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Au Revoir Paris

Robbin and Gene in Paris - 2012

When you only have a few weeks left in Europe, what do you do? Go to Paris for the weekend, but of course.

Last Saturday my husband Gene and I took the Thalys train from Brussels to Paris (It only takes an hour; We’re going to miss that). Our plan was to eat and drink in as much of Paris as we could.

We began the day wandering the stalls of the great Paris flea market Marché aux puces de St Ouen. Next we took a walking tour of La Belle Époque. The tour was one of Paris Walks fun and fact filled explorations of the streets of Paris. After walking the streets of Paris for 2 hours we were off to a wine tasting. The day ended with a lovely meal.

Paris is great, who would argue. But you are probably wondering what this has to do with chocolate?

Chocolate seems to find its way into all our adventures. First, while on our walking tour we came across a Patrick Roger Chocolate shop Roger is one of the great Parisian chocolatiers who recently opened a shop in the Sablon neighborhood of Brussels. Because I was short on time (we were in the middle of the walking tour), I did a once around the shop and bought a 250 gram sampler box. After trying one of each in the box my husband Gene and I agreed that the chocolates were delightful and oh so very French: dainty in size and delicate in appearance with deliciously subtle flavors.

The oh so green surroundings at a Patrick Roger Chocolatier shop in Paris

There was also a chocolate moment during the wine tasting. Our sommelier was commenting on wine pairing and quoted best selling American wine author Mark Oldman, who is well known for his pithy wine reference one liners. The qupte the sommerlier used is a classic Oldman: “Food and Wine pairing is like sex or pizza: even when it’s bad, it can still be pretty good” (Mark Oldman. Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine, 2004, page 221). This got me thinking that the same could be said of chocolate. Whether you’re eating the best origin chocolate or just some chocolate from the grocery store, eating chocolate is always still pretty good and worth the calories.

When we got on the train to return to Brussels, we sat behind a group of girls who were full of shopping bags and recounting boisterousness stories. As the train started to move, I heard one of the girls say “au revoir Paris.” Gene and I couldn’t helping joining the girls in looking out the window longingly as the train left the station. Yes, au revoir Paris….until we meet again.

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