Archive for the ‘Paris Life’ Category

Parisian Errands

October 6, 2010

Everyone is out doing errands on a drizzly day in Paris

It’s gray and rainy today, but the City of Lights is still a delight.  The Experienced Travellers look forward to sunny weather tomorrow.

But rain or shine, we must do our errands.   First, a great disappointment;  Catherine, the discount perfume store on the Rue Castiglione is gone.  We appreciate the sympathetic Lalique saleslady who recognized this serious emergency and sent us to another store on the Rue de Rivoli.  Nurse will float on a cloud of Mark Jacobs.  For me – once Chanel, always Chanel.

The Parsian firm of Maille is famous for it’s dijon mustard and cornichons since 1747.  By 1769 it was the official supplier of vinegar to the King.   Today, Maille is the official supplier of a certain Provencal mustard chez nous. 

A full selection of gourmet mustards on display at Maille

Then a lingering stop at Fauchon for some red sea salt.  The Experienced Traveller never passes up an opportunity to use facilities.  But who expected avant garde washrooms at Fauchon? 

Fauchon ladies restroom - self portrait

Errands beget windowshopping, which  is a Parisian sport.  ETs must be sportif as well and we did our best to excel.

A little something to wear to the office

Macarons are an art form

Storher came to Paris in 1730 with Louis XVs Polish queen and made a reputation with brioche. Here's his shop window today featuring fruit candies.

Laden with packages and filled with windowshopping dreams, ETs are rewarded with a pot of tea and an outdoor table in the late afternoon. 

Alors, our errands done; now we relax


Les Shoppings

October 4, 2010

The famous dome and floor upon floor of fashion

The Experienced Travellers made their ritual visit  to the Galeries Lafayettes, the famous Parisian department store.  Hot. Crowded. Madhouse.  Today was Monday, when most museums are closed.  So everyone with a passport and a 10% discount coupon headed to the Blvd. Haussmann to do some damage.

The Galerie L. excels in the grand French tradition of over-heating.  Is there a section of the Napoleonic Code that legislates maximum central heating in public places where people are likely to wear coats and scarves? (which the French do starting in mid-September)

At any rate, I very quickly chose one top, and Nurse made me an early birthday present of a snazzy black jacket with a 19th century military motif.  I will make the perfect supernumerary in an Offenbach opera.

After our Galerie L. ordeal, we deserved a taxi home.  As we snaked through the traffic, I saw this informative historic plaque–

Proust's cork-lined bedroom is now a conference room in this building

I cried out to the driver “arrêt!, arrêt!” The frightened man pulled over so I could photograph and share this important moment with you.  Clearly, there must be a trip back to the Blvd. Haussmann so I can gain entry to the cork-lined room. I will use all my wiles and powers of persuasion.  Nurse can find a comfortable cafe where she can wait and pretend she doesn’t know me.

There were still groceries to be got, but Experienced Travellers never shop in a weakened state. We drew strength from a small snack of rabbit terrine; salmon tartate with fennel, dill and chive; bufala mozarella and warmed goat cheese on croutons with green beans, hearts of lettuce and a peeled tomato.  Did I mention the wine?

For the Foodies

Thanks to our restored state, we were capable of asking a nice lady in the wine aisle for advice, and came away with a 2-euro bottle of Bordeaux.  Report forthcoming. 

Digression for those of you who wonder about such things; 1 box of muesli costs 1.85 euro; 1 package of decaf costs 2.15 euro; 1 container of milk costs 0.65 euro. Oh, and I lied.  The wine was 1.85 euros, not 2.  (1 euro=$1.36)

At the produce stall, the radishes aren’t in yet, but the mushrooms are.

Exquisite mushrooms

Our shopping was done, but this Parisienne enjoyed window-shopping at a real-estate company on the Ave. Bosquet.  I wonder if there’s something there for me too?

Perfect Parisienne.

Travellers Note:  Thanks to all of you who expressed concerns about the warnings to US citizens in Europe. We’re paying attention and we’re staying put.

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