Sometimes when you travel, all of the puzzle pieces just come together beyond your expectations. You manage to combine the right location, the right activity, and the right style of travel… perhaps without even trying. We were fortunate to have one such experience on our family trip to Paris: we learned how to make crêpes in Paris, but we also gained so much more than just a cooking lesson. What started as an idea for a fun activity ended up as a unique opportunity to travel deeper and make connections.
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Leading up to our trip to Paris, Ronnie daydreamed of a family cooking class focused on French cuisine. Unfortunately all of the providers we found had a minimum age that wouldn’t work for our family. For their part, the kids were so excited to gorge on crêpes after a month of reading new-favorite Crêpes by Suzette (no longer in print but now an app loaded with the book, videos and interactive features – get it for Amazon Fire and Android, iPhone, iPad).
And me? I don’t usually have too many items on my “must do” or “must eat” list, but I love talking with the people who actually live in these place we visit. I want to hear about their lives, their backstories, their thoughts on current events of the country and, if at all possible, I want to try to speak their language. On the last point, France is my second-language home turf after years of instruction during my younger days. Though the years have passed, I can still communicate effectively in French and do so anytime the (rare) opportunity presents itself.
Read more: Visiting Paris with kids? Read our top tips for a stress-free family trip to Paris.
How to make friends in Paris
And so it was that on our first night in Paris, we wandered into framboise crêperie near Les Grand Boulevards after a long, challenging and jet-lagged dinner across the street. Though we had only been in the city for a few hours, exhausted 5yo Jacob was laser-focused on a fresh, hot, Nutella-filled crêpe – and I didn’t try to stop him.
We don’t usually believe in letting fixed schedules stop our family from enjoying ourselves and exploring, and that sentiment goes double for vacations. We wandered in bleary-eyed an hour before closing and we were greeted with warmth, attention, made-to-order desserts, and a healthy dose of adult beverages.
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Fortunately(?) the sugar rush and a second-wind let us close the place down; we spent an hour sitting at the bar relaxing, tasting, and connecting with the Saturday night crew. We particularly befriended Hedi, the Tunisian chef who immigrated to France several years prior in the wake of his home country’s civil unrest and was now (mostly) happily settled in France with a son of his own. As we wound down our visit, I pulled Hedi aside and asked if it would be possible for the kids to watch him work his magic in the kitchen a different evening and he graciously agreed (actually, he said that he wanted to offer but could tell that the kids wouldn’t make it… since they were splayed across the restaurant benches half-asleep).
How to make crêpes in Paris
And so we returned a second night for more dessert, and this time with a surprise in store for the kids: a behind the scenes look at how crêpes are made by a real French chef! While the video is brief, we spent several hours talking and laughing with our new Parisian friends. We hope you enjoy watching a master at work as much as we do, and let this inspire you to get to know the people you meet as you go out to explore the world.
Do you like to travel off the beaten path? Don’t miss these 75 hidden gems in Paris! If it’s your first visit, this awesome 3-day Paris itinerary will show you the best of the best.
Looking for more Parisian foodie inspiration? Check out these 25 must-eat foods!
There’s nothing sponsored about this post except some light-as-air whipped cream topped with fresh caramel and pralines, given to a tired young girl to make her smile.
Crêperie framboise – Les Grand Boulevards
13 thoughts on “Learning how to make crêpes (and friends) in Paris”
What a fun night. I wish I could go back right now.
It sounded like a great experience. The idea of making crêpes and getting to know more about the locals alone is very appealing! Good that you returned for the 2nd night at the restaurant for the kids to see how crêpes are made by a real French chef
aww such a fun activity and beautiful written words! Family first always. 🙂 Paris is indeed a city full of surprises. – Mariella
What an awesome stroke of holiday luck. You’re right, it is amazing when everything comes together. I am craving crepes in a big way now!!! I hope your little ones enjoyed it 🙂 I know I think it’s looks like great fun!!!
I love crepes! Love that you don’t keep your kids on a strict schedule. Such a cute post! I really enjoyed it. Your family seems like they enjoyed the experience too!
oh my gosh, your kids are so cute! Love a messy little face! What a really cool experience to get to know the locals and have a real heartwarming conversation!
Mt heart is melting, what a wonderful experience 🙂 Travel is all about experiences like this and I’m sure your kids enjoyed France as much as you did. 🙂
Loved reading your post and I really appreciate your perspective. I can’t agree with you more with your words- ” let this inspire you to get to know the people you meet as you go out to explore the world.” Widening the horizon from all aspects is priceless – Chirasree
This is such a cute experience! It’s so nice when people are willing to open up and give you experiences that will make you remember the trip forever.
These are my very favourite travel moments. As someone who has moved abroad a couple of times, I often find we connect with other immigrants to share our stories and tips gleaned from trying to make our way in a place we’re not from originally. I’m glad you connected with him! He’s clearly a master, look how thin they are!
That’s so nice of the chef to do that, and even to let your family return for a second night! The kids must have loved eating the crepes. Kind of similar to this, I’ve taken some cooking classes while traveling and have had a great experience with this, both with respect to the delicious food I got to eat as well as the people I got to meet 🙂
This seems like so much fun! This is exactly why I love travel so much, so many new experiences 🙂