We have landed in Paris and will be spending the next couple of weeks touring the Loire Valley, Sarlat and Aix en Provence with our good friends, Paul and Chris.

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Happily, all of us love to walk and we set out from the our hotel the St. Paul, Rive Gauche, through the grounds of the Louvre towards the Champs Elysee.  It was a gorgeous spring day and our spirits were high in spite of a having fairly truncated rest from the overnight flight.

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The Galleries de Lafayette has an incredibly beautiful stained glass vaulted ceiling. It’s a wonderful place to wander round and take in the chic atmosphere of a French department store.

Our restaurant experiences in Paris were very good.  We particularly enjoyed Les Papilles (which means “tastebuds” in French). Within walking distance of the St. Paul, it’s a very small establishment with a fixed menu.  We had an excellent squash soup to start, followed by braised lamb shoulder that was to die for. The waiter refused to serve us champagne as an aperitif, insisting we try a bottle of Sancerre of his choice, which turned out to be excellent. We were astonished to see him produce a bottle of champagne for diners at a nearby table somewhat later in the evening. I don’t know if his resistance had been worn down with repeated requests, or if the couple were regulars and not inclined to be bossed around by his choices.

We’ve been to Paris many times, but it never fails to enchant.