Bombing around Paris on a bike can go either of two ways... Either slowly and sedately following the pretty girls on their Velibs down the cycleways by major roads, avoiding hapless tourists. Or it's fast and furious racing with scooters up and down little one-way side streets forever trying to work out where the next possible turning in the other direction might be (they seem to assign directions to said streets en masse). Really it is immense fun and very easy to out-pace others travelling by metro or even RER.
The first place I went to eat was Astier up in the 11eme arrondissement on recommendation from a food and cat lover I know in Manchester. Frustratingly the process of getting in touch with my friends meant that some wires were crossed - they were supposed to meet me on Pont Neuf but went straight to the restaurant - leaving me to spend an hour or two farting around wondering where they might be before twigging that they were already there. By the time I arrived they were onto the cheese which was absolutely fucking amazing. A huge platter of marvellous marvels in all grades of stinky oozyness. I did get to have a pudding - a very nice orangey moussey thing interspersed with layers of chocolate, one of my companions had the Rum Barbar (cake plus rum equals good) and we managed to demolish a bottle or two of excellent Pic St Loup.
All in all I was very disappointed not to have had the whole shebang (particularly given my friends ravings about how good it was) so am seriously promising myself a proper visit in the not-too-distant future. À la prochaine!
It's all just one big restau-rant...