Paris- Poilâne Bakery & Pierre Hermé

Paris mornings mean one thing when we're visiting~ pastry time at two of my favorite spots Poilâne Bakery & Pierre Hermé.  I almost always begin at Poilâne for a fresh loaf of sourdough bread and a cinamon dusted Apple Tart.

Then over to Pierre Hermé for a glazed Rose Croissant, Raspberry Tart and my absolute favorite the 2000 Feuilles studded with praline & hazelnut. 

These delightful parties are always fantastic but enjoying them on our patio underneath the bright blue sky just made everything seem even that much better.
Poilane Bakery 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris, France
Pierre Herme 61 Rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris, France

Paris- Harry's New York Bar & Willi's Wine Bar

After our wonderful wine excursions in Bordeaux we hopped on a train to Paris for the final leg of our European vacation.  Mr. T and I have been Paris quite few times now and the energy is so similar to NYC it always feels a bit like coming home. 

We got in late afternoon and leisurely walked around the bustling St. Germain and Ile de la Cite before landing on the quiet island of Ile Saint- Louis.  This is the perfect spot to relax at one of the many outdoor cafes with a bottle of wine and a view of the beautiful Seine River.

After that we made our way through the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe and over to Harry's New York Bar.

This kitchy spot is said to be the birthplace of cocktails such as the French 75, Sidecar and Monkey Gland. 

So of course a round of drinks including all three was absolutely necessary for the sake of history.

Harry's is covered in old college pennants and somehow we found ourselves right below our alma mater St. Bonaventure; which is such a tiny school I would …

Bordeaux- Chateau Guadet, Logis de La Cadene & Chateau Canon La Gaffelière

Day two of the Bordeaux wine tour was also my birthday and it was absolutely perfect.   We began in St. Emilion; an amazing medieval town on the Right Bank of Bordeaux with breathtaking views from every angle and one of our favorite winery's of the trip Chateau Guadet. 

This small vineyard is one of only two wineries in the heart of St. Emilion and owned by the famous Petrus wine family.   The vineyard consists of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc grapes, merlot being the prominent grape grown on most Right Bank properties.

We started our tour upstairs to learn about the cement vats Guadet uses to vinify their wine.  Then we took a steep ladder down to the massive cellar where miles of limestone quarries had been created for storing wine.  This was easily the best part of any wine tour I've experienced.  The cool, dark caves winding beneath the Chateau were astounding to behold; it was almost an entirely new city underground.

We then stopped into the Barrel Room and continued ove…

Bordeaux- Brasserie Bordelaise

Usually on European vacations I'm obsessed with getting Steak Tartare in every form possible. Which was still true on this trip, it just took a serious back seat to Mr. T's vacation duck obsession.

Duck Confit to be exact but since that dish isn't available in most restaurants other forms of duck would  have to suffice.  Mr. T had already enjoyed a classic Duck Breast at Gordon Ramsey the day before but now we moved onto to Brasserie Bordelaise; a bustling spot right in the heart of the city.  

When the meal begins with a complimentary tin of pate you just know the meal is going to be something special.

The Duck Breast arrived perfectly scored on the top with their signature red wine bordelaise sauce for drizzling.  This was rich and juicy with just enough fat to melt into the meat and make it incredibly tender.

It was served alongside a huge bowl of frites that was more than ample for the entire table.  I was still full from our big lunch at Le Saint Julien so I ordered what …

Bordeaux- Chateau Paloumey, Le Saint Julien & Chateau Mouton Rothschild

In order to get the full Bordeaux experience we booked a two day wine tour through Bordeaux with Elodie.  Our fantastic guide Lea picked us up at our place each morning then drove us to various wineries beginning with Chateau Paloumey on the Left Bank.

This small winery has had a long history in the Medoc region however it wasn't all wonderful.  Back in the 1950's the original owners abandoned the vineyard due to rising costs and it wasn't until 1990 when it was purchased by the Cazeneuve family that it became a fully functioning winery once again.

Chateua Paloumey's location has a warm climate with gravel soil perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard has 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and all of the wines are aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. 

 We had a chance to tour both the vineyard and the barrel room then finish with a tasting of wine from both their vineyard and a few others in the area.

We all loved…