GF in Paris

5 Oct

The last leg of our trip this summer was the one I was most anxious about. I had read about the French being difficult for others trying to eat GF. I did a bunch of research and had a whole spreadsheet of places that would be open in August and could be accommodating for a celiac and a vegetarian. Overall, I did not get sick AND I found my new passion….. le macaron.

We stayed in the 6th Arrondissement at the Relais Christine Hotel, which was in a great area and was quite charming. We walked around a bit when we arrived, stopping at Maisen Larnicol where I had my first macaron… salted caramel. It was love at first bite. For dinner, we walked to a place called Au Gourmand. As I was showing the waiter/manager my GF travel card in French, he explained to me that he was a Celiac as well (and lactose intolerant). I knew I was in good hands. He brought me GF bread (which was a bit crumbly but I wasn’t about to complain). He also brought out some truffle mashed potatoes when we were waiting for our dishes that was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe my luck… a Parisian celiac on the first night! After dinner, we walked back to our hotel neighborhood and got some gelato in a lively nook. The gelato place was called Amorino and seemed like quite the hot spot.

Looking down from the Eiffel Tower

For our first full day in Paris, we woke up early and had the hotel buffet breakfast. For me, this meant fruit and tea, but they also had meats, cheeses and yogurt that appeared GF. We decided to walk to the Eiffel Tower which was a bit of a hike. When we got there, we figured we might as well climb the stairs to get to the top. After descending, we walked to the Arc de Triumphe. Despite getting caught in the rain unprepared, it was an enjoyable walk. We then walked along the Champs d’ Elysees back in the direction of our hotel. By this time, we were getting hungry and cranky so we stopped to get lunch at Fauchon. They have prepared foods for purchase with window seating that overlooks Place de la Madeline. I had a very tasty risotto and a salad. After eating, we stopped in their shop next door for some macarons. We then walked back within the Jardin Tuileries and upon arriving at our hotel, crashed due to our tired legs.  Upon waking, we decided to walk around our neigborhood to find a dinner place. We decided on Cafe Buci, mostly due to the location. It was on a great people watching corner with a fantastic sounding jazzy, New Orleans-style band playing across the street. The food was pretty awful. I had steak but it was almost inedible. However, the ambiance was perfect. We then walked to see the Notre Dame lit up at night which was quite beautiful. After that, we called it a day.

The next morning marked one year since we got married in Santa Barbara. I understand we set the bar pretty high by having our first anniversary in Paris, but that is how I like to roll. We had breakfast at the hotel and then got an early start at the Louvre. It is a HUGE museum… we were there for a good 4 hours until we reached the point in which it was necessary to eat. We tried going to a place that was on my list called Biobia, but they were closed because it was Sunday. Instead, we found a cute looking bistro called LeBis where I enjoyed a salad with rice on it and frites. Once we finished, we were on a mission to find a lock. There is a bridge called Pont des Arts where people from around the world have fastened their locks to the fenced sides with words of hope and love adorning the locks. There must be thousands of these locks that cross the River Seine. We finally purchased a lock and wrote a little message on it. Then, we carefully picked a spot that we would remember and attached our little lock of love to this bridge. After that, we visited the Notre Dame which was quite beautiful. Once we were done taking it all in, we walked to Jardin de Luxembourg. This was a perfect place to sit for awhile and just take in the moment. It also gave us time to formulate a game plan. One year ago, we had a Mexican fiesta wedding and swore that every year after that, we would celebrate by eating Mexican food. In Paris, this is easier said than done. After returning to our room and doing some research online, we found a place called Rice and Beans that looked very promising. However, to get there, we had to walk through a slightly sketchy neighborhood that was full of adult shops and peep shows. Finally, we got there, only to find out that the only thing they had available on the menu were the burritos and guacamole. This GF lady ended up having a burrito sans the tortilla with a side of guacamole. We finished the day by stopping at Maisen Larnicol to get some more macarons and caramels.

Locks on Pont des Arts

Our last full day in Paris started with the hotel breakfast again. We then took the metro to Invalides. After taking the metro back to our arrondissement, we decided to have lunch at Laduree. I had an unbelievable delicious salad and some tea. Then we got to the good part. We got in line to purchase some macarons. I might have gone a little crazy with buying these little goodies. We took our beautiful treats and brought them to a bench in the Louvre so that I could happily consume the box’s contents. About five seconds later, there was no evidence that 8 perfect macarons had been in the gorgeous box. We had some time to kill so we walked to Jardin de Luxembourg where we had a little siesta in the sun. After bronzing, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. The hotel concierge recommended Fontaine de Mars, so we decided to go there. We both started with a really tasty goat cheese and tomato dish. I then had steak frites which was quite good. Finally, I sealed the meal with a great creme brulee. We took the metro back to the hotel after the meal and started to pack for our trip back home.

All night, I dreamed about the Laduree macarons, so the first thing we did when we woke up was to run to Laduree and buy some for our family as well as a few for ourselves. On our flight back home, I officially fell in love with British Airways operated by Open Skies. They served a mini-package of Laduree macarons. After noticing that I didn’t care for the GF meal served, the flight attendant gave me two extra boxes of the macarons which I happily accepted and consumed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to “GF in Paris”

  1. sleepinghorse October 7, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. My last trip to Paris was just before I was diagnosed a Coeliac, so in a way I was a bit lucky that I could still eat anything and everything.
    Your photos are beautiful.
    I have just returned from my first ever trip to New York and discovered beautiful macarons!

  2. glutenfreeinsb October 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    I will have to try those next time I am in New York!

  3. Travel Gluten Free October 11, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Hi,

    Just stumbled across this blog. Looks like you had a great time in Paris (one of my favourite cities) and found some great GF places (haven’t actually been back since diagnosis!)

    I run a Gluten Free Travel Webiste and was wondering if you may allow me to use your reviews on the site to help fellow Coeliac travellers. I would link back to the blog with full credit and subscribe for future updates.

    Many thanks in adance,
    Mike

  4. Nadia February 27, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you for all this information. Very helpful for our trip next April.

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