Christmas has never been a big thing for me. But, I hope this year will be different. Some stars aligned - cheap plane tickets, extra budget, another kid off to college next year. So we're going to Paris! Our trip theme is living like locals. Mainly we want to eat well, though not necessarily expensively. I found a nice two bedroom apartment with a full kitchen in the Fifth on Rue Val de Grace. Most of the time I would like to go to market and cook.
All of us are really excited (wife, three teenagers, one in NY and two with us in Manila). So, we're planning our itinerary early.
Would it be possible to get some advice and suggestions from the forum? Anyway so far our plans are:
1) Cooking at home - We're very close to some food markets (Port Royal, Mouffetard, Raspail) and shops (Poilane, Hugo Desnoyer). I plan to go to a market almost daily. On one day, we'll probably trek to President Wilson because I read it's the best one. Planning breakfast and one meal at home daily. My kids like good food and dessert, so they want to join the market trips.
Any suggestions for home cooked meals? I'd like to get a bresse chicken, quail or something like that and roast it. We also love sea food, so I plan to get lots of scallops, langoustines and oysters. I've not been to Paris in winter so I don't know what vegetables or fruits are seasonally available or would everything be imported. I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen (can make fresh pasta, bread, pizza, roast beef, etc. ). I'm going to bring a sharp knife and some spices.
2) Truffles at which market? - Also, would you know where I can buy winter truffles other than Maison de Truffe? Is there a seller in any of the markets?
3) Restaurant suggestions? - We'll probably eat at two 2 star restaurants and 3 good bistros (suggestions? was thinking passage 53, agape substance, epi dupin, la regalade, falafel) . To avoid french food fatigue, I've also marked a couple of good places for ramen. The rest of the time, just simple stuff (crepes, quiche, etc.)
4) Day trips from Paris? - Any worthwhile suggestions in winter? Not sure if Chambord is worth renting a car for. Giverny? I think a 2 hour drive is doable. We don't really need to go anywhere. Right now just Versailles. In paris, just the louvre. Kids want to go back because it was too short last time.
5) Christmas markets My wife likes looking around in flea markets. My kids want to go off on their own, buy souvenirs and try different kinds of food.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.