Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Le Weekend - Benoit, Paris

Last weekend, a few friends and I took the 6.08am Eurostar out of London for a weekend in Paris. While it might sound a bit cliched to gush "ooh, I love Paris" when talk of the city comes up, I'm honestly not sure what I feel about the city. I ended up making six trips in one year back in 2009 and while, yes, Paris is beautiful and has so many iconic sights I couldn't help but feel that it was very touristy and rather over-priced and definitely not the city of romance that its touted as being. Despite it only being two hours and twenty minutes from London, Paris feels like a world away and without a bit of insider knowledge its all to easy to end up in tourist packed places, wincing every time you end up paying €5 for a cappuccino.

Despite my feelings on the city and the brutally early start, as soon as the Eurostar pulled into the Gare du Nord I couldn't help but feel the Parisian magic (and also the October sunlight - the weather was far nice that that we'd left behind). Paris felt familiar but after a few years away somewhere I was ready to explore again and see in a new light.

After dropping our bags at the hotel, we headed for our first destination of the day - lunch at Benoit, as recommended by my friend J who is a bit of a foodie. I had booked online the day before which I would definitely recommend doing as the restaurant was pretty full - as you would expect with Alain Ducasse's Michellin-starred reputation.

Showing off the beautiful a la carte menu. Dress is ASOS Petite, Necklace is vintage Christian Dior (when in Paris..)
The set lunch menu and our beautifully laid table. The set lunch menu is €40 so works out as much better value than the a la carte - lunch menus are a great way to try out pricier places without spending too much (especially as I could hear Sephora calling my name as soon as we got off the train).
After cheese puff amuse bouches and crusty French bread, our starters arrived. The set menu offers three options for each course so there's not a huge amount of choice, especially if you don't eat or like meat (although this applies to pretty much everywhere in France). I opted for the mackeral tart which came deconstructed (very Masterchef) and almost too pretty to eat.
Mackeral is quite a strong tasting fish so I was worried that it could be a bit too "fishy" (seriously, I have child's taste buds) but the balance of flavours here was really good and the pesto sauce was lovely.
Ox Cheek and Black Pudding both being too adventurous for me, I opted for the fish of the day main. This was so good - really simple flavours but so tasty.

I opted for the tart selection for dessert and definitely didn't regret my choice. The tarts were all delicious but the hazlenut one was particularly good.
Three little slices of perfection.
After petit fours, madelines and coffee we rolled out onto the street to take in the delights of Paris. Actually, I spent an hour in Sephora trying to restrain myself from buying absolutely everything.

Until next revoir!



  1. Lily this food looks beautiful!

  2. Looks yummy :xx


  3. That looks like a fabulous experience! So nice that you can just hop over to Paris!


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