We certainly couldn't leave Paris without going to Ladurée. I think the one on Rue Royale is really pretty ...and we were finally able to pop into the Maille store that we regretted not checking out during our first time in France (we picked up this fig & coriander grainy dijon that we've been adding adding to everything). Our last evening was spent enjoying a lovely dinner at our friends' home in Chaville.
Parisians are so lucky to have such a beautiful monument in their skyline. Even though we'd been to Paris before, I couldn't help but get a little excited when we saw it. All this short layover did was whet my appetite and I've been daydreaming about going back ever since. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a picnic, next to La Tour Eiffel, at Champ de Mars, in the summer?
While we were waiting for the tea room at Mariage Frères to open for brunch, we walked upstairs to wander around the musée du thé. There was no one else in the museum so we had the place all to ourselves. The best thing we saw: little teacups with mustache protectors built-in. I'm assuming it wasn't a very successful invention because I've never seen a mustachioed man having trouble drinking tea, but perhaps it was more of a concern back in the day.
Yay for Lindsey who writes a blog about Paris and suggested Mariage Frères for tea. We thought that we'd just be stopping in for a sip or two but ended up spending the better part of our morning there, looking through the museum (more on that tomorrow), the tea shop, and enjoying a leisurely brunch. It was magnifique!
Despite what Midnight in Paris may have you believe, Paris is not more romantic in the rain - at least, not in the winter. I couldn't escape the permanent chill in my bones for the entirety of my time there. I foolishly bought new wedge shoes in hopes of keeping up with fashionable Parisian girls only to realize that, for me, comfort beats fashion on most days, and changed into my flimsy flats which were perpetually soaked. I suppose this makes it sounds like we had an awful night... in all honesty, it was really lovely, just not more romantic than it would have been if it hadn't been raining. After our museum visit, we strolled around (because you don't walk while visiting Paris, you stroll) snapping shots with the Eiffel Tower in the background - which is almost unavoidable when you're doing said strolling in the 7th arrondissement.
For dinner, we went to Café Constant, a crowded bistro that doesn't take reservations. Proximity to the Eiffel Tower notwithstanding, it's not a tourist restaurant. The employees are polite, while making sure things are moving along quickly because there's always someone standing in the doorway to take your seat. Having said that, at no point did we feel rushed. For appetizers, Alex ordered the most amazing pumpkin soup (probably because it was more crème fraîche than pumpkin) with comté cheese and truffle oil and I had some foie gras/mushroom thing which was good but not equally as delicious. For main courses: "Patte Bleue" roast chicken with herby butter and pan fried new potatoes, plus a duck and potato pie with crispy apples for me. There was no room for dessert, which is always a shame.
While we would have liked to have stayed out until the wee small hours of the morning, the rain started coming down too heavily for us to be bothered to fight the weather anymore. We hopped on the metro and called it a night.
Palais de Tokyo was a museum that I had pinned months ago while planning this trip and the first place we went after settling into our accommodations in Paris. Unfortunately, I didn't revisit their website before leaving, otherwise I would have learned that the museum was essentially closed, save for a few small exhibits. They had a small scale model of what it will look like after renovations - seemed pretty impressive. Since we were already there, we figured we might as well check it out anyway. Hopefully we'll have a chance to go to Paris again so that we can visit the museum when it's back up and running. A few photos of the exhibits and the cute restaurant inside: