Save the best till last

This is my last Paris post but it was number one on my list of things to do. My Dad first introduced me to Ladurée a couple of years ago but as there are no stores near us I have been desperate to go ever since.

After our day at Versailles we needed somewhere to relax for a bit and I couldn't think of anywhere better than the famous Ladurée.

We walked into the tea room where all the tables are set, ready and waiting with adorable pastel coloured cups and saucers and little menus with a brief history of the company and an extensive list of tempting treats.

We had a quick flick through the menu but really there was never any doubt as to what I would be ordering. A selection of macarons of course, I just had to compare them to those I had 2 days before. These won hands down!

I had the Ladurée latte to accompany my little treats; the 2 separate jugs were a great idea allowing you to put together your latte in whichever quantities you desire.

After polishing off our snack I had to sit a little longer to take in my surroundings and think about how much we managed to do in our short time in Paris.

There was only one thing left to do before we called it a day...step through into the shop.

 We admired the large selection of cakes on display before picking up a wee treat for later on.

 Paris you were wonderful and I am already looking forward to my next visit whenever that may be.



Château de Versailles

Last week was crazy busy with work and swimming so I got a bit behind on my Paris posts, but not to worry I have 2 more lined up and they may just be my favourite! There were two things I just had to do on this trip to Paris and one was make the trip out to Versailles and boy am I glad I did!

We started the day early as we knew it would be really busy and we were right, it was quite the mission to make our way through the main palace but boy was it incredible!! The scale and opulence was like nothing I have ever seen. 

I mean just check out the queen's bedroom!

I was actually a little relieved to get outside into the grounds, much more space to roam around and enjoy the warmer weather that was finally gracing us with its presence. 

We grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading down to my new house (Petit Trianon). 

In comparison to the main palace its small, but by any other standard it would be a lovely (very) large home.

Isn't the furniture just adorable! I want these chairs for my house.

The weather was really starting to pick up so we wandered around the grounds to the little thatched roof farm cottages of Marie Antoinette's estate. There were several people working the grounds which really gives it an authentic feel, like its not just another museum.

I think we walked around in a circle, its pretty easy to get lost in the vast grounds but we eventually made our way back to the canal and the centre of the estate.

It was time to head back into the city but we barely scratched the surface of Versailles and its expansive grounds, I will definitely be making a return visit the next time I go to Paris.




Rather than try to cram everything from Tuesday in Paris into this post I figured I would just share a highlight. Both Fran and I are huge fans of The Londoner and it was on her blog that we discovered our treat for the day.

I'm getting a little ahead of myself though, we started the morning with a wonder around Place des Vosges and Le Marais which is such a lovely part of the city and not as busy as the centre and full of cute little shops, perfect for a morning stroll and to kill some time before the main event.

By that I mean Merci. This used book cafe is joined onto their shop which is full of loads of wonderful trinkets and treasures.

I don't think I've ever seen match boxes in so many different colours or bed spreads for that matter.

After a good snoop around it was time for the main event, we sat down ordered our coffees and les tartines grillées (crème chocolate maison).

It was delicious! The water flavoured with mint was a great thirst quencher too, but that melted chocolate.... it was like 5 star toast with nutella!

One wall of the cafe is lined with books from floor to ceiling, feel free to read one while you sit and sip on your coffee or buy one and take it home with you.

We were so thrilled with our trip to Merci, it was definitely worth the slight detour from the regular museum trail.



The most incredible opera house?

Our first full day in Paris we had planned a trip to the Louvre, but that didn't happen. Instead we found ourselves inside the Palais Garnier, never have I been so in awe of a building. The intricacy of the detailing was just incredible, this is one that I will let some pictures do the talking.

Who doesn't want a staircase like this in their house?

And by far the most impressive room I have ever seen...

I don't think I will ever get bored of re-visiting these photos!

However it was time for a wee pit stop and re-fuel, normally I'd go for a coffee but when I heard about Angelina and its famous hot chocolate 'l'africain' there was no other option.

We sat chatted about what we had seen and everything we still wanted to do while taking in the surroundings of this bustling little tearoom.

I had intended on leaving you with mouths watering but I just have to slip in one last photo from our afternoon. We spent some time at the Musée de l'Orangerie which was possibly my favourite museum of the trip. There were 2 large rooms of Monet's Water lillies; if you are planning a trip to Paris these are a must see!



Return to Paris

As I write this I am sitting in Charles de Gaulle airport wishing I didn't have to head back home! My first trip to Paris was probably 8 years ago and I was rather underwhelmed. I just didn't understand why everyone thought it was so wonderful. After my second trip in 2011 I started to change my mind, and now I would stay here at least another week if I could!

Arriving mid Sunday afternoon I had to get myself to Gare du Nord to meet Fran who had travelled over on the train. Armed with some rusty french and directions from our host we took on the task of finding our apartment for the next few days.

We had booked our apartment through airbnb, a first for both of us, and lets just say we will both be doing it again! It was so great to have a place that gave us that authentic Parisian lifestyle even if it was only for a few days.

We dumped our stuff and decided to head out for some exploring.

We took a walk along the Seine up to Notre Dame, which is just stunning! Even though it was starting to get late there were still hundreds of tourists looking up at the grand cathedral in awe. We joined them for a bit but our stomachs soon reminded us we hadn't had anything to eat.

We stopped at pretty much the first restaurant we came across and sat down for a beef foundue. It came with a heaps of chips, salad and some red wine of course.  After stuffing ourselves full of fondue  the waiter managed to convince us that creme brûlée was a good idea...and boy was he right!

After finishing off the wine and some coffee we headed back to the apartment so we could get some well needed rest in the hope we would wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed for a full day of exploring the next day.

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