Paris in the Summer

From warm sunny mornings, to crisp rainy afternoons… there’s nothing quite as refreshing as Paris in the summer. On a weekly basis, my husband and I share a meal together, just the 2 of us, and we did this all day, everyday, in the city of love. Whether it was over duck confit and wine, or crepes and coffee, a place to sit and hold hands after a day of walking through the sights made our trip what it was – a time to just be with each other.

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DAY 1

Lunch

A staple stop for travelers and locals alike is Le Relais de l’Entrecote. They come for the sirloin, but return for the special sauce and the familiarity. Me? I was blown away by the simple yet complex desserts, done immaculately.

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Salade aux Noix

Steak Frites

Entrecote A Point

Le Vacherin d ‘ete

Le Vacherin d ‘ete

Relais Profiteroles

Relais Profiteroles

Pre Dinner

After a leisurely stroll in Saint-Germain, we did a quick stop in the street’s gorgeous corner Les Deux Magots cafe. There, we sampled their simple salad of iceberg lettuce, ham, chicken, cheese, tomato and hard boiled eggs, dressed in a mustard vinaigrette.

Salade Deux Magots

Salade Deux Magots

Dinner

I was recommended to come to Babylone Bis past 9pm because it is open late, and told emphatically that I must try the African chicken. Tender quarters of grilled bone in chicken in African spices, served with rice, fried plantains and a myriad of excellent sauces. This was easily one of the best dishes I had in all of Europe.

African Chicken platter

African Chicken platter

 

DAY 2

Breakfast

Why come to France and not have delicate crepes? In Ar Poul Gwen we had one savory and one sweet, which made for the perfect start to the day.

Fromage

Fromage

Nutella

Nutella

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Lunch

Cafe du Marche is quaint little cafe on Rue Cler street. Known for its confit de canard, which is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, we decided this would be a nice little lunch spot before lying in the gardens by the Eiffel Tower.

A little spritz before the meal

A little spritz before the meal

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

More steak... at a perfect medium rare. And the potatoes were fantastic

More steak… at a perfect medium rare. And the potatoes were fantastic

Dinner

There was something about eating in the Champs-Elysees L’Atelier Etoile de Joel Robuchon that felt very sexy…  Perhaps it was the fun bar seating, or the red and black interiors… Or maybe it was every superb course that kept making it’s way to us. Either way, it was a lovely meal.

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ADDRESS GUIDE

Le Relais de l’Entrecote

15 Rue Marbeuf

Les Deux Magots

6 Place Saint-Germain des Pres

Babylone Bis

34 Rue Tiquetonne

Ar Poul Gwen

11 Rue Etienne Marcel

Café du Marche

38 Rue Cler

L’Atelier Etoile de Joel Robuchon

Publicic Drugstore, 133 av. Des Champs-Elysees

 

A Last Look – Barcelona

Truly one of my favorite cities, I wanted to share some of my favorite spots with all of you.

You can’t help but feel inspired as you walk these streets… Everywhere you look, there is a beautiful structure, just sitting in the hustle and bustle, becoming a part of everyone’s history, just as it had for decades past. You cannot help but stop and revel in the magnificence of your surroundings.

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo – building designed by Gaudi

Correos y Telegrafos - even the post office is a sight to behold

Correos y Telegrafos – even the post office is a sight to behold

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Sagrada Familia

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Beautiful intersections

La Boqueria

One of my favorite things to do is go around to the different markets and the one I favored most was La Boqueria for their fresh produce, fruit juices, and little food stalls where you could sit and have wine, tapas and jamon.

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Ceramics

This is probably what I wanted to take home the most. Lovely and vibrant patterns and prints make for the perfect kitchen and table accessories.

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Treats

I treated myself to somethings over there that are a little out of the ordinary – a night out at the theatre, giant fabada beans to bring home to Manila, as well as some herbs for home cooking, and of course, desserts at all times of the day. From ice cream and pastries to churros con xocolate, and my absolute favorite sweet ending… The Gaufre.

I was able to catch the Spanish version of my all time favorite musical Les Miserables

I was able to catch the Spanish version of my all time favorite musical Les Miserables

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My Tia Lulu

I stayed with my grandmother’s very elegant and sassy baby sister. The youngest of 4 women, she is energetic and full of life. I miss this woman every day and she truly made our stay in Barcelona unforgettable.

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Paella Please

Today, the one word probably most directly associated with Spanish cuisine is tapas. But in my youth, there was nothing more symbolic of a Spanish meal than Paella. Filipinos are no strangers to this dish as its main ingredient is a pantry staple – rice. But more than that, it serves as a tradition in countless households.

