As we are now firmly in the month of August, the warm weather here in the UK might be approaching to its end (now I might just have jinxed myself with the unpredictability of British weather lol.) With the scorching hot weather, I have completely lost count with the number of ice creams I had eaten in the past months. 😛🍦🍦🍦 But, have you ever tried to make your own ice cream at home? With homemade ice creams, you are free to create any flavours you can imagine and the sky is the limit!
Ice cream is essentially a flavoured, frozen custard, and it is actually a lot more straightforward and easy to make than one may think otherwise (at least in my case lol.) All you really need is a plastic box and a freezer, alongside some stirrings to do and a bit of patience. The first flavour I made is one of my absolute favourite – mango! 😋😋 You can check out my recipe below, and it is also adaptable for other ice cream flavours!
What is your favourite ice cream flavour? 😉
Mango Ice Cream
300g single cream
100g caster sugar
350g mango puree
250g double cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat single cream at a lot heat, the stir in sugar until it has completely dissolved.
Pour the cream in a container, then add in the mango puree, double cream and lemon juice. Mix using a whisk until well-combined.
Place the ice cream in the freezer for about 3 hours, or until semi-frozen. Use a fork to fold the ice cream evenly, starting from the edges.
Place it back to the freezer to freeze overnight, or until it is completely frozen before serving.
It was a really warm day in Paris today with the temperature reached 38C in the afternoon! 🔥 🔥 Undeterred, I started my day early and visited the area around the Hôtel de Ville, and also dropped by for a look around and some food in the Bazar de L’Hôtel de Ville (a department store).
Following a suggestion made by one of my work colleagues, I next headed to Sainte-Chapelle, a chapel famous for its beautiful stained glass. They were absolutely breathtaking! 😮❤️❤️❤️ Being under 26 and from Europe, I was even able to skip the long queue! (Though I did ask a member of staff if UK still counts as part of Europe now despite the current political climate… 😂😂😂)
I also dropped by the Notre Dame which was nearby. Obviously the fire meant that it is now out of bound, but I still had the image of Quasimodo singing ‘Out There’ here from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The feel~ 🎶🎶
Now, moving on to my main event today, which was to visit the Catacombs. This was the location all of my work colleagues who I spoke to recommended to go. To head there, I took the RER (the regional train) from Notre Dame. And the station entrance was an elevator hidden in a back alley!
Setting the feel for the Catacombs, I was excited as soon as we arrived at the station gate. But as I dug my hand into my pockets, I noticed that my 3-day train ticket had gone missing! 😭 I searched all the pockets and my bag, and I could only conclude I must have dropped it somewhere earlier today. 😓 Could this be a bad omen…?
Nonetheless, I decided to head to the Catacombs first and worried about the journey back later. But my excitement was quite diminished when I saw the massively long queue outside the Catacombs entrance. 😱
I guess my stubbornness took over and I decided to queue regardless. The weather was burningly hot and I was directly under the sun. The queue was also moving at an extremely slow pace due to the Catacombs only being able to hold a maximum capacity of 200 people on top of visitors with fast passes being prioritised. Many people either gave up and those who remained like me gradually got exhausted and frustrated after standing in the heat for so long. 😣
In front of me stood a pair of brothers who came from America, and behind me there were an American girl (who I later found out is now studying in China) and her Chinese friend. After two hours of just glancing at each other and making only very small talks, we gradually shared the same dislike of the heat, and started to have many deep conversations. 😊 We chatted about where we were from, our general lives and shared how we were all here in Paris for holiday. (The older brother of the two boys told me the Catacombs was the attraction he wanted to visit the most which was why he was so adamant about queueing!) The brothers were planning to visit the Louvre with their parents tomorrow and the two friends will be going to see the Eiffel Tower – both had got tips from me after what I learnt yesterday! 😂 We even talked about American and European politics and so much more. 😁😆
Finally, after a ridiculous 4 and a half hours in the heat, we were finally let in to buy the tickets. 😩 But because of the capacity issue, we were let in gradually: the brothers went ahead, followed by me in a few minutes, and the two friends weren’t long after me. The five of us though were able to meet back down underground and we explored the Catacombs together! 😁 We were literally laughing and joking around like old friends that have known for many years not mere hours. I felt so blessed by the company! ❤️
Honestly, I couldn’t imagine how one could possibly walk alone here with all these skeletons around! 💀💀💀 It was a damn creepy place! (And hopefully I won’t be getting nightmares tonight…) But, with my new friends, this was one fun adventure underground that I would really missed! 😆😆 I was so sad when I had to say goodbyes to these people who I just happened to cross paths today. 😔 (The brothers both shook my hand when I left.) I wondered had we all met in different circumstances, would things be any different? (I did ended up bumping into the brothers again though when they struggled to find their way back to the entrance of the Catacombs where their parents were to met them – the exit was a whole street away from it, so I helped them to find their way back! 😂)
To finish my day, I visited a patisserie shop called Thevenin nearby, and I literally just made it in time before it closed.
I bought the raspberry & chocolate entremet and also the passion fruit, mango and coconut entremet. The latter was absolutely scrumptious! 😋 I also got some unexpected delicious Chinese takeaways from a restaurant just a few shops down, and I could tell you I devoured everything when I got back into the hotel room! 😂