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Me too tagging along
cigalechanta is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:50 AM
  #25  
yk
 
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I must be the snarky one here...
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Jun 2nd, 2009, 03:40 PM
  #26  
 
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Two GTG's, Paris Opera Ballet, a personal dining assistant, omg my head is exploding. Leely, come back and write the next installment!
Apres_Londee is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 04:06 PM
  #27  
 
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I love it when a 90-euro lunch balloons into 141 euros.

I've not heard of La Grande Cascade. I'll have to look that one up. Now I see that you've splurged more than once.

I'm so jealous. I need to get myself over and spend a week there!
111op is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 04:40 PM
  #28  
 
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OMG, Leely, were you the one who posted a couple months ago asking about getting tickets to the Proust program? Can't wait to hear about that! (I've only seen a short excerpt by San Francisco Ballet and have always wanted to see POB's full-length version).
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:04 PM
  #29  
 
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Professional dining concierge? That gets the Mariarosa seal of approval.
Mariarosa is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:19 PM
  #30  
 
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even better in the Bois but pricer than La Grande Cascade is Pre Catalan, in a jewel of a setting.
There;s also Le chalet, you take a short boat ride to get you there,
cigalechanta is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:43 PM
  #31  
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Maria, I am glad you approve. It was an indulgence, but I decided this trip the practical thing was to indulge myself.

111op, another motivation for this visit was the constant anxiety about being laid off. I kept thinking "If I'm laid off I won't be able to travel for god knows how long so..." Until recently I worked in creative, so many, many, most of my friends are unemployed right now.

Transport to/from CDG
On other trips I have used taxis or private car service into the city from the airport. This time I was a fiscal conservative (about this) and booked Bee Shuttle.
http://www.bee-shuttle.com/

I had spaced this and didn't reserve until the night before I was about to depart. So I left with no confirmation or instructions; the website says to book at least 48 hours in advance. I asked my friend dog/flat sitting to text me if I got an email from Bee Shuttle and everything worked out fine. This is a group shuttle but as it turned out I was the only passenger. On my return to CDG it was me and a family; I was picked up last and we were all going to the same terminal. As easy as a taxi? No, but almost and much cheaper.

Wandering the Marais
After arriving, showering, paying my landlord and napping for a bit, I set off to sightsee. Even lazy relaxers like to get out and about.

The other thing I had forgotten was a good map. Or any map. Realize I need a good map, stat.

Visited the Carnavalet (free) but decided I needed more attention-span to really see this museum.

Famished, I passed by Café des Musées, 49 Rue de Turenne in the 3rd and went in for lunch. I had been here for a sandwich a couple of years ago and in the interim had seen it mentioned by David Lebovitz as a good place--who knew? Well I had. Had a salad and some wine and waited out the rain. It's a good go-to place in that neighborhood. Not a destination bistrot or anything, but you will get a good lunch in a traditional setting at a fair price (for the neighborhood). Caveat: I have only had salads/sandwiches there.

http://www.pbase.com/leelygoes/image/113266673

Table seulement pour une personne, SVP
It was here that I discovered, in my jet-lagged state, that I didn't mind sitting around a place eating by myself. Who cares? I didn't feel the need to have anything to look at other than my food, the windows, the other diners (sorry guys) and the waiters. This I am sure sounds very basic to many of you, but I don't do this regularly and I see it mentioned here and on other boards with regularity. So I say: not a big deal. Just go out and enjoy your dining experience. No one cares. I didn't hurry and didn't feel the need to. That's part of what's so great about doing things by yourself: no one care, no one minds--unless you do.

Fortified, I was able to get to the Musée Cognacq-Jay. Nice smaller, viable museum for a first-day visit.

http://www.paris.fr/portail/Culture/...t?page_id=6466

Meeting Screen-names
Met some Fodorites for dinner at Le Perraudin in the 5th and was late because I got so lost on my way. I Google-mapped it before leaving my apartment but in reality needed a map-map. Restaurant was good--I had salmon--and a nicely random assortment of people from near and far. I sat next to an interesting group of travelers, including those traveling with the GTG hostess, Monica. Tod from South Africa thoughtfully and generously brought us all 90th Birthday cars with commemorative stamps for Nelson Mandela. I can't believe how nice some people are. A warm welcome and a soft intro to solo traveling. Thanks to Monica and all those who attended!

