For years I have been dreaming of going to Paris. Ever since I started Aurora Belle and mastered my first French macaron, I knew I had to visit France. So needless to say that once I booked a trip to London I had to fit in a trip to Paris (there was no way I was going to be so close and not go there). All of my friends and family expressed major concerns for my travel to Paris, being the fact that the terrorist attacks had just occurred in the city less than a week prior. But I knew that nothing was going to stand in my way. So without any hesitation I made my dream come true last November. My trip was everything I dreamed of and more…I was asked out on a date by a Frenchman, enjoyed the French architecture, learned how to make French croissants, stayed with a French family, ate my way through the city, and finally got to savor a French macaron in Paris!
I’ve always heard the term ‘love at first sight’ but never actually experienced the feeling until I got to Paris. It was instantaneous; as soon as I stepped foot off the train at Gare du Nord I knew that it was where I was meant to be. I had taken one of the first trains out from London in the morning (I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so anxious). It did not matter that I was functioning on 3 hours of sleep, I was going to make the most of my two days in the ‘City of Lights’.
I had so many things I wanted to do and see: the sights, the spirits and the food. As I exited the train station in the rain, I jumped on a sightseeing tour bus and I was off on my Parisian adventure. I got to see all of the main attractions: the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, The Louvre, Cathedral Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. But the most important thing on my list was to indulge in all of the French food delicacies. Surprisingly I found it quite difficult to find time to eat during my sightseeing travels. However, I did make sure that I stopped by Pierre Herme to try his macarons since he has been my inspiration and the reason why I’m in business today. I now can attest that my French macarons do indeed taste like the ones I’ve eaten in Paris…which makes me quite proud!
My second day in the city was all about the food; I booked a pastry class and walking food tour (it was quite the busy day but definetly worth it). The food in Paris is absolutely amazing and nothing like I’ve ever experienced in the states. The food tour took us through the Marais neighborhood to a boulangerie, chocolatier, fromagerie, charcuterie, spice shop and wine shop. Everything was so fresh and tasted so rich. I still dream about the creamy butter, delicious cheeses, melt in your mouth caramels, robust chocolates and let’s not forget about the wine. I tried pate for the first time (it wasn’t my favorite but I was open to it). I must say that the highlight of my trip was the French pastry class that I took in Montmarte. I learned how to make the classic butter croissant as well as pain au chocolate which were heavenly…they literally melted in my mouth! I ended up hitting it off with the chef/owner of the school and have remained in contact with her since I’ve returned home.
I literally could not stop smiling the entire time I was in Paris (except when I got lost and walked aimlessly in the rain at night). But even when I was lost I felt alright, because I found the people to be so friendly and helpful. Although I was only in Paris for two short days I tried to make the most of my time while I was there. I really think it was the happiest I have been in a very long time and I’m ready to go back. I cannot wait for my return, there are so many more things I want to do and eat. Paris spoke to my soul and I intentionally left my heart there so that I can one day return to retrieve it with the love of my life…dreams do come true!