Sampling many Paellas from different spots definitely completed our Barcelona trip. Here, I share some of my favorite ones.

BARCELONETA

One of the many seaside tables at Barceloneta

One of the many seaside tables at Barceloneta

A gorgeous spot by the ocean, Barceloneta is one of the most memorable restaurants we went to. Asides from the food being exceptional, the ambiance was a constant reminder that we were on vacation. Its menu is catered to a more continental customer, incorporating tapas with mainstream dishes that were elevated. From salads and ceviches, soups, and of course, a variation of rice plates (paella) and fideos, it was difficult to choose what to order. We finally made our selection, and nothing that came to the table disappointed. But more than anything, I can still taste the seafood paella – rice that felt like it had been simmering in the freshest seafood broth forever – saying this was a memorable lunch would be an understatement.

Steamed Rock Mussels

Mejillones de Roca al Vapor (Steamed Rock Mussels)

Calamarcitos a la Plancha

Calamarcitos a la Plancha (Grilled Squid)

Ensalada de Ventresca de Bonito y Cebolla Tierna

Ensalada de la Casa con Bonito (Green Salad with Tuna)

Paella Moll del Rellotge (Fish and Seafood)

Paella Moll del Rellotge (Fish and Seafood)

A closer look...

A closer look…

The sweetest mini strawberries in this cream roll

Postre – The sweetest mini strawberries in this cream roll

Enjoying our seafood lunch by the ocean

Enjoying our seafood lunch by the ocean

 

XATIVA ARROSSERIA

Xativa specializes in their paellas, making use of rice and fideuas  – a very thin and short noodle which soaks up the flavors and juices just as well as rice does. Also a standout, when it came to this national treasure, it is a place I will always return to when traveling to Barcelona.

To start - Pan con Tomate topped with...

To start – Pan con Tomate topped with…

Jamon Iberico

Jamon Iberico

Paella de Cebolla Ecologica Caramelizada Melosa (Caramelixed Organic Onion Paella - Creamy Rice)

Paella de Cebolla Ecologica Caramelizada Melosa (Caramelixed Organic Onion Paella – Creamy Rice)

Fideua con Gambas, Almejas, Sepia y Calamar con Alioli (Fideua Noodles with Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Clams, and Squid and a Garlic Oil Sauce)

Fideua con Gambas, Almejas, Sepia y Calamar con Alioli (Fideua Noodles with Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Clams, and Squid and a Garlic Oil Sauce)

To soak up the juices...

To soak up the juices…

A very happy hubby

A very happy hubby

Las Ramblas Everyday

My favorite Barcelona days were spent taking the train into Las Ramblas. My husband and I would get lost in the streets and shops and beautiful little alleys. But somehow, being true to our tropical heritage, we always ended up by the Ocean.

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Lunch

Sagas is a modern and interesting fusion restaurant in Rambla. It is one of the few places that creates little bites (pintxos), taking flavors from across the continents, infusing their style of eating with different cuisines. You will see we ordered a few Spanish staples, but also sampled their Chinese pork buns, and classic Caesar salad. I loved the outdoor seating, which allowed us to bask in the warm sun and enjoy the bright energy of one of Barcelona’s most popular destinations.

Still water and sparkling Cava

Still water and sparkling Cava

Complimentary olives to start

Complimentary olives to start

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Pork Buns

Pork Buns

Sobrassada en Bikini

Sobrassada en Bikini

Llonganissa de cal Rovira

Llonganissa de cal Rovira

Xocolata, Oli y Sal

Xocolata, Oli y Sal

Outdoor seating at Sagas

Outdoor seating at Sagas

Dinner

One of the more well – known tapas bars in Barcelona is Tapas 24. The trendy bistro is a hotspot amongst locals and tourists alike. Known for their version of the ‘bikini’ sandwich (Barcelona’s grilled ham and cheese, usually with a jamon of some sort), as well as the Mc Foie (a mini burger with Foie Gras), there is always a line with quite a wait. But it is well worth the wait, if not just for the food and wine, but for the atmosphere and enjoyable vibe as well.

Mc Foie

Mc Foie

Foie Gras Topping

Foie Gras Topping

Bikini Comerc 24

Bikini Comerc 24

Ous Estrellats amb Botifarra de Perol

Ous Estrellats amb Botifarra de Perol

Xipirons

Xipirons

Al Fresco dining in the hip Tapas 24

Al Fresco dining in the hip Tapas 24