Today, Sunday, May 15th, we started off with a foodie’s tour of Paris. We left for the area of St. Germaine de Pres, which is the gastronomic center of Paris. Our day started with a guided tasting at Un Dimanche á París (a Sunday in Paris), where we sampled olive oils, macarons, tapenade and single origin chocolates. This restaurant, cooking school, and tasting facility was first opened about six years ago. Jim’s cousin, Kathy Donovan, treated us to dinner here when we visited about five years ago. The signature element of all the items on the menu is cacao, which they use in infinitely creative dishes. Jim and I were happy to return. Yum!
Then we walked through St. Germain de Pres, window shopping and visiting a street market. We also made a brief stop at the cathedral of St. Sulpice, made famous in the Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. The highlight of our morning, though, was a a pastry cooking class at Lenôtre, where we learned to make macarons. The cooking school, located right on the Champs Elysées, is a marvel, and they broke us up into very small classes for our instruction. Our class was assigned the task of making raspberry macarons, and we had a blast. However, even with expert guidance, I don’t think our finished product met the standards of perfection which prevail throughout Paris.
After the class, Jim and I walked back from the Champs Elysées, to our hotel, and had a very pleasant lunch in the lobby. After such a couple of active days, we were happy to have a relaxing afternoon, and to get ready to leave tomorrow for our cruise down the Rhône river. First stop — Lyon, gastronomic center of France.