About a year ago, Elaine sent me a calendar invite titled “Take your bike to Paris.” She had heard about a bike route from London to Paris and preemptively scheduled our trip a year in advance. Figuring that schedules would change and motivations would wane, I didn’t think it was likely to happen and then got very busy making chocolate. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, Elaine reminded me that I better start training as our trip was coming up — and I couldn’t say no as she had scheduled this a year in advance!
As I started prepping for the trip, we discovered that we had been accepted into two markets on the same day and would have a lot of chocolate to make while I was away. Since I was going away and leaving Cam and Alice with a lot of work, I made them a deal: that I would do a lot of “research” by checking out all the various chocolate establishments I found along the way in London and Paris. They seem to think I got the better end of the deal.
Here are a couple of photo highlights from the trip. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad to be back to chocolate-making.
In London, we only had a day to adjust to the time change, rent our bikes, adjust our equipment, and then check out two chocolate spots: Harrods Chocolate Bar and Artisan du Chocolat. The flight of single origin hot chocolate at Harrods was tasty and Artisan has the most inspired menu items in their small cafe. I especially loved their caramelized nibs and their Grandiflorum drink. The next day, we pedaled over the London Bridge and started heading the long trek south to the Eiffel Tower.
It started pouring as soon as we left which gave us a convenient excuse to stop for a hot chocolate break at Fanny’s Farm. After deciding the rain wasn’t going to stop, we continued towards the coast in the downpour. The next day we took the ferry to Dieppe and continued biking through wheat fields, over poppy patches, and through small villages until we finally reached Paris:
In Paris, we spent a few days making up for all the calories burned over the 210-mile trek. There are so many great chocolate places in Paris that they deserve their own blog post, so I will just point out the highlight here:
Un Dimanche à Paris is a new chocolate themed tea salon / restaurant / bar / shop by the Cluizel family. We went to the tea salon and tried their drinking chocolate plus four small dessert selections. Everything was delicious and it was a perfect way to end the trip.