My very Parisian week

The past week that just gone by had been utterly enjoyable. I really feel like Paris had been spoiling me with so many activities but left me with not much time to blog about them separately so here are the low-downs of my last 7 days which was filled with a lot of good food, meetings with amazing people, art exhibition, celebrating Chinese New Year, lots of strollings and my first French argument where I felt very French (because I spoke French haha)

Les Cocottes

Les Cocottes is my go-to place whenever I have overseas visitors and every person I've taken there, loved it. The owner, Christian Constant, owns 2 other restaurants on the same street and each of these three is just 2 doors away from the other, divided by style and price range but they are all great. The one dish that I will always recommend from Les Cocottes is the langoustine ravioli (shown in the picture below).

So when Jackie told me she's never been to Les Cocottes, I took this chance to get to know her more and learn about her journey in Paris plus it's my turn to do the ordering on her behalf. We spent the evening with great food and shared a bottle of white wine. Jackie is a current MBA student focusing on luxury brand management at the prestigious Essec Business School. She gave me a lot of insight into her study program and what it consisted of (lots hard work!) and I learnt many interesting facts about luxury brands.

Eiffel Tower

Since the restaurant is situated so close to the Eiffel Tower, it only makes it easier to give ourselves a reason to walk off dinner whilst waiting for the light show.

Van Cleef & Arpels on 22 Place Vendôme

I visited the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs. It was such a fascinating experience to see a vast collection of these coveted jewels under one roof, learning about the history of this highly influential empire and admiring (with dropped jaw) the magnificent crown of Princess Charlene of Monaco. I should let you know that I give myself a pat on the back when I do at least one art-related activity per week. The above is a photograph of Van Cleef & Arpels first store in Paris which has opened since 1906.

Lunch date with Daisy de Plume

On the one day when the sky was unbelievably blue in Paris this week, I took a nice long walk and the day got even better when it came to lunchtime as I had a date with Daisy de Plume, the founder of THATLou and the organizer of my recent treasure hunt at Musee d’Orsay. She’s just as wonderful as I once described her to be and proved by our 2-hour lunch! (We had so much to talk about that we lost track of time) You can read more about this fantastic lady here and here.

My first angry experience – in French!

I visited Darty, a store that sells general appliances, to buy a hair curling iron. I found what I wanted to buy and was ready to pay for it and leave. After repeatedly demanding to 5 different staff in 3 different floors and 30 minutes of waiting, I got really impatient. So I took the display version of the hair curler I wanted which was attached to a huge square plastic holder, brought the whole thing to the cashier and said “I want to buy this”. The manager halted me and said “you can’t do that, put it back! And you must wait!” With all my furiousness, I responded, “No! I have waited for a long time, asked a lot people and no one came! I’m not going to wait anymore and I will also not put this back!” To my surprise, the guy turned his attitude 180 degrees and became very nice and polite. He took the hair curler display from my hands, walked me to a cashier, got me to pay then served me my new, boxed hair curler appliance. I walked out thinking “that’s interesting”.  Is that how the French operate?

My exam results

So I successfully spoke my mind out in French when frustrated but when it came to exam time, I get nervous and when exam results are out, I get scared to leave my bed. But it turned out I passed yay! and this called for a little celebration with great friends.

Rice & Fish Restaurant

Yummy prawns sushi at Rice & Fish (22 Rue Greneta 75002 Paris)

Comme à Lisbonne

And these delicious Portuguese tarts from Comme à Lisbonne.

Friday night comfort food

Friday night called for comfort food and I have Jackie now on speed dial haha. We went to Bon Mua Restaurant (36 Rue de Trévise 75009 Paris), which is officially my hiding place whenever I wanted my comfort food of Vietnamese grilled pork chops. The pork chops here are on par with I find in my usual Asian hunts in Sydney. I have high expectation when it comes to pork chops so trust me when I say it’s good.

Brunch at Ladurée

I’m a major fan of French toast and really wanted to try the ones from Ladurée. I was delighted when Faye said yes to another dessert date. She’s not sick of me yet! I only have the nicest things to say about my French toast. It was fluffy, light and delicious and can see myself coming to Ladurée strictly for this specific item many times in the future. I can’t deny how pretty Ladurée is in all their presentation. Please click here to see Faye's post about our date and her thoughts on Ladurée's desserts.

