Posts Tagged ‘france’

European goodies

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Panda and I had a fun time on our tour of Europe and came home with some great items! Most of our focus was on eating local food, seeing the historical sites, and exploring the cities – but I still managed to bring back some things.

bags of pasta, bottle of olive oil, and bar of chocolate from italy
In Italy, I insisted on finding some fun pasta. I had an amazing Milka bar that then prompted the purchase of this giant one. And that bottle of olive oil came from our dinner meal, where the restaurant explained that oil olive is best enjoyed fresh, so when you purchase bread and oil, you get your own bottle to use. Anything unused can be taken home.

chocolate bars, bamboo utensils, mug, hot chocolate powder, and gingerbread from france
In France I had to get something from the Eiffel Tower, as I’m wont to do when I go. Lately I’ve been into unique mugs, so this one with legs caught my interest. At Versailles we had lunch at Angelina and I saw a loaf of gingerbread with honey that sounded good. At Orly airport there was an amazing shop of treats (mostly candy, just the way I like it). I found flavors of Toblerones that I never heard of before! The Oreo Milka looked too good to pass up and the guy kindly offered a discount on the hot chocolate tins, which are gifts for the folks who helped watch the cats while we were gone. Finally, we ate at Exki in the airport and I was a total sucker for their bamboo utensils and grabbed at set to use at work.

empty glass yogurt jars and tea forte tea bags
At the hotel in Paris, they had adorable yogurts in glass containers that we rinsed out and kept, along with fun tea boxes.

sauce bowls, tous earrings, shot glass, and drinks from spain
In Spain our big purchase was the Tous earrings, which is a brand Panda loves because of the cute bear designs. They’re Spanish, so we were hoping for a good selection and were rewarded with not only that, but excellent prices as well. It happened to be located in an El Corte Ingles shopping center that offered a loyalty card for 10% of your purchase value towards the next one. The amount earned from the earrings was exactly enough to get the three sauce bowls – perfect since I’ve wanted that sort of thing for a long time. Then the points earned from that plus 0.45€ was enough to get that shot glass for my collection! Love the bonus items we got. 🙂 The two drinks were from the hotel.

swedish chocolate bar from germany airport
On our way home we had a few more Euros left and one of the only things that we could get for 4,20€ or less was this bar of chocolate (from Sweden, nonetheless)!

A soufflé dining adventure

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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While in Paris, Panda and I were looking for a popular and special place to have dinner. With much searching, he came across Le Soufflé – offering a completely soufflé experience. They had a three-course meal that was all soufflés!

We eagerly walked there after a long day of exploring and stepped inside to a cozy little entry. A gentleman approached and asked if we had a reservation. We did not, so we wondered what the wait would be.

“I’m sorry, we are booked for the rest of the evening,” he told us.

“When’s the next time you have an opening?” we inquired.

“All reservations for the night are taken,” he explained. “You can make a reservation for tomorrow lunch.”

Disappointed, we stepped out and considered our options for our meal. It was past 9 and many restaurants were closing within the hour. We returned to the hotel to get online and search for somewhere else with soufflés.

With little success, we went to ask the concierge. He immediately recommended the restaurant we had been turned away from. We started telling him how they were booked, but he was already dialing their number. At first it seemed like they might give us a reservation, but then he started shaking his head. Fully booked. :-/

So he began calling a variety of other options asking if they at least served dessert soufflé. Finally, one place said yes – but it was not walking distance and we did not want to take a taxi. So as things looked more and more dismal, I was about ready to just eat at the hotel. Then, out of the blue, the concierge tells us we can go to Le Soufflé!

What?! We were confused. Apparently he had called them two more times and they had a cancellation, so we got in! We quickly rushed over the half mile or so to the restaurant and arrived aright round 10.

At first we planned on getting a set each, but upon seeing the size of the soufflés, we decided to share a single three-course meal. It was 37€ so we were happy to save on the cost too.

le souffle contact card with map of location

le souffle free bread, butter, and water to start the meal

We began with bread, butter, and water included in the meal.

le souffle artichoke & haddock appetizer souffle

The appetizer soufflé was the artichoke haddock, with pieces of both. It was very savory with that fish taste and a slight hint of tartness from the artichoke.

le souffle side salad

The side salad came with the first course.

le souffle chicken & mushroom main course souffle

Our main course was the chicken and mushroom. The chicken gravy came separately and we poured it bit by bit as we ate the soufflé. It reminded me of a chicken pot pie (which I had been craving) with a soft, fluffy top rather than a flaky crust.

le souffle chocolate dessert souffle

And to wrap it up was a classic chocolate soufflé, which came with a chocolate sauce to pour in. There was a graininess to it that I quite enjoyed. It was very sweet!

