Due to some dental issues we had to cancel a planned holiday to Tokyo, but decided to book some time in Surfers Paradise. But before then we decided to have a few days in our own city, staying at our favourite Sydney hotel, The Hilton, in a relaxation suite with spa.
The spa was rather large and shaped so that two people could sit facing each other. The citrus scented bath salts were quite lovely and refreshing. Of course when having a romantic spa, a good bottle of wine is handy. For us it was a bottle of Rockford Basket Press 2009. Love the bottle the Basketpress comes in and the wine is a great example of Barossa Shiraz.
Our suite faced west with a view over the Queen Victoria Building. Sadly the weather was quite inclement so the view was limited. Despite the weather we did a bit of shopping and window shopping.
For lunch we went French with two courses at Felix Bistro in the Ivy complex. A great start to our holiday dining! Mr. CA4G had SteakFrites with red wine jus and cafe de Paris butter, while I ordered my favourite, confit duck which was served with braised cabbage, cubes of celeriac and apple with a thyme jus. We also ordered a bottle of Chateau Val de Roc, Bourdeaux Superieur 2012, a cabernet blend, quite enjoyable without being too over powering.
While the desserts sounded lovely we decided to go for a selection of 3 cheeses. There were five cheese to choose from and we opted for Milchzapfen (Zurich, Switzerland), St Maure de Tourraine (loire Valley, France) and Epoisses (Burgundy, France). These were served with a selection of breads, quince paste and fruit.
After lunch we wore ourselves out with more window shopping before returning to the Hilton for a siesta. As we were quite full from lunch dinner was a light affair of snacky bits in the Executive lounge.
One of our most watched movies is ‘Something’s Got To Give’ starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. One of our dreams while visiting Paris was to dine at the restaurant Le Grand Colbert which is shown towards the end of the movie.
After settling in to our room at Hotel Banke on Rue Lafayette, we went for the first of many looooonnngggg Parisian walks. In effect we became ‘flaneurs’, exploring the boulevards and rues of central Paris. Our first outing saw us walk to the Musee du Louvre, les Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, across Pont de la Concorde to the Rive Gauche, along Quai d’Orsay to Pont Alexandre III, then up Avenue Winston Churchill past the Grand and Petit Palais, along the Champs Elysees where we saw them setting up all the stands for the Fete National parade. From there we walked back to Place de la Concorde, up rue Royal to Place de la Madeleine, up rue des Capucines, down Boulevarde des Capucines to Place Vendome. Wow getting exhausted writing it all down. After a walk around Place Vendome we went back up rue de la Paix to the Palais Garnier and then back to the hotel.
After all that walking we needed a break to think about where to eat dinner. Looking at the map I discovered that Le Grand Colbert was in fact not far from our hotel. In the end we ended up dining at Le Grand Colbert 4 times during our trip. As it turns out we were not the only ones who were repeat diners, apparently another Aussie couple had done the same.
On our first walk to Le Grand Colbert we happened to just turn our head and were struck by the following amazing view of Basilique du Sacre Couer. It seemed every place you looked there was something to take you breath away.
Anyway enough of the pretty view, on to dinner.
Located on Rue Vivienne, Le Grand Colbert is a classic Parisian Brasserie. Mosaic floors, plaster mouldings, brass light fittings, etched glass, leather banquettes, all the traditional brasserie decor elements you could ask for. Service staff were amazingly helpful and I didn’t have to use my really bad French as they all spoke very good English.
As you can see from the picture they are quite proud of the association with the movie ’Something’s Got To Give”. People have been known to request the exact seat where Jack and Dianne sat.
With a menu full of classic brasserie fare, I decided on the half chicken and Mr. CA4G had the Steak Frites with sauce béarnaise. Mr. CA4G is such a lovely man he said my bearnaise is better, should I believe him?
The wine list, while not large, has a very good selection with wines by the glass, half carafe, and bottle. On our first night we tried Delice De Prieure, a Saint- Emilion grand cru classe. Normally we don’t like merlot, but this 100% merlot was easy drinking and fantastic flavour. So good in fact we had it each time we ate at Le Grand Colbert. Before you order a bowl of crisps and olives is bought to your table.
Another visit we had the cheese plate after our meal.
On our other dinners Mr. CA4G kept to the steak frites with béarnaise while I tried the lamb cutlets with ratatouille, melon with pata negra(prosciutto) and the French classic, Blanquette de veau was my final dinner in Paris.
Desserts were amazing if huge. I had two profiteroles with hot chocolate and an ice-cream filling, Mr. CA4G had a Mont Blanc that had chestnut ice-cream, chocolate sauce, cream, almond flakes. He loved it.
One thing we love about visiting European cities in summer is the sun doesn’t go down until 10pm, allowing for a post dinner stroll. Not far from Le Grand Colbert is Le Palais Royale and then Le Louvre, nothing like a bit of grand architecture after dinner.
So have you been to a restaurant featured in a movie? Was it what you expected? Le Grand Colbert lived up to ours, and should we happen to be in Paris again in the future, we will be heading back for more great food at Le Grand Colbert.