What I ate in Paris

Things to eat in Paris

On top of my How I spent 5 days in Paris post, I thought I’d write a separate one on the hearty meals in cosy cafés I discovered when I was there.  A sort of ‘what to eat in Paris’, if you will and we know the French are well-known for being passionate about food, so why not write a food diary?

The French are known for many culinary delights, such as; beef bourguignon, the best fromages as well as idyllic baguettes from dreamy boulangeries.  Even the best desserts and naughty snacks herald from here – hello macarons!

So here’s a few things to eat in Paris that I particularly enjoyed.  (Don’t read if you’re hungry.)

Ravioli at Le Rouge Limé

Ravioli in Le Rouge Lime, Paris

Our AirBnb was conveniently close to metro stop Charonne.  And, as it turned out, close to some TripAdvisor tipped restaurants too.  Scanning the website for places to eat around us Le Rouge Limé was particularly loved and had received many good reviews.

So after arriving in Paris and eating a mediocre meal earlier in the day, we settled in amongst its cosy bar/restaurant setting, ordered a bottle of wine and its Ravioli (vegetarian) dish.  (Perhaps not the first dish you think of when looking for the best things to eat in Paris.)  But, the wine and food went down wonderfully and I actually regret not eating here again during my trip.  (So if you’re in this area, pop in for a meal.)

Croque monsieur at Café Le Nazir

What to eat in Paris Croque Monsieur

When you’ve been to Paris before as I have, then you’ll know that you’ll be doing a lot of walking.  So after getting up early, climbing to the top of the Sacré-Cœur and wandering around a bustling Montmartre; my tummy began to rumble.

We stopped off at a corner cafe (Le Nazir), which looked quintessentially French (dark red decor, with aloof waiters) and I knew before looking at the menu that I’d be asking for a croque monsieur.  I always have a croque monsieur when I’m in France, which isn’t the healthiest snack (it’s basically a fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich), so I reserve it for when I’m at my most hungriest!

Side note: there’s also a croque madame, which is the same but topped with a fried egg.

Macarons from anywhere

What to eat in Paris (macarons)

Before heading to Jardin du Luxembourg we picked up some macarons from somewhere in Montmartre.  I’m sure there’ll be some Paris experts that’ll tell you to go to prestigious macaron makers, but I’m really not that fussy when it comes to this meringue-based treat!

So apologies I can’t remember the exact name and place where I bought these macarons.  But I can tell you I went for the following flavours: strawberry, pistachio and champagne.  Délicieux!

Axoa of veal fried potatoes at Le Petit Baïona

Meat at Le Petit Baïona

Another restaurant close to our accommodation, although this time recommended by our Airbnb host, was Le Petit Baïona.  I was quite intrigued, given that it served traditional Basque dishes, a part of France that may seem world’s away from Paris in the deep south.

Although embarassingly this is where my memory escapes me.  I’m sure this was a tender pork meat, served with sautéed potatoes, but I can’t find this in the online menu.  So I’ve labelled this the closest meal to it, (I really should start keeping travel notes…).

Different regions of France are known for different culinary expertise, so although this was a bit meat heavy I was glad to try a different taste from the country.

Tarte Fine de Saison at Publicis Drugstore

Tarte Fine de Saison

It’s so easy to get pulled into French bakeries from just window shopping. This tarte fine de saison is a prime example.  I’d only nipped through Publicis Drugstore to get to an ATM, but these caught my eye.  I picked one up on my way back and munched on it in the queue to the Arc de Triomphe.

Its pastry crumbled away as only French pastry does. But sadly for me there was too many onions in the middle.  Other than that, I have no regrets – always buy something that takes your fancy, you’ll never know you might try your next favourite thing!

Have you tried any culinary delights when visiting Paris?  Let me know in the comments below because I don’t want to miss out on the good stuff!

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Edinburgh (Day 3) / Travel Diary

National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

This was sadly our last full day in Edinburgh (Edinburgh Day 1 + Day 2 here).  So there were just a few things me and David wanted to see before we were due to leave.

Day 2 in Edinburgh

We still needed to visit The Royal Yacht Britannia as part of our Royal Ticket we’d bought with the Tour Bus company, so we headed here first.

The yacht is yet another royal connection and visitor attraction in Edinburgh and of course belonged to the Queen.  It is, however, no longer in service and is permanently berthed (not docked, as I first typed and needed to google ) at Leith, in Edinburgh.

The bus ride here, which is a little out of town, took roughly 30 minutes.  It was actually a nice route to see some of the lovely houses outside of the city centre in the suburban areas of Edinburgh.

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

A free audio tour was provided, which had no real set tour route, so we could wander, begin and finish the tour wherever we liked.

