Paris me manque…
Sorry for the delay in posts lovelies. The boyfriend and I were lucky enough to be able to take a trip to Paris last week.
It was absolutely heavenly.
Partly to visit Maison-Objet, and partly for pleasure, we had an amazing time just wandering around the city, shopping at random stores and farmer’s markets, and eating many many crêpes du jambon et fromage in Paris’s beautiful parks.
This is Part 1 of 2 posts on our little trip:
Two long flights and several airplane food meals later, the boyfriend and I arrived at CDG around 12:00. Exhausted, and semi deaf from the wailing infant behind us, we couldn’t wait to get to our apartment and buy as many crêpes as we could eat. After a bit of scurrying around and trying to figure out how to work the ticket machine for the RER (it took a while for a rather frustrated French man to explain that the machine only took French credit cards and coins), we took the train to Gare du Nord, and swooped on the Metro to Anvers. A nice American couple pointed the way to Sacré Coeur, and we walked up the hill to our apartment. We had rented a teeny studio (mainly for the epic view of the Basilica) from a darling French girl named Alice. Her building was old (like most of the buildings in Paris), with gorgeous solid oak doors and heavy iron fixtures.
Of course, her apartment was located at the top of the building on the sixth floor–no elevator. We were so exhausted, the boyfriend and I could do nothing but laugh as we lugged my hundred pound suitcase up six floors. After a grand tour from Alice’s friend Antoine (she had already taken off on vacation), we showered (her bathroom has an amazing view with Notre Dame in the distance) and set off to explore Montmartre.
We grabbed a crêpe du jambon et fromage and walked up the hill to Sacré Coeur to enjoy the 180 view of Paris. While wandering down winding cobblestone streets past pubs and cafés, we found a little restaurant nestled at the bottom of a dead end road. Le Troubador was small, quaint, and irresistibly French–a little wooden shingled apartment sat above the indoor bar, while the majority of the restaurant was situated in a tiny terrace out front. We shared a bottle of Bordeaux and people watched as the sun set. On the way home, we popped into a little shop (and made friends with the Tunisian owner) to stock up on more wine, tabac, and some fantastic chocolate covered waffles. It was a perfect first night–which we finished off with a final bottle of wine while listening to French radio and enjoying Alice’s perfect view of the city.
We heard from just about everyone that Paris is best explored on foot–so we were thrilled when we woke up and saw the sun shining. The Louvre has free admission on the first Sunday of the month, so we headed over to the museum, stopping and enjoying the random patissieries, boulangeries, fromageries, and other little stores along the way. My personal favorite? A store just outside of Montmartre that was completely dedicated to ribbon. Since it was Sunday, it was closed (of course!), but I got a good peek at the rows and rows of shelves chock full of ribbon in every color imaginable.
We walked along the Seine, poking through the little booths that sold old photos and advertisements from the 40s, until we finally made it to the Louvre. The line looked pretty terrifying at first, but we ended up only having to wait for about 45 minutes–and the weather was heavenly so we couldn’t complain.
I could’ve spent forever exploring the long hallways and infinite rooms in the Louvre. We saw the Mona Lisa, of course, but our favorite parts were the apartments of Napoleon III, and the hall of Louis XIV (who doesn’t love looking at crown jewels?).
Our feet got tired eventually though, so after a quick rest in Jardin des Tuileries, we had lunch on the trendy and lively Rue Montorgueil (the best part of lunch was probably when a group of Brazilian acrobats/drummers came walking down the street, literally jumping OVER pedestrians). I stopped for a baguette, some amazing Gruyere, and vegetables on the way home, and we had what became our staple dinner in Paris: baguette, fromage, salad, and a bottle of Bordeaux. We’d heard good things about a local bar, La Fourmi (which means “The Ant” in French), so we headed over for a nightcap. Montmartre is very “bobo” (Bourgeouis-Bohemian), so there was some great conversation and people watching.
Monday meant I had to work for a bit, so I set an alarm and woke up early to catch the RER to Parc du Expositions. Maison-Objet happens twice a year in Paris–and is one of THE places to go to see the best of the best, and get a good look at new trends in the world of interiors.
I’d been warned that Maison is incredibly overwhelming, but I was definitely not prepared for the eight massive buildings–each one full of new and exciting product. Luckily, I had a list of people I wanted to go see. The outdoor furniture pavilion was amazing. Kettal is always a favorite, but there were a few other new lines that blew me away. After passing out business cards and magazines, and sneaking a few pictures in, the boyfriend and I decided it was time to take the train back to Montmartre and take a much needed nap.
After some shut eye, we decided to take off for the Marais District–where a few of the boyfriend’s co-workers had made some recommendations. We were unaware however, that a street bordering the Marais is known for its abundance of prostitutes. It was an adventure… to say the least.
After that, we were in desperate need of a drink, which we accompanied with some Camembert at a bar close to the Notre Dame. We polished off our wine and decided there was no better time to take of a tour of the church then at night. It was vaguely creepy but completely amazing. I’m so glad we went when there were no crowds. The gargoyles are particularly effective at night and totally creepy at night.
The boyfriend was desperately craving moules et frites, so we headed to the Latin Quarter on a mission. Right as it started to rain, we found a great and cheap restaurant that had moules et frites on the menu. We had it along with another cheap bottle of wine (always), and a DELISH salad with French bacon, warm chevre on toast, and probably the best salad dressing I’ve ever had.
Naturally, we had to top off the meal with crème brulée.
We were stuffed afterwards… and walking all the way back to Montmartre was not an option. Luckily, we managed to catch the Metro before it closed and promptly passed out on the couch.
(well, I did anyways)
Days 4-8 to come soon!
xoxo mes amies!