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Happy New Year 2009 & Paris!

Travel

Happy New Year 2009 & Paris!

First of all, Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are now in 2009! Another 12 months ahead of us again! My holiday has long over! It ended 5 days ago. The time that I spent outside of London just seemed to fly too quickly compared to the time that I have to spend at work! Even though I have to accept this fact unwillingly, I have to say that my Christmas this year was fantastic!

We spent 4 days in Paris! This time there, it was all about shopping! We were really in the mood for shopping and had spent our time wisely in some nicest shopping spots in Paris.

I have to admit that Paris is a better place to shop compared to London as there seems to be more shops that sell decent and pretty clothes! I love those from the boutiques but they tend to be more expensive! Also, the size tends to suit me better compared to UK sizes. I have got some good address to share if you plan a shopping spree in Paris. Some of them are:

  • Rue de Buci (75006, Saint-Germain)
  • Rue du Four (75006,  Saint-Germain)
  • Rue du Rennes (75006, Saint-Germain)
  • Rue de Sevres (75006, Saint-Germain)
  • Rue Dauphine (75006, Saint-Germain)
  • Cherche Midi (75006, Saint-Germain)
  • Bvld des Capusines (75009, Opéra)
  • Avenue des Champs Elysees (75008, Champs Elysees)
  • Rue St Croix de la Bretonnerie(75004, Le Marais)
  • Rue des Franc Bourgeois (75004, Le Marais)

Now that the exchange rate for British Pounds to Euro is less interesting, I had to really watch my wallet not to overspend! I went to a few shops that like Genevieve Lethu and La Vaisselerie which you will like as much as I do if you love kitchen props! Thanks to Bea from La Tartine Gourmande for these addresses. They are indeed now my favourite shops! If I lived in Paris, I would probably need to have a store room for my collections!!

Of course, food is always on the agenda! We wanted to go to Chez l’Ami Jean – a restaurant that serves Basque, Southwestern French food, which apparently is really good. Unfortunately, it was closed for when we were there. So, this will be an excuse for us to go to Paris next time!

One day, we both sat down at a Brasserrie, we looked at the menu and decided on the same dish – poulet rôti fermier (roast chicken). Yum.. so so delicious! I love roast chicken. The chicken was so tender, juicy and full of flavours.. just too good! It was served with purée de pommes de terre (potato puree) and some salad leaves – simple yet really good! It’s difficult to get this kind of food in London, trust me!

Now, I have never been to the Chinatown (quartier Chinois) in Paris in any of my previous trips! I wondered how it looked like. I was quite disappointed as I couldn’t really tell it’s a Chinatown as there’s nothing to signify it as Chinatown. Well, they should at least build a Chinese Arch to recognise it as Chinatown. However, I have to admit that the Chinatown in Paris is bigger than in London! We went to try out the food of one South East Asian restaurant that specializes in Vietnamese, Thai, and Laotian cuisine. This restaurant was featured on Le Figaro (a French newspaper), so we thought we would try!

The restaurant is called Lao Lane Xang 2 (102 Ave d’Ivry in the 13th, Paris). I can see why it was featured on Le Figaro. It has modern design compared to others. Table settings and the ambience in the restaurant are quite well thought to suit the taste of Parisiens. It’s not like a lot of Chinese restaurants that make you think they need touch-ups and refurbishing. I think the trend of  having modern and sleek-looking Asian restaurants has mushroomed in London (for eg Yauatcha). But, in France, I believe there are still opportunities to develop. We ordered a lunch menu, which was pretty cheap, about €12 for the following, with a bowl of white rice.

1) Vietnamese Papaya Salad

2) Lemongrass and Coriander Stir-Fry Chicken

3) Vietnamese Deep Fried Spring Rolls

We didn’t give Ladurée a miss! We needed a break for afternoon tea with some macarons after a long day of shopping! There was a long queue at the Ladurée in Champs Elysees. We were told that we had to wait for 40 minutes. We couldn’t wait, we were then told that we could go straight to Ladurée Bar, it’s got nice ambience plus we didn’t want to wait for 40 minutes for a cup of tea, some macarons and some time to relax and enjoy. 🙂

After our 4-day stay in Paris, we departed for Le Mans. It takes a little less than an hour from Paris by TGV. This part of our holiday was very much relaxed and it’s all about spending quality of time with the family and enjoying good food.

