A Summer Excursion in Paris 2019
Our founder Ravi Coutinho added a few days in Paris to his Ireland itinerary this past June. We asked him for a few highlights from his trip.
French Wine Tasting with Experts
On our first day in Paris, we were scheduled to do a wine tasting at De Vinis Illustribus, a boutique wine cellar owned by husband-and-wife team Dominique and Lionel Michelin. The couple bought the space over a decade ago for its ancient, perfectly-temperate existing cellar, which was filled with thousands of uncategorized bottles at the time. After a massive cleanup, the shop is a perfect place to house the highly curated list of fine wines from across France, and to hold special French wine tasting events for small groups, including lunches and dinners. For our special tasting, the couple opened a bottle of Chateau Cap de Mourlin from my fiancée’s birth year. It was one of the best bottles of wine I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking, and my fiancée went on to buy a bottle of (much newer) ChateauNeuf du Pape for her father as a souvenir.
Playing Le Golf National
The following morning, I hopped in a private car and headed out for a round at Le Golf National, a quick half-hour trip from our hotel. The weather was sunny and warm (or at least warmer than it had been in Ireland the previous week), but I still found the course to be the most challenging I’ve played in years, with abundant hazards, thick rough, and slick greens. Despite the difficult scoring, I still found it to be one of the most enjoyable tests I’ve ever played. Walking in the footsteps of the greats of the game is always fun, but what I loved about Le Golf National was that they didn’t just trick the course up to get it ready for the pros, they want everyone to experience the course the way it was meant to be played on a daily basis, which is at its most challenging.
Cocktail Bar Hopping
As part of our research into local spots to visit, we spent a few nights checking out the emerging speakeasy-style cocktail bar scene in Paris. I was surprised by the unique flavors each bar offered, with local ingredients expertly mixed by expert bartenders who clearly loved their craft. The pride that the French take in their gastronomy has clearly spilled over into their cocktails. I’d been told that the French prefer to drink wine over mixed drinks, but Paris has a cocktail bar scene that rivals that of any big city I’ve been to.
Good Food on Every Corner
France is known as one of the world’s best places for food, and they take their culinary arts seriously across Paris, especially. While there are dozens of very highly ranked restaurants in Paris, one of the most charming aspects of the city was being able to sit down at any corner cafe and order a perfectly cooked meal. From a high-end ham and cheese sandwich (or croque monsieur) to boeuf bourguignon to lighter salads and seafood, I was never disappointed by the meal put in front of me. I am now completely enamored of escargot, mostly because it’s impossible to go wrong with anything served in garlic butter. And, of course, each meal had a perfect glass of wine to go with it.
Staying Near the Arc de Triomphe
We chose a hotel near the Arc de Triomphe, which we were concerned would be too far from the rest of the city or too touristy for our tastes. But we were pleasantly surprised by the neighborhood, which was home to one of our favorite cocktail bars and plenty of fun sights. The nearby Charles de Gaulle Étoile Métro station made it easy to hop on a train to other parts of the city with our three-day Métro pass. We did choose to walk quite a bit, thanks to the beautiful weather, and enjoyed a stroll down the Champs Elysées, in spite of the large foot traffic of fellow tourists.
If you’re ready to add a trip to Paris to your next golf adventure, or plan an entire week in Paris just for the golf and food, get in touch today for a free quote!