Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Europe Trip- Paris

 Paris oh dear Paris- the city of romance. My impression of Paris only goes as far as my imagination can take me. I’ve read about it in books, studied about it during French classes, watched shows about it and heard stories of it from friends. After seeing so many lovely pictures and postcards of the Effel tower, it has always been my dream to visit this city.
 
 
And so after London, here we were. I was actually mentally prepared by all the stories my friends told that I did not keep my hopes too high. The entire city ( no offence to those who are living there) really smells like pee. Everywhere we went, the train, pavements, corridors smelt as if someone just pee-ed there and ran away. But that aside, the beauty of the city during the evening, music, atmosphere with people picnic-ing along the river and most importantly the richness of the food and quality of desserts, pastries (OMG) was enough to blow me away.


We spent 5 days ( 4 whole days to be exact) exploring the city of romance and of course indulging in their endless plethora of freshly baked goods. Any sweet tooth person would definitely go nuts here. I basically spent my mornings having pastries, fruits and desserts, Lunch having bread, pastries and desserts, evenings having bread pastries and desserts, and no prizes for guessing what I had for supper!!
 
Enough talking and time to let the pictures slowly speak:
 
 
This was the first building in Paris that I took. It was around the neighbourhood we stayed in and I simply adored the flower pots at each balcony.
 
 
 
 
Our first dinner in Paris!! We were so hungry and tired that we settled for a restaurant that seems nice enough to enjoy something French and it was truly a treat!! Le Square Trousseau! The menu was in French and not a word of English. The basic French I learnt took me halfway there but not totally so we were able to kinda guess what was what.. We figured the rest through google translate! HAHS! From top left: Boeuf with caramelized onions, veau with mushroom cream sauce, seafood risotto and duck with poire! And of course we couldn't leave without having a plate of escargots! Nom Nom nom. I was a happy camper ;)


Eiffel Tower:


Eiffel Tower located on the champ de mars- Everybody knows the Eiffel tower. It’s their cultural icon and everyone seems to use it to promote their products. Notebooks, keychains, pouches, bags etc… What a fad! But I won’t deny that I'm one of those chasers of things associating with the Eiffel. Anyway, it was so tall and huge that standing below it made me feel so insignificant and vulnerable.. I concluded that the tower does not look nice the nearer you are to it coz all you can see will be the “structure” of the tower, an endless line of people queuing up to reach the top of the tower and people coming up to you asking if you know how to speak English. Insane! We decided to scoot further to capture the whole tower. We spent say an hour trying to pose, jump, snap snap snap with the tower. We were so retarded that I am thankful nobody there knew us. That’s the perks of being a tourist in a foreign land. Nobody knows you and you can get away with doing stupid things.

Palace of Versailles:
 
  
 
 

Im glad we designated a whole day to visit Palace of Versailles as this place was just drop dead gorgeous. I know that is a pretty irrelevant phrase to describe a place of attraction but the palace is indeed so grand and big that we had to rent a buggee to explore the entire area. They have bikes, segways, boats and trams to take you around for those that are feeling super lazy. But after reaching the middle area ( If you managed to forage your way thru the same maze”), where the lakes and magical fountain are, you would just want to chill and hang around a little longer to enjoy the beauty of the place. To sum it up, after all the palaces/ castles/ famous attractions we visited throughout our entire trip, I am rating this the most memorable!!
 
 
So many places for picnics!!
 
 
La notre dame de paris:
 
La notre dame de paris- Performances, Live music where you can totally soak in the Parisian culture. 
 

 The above was taken along the Seine river with people relaxing by the pavements.
 
  
We had a stroll along the bridge and there we managed to get a full view of the sunset at 9.30pm and the beautiful Seine River.
 
 
 
Pont Des Arts:  
 
 
 This bridge is iconic for their countless padlocks where couples would attach padlocks with their names engraved on it and throw the key into the Seine river as a romantic gesture.
 
 
 
 
 Saint Germain de Pres:
 

Saint German de pres is an area located on the 6th arrondissement of Paris. I call this the market district of food simply because every corner we walked, there were rows and rows of cafes, restaurants, creperies etc… It also houses some of the more popular cafes such as Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore . I bookmarked them before I came but I guess we just didn’t have time or space for more food. Well, next time maybe!
 

We went here with the sole purpose of finding some good crepes and yay we did. We found ourselves entering City Creperie located on the rue de Seine. The menu was extensive! Being a hugeeeeee fan of crepes ( when I mean hugee, I mean really huge. I could have crepes for breakfast, lunch and dinner without a single complain), I could not decide what I wanted. And as usual I toggled back and forth the choices in my mind and in the end, I settled for a sweet crepe. Caramelized calvados Apples with vanilla ice cream. And yes it was THE word caramelized that swept me away.
 
 
 
 
Oh hello Laduree, we finally met again in Paris. Located in the Avenue des champs elysees- the main shopping district, it was the perfect place to enjoy a little something sweet after hours of walking in the hot sweltering sun. That was dessert for one hour. Not to mention that we had been chomping down on chocolate bars, pastries etc every other hour.
 

Galeries Lafayette located on the 9th arrondissement is also one of the more popular shopping departmental stores to visit. It houses quite a lot of brands and gourmet markets. One thing to note is that there are 2 separate buildings- one for the men and one for the women and they are all linked. Fauchon Gourmet Epicerie to my horror was located in the men’s building so I had to make a dash for it before closing hours. Beside Fauchon was also many famous cake/ chocolate shops.

Jean Paul Hevin- Famous for their chocolates!

We saw some candied chestnuts  too!
 
Dalloyau- Their cakes and macarons. I actually tried their champagne macarons and it was quite awesome!  (Top: Opera cake, bottom: Abricot cake)


 
Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki : Whee I finally found you!! We settled for their matcha millefeuille, cheesecake citron and their caramel tart. Amazing desserts. Im more than ever determined to make my own millefeuille now!
 


and my happiest moments was when I finally got my hands on Pierre Herme's Macarons!!! I'm not a fan of macarons but Pierre mac's are superbly good and not too sweet! Their flavours are so unique that I'm totally sold. They have crème brulee, Ispahan which comprises lychee, rose and raspberry all in one macaron!!,  and their yogurt litchi, passionfruit ones are to die for!  I will never forget the piece of freeze dried raspberry hidden in the filling. A bite into the macaron and I saw that surprise!



The rest of the photos are just food!! Enjoy!

Croque Monsieur- WE HAD this every single day. Each time we entered a bakery, we would order one.

 
Tons and tons of cheese shops around
 

Endless bakeries

 
 
Croissants- flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside

 
and never will I forget the taste of this pistachio chocolate pastry! 



Salmon wraps
 

Kebabs!
 

 
Croque Monsieur, Croque Madam!! Told you we had these everywhere we went!


 
 And we had it yet again. Different style. Hahas

and a trip to Angelina will satisfy your chocolate cravings. They are famous for their ultra rich hot chocolate!



Paris is also a place with endless markets, fresh fruits and produce. You will never go hungry here.





Yup and that basically sums up Paris in one post. A pity we didn’t get the chance to explore the other parts of France because I heard they were pretty too. Anyway, I will be back for sure!!! I love you!

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