I thought it was also nice that taking photos/videos was encouraged, so of course I managed to get some snaps for my blog and vlog!  I found the yacht quite astounding to see, for example some areas of this ship were really luxurious, which of course it needs to be if the Queen’s going to be travelling on it.  I also didn’t know about the many famous visitors who boarded the ship over the years too, like Bill Clinton, Princess Diana etc.

But then there were areas that left me surprised, such as the Queen’s bedroom.  This room had only a single bed – a single bed!  Forgive me for expecting the Titanic sort of proportions of size and grandeur, but this shocked me the most.  Surely she’d at least get a double bed to sleep in?  Anyway, she still had more room than most, if not all, the officer’s on board, I suppose.

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

It was all very distinctly British, which was interesting to me being British myself, because I felt it was quite ‘homely’, rather than overtly royal.  Surprisingly enough, that’s apparently just what the Queen wanted it to feel like too.

Anyway, there was a cafe on board with a sweet shop.  So after snacking on some fudge me and David headed back into town.

Mary King’s Close

I was really excited about Mary King’s Close, as we read about it in our rather miniature Edinburgh guide book!  This is a series of streets, or ‘closes’, underneath the streets of today’s Edinburgh.

The streets are underground because the government back in the 17th century wanted to build The Royal Exchange in the city, but there was no room.  So they practically built it on top of the slums instead!  Nice…

Unfortunately no photography was allowed in here, which is a shame because a part of the street and one of its houses were still in tact.  Me and David were put within a group that was guided around by an actress.  She told us all about the gruesome living conditions of the time and history of the close, really bringing it to life.  Our tour guide was called Mel, who was fantastic!

The National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinbrugh

We finished Mary King’s Close a little earlier than expected and walked over to the Museum of Childhood that we had heard so much about since being in Edinburgh.  This sounded like a great museum, but we didn’t realise it was closed on Tuesday’s – just our luck!

So, me and David still felt like we were in a museum-y sort of mood, if there is such a thing and ambled over to the National Museum of Scotland, not too far away.

This was quite an unexpected delight, as there were many rooms and interactive exhibitions from world culture, science, technology to culture and Scottish history – all of which were in one beautiful building!

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinbrugh

Goodbye Scotland

Feeling fairly knackered, me and David ate a delicious curry at a restaurant called Slumdog near our hotel and headed back for an early night.

And no!  I didn’t miss out on a whisky this day, me and David actually had a whisky cocktail in our hotel bar.  It was called a Hot Toddy and included whisky and lemon juice, topped up with hot water.  It was quite yummy and something I thought would clear up a nasty cold (if I had one)!  Even David liked it, so that’s saying something.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Edinburgh travel diary series!  Please share your experiences in Edinburgh if you’ve been in the comments section below, or ask any questions if you’re yet to visit!

Don’t forget I have made a vlog of our trip to Edinburgh, which you can watch here.

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Edinburgh (Day 2) / Travel Diary

Edinburgh Castle

With yesterday (Edinburgh Day 1) mostly spent moping around near our hotel in Edinburgh at a snails pace, today was all about taking much more in, with more gusto!

Day 2 in Edinburgh

Edinburgh blog post & travel diary

We headed straight to the centre, where we’d seen a bus stop for tour buses.  Luckily, David’s parents had been to Edinburgh recently and mentioned a great deal.

We bought the Royal Ticket, which gave us fast track entry to Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Palace of Holyroodhouse – all of which that were on our itinerary!  (And gave us a saving of 20%.)

But, you could also travel around Edinburgh on any of the 3 tour bus routes unlimited, for 48 hours.  (Yes, I know tour buses can be a bit cringe, but they certainly get you round a new city quite easily!)

This ticket was £51 from the tour bus vendors or can be bought online.  We thought this was worth it and so our first stop was Holyroodhouse

Holyroodhouse / Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace Edinburgh

Holyroodhouse, or Holyrood Palace, is an official residence of the Queen – she actually lives here for part of the year!

No surprises then that photography wasn’t allowed.  Still, this was quite educational (if you don’t mind royalty) as past British monarchs, like Mary Queen of Scots, once called this home too.

Tours are compulsory through complimentary audio headsets.  Holyroodhouse is located within Holyrood Park – where Arthur’s Seat can also be found.

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat Edinburgh

We headed to Holyroodhouse at the start of the day because we planned to climb Arthur’s Seat straight after.  Arthur’s Seat is a hill that rises above Edinburgh and gives stunning panoramic views. (Some call it a mountain, but I didn’t think it was that serious of a climb.)  At around 250m tall we were expecting a steep incline nonetheless!

Luckily it was a mild day and the path to the top of Arthur’s Seat wasn’t too muddy.  Saying this, it still wasn’t easy and I’d suggest taking some sensible walking shoes if you’re planning on doing this!  We were both equally panting when we got to the top, which took us roughly 45 minutes.  We spotted an easier route when we did get to the top, but we still felt quite accomplished.

