Le Citrouille, Paris

We’ll, we didn’t really intend for our first significant foray after 18 months of confinement to be to Paris. A long awaited cycling trip to accompany a good friend saw us cycle the 8 miles (10 with getting lost) from Greenwich to Trafalgar Square to start the 3 day push to Paris, via Brighton, Newhaven, Dieppe, Beauvais and then on to finish at the Eiffel Tower. 190 miles, if you’re counting.

Early starts, sausage and bacon sandwiches cooked over a gas cooker in the car park, and some steepish hills (Ditchling Beacon anyone?) is not the usual holiday for us 71 year olds. Combine that with 75 miles a day on a bike and you can see that next time Eurostar Premier might be the right choice.

Paris was sunny and packed. Staying on the left bank, the narrow streets were thronged with people, restaurant tables busy and lots of strolling, looking at menus and soaking up the atmosphere. Our cycling companion, surely used to London prices, seemed a bit reluctant to commit to the fancy places, so we stepped back into the smaller side streets and found La Citrouille, open fronted, busy but with a couple of tables spare and a very tempting prix fixe menu at 19.5 euros (is that about 40 quid now…? Ed). Five or six choices for each of three courses. Several wines by the glass, and house wine in 50cl carafes. Just the job.

We asked the server which was their best red and we were pointed unequivocally towards their house Cote du Rhône. Warm, fruity and very drinkable. If the restaurant’s house wine doesn’t hit the spot, what hope is there?

Restaurant La Citrouille Paris

…and another thing. We stayed at Hotel des Marronniers on Rue Jacob. This area is fascinating, full of small galleries, bars and interesting shops Also home to Brasserie Lipp and restaurant Les Deux Margots. Alas, not to Le Petit Zinc – closed many years ago.

The French Onion soup was well received…

Just browsing the menus…

Paris is open for business…

Breakfast at 5:00 anyone?

Those mad cyclists…

And the Arc de Triomphe installation…?

…and as the Archdaily saw it.

Hotel des Marronniers on Rue Jacob.

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