typical French architecture
Another birthday to celebrate :D
Usually we go do alittle shopping in Amsterdam then have dinner in one of my favorite Japanese restaurants....that is if my husband is off from work. This year we both had a few days free so I was looking forward to some Japanese haute cuisine (no, not just sushi but kaiseki). However, I was in for a surprise because darling husband wanted to take me somewhere else..."What do you think about Paris
?" he asked. A friend of his had recommended some places in the city so he had already made hotel, dinner and flight reservations. "Hope you don't mind." Me ? Mind a trip to Paris ? I'd be crazy to turn down this trip.
Once we arrived at Charles de Gaulle, we headed for the metro to Gare du Nord.
Place Vendome La Colonnie
From there, we decided to get a taxi to the hotel. What a mistake...the line at the taxistand was like that at Disneyland. Forget that mess ! We headed a few blocks south, found a nice sunny terrace to enjoy a late lunch while "people watching" then hailed a taxi. Unfortunately you can't just hail one down off the street but have to go to designated taxistands. Luckily this is easier to do from a side street than a busy boulevard or 'place'. In no time flat, we were headed to our hotel. When we arrived at the Place Vendome, my mouth fell open - but quickly closed - no...our hotel was not here but around the corner. Still...we were very close to some fashionable window shopping. And those windows were screaming "SOLDES"...woohoo !!!! After checking in, we headed right back out to check out those windows.
The Natinoal Academy of Music
That evening, our reservations were for 8 pm at the Buddha Bar which is located just off the Place de la Concorde. I love the music, which is a compilation of lounge and chill-out, never knew there was a restaurant. Come to find out there are a few - in major cities such as NY, Dubai, Cairo and of course Paris.
We were alittle late in arriving but our table was waiting. When we entered, I had to take a few minutes at the top of the stairs to adjust to the darkness or else I would have tumbled down into the dining area. Then our friendly hostess directed us to our table. The decor was impressive and the music...what can I say but very chilled-out. And I was surprised how full it was for a week night. The early diners were mainly tourist, I think, since we heard alot of English when we first arrived.
facade of the Academy of Music
Then towards the end of dinner, the tables around us were occupied by French speakers. Didn't matter. we were speaking Dutch anyway. We had a fabulous dinner (the menu is Asian cuisine)...the sesame seared tuna I ordered and my husband's roasted sea bass were cooked to perfection. For dessert we decided to try the chocolate fondue which was not what we expected. We had expected the normal pieces of fruit to dip in chocolate. What we ended up with were a few skewers each with a piece of cake or soft baked cookies or tiny pieces of mango and cantalope. Another reason to be open to a new experience. All in all, with the music, candlelight, wine and excellent company, it was a very enjoyable evening. And on that note, we moved upstairs to the bar. We didn't know if the dining area would be used as a dance floor (rumor had it that it was) but by midnight, the tables were still full with people enjoying the ambiance.
Buddha Bar, Paris
So we left to check out another 'recommendation'...Kong. This is a bar and restaurant located on the top floor of the Kenzo headquarters. The elevator goes to the 5th floor bar, then a flight of stairs to the restaurant which has a glass dome roof allowing you to look out over the Pont Neuf bridge and river. The interior is a mix of Philippe Starck modern design with the Asian flare of Kenzo. Very hip and trendy, I'm sure the place is packed on the weekends but at 1am on a Tuesday night, not much was happening, so after a cocktail we left. Since it was a nice evening, we decided to walk back to the hotel. An evening stroll through the streets of Paris...can't get more romantic than that.