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Weekend in Paris and Cape Town

Weekend in Paris and Cape Town
Weekend in Paris and Cape Town
via Air France and Emirates First Class
April 2023

I'm off today on one our certifiably insane food-wine-flying trips with my MSP travel buddy batmandds… 60 hours of flying including 5 long haul First Class fights on the world’s two best First Class airlines. And five spectacular restaurants… Michelin 3 star and #5 in the world Pujol in Mexico City, Michelin 3 star Le Pre Catelan in Paris, and three amazing Cape Town restaurants… #37 in the world and #1 in Africa FYN, #56 in the world La Colombe and Salsify at the Roundhouse. I’ll post reels on all of flights, dining and The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome and The Silo Cape Town.

First stop on our whirlwind trip is Mexico City and a 2pm lunch at PUJOL the #5 in World’s Best. While batmandds had an easy Delta nonstop from MSP (arriving on time), I had to connect to get to MEX in time. AA offered a DFW connection that would get me to MEX at 12:05pm… IN THEORY. 

Denver DEN to Dallas DFW
American AA 1067
April 21, 2023

At DFW, first stop is the Capital One Lounge in the D terminal.

And delicious chilaquiles.

Quick check of the bar.

And a wow on the wine offerings...

Off to my gate and so far so good...

... but true to its pathetic garbage airline status, DFW-MEX was delayed 90 minutes due to mechanical. And true to form, AA started rolling delays. By the time AA found a new plane, I had missed my window to get to Pujol, given Mexico City traffic. 

Dallas DFW to Mexico City MEX
American AA 393
10:26a-12:05p (sked)
11:50a-1:30p (Actual)
April 21, 2023

Nice cleaning job AA.

Lunch was the usual disgusting AA offering.

... and totally inedible.

We arrived 90 minutes late. then 30 minutes to wait for a gate and the long trek to immigration.  Then headed for the pleasant landslide Centurion Lounge to wait for Air France checkin to open.

Excellent margarita and margharita pizza.

Here is my Instagram video of our itinerary and my day with dreadful American Airlines.


Off to Paris

La Première check in was easy and I was escorted thru security and to the Grand Lounge Elite, which Air France uses in Mexico City.  They renovated since my last visit a couple of years ago and the private area is ugly, spartan and not very private anymore and right next the bar. No more LP menu although the chef did come out and go over my options. Frankly, the Amex Centurion Lounge was far better. On the other hand, escort to the plane via golf cart was excellent.

Mexico City MEX to Paris CDG
Air France AF 179
6:40p-1:40p (sked)
7:30p-2:40p (actual)
April 21, 2023
Departed 2/4


Happy to back in Air France La Première and its elegant private single row 4 seat cabin, one of the best First Class cabins in the skies. And fortunate to be the only two passengers today on our 11 hour flight from Mexico City to Paris. Excellent service, good food, wonderful champagne and an excellent Bordeaux.


Meh on the amenity kit, unlike Emirates.

Tonight's menu and wine list.

Very nice Bordeaux and shockingly extravagant for Air France.

Just a little turbulence.  


Bed time. 

At CDG, we parked close to immigration so our escort was brief and our HertzDriveU driver was waiting for us.

For those into Instagram, my 60 second video of our MEX-CDG La Premiere flight.

The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme is a wonderful hotel perfectly located near iconic Place Vendôme, close to shopping, Le Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde and The Louvre. And even better as Hyatt offers really attractive points redemption deals at much less than to going paid rate. The PH was the perfect home base for our day and night in Paris.

Time for a drink at the bar before heading out for the evening...

Instagram video of the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

With a 7:30pm dinner reservation, we headed out for drinks at two iconic Paris hotels, Le Meurice and Le Crillon… on a gorgeous Paris spring late afternoon.

Very, very dangerous when Mrs. SFO777 is in Paris.  

Le Meurice..

And Bar 228, home of the world's best Whiskey sours.

And Hotel de Crillon...

And my Instagram video of our pre-dinner bar hopping.

What a wonderful experience tonight at Frederic Anton’s fabulous Michelin three star Le Pré Catelan. An amazing culinary taste treat with creative presentation and flawless service by a wonderful staff.

