Saturday, July 11, 2015

Paris: L'Arpege

creamed vegetable tart

carrot, spinach and beetroot puree tarts

beet sushi with fig leaf

black truffle, buckwheat waffle

vegetable ravioli, tomato consumee

salad, red onion, walnut sauce, parmesan

cevennes white onion gratin with black truffles

peas veloute with whipped creme chantilly


cous cous, semolina, vegetable sausage

dover sole with mushrooms and white wine sauce

roasted chicken in hay

comte cheese

Tarte aux Pommes “Bouquet de Roses”

vanilla macaron, chocolates with macadamia, and petits choux

This post is way overdue. We had our lunch tasting at L'Arpege over a year ago. Of all the meals during our European trip, L'Arpege put us in a food coma. I had to cancel our reservation at Pierre Gagnaire a few days later since we could no longer take on another tasting. I thought I paced our tasting menus per city but I think our stomachs couldn't handle the richness of French cuisine. 

So good, so full.

The best bang for your buck in Paris is having tastings during lunch rather than at dinner. You can expect dinner prices to be nearly twice as much. The Parisians are also very generous with their servings. Can't decide if you want the fish or chicken? Why not have both! The waiters are more than willing to accommodate your request. 

84 Rue de Varenne
75007 Paris, France
+33 1 47 05 09

Versailles, France: Palace of Versailles

Courtyard of Honour

Royal Courtyard

Royal Gate

The Latona Fountain and Parterre


Hall of Mirrors

Grand Trianon

Petit Trianon

A few years ago, a former boss advised me that if I ever take a trip to Paris, I have to go to Versailles. I had a general inkling of the place but I never thought about researching it. When Hubs and I arrived at the Palace of Versailles, it didn't occur to me this place would be massive. The property spans 17 acres! There is no way you can walk around the entire property without renting a golf cart. There is a mini train that takes you from the palace through the gardens to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon.

The area I wish to return to is the Hameau de la Reine (also known as the Queen's Hamlet). During our visit, it has not been restored and was deteriorating quickly. The hamlet was a faux farming village where it allowed Marie-Antoinette to escape the responsibilities of court life. It was believed she enjoyed dressing as a young shepherdess and acting like a peasant while being surrounded by the comforts of the royal lifestyle. Marie-Antoinette was a spoiled brat so it wasn't a surprise that she was beheaded during the French Revolution. The palace was amazing but it was over-the-top for a period of upheaval of the country's political landscape.

Recommendations and tips:
  1. Buy tickets in advanced and arrive early. Expect to spend the whole day on site.
  2. During the high season, expect high attendance. I recommend visiting the Gardens and the Palaces of Trianon first before visiting the main Palace.
  3. Rent a golf cart to roam around the gardens.
  4. There is a Laduree on-site near the exit of the Palace.
  5. Large baggage is not permitted on the premise. Bags are searched/x-rayed and visitors must pass through metal detectors prior to entering the palace.
  6. Tickets are not required to visit the Gardens.

Palace of Versailles
Place d'Armes
78000 Versailles, France