Paris – What to eat

What to eat in Paris??  There are so many options, but this is our top three;

 

  1. Moules (with frites)

Yum! White wine, onions, mussel and chips, favourite!

sdr

 

2. Confit duck leg

Ohhhhhh, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!  All of the yummmmm

 

dav

 

3. Onion Soup

The rich deliciousness topped with cheese and bread! What more could you ask for!

 

bty

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Paris – Again

Sneaky weekend away to Paris…not like that, with the family this time.  We arrive, its November, its raining and it does not stop but that is okay we have places to me.

For our first outing we head to The Catacombes.  Mr Elf and I have had two previous attempts to get into The Catacombes, so I am willing to cue in the rain for two hours to get in.  Yes two hours!  You can book tickets in advance which I would recommend, it is more expensive but definitely worth it.  Once inside you descend beneath Paris into her ossuaries.  The bones of six million Parisians are entombed below Paris, gathered from many of the old cemeteries and Charnal Houses of Paris.  The renovations that were started in 1810 transformed The Catacombes into an underground walk for the macabre of nature!

The Catacombes are full of history and are very fascinating.  I am very happy to have finally made it in.  Definitely recommend adding it to your list of Paris musts!

We finish our evening with a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the sparkly beauty of Paris.  Glorious as always.

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OOoo The Ritz

So, I did one of those lists of things to do before a big birthday.  On my list was going to The Ritz for for afternoon tea.  My mum took my grandmother to The Ritz for tea in 1998, so in 2018 I took my mum.  Make sure you book in advance and read the dress code, it is quite strict.

We arrive and check our coats.  It is glamorous and beautiful with pink marble and high ceilings.  There is a pianist playing a grand piano.  It is delightful and decadent.

We start with choosing our tea, yes a tea menu…I am in heaven.  There are finger sandwiches to start with, followed by an array of little pastries and tarts.  Next are scones with clotted cream and jam which are delicious.  Just when we think we cannot possibly fit another thing in, the trolley comes around and we choose between cakes from the trolley.  Mum and I go for ginger cake which is moist and amazing.

The Ritz is definitely the best afternoon tea I have had.  We leave full and content.

 

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My beautiful Nan.

Mowgli’s Wye Valley Adventure – Day 3

Anne (from our lovely BnB) has told us about a food festival running this morning near by.  So we are up and packed up ready to head off on our last Wye Valley adventure.

We head into the Forest of Dean to Speakers House where the festival is being held.  The Wye Valley Food festival is dog friendly (hooray) so we buy our tickets (£5 each) and head inside.  There are cooking demonstrations, workshops, a choir, a whole section just for pets and lots of food and drink.  We try local cider and peri, we buy pies and cheese and treats for Mowgli.  What a great find, would definitely recommend for next year.

We finish off our weekend with a walk in the Forest of Dean.  The leaves are just turning and changing colour.  The trees are beautiful and the air is crisp.

dav

Forest of Dean

The Wye Valley has been amazing, dog friendly and human friendly.  Mowgli has had a great time, welcomed everywhere and treated like part of the family.

dav

Mowgli

Mowgli’s Wye Valley Adventure – Day 2

It is day two, after an amazing breakfast at our lovely BnB we are ready to head off.  We jump in the car and head off to Monmouth to have a little explore of the village, we walk to the river Wye, and visit the famous bridge, we do part of the tourist walk and see the Judges’ Lodging and old Market Street.

The weather starts to clear so we head to Usk Castle in Usk.  Usk Castle is privately owned and free to enter during the day, with donations requested.  It is dog friendly, so we wander around the remains,  it is quite beautiful with well tended gardens and lovely views.

sdr

Usk Castle

Next we head to Tintern Abbey.  The ruins of the cistercian abbey are impressive and vast.  It is of course, dog friendly as long as your friend is on a lead and you make sure you pick up after them.  Its £6.90 for adults and free for dogs.  The ruins are well preserved with lots of information boards around the site.  The Abbey is one of the oldest tourist sites, and reported to be one of the first package holiday destinations.  More Information here.

sdr

Tintern Abbey

We follow the Wye river path to the old mill and wander the art and craft shops before heading out of Tintern.

On recommendation we make our way to The Miners Arms in Lydney for dinner.  This plain looking local pub turns out to be one of the best meals we have had in a long time.  The coconut and pumpkin soup is amazing,  the pork belly is tender and all the food is locally produced.  This really is a great find!

 

Tintern Abbey

I have enclosed below a small part of a poem by William Wordsworth which I find very beautiful.  Please do read the rest, I think it evokes the beauty of the area and brings the ruins to mind.
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798
– William Wordsworth
“…And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. …”