Thursday, February 28, 2013

Strolling the Streets of the City

Everywhere you look in Paris is something beautiful. The architecture, the color, the design, each add to the magical quality of being in this romantic, intellectual, magical place. Let's look around, shall we?

A set from Les Mis? No! A real building!

Look! A chevron!

When can I go back? I need to see those trees in bloom. Anyone want to come with?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sweets and Eats

When people think of Paris, they often think of beautiful and delicate pastries, creamy cheese, and crispy baguettes. And Paris, well, she doesn't disappoint. Though you won't be able to taste it, I do hope that these images can provide a feast for your eyes!

Let's begin with Laduree. Oh, Laduree. For Christmas, my mom gave me a book, Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart. I read much of the book before my trip, and when I read about Laduree, I knew I would track it down immediately! There are a few different locations in the city, and I think I might have hit each and every one. Each has a slightly different feel, but we had tea at the one on the Champs-Elysee, whose interior is reminiscent of Versailles. If you can't tell from (all) the photos, I was a bit obsessed. 

Caroline, who I mentioned in an earlier post, told me about Pierre Herme, a pastry chef who trained at Laduree. He now has his own shop on Rue Bonaparte that is truly exquisite.

This lovely rose and raspberry delight came back to the hotel with me for tea!

And then there was all the bread (and crossisants-can't forget about them).

Hello there, lonely pain au chocolat!
 Of course, we did manage to eat some non-sweets. But, of course, we followed them up with dessert!


Would you like some butter with your cheese? 

Unfortunately, I didn't bring the camera on the most amazing gastronomic experience of the trip, our dinner at Semilla at 54 Rue de Seine. I borrowed this image to give you a sense of the space:

Again, Caroline came to our aid and got us a table when the hotel conceirge told us that was not possible! That meal will be one I will always remember, particularly the chestnut soup. If you are ever in Paris, you must visit Semilla. The restaurant is lovely, the staff is fantastic, and the neighborhood in which it is located (Saint Germain) is also such a delight, so leave yourself plenty of time to wander and explore!

Anyone else feel like a glass of champagne and a nice crusty baguette?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Window Shopping

While I learned that it is challenging to take a good photo of a window (reflection much?), I did make an amateur attempt so as to be able to share the experience of wandering the streets of Paris and taking in the beauty of all the windows I passed.

Here I am, your eager guide on our little tour! This stop is on the Boulevard Saint-Germain at the Diptyque store. Their fragrances and candles smell like heaven.

On our first full day, we walked the famous Rue Saint-Honore which runs parallel to Rue Rivoli (on which you'll find the Louvre and Jardin de Tuileries). There are lots of beautiful shops and boutiques, including Angelina, which serves a famous hot chocolate and is where Coco Chanel used to take tea! Above, you can also see a glimpse of the Laduree shop. Much more on that to come in the Sweets and Eats post!

The neighborhood in which we stayed was called Le Marais, and it, too, has a plethora of shops and reastaurants. I have always admired Repetto ballet flats, and was delighted to find a shop just around the corner from the hotel. The displays are beautiful, and I love all the delicate point shoes along the back wall.

One of Paris's most galmorous department stores is Le Bon Marche. It is owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey ) and is filled with decadent luxury goods. How lovely is this?

Two of Paris's most famous luxury retailers are probably Louis Vuitton and Hermes. The Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysee was an absolute mad house!

As the week ended, we started to see signs of Fashion Week, which is coming to Paris this week.

Hope you've enjoyed today's tour! A demain!