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Saturday Strolls

After our delicious brunch, Faye and I continued to walk along Avenue des Champs-Élysées and turned into Rue Saint Honoré. It was such a lovely day and I was really glad to have such a cool, sweet and adorable companion with me.

Roberto Cavalli and Repetto

Happy Chinese New Year

Paris doesn’t have a designated “Chinatown” like most major cities. Any district which have a grouped area of Chinese residents, supermarkets and restaurants can be classified as “Chinatown”. I chose to visit Porte d’Italie in the 13th arrondissement as it seemed to be the most recommended area to see lively festivities. It warmed me to see abundance of red lanterns and people shopping to prepare for Chinese New Year's Feasts.

Raclette, French steamboat?

My friends from church kindly invited me over for a dinner feast of Raclette, which I can only describe as French steamboat but instead of using broth and seafood, we used lots and lots of cheese and can mix and match the types of cheese and toppings. It was a lot of fun! Dessert was raclette marshmallows and chocolate. What an amazing (French) way to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The Seine River

For the whole week, the water level of the Seine River had been really high. The cruise boats have stopped operating and you can't really walk alongside the river.

Okay that was a lot to recap in one week. As I said earlier, Paris had been spoiling me with the most enjoyable activities but it gives me the dilemma of not having enough time to update my blog more regularly. So here’s a collage of what I’ve been posting in my Instagram account and Facebook page from the past days. You are most welcomed to find me under “willsheloveparis” to get more regular updates.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you will have the most enjoyable week ahead.

Treasure Hunt At The Musée d’Orsay

Having lived in Paris for 6 months, you would think that I must have already visited at least a few museums. Nope. So I’m just going to put it out there. I am absolutely clueless when it comes to art. For me, tackling museums in Paris is a “must-do” but feels more of a chore than fun.

Well last night, this perspective changed thanks to my participation in Treasure Hunt at Musée d’Orsay – THATd’Or. This had been a private event hosted by AFMO’s Avant Garde and organized by Daisy de Plume, the founder of Treasure Hunt at the Louvre, more familiarly known as THATLou.

The rule of the hunt was actually simple albeit challenging. We were put into teams of 3-4 then given a map of the museum and a questionnaire which had 24 treasures with images and blocks of text giving insights into the actual work of arts. The goal is to see as many treasures as possible and prove it by filling in the date the art was acquired or who donated it.

Daisy built last night’s hunt on Motion and Movement theme so I mustn’t forget to mention some “bonus points” involved shamelessly demanding strangers to take our pictures while posing to resemble pieces of dancing arts.

What made this especially fun was how you couldn’t help become instinctively competitive. There’s this urge of wanting to race the others however there were A LOT of strict rulings: no running was allowed and your team must remain together at all times and not be more than 3 meters apart, oof! It was hard. I was panting by the time we had to return to checkpoint because we had gone up and down the 5 levels of the museum. Yet I was itching to go back up and around a bit more because my team didn’t manage to find all the treasures and you know what? I was furiously curious.

The team with the most points won tickets to the upcoming Easter treasure hunt at the Louvre. Alas my team didn’t win but still, I was left yearning to revisit the museum, complete the questionnaire AND to take my time looking at everything else which caught my attention during the hunt.

So has this experience changed my thoughts on museums? Yes! Did I have fun? Hells yes!

Not only did the hunt stimulate my artless soul, it also gave me more understanding of each treasure. It was also a great way to meet new people and realised I’m not the only clueless person in Paris.

I talked to Daisy during the post-hunt drinks and found her to be the most down-to-earth person you could ever imagine. Her humility was heart-warming and you couldn’t help but like her instantly. On top of that, she was extremely organised and I am grateful to be included in the program despite joining at the last minute.

Right now I’m busy stalking Daisy’s blog because I’m totally keen on participating in the next scheduled treasure hunt at the Louvre. If you can relate to me and are looking for more interesting way to visit museums, check out her site as well and see if it could be something for you.