Friday, June 20, 2008

Parisian ways ... Metro and cuisine

The Paris Metro has a distinct advantage over London's Tube: the Metro doesn't run very deep.

Carting Littl'un (and our cases) around Paris, we appreciate the access improvements that the city are making to the Metro.

Some stations have working escalators, some even lifts. However a number have lifts up to the main concourse, but still steps up to street level!

And some major stations like Gare du Nord have broken escalators, no lifts, and just bump-bump-bump steps down to certain platforms. Though we're thankful for helpful passers-by who volunteer to lift the front of the buggy while the other one of us carries the cases up and down.

Whatever its faults, the Metro is miles more accessible than the Tube will ever manage to be in the next five years. And the Paris bus service is very reliable, very regular - and unsurprisingly - very well used.

Getting a decent cup of tea is a real problem. Thé au lait was served yesterday with hot tea and hot milk .... yuck! Tonight, lait froid was provided, and the tea tasted divine. Thank you Holiday Inn!

Though payback for the decent cup'o'tea was the profiteroles. Served with fromage frais not chocolate? Sounded ok.

Profiteroles ... sounds a little different ... Profiteroles de fromage frais aux fruits secs / Fresh cheese profiteroles with dry fruits

Picture what arrived - I'll add the photo when I get back home. Update - done!

Profiteroles, with cheese and lettuce

Three profiteroles, stuffed with cottage cheese. And on the side, a square dish of lettuce. No cream. No ice cream. Not even anything sweet. Hardly deserved to be on the dessert menu! But at least the tea was wonderful.

We'd a lovely lunch yesterday in a tiny backstreet restaurant near St Michael. Tonight we called into a bar near the hotel with a Parisian friend. There was a menu on the door, and Littl'un was hungry.

Him: "Sorry, only thing on the [proper] menu tonight is steak et frites"

Us: "Ok"

Five minutes later. "Actually, too late for steak."

Me: "Hot dog and chips?"

Him "Yes."

Fifteen minutes later, enormous hot dog with a sprinkling of cheese over it arrives.

Me: "Des frites?"

Him: "Ah non. Too late. Enjoy your meal."

For the record the Croque Monsieur avec salade was lacking anything green!

Not great for a gastro-pub that advertised meals all day long.

So our brush with French cuisine has its good and bad points. Though the Quick! burger chain do lovely meaty burgers and the salad equivalent of chips is enormous and very edible.

Tomorrow we head down to Valence on the TGV for 24 hours.

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