I did get kinda buzzed because arriving late, confused and rattled I accidentally ordered a pichet of wine rather than a demi. I drank it like water (hot, thirsty) and only when I got my bill did I see my mistake. I had been thinking during the dinner, Wow, what an endless pichet.

Feeling pretty cheerful, I walked home, meandering, finally arriving around 11:30--a beautiful, warm night, everything lit up and people thronging the streets. I don't think I had every gone through the St. Michel area on a Saturday night before. Young people were really partying.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:45 PM
  #32  
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Sorry for the typos! I thought I had eradicated them.

Mimi, Pre Catalan is unfortunately out of my price range.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:50 PM
  #33  
yk
 
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Hi Leely2, are you aka Leely?
yk is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:52 PM
  #34  
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yk, yeah. I lost my password and other things when my laptop was ripped off a year or so ago. So now I have this deceptive alias.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 04:36 AM
  #35  
 
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So much fun!!! I can't wait for my trip this fall.
Sooosally is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 05:51 AM
  #36  
 
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Hey Leely, your thoughts about travel and unemployment certainly apply in my case. Though I've some cushion and I can certainly take off, I can't since I should look for work and interviews have trickled in at a slow pace that keep me from getting away.

Then the other practical matter is that I just feel like controlling expenses for obvious reasons. So it's hard to say, ok, time to take off to Paris for the... hm... 19th time?

I definitely have no reservations about dining alone. I've done that for years in all kinds of restaurants. As you say no one cares.

For anyone who needs any encouragement dining alone, I've always liked this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/tr...e-for-one.html

Actually regarding the password, I think that you ought to be able to get Fodor's to email the password to you (well, that's assuming you can still access whatever email account you used to set up the account).
111op is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 05:57 AM
  #37  
 
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Regarding maps for Paris, I've the blue pocket version of "Plan de Paris Par Arrondissement." It's really great. Any bookstore should carry it. All kinds of small side streets are marked clearly and there's a handy index and everything. You won't get lost in Paris with this, and it's a very small and light book that will fit anywhere.

I think for London there's the A-Z London or something like that, but I'm not sure if there's a pocket version.
111op is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 06:09 AM
  #38  
tod
 
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Hi Leely! It was nice to meet you too. Peter & I really enjoyed the dinner and jovial atmosphere of Perraudin. The management and staff were excellent.
Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
tod is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 07:27 AM
  #39  
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La Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne
http://www.lagrandecascade.net/

Julot had thought this was a place that might suit me for this visit. I had done a little reading about it and my interest was piqued by recent comments about the chef's skill and art. So I added it to the schedule a couple of days before leaving, thinking, A nice Sunday afternoon in the Bois, on the terrace, having a leisurely lunch sounds like just the ticket.

It was a very, very hot day. The dress most approriate (I thought) for this restaurant required a cardi/shawl/whatever (again, I thought). The only thing I had brought was wool. By the time I got there--via taxi that I picked up at Bastille; the market was in full swing, by the way and I dawdled a bit--I was roasting.

I was early so I walked around the park for a while. Many people were enjoying the sunny weather. A family asked me to photograph them in front of the waterfall.

http://www.pbase.com/leelygoes/image/113267987
http://www.pbase.com/leelygoes/image/113267373

They were seating people on the terrace that day; I think there may have been an event behind the restaurant. The main dining room was empty and devoid of charis and tables. I wish I had had the guts to photograph because the building's interiors are beautiful.

http://www.pbase.com/leelygoes/image/113267413
http://www.pbase.com/leelygoes/image/113267413

Because it was so hot, I decided to eat "light." I had white asparagus followed by chicken. The asparagus had a crispy parmesan crust and some kind of marrow jus--very good, not really that light actually. Problem is I don't care for white asparagus at all. But that was the veggie entree offering for the menu du marche. I should have gone with a protein, always satisfying. The chicken was great, very moist, very tender and dessert, especially the little beignets, was terrific.

The whole lunch was something out of a fairy tale. I was there over two-and-a-half hours--very relaxing with extremely solicitous service. Excellent food, classic with a hint of innovation, just too much of it for me on such a day.

I would recommend this place to anyone with deep pockets and a hearty appetite; don't expect avant garde food. It´s a great place to go solo, too.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 07:28 AM
  #40  
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tod, are you back home? Will you be writing a report?
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