Eating, Drinking & Seeing: 5 Favorites in November

10 December 2014

November always feels like a test of patience. Thanksgiving steals the spotlight every year and the days leading up to this big feast feel like filler, distraction from the turkey countdown. This time, however, the days were swift and sweet. Here are the highlights in the run up to the big, indulgent holiday:

Hosting Fathom’s First Paris InstaMeet 
Fathom is one of my favorite collaborative travel websites (I’ve previously contributed Paris content here and here) so naturally I was honored when they reached out to me with the proposal to co-host their first Paris Instameet with Rome-based writer Erica Firpo– essentially a get together among active Instagrammers in the city.

Get the lowdown on the Paris Instameet HERE and see Fathom’s gallery of photo highlights HERE.

Warming up with cortados at Cream 
Two former Ten Belles baristas ventured out on their own to open CREAM this month, a new coffee bar in the Belleville neighborhood that serves excellent pour-overs, sandwiches and a short but sharp selection of cakes. Given their location and history working under the tutelage of Ten Belles lead Thomas Lehoux, it’s of little surprise that Joe and Maxime roast Belleville Brûlerie beans exclusively.

50 rue de Belleville
75020, Paris

Catching sunshine in Monaco 
For five days, I got to experience Monaco’s royal and somewhat cinematic exuberance. Despite being there strictly for work with virtually no time for play, it was nonetheless refreshing to be close to water and wake up to the unusually warm late November temperatures (think: no coats or scarves and toes submerged in the sand). Given the purpose of my trip, I didn’t get to scope anything out that I can truly recommend (save for a decent seaside lunch spot I tried called La Note Bleue) but you can check out Prêt à Voyager’s guide for Fathom for tips. 

Tea time at Sébastian Gaudard’s new pâtisserie & tea salon 
The last time I saw pastry chef Sébastian Gaudard up close was in 2012 when I went into the kitchen of his rue des Martyrs shop as he walked me and a group of other writers through his Bûche de Noël preparation (recap of that HERE) but our paths crossed again in November at his freshly-opened 1st arrondissement pâtisserie and tea salon. Old-timey candies and pastries await on the ground level but be sure to get comfortable on the upper level with one of his signature teas and a Religieuse.

1 rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris 

Thankful for Expat Thanksgivings
Growing up, Thanksgiving was anything but traditional in my house. We went out to dinner while my friends gathered tightly around a lavishly dressed table. It wasn’t until I had lived in France for a few years that I established my own tradition, one that would resemble  the type of warm gathering I wanted as a kid. This year was about shared expat connection and saw Swedes, Danes, Americans, French and Australians coming together to celebrate a 22-pound turkey and bafflingly good side dishes. There were hugs, Christmas sweaters, cranberry champagne cocktails and a whole gaggle of thankful friends. It took time to develop these connections and institutionalize the tradition of Thanksgiving Paris-style but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

And for some related reading, check out my essay on food and gathering for Medium!

What were your travel highlights this month?