If you have a Facebook account, you're probably familiar with the obnoxious "On This Day" pop-ups that flood your News Feed. What's supposed to be a fun jaunt through memory lane, usually produces one of the following reactions:
- On This Day - 8 years ago: "That's an embarrassing choice... Aaaaand deleted!"
- On this Day - 5 years ago: That was such a great concert. But why did I feel the need to record this song on my phone? You can barely see the stage and the audio is awful. Put your phone back in your bag, girl!
- On this Day - 1 year ago: "That vacation was so fun! I want to go back - now!
Basically, your two options are mild embarrassment or a little bit of envy about whatever you were doing on that particular day. These past few weeks, my news feed has been showing me all of the awesome things my fella and I did on our European trip to Ireland, Scotland, England, and France last May. Namely, all the delicious things we were eating and drinking along the way. The trip also happened to coincide with my 30th birthday, and what girl doesn't want to ring in that milestone in Paris? It's safe to say I'm having some serious wanderlust looking at all of our photos again, particularly the delicious things we ate in Paris.
Though each of the stops along our journey were filled with awesome regional eats, it really doesn't get better than Parisian food. Each meal was a memory to be savored and we heartily indulged in the local fare. To be fair, we were putting some serious miles in on foot so the wine and cheese were well-earned. Though we did a hefty amount of walking on each leg of our trip, I think we ended up clocking over 13 miles in one day in Paris! We opted to limit our Uber rides to a minimum and save that $$ for tasty things to eat there and bring back with us.
Hot crepes filled with Nutella and sugar with lemon that we ate for breakfast while we walked to Les Catacombes.
A breakfast of fresh croissants while we people-watched at a cafe around the corner from the Airbnb we rented in Le Marais.
A wood fired steak and bottle of red in Le Marais at Robert et Louise before seeking out craft cocktails at the speakeasy-style Experimental Cocktail Club.
A mandatory stop at atleast one macaron shop per day where I happily plopped a rainbow of meringue cookies flavored with rose, lavender, caramel, and orange into my mouth. Though Ladurée is the most famous, the macarons at Pierre Hermé were our favorite.
Afternoon stops at sidewalk cafes for a glass of Rosé and a Kronenbourge 1664 beer. Citrus and chocolate chip gelato that we ate while strolling through the streets on the unseasonably warm nights.
A birthday dinner of sliced cucumber salad with fresh goat cheese and baskets of bread that we dunked in piping-hot fondue at Pain Vin Fromages.
Escargot and cassoulet that we devoured on more than one night while sitting at impossibly tiny tables squashed together on the sidewalk, and lots and lots of wine. Our two favorite meals while in Paris were at La Fontaine de Mars and Comptoir de la Gastronomie.
This excellent wine flight with cheese and charcuterie is from Ô Chateau. We didn't make it to one of their more in-depth cellar classes, but it's on our list for our next visit.
My favorite travel hacks for bringing purchases home
I knew I wanted to bring an assortment of Parisian food and wine home with me so I packed all of my travel belongings into a medium-sized suitcase that nestled into a larger suitcase that I planned to unstack and fill with items to bring back. It was a convenient way to avoid paying for and separately carting around the extra empty bag while we hopped through 4 countries. I honestly don't know how we managed to keep the two bags nestled together until the end of our trip, because we bought several goodies before we ever made it to France.
I purchased a stack of wine diapers (yes, you read that right) similar to these to protect our bottles of wine, Champagne (and whisky from Scotland) on the journey back. They provide a small amount of padding around the bottles and are sealed to help keep the liquid from ruining your belongings if the bottle does end up being mishandled in transit. Though we packed extra clothing around the bottles once diapered for more security, these bags really helped take the stress off wondering if my belongings were going to come back stained wine red.
In addition to our spoils from Ireland, Scotland, and England, we arrived home with suitcases full of carefully wrapped bottles of red wine from the Côtes du Rhône, grower Champagne, orange-flavored chocolates, an assortment of colorful Lauderee Macarons, and a large jar of Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard that ended up being one of my favorite Parisian food purchases made on the entire trip.
Europe in my kitchen
When we arrived back home I was so excited to get back into the kitchen and dream up dishes inspired by our trip. Our adventures in Scotland definitely influenced this rich and hearty Salmon with Whisky Cream Sauce and Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower which is a favorite Keto dish of ours in the colder months, pairing well with a snifter of scotch to warm the cockles of your heart on a chilly night.
Now that the weather is warming up, I'm excited to apply the same inspiration to some delicious warm-weather dishes that might better pair with a crisp rosé. My French Chicken Salad is one of my favorite ways to pay homage to the light floral and citrus notes that were so prevalent on our trip to Paris.
A note about my diet when I travel
The recipes on this blog are predominantly grain-free and refined sugar-free because that's the way we choose to eat at home. Though each person is different, for my own particular body this type of diet makes me feel my best. When I travel, I leave myself some room to bend the rules (sometimes hard) when it comes to the types of food I eat. I can't always guarantee that whatever I eat will make me feel great later (hello bloated bread belly), but for me specifically, sometimes the baguette is worth eating.