Paris in December and Versailles


Paris in December felt different again, even though I had just visited this city 3 months ago. I mean I recognized all the buildings, but the atmosphere just felt different! All the lights were up for the Christmas season and everyone was bundled up for the cold weather.


They had even set up the Roue de Paris at Place de la Concorde. The Roue de Paris. The Roue de Paris is a transportable Ferris wheel and it was first set up in 2000 and has been transported to many other cities around the world. I guess it was back for 2013 during the winter, since it was just behind the Luxor Obelisk.


If you want some fancy shopping, other than Champs Elysees, head over to Boulevard Haussmann. You’ll be able to catch the Paris Opera House, as well as the two famous department stores – Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes. When I visited Paris in September, the windows displays were already beautiful with top fashion and accessories, but December was a whole different story! Just look at this Prada window display at Printemps! Prada had basically transformed all of Printemps windows into a magical wonderland! These little bears with Prada handbags were moving! Galeries Lafayettes also captured all the tourists with their stunning displays, but I think Printemps definitely stole the show!


At night, seeing the Eiffel Tower is a must. I suggest going day and night to get the most of this beautiful view, although the metro trip is a bit out of the way. What’s better is that at night, at every hour, the tower sparkles! You can see this blue beam of light shooting from afar, but when you get close to it, it actually sparkles on the tower! On the spot ever hour and it lasts for around 5 minutes. Quite a beautiful view to see!


Obviously I also showed them around to the typical tourist spots, but I’ve already mentioned them in previous posts from my September visit. This time, we had a bit more time, and we decided to take a trip to Versailles. Versailles is a city in the region of Île-de-France and is accessible from Paris by just taking the RER C for around an hour. The city is famous for the Palace of Versailles, which housed the French Kings until the French Revolution, so is significant for absolute power. The area is huge, with a gigantic palace, garden, the Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.


I highly recommend visiting Versailles, even if you’re not a history museum type of person. It’s a palace which will give you a wow factor and I think it tops the most luxurious palaces I’ve seen personally. I’ve actually been here back when I was in high school, but now that I’m older, everything makes so much more sense. You definitely get a different view, and if you’re under 18, it’s absolutely free! Also, if you’re under 26, and a resident of the EU, you can also get in for free! I was on exchange and had a Spanish Visa, so I got in for free! If not, adult admission is 18 euros for the passport, which gives you entry to every single building. Definitely not that bad since you could spend at least half your day here.


At night, we found a bistro near the Royal Wagram Hotel , where we stayed. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but it seemed to be a local bistro. We had the famous Parisian Steak et Frites. It came with mustard, which is quite common for the French. We had asked for well-done, so I found the meat to be a little too tough for my liking. I would’ve personally chosen to have it medium-rare.


We also had the Smoked Salmon Fettuccine. This wasn’t too bad, although I wish there was more sauce to it. I found it a little dry, so I had to add a lot of cheese to it.


And last but not least, we had to get some French Escargots. These were cooked with pesto and pretty good! You even get special tongs to get these snails out!

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to begin packing. An early flight the next morning lay ahead of us. To a sunny destination!

Twisted Fork Bistro

Snails – Tender garlic snails cooked with shallots, mushrooms, herbs and white wine served with tomato basil sauce, arrugula and crushed croutons

Scallops and Bacon – Pan seared scallops marinated in thyme and chipotle oil served with caramelized onion, potato puree, Vancouver Island’s double smoked bacon and house corn relish

Stuffed Portobello MushroomFilled with arrugula, and pesto vinaigrette, topped with a cashew dill crust served with lentils, baby carrots and tomato basil sauce

Fresh Mussels – One pound, with cream, herbs and fresh tomatoes, served with frites

Confit DuckCrispy Confit duck served with bacon braised cabbage, duck jus and finished with fruit ketchup

Lavender Creme Brulee

Chocolate TerrineFrozen dark chocolate mousse layered with raspberry sorbet, with biscotti crumbs and raspberry coulis

Twisted Fork Bistro has been on my go to list for quite a while now. I was so excited to try it finally since there’s always huge line ups for it. Waited a little more than 15 minutes and finally got a seat. The place is really small, so it usually gets packed quite fast. It’s got a warm, homey feeling to it which I love. They serve cozy French cuisine, and are known for their great desserts.

First off, we got the Escargots, which I didn’t find particularly special or anything. There were a lot of escargots, but the flavour was nothing special. The Scallops and Bacon had a sauce that basically tasted like salsa with corn, and I found it a little too sour for my liking. The Stuffed Portabello Mushroom was just alright again. Nothing too special. As for the Fresh Mussels, I found that there were not enough flavour. It was a little bland for me, and I usually don’t eat very feisty flavoured things too. My favourite dish had to be the Confit Duck. The duck was cooked really tender and the sauce complemented the duck breast very well. And finally, we ordered desserts! Tha Lavender Creme Brulee was really delicious! It was infused with a lavender flavour, which I found very special since not many restaurants serve creme brulee with lavender. The lavender actually worked very well with the creme brulee. Lastly, we also ordered a Chocolate Terrine, which had raspberry sauce, and was extremely rich and creamy.

Overall, the main dishes were just alright, but I really enjoyed the desserts, and would probably come back again for that. Always so packed though, so I’ve got to come here earlier!

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