Brad and I spent a couple of days in Paris during our honeymoon 6 years ago. On the whole, the trip was a dream. The memories we made (and the food we ate) on our honeymoon still bring a smile to my face. It was just what a honeymoon should be. We had been traipsing around Italy for 10 days, 5 of which were spent without our luggage thanks to the airline. We adored Italy, but the heat, especially in Rome, was almost unbearable. It was late June/early July and tourists were everywhere. The day we left, we were taking a train from Florence to Paris. Somehow, we got the only slow taxi driver in the entire country. He crawled at a snail’s pace through the streets, vespas zoomed past our open windows and Brad continued shouting, “Avanti! Avanti!” because our train, if it was on schedule, would be leaving the station in the next 5 minutes. For some reason, the driver just didn’t pick up on our urgency. Or maybe he just thought we were uptight Americans who needed to chill out. Which is possible.
We eventually made it to the train, which was running a perfect 15 minutes late, leaving us with just the right amount of time to run with our luggage to our train car and hop on just before it began chugging away from the station. Sweaty and out of breath, we settled into our car and prepared for the romantic journey from Italy to France. Earlier that day, Brad had eaten a somewhat sketchy looking sandwich from a street cart in Pisa. To make a long story short, that sandwich ruined our romantic ride. Instead of whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears, I was nursing my new husband back to health.
When we arrived in Paris, we were exhausted, stressed, and generally deflated from the bumps in the road...er...tracks?...that we had experienced. But when we took our first steps onto the sidewalk in Paris, I immediately felt at ease. That city just feels like home to me, despite the fact that I’ve only been there twice. My rocky high school French came back to me and I gave rough instructions to our taxi driver. She was a beautiful African woman who greeted us with a huge smile and joyfully complimented me on my French. I did not deserve complimenting, but I appreciated the sentiment.
After the hot haze of Rome and the thick crowds of tourists in Florence, we were relieved to find Paris to be relatively calm. The air was crisp and cool and we felt immediately refreshed. After stopping at our hotel room to freshen up and drop off our bags, we headed out to find lunch. We kept it simple and classic with a Croque Madame for Brad and a salad with fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and a light, herby vinaigrette for me. With crisp white wine in hand and fresh baked bread perfuming the air, we sat at a table outside and people watched, as Parisians do. It was lovely.
On July 12, we left Paris. I was sad to leave but grateful for the time we were able to spend there. Had we stayed just 2 more days, we could have experienced Bastille Day in France. Bastille Day is a celebration of freedom, similar to the 4th of July in the United States. People celebrate with food, drinks, and other festivities to commemorate an important event in French history.
If you’d like to celebrate along with the French, I would recommend trying this French tartine and a glass of Chardonnay. Arrogant Frog wines sent me a bottle of their Chardonnay and their Pinot Noir, which each pair beautifully with this light but flavorful open-faced sandwich. Arrogant Frog wines are from the Languedoc region of France. The Chardonnay is light and crisp, perfect for hot summer days. The Pinot Noir is flavorful, medium bodied, and easy to drink, no matter the time of year or occasion. I’ve added both of these wines to my Wine Bar page where you can find other affordable, delicious wines to pair with your next meal.
So, enjoy a simple, classic French tartine and a glass of French wine to celebrate Bastille Day. Because freedom, regardless of whose it is, is always worth celebrating.
French Tartine Makes 2 tartines
- 2 slices of bread, toasted (I use whatever bread I have around)
- 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 tablespoons Herb Mayonnaise (recipe below)
- salt and black pepper
Spread 2 tablespoons of the herb mayonnaise onto each slice of bread. Arrange the eggs and tomatoes on top of the mayonnaise. Spinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a glass of Arrogant Frog Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- salt & black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
*Full disclosure: The wine was sent to me with no obligation to post. I was not paid to promote Arrogant Frog aside from receiving the bottles of wine. All opinions are my own. I never post something I don't want other people to know about!