Paris – Notre Dame and cupcakes

On our last full day, the sun shone once again in the beautiful city of Paris. We decided to visit a few places that we hadn’t yet had the chance of seeing; this obviously means a heavy dose of food, as well as a few historic spots… mainly food though (this is me we’re talking about!)

First stop, Notre Dame. The story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame has always had a place in that little point in the back of my mind that I visit sometimes, when I want to be reminded of my childhood. I remember the first time I saw it I was pretending to be really sick and off school. My mum was running a sideline business doing ‘The Pampered Chef’ and would go around to friends houses with products to promote. I was plonked in front of the hosts TV and given a selection of videos (DVD’s weren’t yet popular?!) to watch. I picked The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and absolutely loved it. Anyways, back to the post. The lovely Gentleman wanted to take me as I’d never been before, so we trundled off towards the lovely island.

As we got there, Ben got a bit confused as to where we were as apparently the huge viewing stand outside Notre Dame was not there last time he visited Paris. I don’t know why it’s there, but it massively ruined the atmosphere and transformed it from a beautiful fairy tale/historic place, to a designated tourist spot. We took our tourist snaps, but didn’t stick around and I couldn’t hide my disappointment at the fact that my gorgeous fairytale had been made into a tourist attraction.

We walked around the building and found a little lunch spot behind it where the views were so much better and barely any tourists. Win win!

No pictures of lunch, my glass of water somehow ended up on Ben’s lap so conversation was somewhat lacking. After lunch, we walked around Paris with not much of an idea where we were going which was lovely.

We wandered along and found ourselves in an area that Ben recognised and we veered off to find a famed cupcake & cheesecake shop.

Berko.

I’m not good with cupcakes, I fail to see the point most of the time. A cake for me is about the overall package; shoving a load of icing on the top doesn’t make it an exceptional cake, anyone can do that. You need to have a proper base, yummy flavoured sponge with a gorgeous smooth icing to accompany. On that note, we both went for cheesecake.

Raspberry and white chocolate for me.

Praline for The Gentleman.

The cheesecakes were so dense in texture and flavour, that neither of us could finish and we threw down our forks in defeat.

Rolling ourselves out of the door, we set our sights on a few more tourist hotspots before making our way back to the hotel.

The one thing that I couldn’t get my head around in Paris, was the amount of homeless people wandering the streets. One such person had come up with a rather ingenious way of making money and getting noticed; by letting his pet white rat ride on the back of his dog.

At least, I hope he knew it was there?!

We met a lovely little man selling time for boats on one of the little ponds in the gardens outside the Louvre. We just sat and watched for a few minutes letting the world go by.

It was then back to the hotel for a quick change and out to dinner. The best part? I finally got to dress up.

Dress – Zara, Shoes – Kelly Brook for New Look

A few cheeky snaps before the taxi came to pick us up, then we were whizzed off into the crisp Parisian night to find the restaurant.

Bistrotters.

Owned and run by the lovely Francois, I think I could say that this is possibly THE best restaurant I’ve ever been to. Francois doesn’t look old enough to manage then restaurant let alone own it, yet he proved his capabilities; personally seeing to every table in the restaurant and serving whilst training up a new member of the team AND keeping the atmosphere in the restaurant.

Not only was the service impeccable, the food was exceptional.

A beautiful fragrant and fruity Rose, hand picked by Francois for us (with a price tag to match, but well worth it)

To start –  Foie Gras for The Gentleman, a timeless classic.

Salmon Tartare for me.

(sorry about the quality of the pictures by the way, these iPhones tut tut.)

For mains, Duck for The Gentleman (this was incredible although slightly overcooked for my liking, Ben loved it though which is all that counts really.)

I had the pork belly, succulent fall apart meat topped with crisp crackling. perfect.

After Ben settled the (expensive, but totally worth it) bill with Francois, we walked, hand in hand, into the moonlight.

Once more we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it in night view before strolling back for our last night in the hotel.

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