Sue, spent two months working with us as our kitchen helper, learning from our chefs and honing her culinary skills. But it was not all about the walls of Cook’n With Class, she also got a chance to call Paris home, if but for a short time. In her first post for us, she shared her first impressions with us – introducing us to her new best friend and her Paris walking tour objectives.
May Day Job
After two months in the kitchens at Cook’n With Class Paris, I have reflected upon what I have learned so far. I have taken many classes and observed others and even though many of the classes are repeated they are never the same. The Chefs make every class different by choosing different menus and different variations and the participants are never the same.
The most important thing to take away from a cooking class is techniques and the Cook’n With Class Paris chefs are generous when it comes to teaching professional methods. But it is the variation in the students that makes it most interesting. They come from all over the world and with so many reasons for taking a cooking class in Paris. Some have hardly cooked at all, others are accomplished home cooks and even some professionals come to get inspiration and see different techniques. But without exception, they join in, share and enjoy their experience and make the day in the kitchen go by very quickly.
Beyond the French Cooking School – Discovering the Perfect Paris Parks
When I am away from Cook’n With Class I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors. And Paris is a great place to enjoy being outdoors. Just walking the neighbourhoods is great fun but my favourite thing to do in Paris is visiting the parks. And there are so many to visit. In September Paris has the Fête des Jardins. During that time many of the parks run special events but I love the parks at all times of the year.
Jardin du Luxembourg
My favourite is the Jardin du Luxembourg. This is very close to where I am living in Paris so I walk and run there almost every day. It is such a beautiful park and so much goes on there besides the Senate including tennis, basketball, reading, chess, petanque, horse rides for the kids, bands at the bandstand, beehives, an orchard which currently as a lovely crop of apples and so much more.
Parc de Sceaux
One of my other favorites (and I have many) is the Parc de Sceaux which is just a few minutes out of Paris on the RER B train. It is a stunning park and it goes forever. It seems to be enclosed by a forest which makes it such a quiet place even though Paris is just out there. There is currently a beautiful free photography exhibition here too. Magnificent aerial shots were taken in Hauts-de-Seine.
Parc André Citroën
I also love the rooms of the Parc André Citroën. This is a repurposed Citroën factory site and is one of the newest parks in Paris. This recent but interesting history makes it a particularly unique park in Paris. It’s the only green space that opens on to the Seine river, and although more modern is no less charming. It even has a tethered hot air balloon that is available for kids to ride!
Buttes Chaumont is the perfect park for a Paris view and is a little bit wild! Those hills give the legs a good workout! The hilly landscape won’t stop people from setting up a blanket for a high altitude picnic and the height gives you a great view of the park’s features. Complete with a lake and high viewpoint for those who wish to really reach the top!
Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes – the main botanical garden of Paris has so many quirky sculptures and always an open-air photographic exhibition.
Parc de Bellville has history tied to wine as it used to be a wine producing region of Paris. Now it is a more urban park with a bit of a wild side. If you reach the viewpoint at the top of the park you can get a view of the Eiffel Tower and in summer this park has some of the most wonderful colors.
Les Bois – The Woods
Moving on to the larger green spaces in Paris, Bois de Vincennes has the Parc Floral de Paris which is a more botanical garden while the Bois de Vincennes is a sprawling forest that makes you feel that you are miles from civilisation. Bois-de-Boulogne has so much going on – manicured gardens to the wild overgrown forest and the beautiful lake.
So when you have had enough museums, galleries and shops head to the parks in Paris – the exercise and fresh air are good for the health and the soul. For more secret green spots in Paris read our blog revealing the hidden gardens of Paris for a quiet picnic that few people will disturb!