Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Snapshots of Eating in Paris

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

In a corner of a massive gothic church in the heart of Paris is a monument to the fruit and vegetable sellers who, after 800 years of selling goods in front of this church, were relocated to a suburb in Paris to make way for a train station and a giant shopping mall.

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

Until 1969, the food market operated in front of this church (L’eglise Saint-Eustache).

Called Les Halles or The Halls, merchants came from all over to sell food to Parisians.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Near the church, in a local foie gois shop, I took a photo of what Les Halles looked like a long time ago.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

In front of and in the halls of Saint-Eustache is where our Belly of Paris Tour with Context Travel began.  We walked with our guide Carolin Young as she painted us a picture of a Paris table long ago.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

We walked through the streets listening and learning some history of Paris and food.

And we made stops along the way. For sure one of the highlights of our walk through Paris with Carolin was all the shops.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Foie gois shops, cheese shops, wine shops.

Snapshots of Paris, Paris in Winter, Shopping in Paris

Even an open air market or two.Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

And then there were the chefs’ shops. Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

My sister was super excited to purchase a few tools for her kitchen from the places where France’s greatest chefs buy their copper pots and knives.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Within a few blocks of each other, there were four or five of these storied old restaurant and chef supply stores. Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Here’s Anna in front of one of the oldest ones. We had a hard time getting her out of there.

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

But we bribed her with food.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Our guide, Carolin, chose a few cheeses.

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

And a few more cheeses.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

And baguettes and croissants from a well-loved boulangerie.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

These prize cups represent many “bests” in Paris baking….best croissant and best baguette to name a few.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

At the end of our tour, Carolin led us, along with our treasures to a room painted with old frescoes in Le Rocher de Cancale, one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, to have a simple meal of wine, cheese and bread. Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Le Rocher de Cancale translates to the Rocks of Cancale, which is an area in Brittany famed for oysters, hence the rock and oyster sculpture on the outside of the restaurant.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

A couple days later, Anna and I had oysters in an open market, where they served them fresh and then filled your empty shells with white wine to follow.

Fresh from the sea, we experienced having the freshest ingredients in Paris from all over France.

As Carolin had told us, in Paris, the food is not necessarily local, but you can have the best that is available in the capital city of France, and because of the central markets in Paris, it has always been this way.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

In Paris, you can have the very best.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

And we had SO many meals in Paris that were the very best.

One of our favorites was prepared for us right in our apartment by Chef Fabrice from La Belle Assiette. We were super excited to get to watch a seasoned chef in action, admiring his knife skills and asking questions about sauces.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

We had pumpkin soup, homemade ravioli with shrimp and a sea bream that was out of this world.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

And little warm melt-in-your-mouth chocolate molten cakes.

Divine!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Another of our best meals was at Les Papilles. We happily took the last 10pm reservation available at this popular Paris bistro.

Every day the chef has one set menu, which you have family style at your table.

Our first course was a gorgeous carrot soup that came in a tureen that we poured over these beautiful bowls of bacon, croutons, creme fraiche and herbs.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Then we had a copper pot full of slowly stewed beef with potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms. So tender. So delectable. So full.Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

Followed by cheese and fruit.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

And a salted caramel pot de creme.

The meal at Les Papilles was for sure one of our very best.

Eating in Paris, Snapshots of Paris, Context Travel, Belly of Paris

But also high on our list was one of the many lovely recommendations we got from Carolin, another bistro called Terroir Parisien, a nod to local food in the region of Paris.

Snapshots of Paris, Belly of Paris, Eiffel Tower, Paris in Winter

Anna had smoked trout.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Mama and I had the menu of the day, which was local eggs and bacon. (We’re still dreaming about these.)

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Chicken and potatoes.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

And a pear clafoutis that I will be trying to recreate very soon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

In fact, there are so many desserts from our time in Paris that I would like to re-create. We ate many gorgeous crepes, of course.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Like this one with chocolate and bananas that arrived after Anna asked our waiter to bring us his very best crepe.

Eating in Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel, Belly of Paris

Another dessert highlight was this roasted apple with caramel and nuts from La Grande Epicerie.

Eating in Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel, Belly of Paris

And this rose macaron from Pierre Hermes.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

We had so many gorgeous pastries and tarts. I kept saying that I am going to make more efforts to make my food beautiful when I serve it after being in Paris.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Where even a simple fruit salad is a work of art.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Our very first meal in Paris was a meat, cheese and bread board, which we devoured in a street cafe, slightly stupefied that we were all sitting in the middle of Paris.

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

But a week later, we pracitally considered ourselves regulars at the patisserie just a few steps away from that same cafe, where even the Queen of England has been to taste the famous eclairs.

On our last night in Paris, we named all of our favorite foods we had eaten over a week of filling our bellies with so many delights, and we could not narrow it down to one meal. It was all the very best.

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context TravelA big thanks to Context Travel for sending us on the Belly of Paris tour for free to help promote this fun walk through the history of Paris and food. And thank you Carolin for a lovely afternoon in the heart of Paris!

 

PS. You can watch our highlight videos from Paris on Vine!!