There were a lot of other tourists doing this, so I would suggest if you want complete peace (and better pictures) to climb it at sunrise.

This was actually my favourite part of Edinburgh for the views and unique rock faces.  It’s this reason why I now also want to see more of the Scottish countryside.  Arthur’s Seat is definitely something not to be missed.

Arthur's Seat Edinburgh Scotland

Me and David climbing Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

Panoramic Views from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

The Royal Mile

After a quicker climb down, it was walkable from here to The Royal Mile and then to Edinburgh Castle.

I wanted to share some pictures particularly of this part of the city, which was so picturesque.

These streets of the city were lined with independent bars, restaurants and shops. making a better selection than Princes Street for eating.  We grabbed some light pub grub after our climb (a sharing platter including haggis!) and headed onto the castle.

The Church of Scotland in Edinburgh

The Royal Mile Old Town Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle near The Royal Mile

Edinburgh Castle

We were both really looking forward to visiting the castle.  Once inside there’s quite a few different rooms and parts to look round.  There are audio tours here too, but at a price that we didn’t feel was necessary as there’s plenty of plaques and other information to read.

There’s a few exhibitions here too, like The National War Museum and The Stone of Destiny, so there’s a lot of history to take in.  My favourite room was The Great Hall, mostly because it looked very Winterfell/Games of Thrones.  (And I can’t wait for Season 7 !)

And of course, views looking down to the city from here are great too.

Edinburgh Castle Entrance

View from Edinburgh Castle

After the castle, we walked to the Greyfriar’s Bobby statue – a statue of a dog that supposedly waited by his owner’s grave for fourteen years.  (Fourteen years!)  The grave is found near here too.

Then, as I hadn’t had my whiskey of the day yet, me and David tried to find a whisky bar I’d seen whilst scrolling on Pinterest.  But as we soon found out, this wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

Firstly, because of the layout of the blog post (the link behind the pin), we ended up at Bannerman’s Bar.  Being a cavernous rock bar, it didn’t look like the ‘period interior’ of The Voodoo Rooms, the bar I’d accidentally mixed it up with.

So after dusting off one whisky here I dragged David over to where The Voodoo Rooms was meant to be.  However, we couldn’t see The Voodoo Rooms and thought Cafe Royal looked good enough so we stopped to have a whisky here instead.

Cafe Royal Edinburgh

Emma Rose Blog in Edinburgh

I had a Highlands Park and David, a known whisky-hater (if only to me!) felt he should have one too (being in Scotland and in a nice bar), so went for Dalmore.

After a few sips, he declared he still hates whisky and thinks it’s ‘disgusting’, and so I ended up drinking the rest of his.  This was before having the ‘brilliant’ idea to go on The Star Flyer, at the Christmas market.

The Star Flyer

The Star Flyer Edinburgh

Yes, after 3 whisky’s (for me anyway) we thought it was a fitting time to go on the Star Flyer in the fairground of Edinburgh’s Christmas market.

Yes we knew it was high, but it wasn’t until we got onto the ride and started to be lifted up way above the crowds and streets of Edinburgh that we knew just how high it was.

Genuinely more scary than it looks and maybe a little dizzying. Not to mention David telling me whilst we were on it; “I can’t help but imagine how scary it would be if one of these seats detached.”  Yep, thanks David .

Me and David on the Star Flyer

Anyway, after this somewhat exhilarating experience me and David picked up some Mulled Wine, had something to eat and headed back to the hotel.

 Day 3:

The next day was our last full day in Edinburgh, so we’d planned to go to The Royal Yacht Britannia and Mary King’s Close.  Read my my final blog post on our visit to Edinburgh here or watch my Edinburgh vlog now on my YouTube channel.

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Edinburgh (Day 1) / Travel Diary

Edinburgh Christmas lights

I mentioned in my New Purchases Show & Tell December 2016 that me and David were heading to Edinburgh just before Christmas.  Instead of spending a lot on each other presents wise, we thought it would better to treat ourselves to going away instead.

Day 1 in Edinburgh

Arriving in Edinburgh we were braced for the biting cold, but were both surprised to find it was actually quite mild!

We stayed at Cairns Hotel on Windsor Street, which was a great location and just a short walk away from the busy shopping hub on Princes Street.  (The Christmas market was near here too!)

1780 restaurant Edinburgh

As we arrived late afternoon and it was getting dark already (at 4pm!), we wandered around to get our bearings and, of course, something to eat!

Princes Street is the retail hotspot of Edinburgh, but there are some pubs in the streets running parallel behind it.  As this was Sunday and a lot of places were proper ramo (haha love that phrase), we settled on a pub restaurant called 1780 on Rose Street.

