“We always returned to Paris no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it.”
—Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
In order to get ready for Pairs, I’m re-reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Our April in Paris group is going to some of the very same places he frequented in the 1920s, and our hotel is right in the heart of Montparnasse, the center of Parisian intellectual and artistic life during the early part of the twentieth century.
Just off the plane from San Francisco, but Paris already has us slightly giddy and somewhat alert. After checking in at Les Six, our first stop is for two café crèmes at Café de Flore. And somehow between checking out the nonchalant chic, I manage to spot an ATM across the street that’s next to a Caron boutique! John has the good sense to buy a bottle of my favorite perfume, and we drift back to the hotel in a cloud of divine fragrance.
The next day our group assembles, and we all enjoy a glass of Champagne before our first dinner together. Introductions are made, and we take a very pleasant walk to the legendary Les Deux Magots where we enjoy a fantastic dinner with superb wine. Highlights of the next few days include our visits to the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Pompidou. Our cooking class is a blast — chef Eric is hilarious and at the same time a seriously ambitious chef. We love buying ingredients at the market, learning to filet a fish, making ratatouille and a white chocolate mousse with strawberries. We feast on what we cooked in class at a table overlooking the Seine and Notre Dame. Of course, it’s one of our best meals—something you’ve cooked yourself always tastes best! And then there are our meals at Café Marly, Les Éditeurs, Cuisine de Bar, Restaurant Georges, and after an enchanting walk over Pont Alexandre III (the Alexander III bridge) for an astounding meal on the terrace of the Mini Palais. We really haven’t been at a loss for incredible food all week. And to put things over the top, there’s blissfully warm weather and a nearly full moon! What an experience, what an amazing week! Come join our April in Paris group next year!