For Christmas eve’s dinner, we started with a bottle of champagne and some petit fours salésPetit fours salés are bite-sized salted appetizers and are usually served as part of apéritif (apéritif is an alcoholic drink that is usually served to stimulate the appetite before meal). We had so much of food that we were full by 10-ish and then watching TV while the clock was ticking away. We had to wait till midnight to open our presents!

 Avocado mousse and shrimps verrine

Foie Gras, Blinis, and Onion Chutney

Prawns and Smoked Salmon

Seabass and Sweet Potato Purée

La Buche de Noël (Yule Log)

The next day, we had Christmas lunch. I promise myself that I need to lose weight after all these! So, this is really one of my resolutions for 2009! 🙂 Overall, it was a great Christmas and a short break in France that I always love! 🙂

18 Comments

  • Pepy says:

    Ha! It’s quite weird, I had a Vietnamese series for my New Year Finger food. A Vietnamese Salad Rolls and Barbecued Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane.

    Happy New Year!

  • Lots and lots of truly beautiful photographs.

    I hope you’ve had a great new year!

  • Pepy,
    Happy New Year to you too! Vietnamese Salad Rolls and BBQ Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane – are both yummy! They are great starters!

    Scott,
    Thank you, Scott! I have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Still need to get my brain synced to 2009!!

  • Bren says:

    ooh you should never short yourself of celebrating the full 12 days of Christmas which ends not until the 6th! Lovely pictures!
    Happy New Year!

  • on…it’s so beautiful taken…wish I’m in Paris now! Happy New Year to you and family..Looking forward to your posting 2009!

  • limpepsi says:

    I have never been to Paris.So I will take note your reccomendations! Thank you!

  • Gertrude says:

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Looking foward to more of your yummy posting in 2009.

  • Bren,
    You are right! Thank you for your comment! Happy New Year to you too!

    beachloverkitchen,
    Thank you! I wish I could go back to Paris now too.. hehehe.. I will definitely do more postings!

    limpepsi,
    You should visit Paris! It’s a lovely city – good for food, shopping…. and lots more!

    Gertrude,
    Happy New Year to you too! I will have more yummy postings definitely!!

  • Sefa says:

    Happy New Year!
    You are not only a good in photographing food, but landscape as well.

  • Kevin says:

    Happy new year!

  • Ai Leng Choo says:

    Leemei:

    It is a happy new year for me to find your website and to view your beautiful photographs. Enjoyed browsing through your site, which was recommended in an article about curry noodles in the New York Times today, Jan. 7. Like you, I enjoy eating and cooking and general photography. Thanks for creating such a lovely web site.
    Best,
    Ai Leng
    New York

  • Sefa,
    Happy New year to you too! Thank you for your comment! I still have a lot to learn in landscape photography! 🙂

    Kevin,
    Happy New Year to you too!

    Ai Leng,
    Happy New Year to you! Thank you for your kind words! I am thrilled on the article on NY Times! 🙂 Stay tuned for more scrumptious recipes!

  • Sefa says:

    Hmmm I thought you are good enough in landscape photography. Love your night photos in this post.

    Btw, I forgot to tell you that I link your blog in mine.

  • lk says:

    I love Paris too esp the food and the architecture of the buildings. Your food photos are making me drooling now. Happy New Year to you!

  • Sefa,
    Thank you again! 🙂 I am really pleased! Thank you for adding me to your blogroll too!

    lk,
    I agree with you. Paris is really a lovely city! hehe, I, myself also drool when I am hungry when I look at what I had!
    Happy New Year to you too!

  • dapan says:

    Happy New Year!

  • Rick Bouwman says:

    I so like your blog — I am Australian but have lived here in London for 20 yrs+: I’m still looking for a good Malaysian place, there used to be one in Kentish Town — also I love Maggi Assam Laksa, a quick lunch, added with bean sprouts, sliced chilli and spring onions: I have had the original in Penang, and loved it people say it is an acquired taste, but I acquired it straight away! anyway keep it up, love looking up your recipes and thoughts
    Best
    Rick

  • My Cooking Hut says:

    dapan,
    Happy New Year to you too!!

    Rick,
    Thanks for dropping by and your comment! Apparently, there is one great Malaysian place – ‘Malaysia Kopitiam’ in Chinatown. They serve typical Malaysian dishes! You may want to give it a try!

    Assam Laksa is one of my favourite. The only thing that it takes quite some time to prepare some scratch! However, I plan to cook it from scratch one day like my mom always does!

    I am quite surprised that you like assam laksa – as I usually have the thought that ‘yes, it’s an acquired taste!’ But, you seem to like what most Malaysians do!

    Stay tuned for more recipes on My Cooking Hut.

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