1780 restaurant Edinburgh

It was a really cosy pub, which was dimly lit in some corners by candles.  Very atmospheric for December in Edinburgh!  We both had a starters and a main because we were really hungry!

Although we both had ‘foodie’ type starters, we both went for typical pub grub mains! David went for burger and chips, whereas I had the classic fish and chips.  I don’t know what it is about fish and chips that always seem to taste better up north?  The batter just melts in your mouth.  Seriously.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped off at The Conan Doyle for a drink. One of the things I was most excited about going to Edinburgh was the whisky; I love whisky and of course Scotland is famous for it!

So it was in here I decided to try a different Scottish whisky every day I was in Scotland.  (Bit of a weird mission, but why not?)

There was a whisky list to choose from in the pub – which we’d find in almost every pub we went into in Edinburgh!  So I tried Lugavulin, a smokey whisky with a bit of a spicy aftertaste.

Lagavulin_Edinburgh

I drank it straight – yep, I know disgusting to some – with just one ice cube. If it was mixed with coke how else would I be able to taste it?  Anyway, David hates whisky so said he would not be joining me on my whisky tasting mission!

Back at the hotel we chilled out, planned what we were doing the next day and watched The Apprentice final.

 Day 2:

The next day we went to Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle!  Read the next blog post here or watch my Edinburgh vlog, which is up on my YouTube channel now.

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New Purchases Show & Tell – December 2016

Emma_Rose_blog_new_purchases_show_&_tell

Catch up & watch

I did it!  I told you I would bring you my New Purchases Show & Tell December 2016 video and blog post before Christmas and here it is…

Of course I naturally post this series towards the very end of the month, but what with it being Christmas I thought otherwise.

A lot of things I’ve been buying this month have inevitably been Christmas gifts, so if you need any last minute ideas here’s a helping hand.

The Chase Board Game – 40 seconds in
The brother bloomin’ loves The Chase!  He races home from work to catch it, hilariously, so I had to buy him this.  It’s also a great idea to fill the time between finishing opening presents and waiting for Christmas dinner.  (Cos we all know that can feel like an age!)

Who Am I? Game – 1:26 minutes in
Onto my sister, she can be a difficult one.  Using my previous present inspiration in getting a game I saw this.  Not only for Christmas I thought she could play around with these with her flatmates when staying in having a drink.  Quite Instagram worthy too, which leads me too…

Glass Coasters for Instant Photos – 2:04 minutes in
My sister takes some great Instagram pictures, so what better way to show them off around the house than with some coasters?  Of course she’d have to print them first, or use her Fuji Instant camera to fill them up.  (Tip: I saw these on both Urban Outfitters and Asos, but they were half the price on Amazon. )

One Line A Day: Five-Year Memory Book – 2:27 minutes in
I so want this for myself now.  If you have anyone creative you still need to get a little something for then this is quite a unique idea.  The owner writes one line per day, then when he/she starts again next year they can read back on last year’s lines.  And so on, for five years, like a drive-thru diary?  (Tip: again this is cheaper on Amazon than Urban Outfitters. )

The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne – 3:01 minutes in
With another Star Warms film out you may know some diehard science-fiction loving fans out there.  This is supposedly not fiction I know, but it would suit anyone who bloody loves space, black holes and all the rest of it.  Foreword by Christopher Nolan too!

A 3 month Audible gift voucher – 4:03 minutes in
Finally for my Dad, who has a full-time driving job.  He likes to read books but can’t read when he’s driving (obviously).  He’s gone through all the audiobooks in our local library so I thought this would be a great gift for him.  It could also be good for podcast lovers who have long commutes.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Unifiant – 5:09 minutes
Enough with the Christmas gifts now!  Did you really think I’d make a New Purchases Show & Tell December 2016 series without buying anything for myself?  La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo is like a serum.  It clears up acne, blemishes and keeps them way at bay, trust me.  I had a sample and declare it a godsend.  Now, however, they’ve added this to a tinted moistruiser – I think all my skincare prayers have been answered!

ASOS Short Turn Up Pom Beanie / Flight tickets to Edinburgh – 6:02 minutes in
Mine and David’s main presents for each other for Christmas were flight tickets/a mini-holiday!  I can’t believe we haven’t thought of this before because we love traveling and getting away.  We decided on Edinburgh and watching some vlogs on YouTube it quickly become apparent how cold it is up there.  Hence this comfy ASOS hat.

So I fulfilled my promise of bringing you this blog post a bit early, in case you need any last minute gift inspiration.

Let me know if I have inspired you in the comments below and as always please leave any recommendations.  Until next year!

I have not been asked, sponsored or paid to review any of these products.  I just like to shop!

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