Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reserving restaurants in France, and some lovely Michelin three-star ones outside Paris


Today we more or less closed the June-July 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine, with incredible India on the cover.

This is a whopper of an issue, by the way. And just awhile earlier, I was looking at our pagination board at the office and marveling at our truly fantastic content.

This is probably our best issue to date.

I keep saying this, but I really can't help it. We just keep getting better and better. And heavier and heavier as well.




12 DOWN, 20 MORE TO GO....

Now that this issue is over, I had more time today to focus on my upcoming trips.

I have about 20 trips left for 2013, and each one is planned very meticulously for a seamless best-of-breed experience.

FRANCE, SEE YOU NEXT WEEKEND



So the next trip is France, coming up next weekend.

It's not a very long trip but it's a rather nice one, with a little bit of Paris and also a little bit of the countryside thrown in.

As always, the task of choosing hotels was left to me.

ONLY THE VERY BEST...

This is one of the most famous contraptions in the foodie world.
There are only 3 or 4 in the whole (real) world,
and one of them is in this Michelin three-star restaurant in France
that I've just booked for dinner next week.

And since this Travel Companion has no budgetary qualms about staying in pretty nice places, I chose some of the very best hotels in France.

We're staying at four hotels in total, and three of them make it to the very top of the heap, as far as hotels in France are concerned.

And the Paris hotel we're staying at is currently the most talked-about hotel in France.

Interestingly, the restaurants were also left to me this time around, as this particular Travel Companion is more into wine than food or hotels. He could have a sandwich for dinner as long as the wine is very good.

Just my luck.

CHOOSING WHERE TO EAT IN FRANCE



So I had a very good time finalizing the restaurants today, as I'm the one who doesn't want a sandwich for dinner if I'm in France.

For Paris, I chose mostly the city's top brasseries rather than their fine dining establishments.

For one thing, I've eaten in most of the Michelin three-star restaurants in Paris already.

I was also keen to save my calories for later in the trip as I don't want a sandwich for dinner, but I just can't imagine a degustation meal every single night either.

So I chose several excellent, very interesting and chic restaurants in Paris that don't fall under the Michelin three-star category; but they are very well regarded and famous in their own rights too.

In fact, they're Paris institutions.

The chic locals don't really eat in Michelin three-star restaurants everyday, but the Paris restaurants I chose are the kinds they really go to for a good meal because you can have a perfectly fantastic meal without the three-star hype factored into the pricing..

GOING OVERBOARD OUTSIDE PARIS



But for outside Paris, I sort of went overboard, especially as this Travel Companion has no limitations anyway. So as of yesterday, we had No Reservations and No Limitations.

And as of today, we got almost everywhere I want to eat confirmed -- except for one three-star place where we're still on the waitlist for a table for two.

JUST STARTED BOOKING TODAY....



Of course. I just started booking for some of the most famous restaurants in France this afternoon, as I'd been concentrating on finishing up our next issue in time for my departure, so it's a minor miracle I even got any reservations at all.

But I'm hoping everything works out in a Travelife, as it usually does, and we get our table at this three-star restaurant in a chateau with a very interesting and talented chef by next week.

For outside Paris, I chose Michelin three-star restaurants for every single night, and for a couple of lunches as well.

Frankly, I got really excited choosing the restaurants this afternoon, and booking everything on the phone.

VISITING SOME OF THE BEST WINERIES IN THE WORLD



What did the Travel Companion do, you might be wondering, while I was working hard at booking fancy restaurants for our trip.

I'm really into teamwork, you see, so I really make sure to divide the labor with whoever I'm traveling with, if it's a private holiday.

This is actually harder to do than it looks because it means I have to sit back and bite my tongue, tie my hands and resist the urge to do everything.

I know I can organize every single aspect of the trip so much better simply because we're Travelife and we know exactly what to do and how to do it best.

But this teamwork thing is really important to me, if it's a private holiday. I don't want to do everything, even if I so easily can.

Well, for this trip to France, this Travel Companion chose all the wineries to visit, and all the more mundane stuff like rental cars.



Of course I gave him carte blanche on the vineyards.

But I'm guessing we're going to be doing private visits to some of the most famous wine chateaux in the world.

Living a never-endingly eventful Travelife, of course....





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