This was a fun dining experience and the meal felt very satisfying, even with such light food. I think ait’s  great thing to try for anyone new to the city. 🙂

Escape Monthly August: Paris Box review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Ah, Paris… of course we’d some gourmet items here and leave it to one of these items to have some delays coming through customs! I was also intrigued by the very different guide book included this time around.

Escape Monthly is just under $40 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – see end of post) and comes with a variety of food, home, skincare items themed around a city. Each box comes with a Moon Handbooks guide for that region. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a lovely recurring referral commission program.

escape monthly august paris box products showing escape monthly august paris box info card against blue and white chevron background escape monthly august paris box info card opened with details of products included(click to enlarge and read full messaging)

The items this time around didn’t take up much room, which made me feel like there wasn’t much there, but the value of the items is certainly higher than usual.

Here’s what came in the box:

Rick Steves’ Pocket Paris – This is a nice little guide full of colorful pictures! You might not even have to go to Paris anymore after seeing all the sights from its pages. I certainly plan on visiting Paris time and time again, so this will be a great way to help me discover all that the city (and surrounds) has to offer.

Nuxe Body Scrub & Shower Gel – Well, I didn’t get the scrub and that’s really sad for me since that’s one of my favorite skincare items. Instead, I got two shower gels, so I’ve emailed them to get the scrub sent to me. I didn’t even notice the seal on it when I first tried to open it for a whiff. I’m not a huge fan of almond, but the combination with orange flowers is really great! It smells fantastic and I can’t wait to lather up to the scent in the shower. I’ll be even happier to scrub to this scent!

Institut Karite Paris Perfume Almond and Honey Precious Hand Cream – I’m guessing that this was the product holding things up in customs. It looks luxurious and definitely fancy and Parisian. I’ve certainly enjoyed shea butter hand creams like the ones from L’Occitane, so I’m sure I’ll love this for the winter months. It’s so thick! I love that I got a scent that is rather unique and I hope the almond scent doesn’t get too strong for me after awhile. So far so good – it appears to be a nicely mild and sweet scent.

Edmond Fallot dijon mustard – There’s quite the history behind this little jar. I don’t really eat many items I’d put mustard on, so I’m thinking I might take this to work to put in the communal fridge.

Pierre Biscuiterie French butter cookies – I like that they have two plastic packs in this box, so I don’t have to worry about having to each all of them quickly. These little butter cookies are crisp and rich in flavor. The dried fruit bits offer a bit of a tangy, fragrant kick to the cookies. I’ll be finishing these off with my next pot of tea, which I think will be just fabulous.

les Anis de Flavigny French mints – The light lemon flavor of these mints is lovely. There is a bit of an aftertaste that I can’t quite place – perhaps that’s the anise (no idea what that is). It’s a bit bitter, but not outright so. I think of these more as candies though, since I don’t think they’re really freshening the breath much. Whoa! I just bit into it and definitely got the anise taste – I think they have small bits of it in the center. Now I know these must be related to those star anise dried things you cook with.

Bonne Maman strawberry preserves – I love the little jar this comes in. This was the bonus item for this box. Perfect for traveling with and a 1-2 person portion. I actually got this in another box once upon a time and have yet to open that one. I just don’t get around to eating jams, so perhaps it’s time to consider buying bread or English muffins. I’d also want to get into the habit of eating breakfast, I suppose.

I could have gone for more items, but the hand cream really elevated the feel of this box. Which item do you think is the coolest from this Paris Escape Monthly box? If you want to sign up, try one of these codes (not sure which ones are still active): PARISESCAPE or RICOESCAPE for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription or GIFTESCAPE for 25% off.

For September it’s time to go to Puerto Rico! Fantastic. I’m really excited about that one since I could certainly learn more about that country.

escape monthly august paris box info card back with preview of next month's box theme of puerto rico

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

365great Day 280: Eiffel Tower

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,
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365great challenge day 280: eiffel towerLa Tour Eiffel. What a breathtaking sight. It’s funny that this giant metal structure could be so strikingly beautiful. Climbing up it is even more awesome and I wish I could go sip tea atop the Eiffel Tower every day. When I finally got a chance to go to Paris, I made sure to go to the Eiffel Tower a few times. Yes, once just wasn’t enough. Ever since I decided to take French in middle school, I’ve wanted to go to Paris. And there I was, at my personal mecca and I loved it. I could stare at it for days, admiring how it shines in the day and lights up at night. If you ever find yourself in Paris, be sure to take the stairs up this unique structure. It’s a much better experience that way and the view is great up there.

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