WE AT Ivory Toweress have spent the first part of 2008 in Paris. This was our first time to rent an apartment, and highly recommend it for those planning a visit to the City of Lights. It has been nearly a year and a half since we were here last, and the first time to visit since the new smoking ban has been in place. Although we are no fan of cigarettes, there is something downright disturbing about sitting in a brasserie without the prevalent smell of smoke. Oh well, our lungs will be better for it. Another apparent trend in Euro travel, we were given no customs landing cards upon arriving at CDG airport. No idea if landing cards are on the permanent out for travelers into the EU.
THE FOOD was simply magnificent. We visited old standards, such as Left Bank's Brasserie Balzar and Right Bank's Benoit, and some newer places (or, at least new to us), such as Au fil des Saisons and Les Fous d'en Face. Because we rented an apartment and had a kitchen, we also got to take full advantage of the fresh food available at the markets and bakeries.
HIGH TEA in Paris was simply wonderful. Our apartment was located across from one of Paris' most famous tea establishments, Mariage Freres. Mariage Freres offers a full tea service, and all things in between. Importantly for Ivory Toweress, it boasts a massive collection of first and second flush Darjeelings--three of which we had occasion to try, along with one Assam variety.
WE DID a bit of touring; however, Musee Picasso, one of the top places on our list, is closed until 17 January. We attended a service at Notre Dame, made a day trip to Versailles, and explored other traditional sites.
We will post photos when we arrive home. Au Revoir!