Monday, May 24, 2010

Paris Scavenger Hunt

It's not always easy to figure things out when I don't live in Paris, but with the help of friends, Spotted by Locals, Hip Paris, My Little Paris and lots of scavenging on the net, I found some wonderful locales that really enabled me to make this a very memorable trip.

Stefan first discovered several clues the night before we left to celebrate his birthday. I snuck them into his closet, so he'd find them while packing. They gave him an idea that we were going to depart on an adventure and what types of things he should pack.

Periodically throughout the trip I would give him new clues, so there was always something to surprise him.

Many of the clues were food oriented. We sampled what was voted the best baguette of 2010, chocolates from the finest chocolatier, chocolate mousse, cake, ice cream, macarons, champagne, wine... there was definitely a lot of celebrating, but it was tons of fun and thankfully over several days.

We also did a taste test to find the best macarons.

We both agreed that it really was no contest, though.

Here's a list of Ladurée flavors, and they had beautiful colors, however the Pierre Hermé macarons were much more creative and delicious - here is a list of their flavors. (Apologies that those from Pierre Hermé don't look the best... they traveled with us to London before I took photos).

I don't even think I could pick a favorite out of those from Pierre Hermé. They are worth the trip to Paris (or Tokyo! - remember that love affair between the two cities?).

We also went to the restaurant where Amélie worked in Montmartre and sampled some of her crème brûlée, which was not only good, but also inexpensive.

Others clues were to offbeat destinations - the koi pond at the UNESCO world headquarters, a visit to Lady Liberty, a stop at Theo Van Gogh's house, where Vincent lived for a couple years, and a quintessential stop at the 'I Love You' wall.

We did a few other special things... however they deserve their very own post, which I'm working on.

If you are looking to create your own special tour around the city here are a few recommended places to start:

David Lebovitz
Paris Vacation Rentals
Cook'n with Class
Sacred Destinations
Movie Locations
Patrick Roger Chocolates
I love you wall

TOURS
If you are short on time you may want to do a tour (I didn't take any of these, so I can't comment on them, but they looked interesting)
Context Travel
Eye Prefer Paris Tours
Paris Original Strolls
Bike About Paris
Girls Guide to Paris
Da Vinci Code Paris

RESTAURANTS, FOOD, + NIGHT LIFE
Lux Eat
Joël Robuchon
La Grande Epicerie
Restaurant Hiramatsu
Pierre Gagnaire
Les Ombres
White Room
hidden kitchen
Ô Chateau
The Box
Pavillion Ledoyen
Chez Janou
Restaurant 1728
Ze Kitchen Galerie
Spoon
Ozu

8 comments:

Emily said...

Emily, you are such a good wife. Great idea! I'm sure Stefan had the time of his life.

CraftyRachel said...

What an awesome idea. I love it! One summer I lived just down the rue Lepic, a few blocks from the café featured in Amélie. Still one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city.

Where was the best baguette, btw? We always splurged the extra 5 centimes for Keyser, but I wonder if they're going the way of Ladurée - too well-known for their own good. Looking forward to the rest!

Emily said...

Your tips always help so much, Rachel. I still have them filed away. That neighborhood is awesome.

The baguette was from Le Grenier à Pain... we went to the Montmartre location. I'm sure there are plenty worth trying. I just need a trip back!

Loddelina said...

WOw, you are a five star planner!

My hubby's birthday is coming up, it won't be Paris for us but I might borrow some of the ideas from you...

Emily said...

Loddelina...
You'll have to let me know how it goes! It's definitely a lot of fun - and great to watch the day unravel.

JoernandAllison said...

That is an incredible idea Emily! I can't imagine all the planning that went into this smashing trip though! Its hard enough to plan a simple weekend away.
Thank you for putting so many tips on your blog. We're both anxious to get back to Paris, and would love to check out some of the spots you mentioned! We always Google cities and movies before we go on vacation. We kind of have a James Bond location thing going when we travel :) You are so creative!

JoernandAllison said...

PS. Pierre Herme is definately going on my list of places to visit when I go back! Mmm....Macarons!

Bluefish said...

I loved Laduree's macarons and I even tried some at Angelina as well. Your trips are always so interesting and a lot of fun to read too!