Gorgeous building.

Pea - Crispy tartlet, Stracciatella cream, caviar.

And more peas..

Asparagus - White escabeche. white Miso, Poutargue and Lemon zest.

Crab - Dashi, hot jelly, fennel cream.

Langoustine - ravioli, duck foie gras, thin gold jelly.


Cod - Soft brandade.

Salmon - Smoked in cherry tree wood, confit, wasabi.

Caviar - champagne sorbet.

Squab - Prepared as a "rotie", nettle jus.

Cheese - Steamed soufflé, Comté cream.

Rhubarb - Candied, lemon sablé, vanilla fragrance ice cream, crispy opaline.

Then there was this romantic LOL couple next to us.  On their phones all night long with barely a word between them. 

Madeira - Walnut ice cream, vinaigrette, crispy chou pastry, anise powder.

And a bonus dessert.

Fabulous meal, amazing wine and flawless service. 

And my Instagram video of our wonderful dinner at Le Pré Catelan

Sunday morning and brunch at Buvette and the best croques in Paris. But first a beautiful walk to and thru the magnificent Jardins des Tuileries. Even in the rain, Paris is magical.

Just a short taxi ride from Les Jardins des Tuileries to one our Paris faves, Buvette. 

It's Paris, so we have a bottle of wine at 11am.  But of course.


The best croques anywhere!

And walking it off on the scenic 15 minute walk back to the Park Hyatt.

And my Instagram video of our morning in Paris and brunch at Buvette.

Come along for amazing inflight service on the first of four Emirates First Class flights in the next 72 hours. Today is Paris to Dubai in Emirates A380 and we enjoyed excellent service, great food some superb wines. Emirates has the best and most extravagant wines and spirits in the skies and they did not disappoint tonight.

Paris CDG to Dubai DXB
Emirates EK74
April 23, 2023
Departed 12/14


Now here's an amenity kit with stuff you can actually take home and use.

And the A380 lav, the best lav in the skies... shower.

Tonight's menu...

And the amazing Emirates First Class wine list...

Showtime, Emirates style.

Oh yeah!


Why not?  LOL.

And a nightcap.

Another superb Emirates flight with wonderful service.

And my Instagram video of our Emirates First Class flight to Dubai.

​After a relaxing 3 hour connection in Dubai with the usual lounge hopping, we’re off on our 9 hour flight to Cape Town.   

Amazing wine cooler.

Or just on the counter...

Dubai DXB to Cape Town CPT
Emirates EK 772
April 24, 2023

With a 3:50am Dubai departure and my body saying "no mas” I went to sleep right after take-off and woke up 6 hours later totally refreshed… and hungry. LOL. 

Tonight's menu...

And wine list...

More excellent Emirates service with great food and a stunning 2011 Le Petit Cheval, a mere US$300 a bottle retail.

Yummy wagyu sliders.

Delicious prawn machbous.

On approach to stunning Cape Town.

So happy to be back in beautiful South Africa.

My Instagram video of our Emirates First Class Dubai to Cape Town flight.

​The Silo Hotel in Cape Town is one of the most unique hotels I have ever visited. The Silo is a former century old grain storage silo which has rebuilt and re-imagined into a spectacular five star work of art. The Silo sits on Cape Town’s V&A waterfront and offers wonderful views of all of Cape Town, one of the world’s most beautiful cities.


Beautiful morning the next morning...

After breakfast, I headed up to the roof top for the view...

... and the for a enjoyable walk to the heart of Cape Town’s V&A waterfront… a major attraction loaded with shops, restaurants and activities, featuring wonderful views of all of Cape Town.​

My Instagram video of our stay at the unique Silo Hotel Cape Town.

And video of my morning walk around V&A Waterfront.

Lunch on arrival day was at fabulous FYN (pronounced like “rain”) ranked #37 in the world and #1 in Africa on the 2022 World’s 50 Best list. FYN features an interesting blend of Japanese and South African food that really works. FYN touches all the senses with excellent food, beautiful presentation and outstanding service. And by European or North American standards, insanely inexpensive, with the lunch tasting menu priced at just US$56/50€ 


My Instagram video of my fabulous lunch at FYN.