A wannabe Parisian

Sunday, 13 April 2014
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Lunch with Anne at Merci...........

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Followed by a trip to L'Éclair de Genie. The salted caramel éclairs are my absolutely favorite.

Demolishing our treasured éclairs while resting our weary feet at Jardin de L'Hotel de Sens

2014-04-08 05.03.09 2 Navel gazing, people watching and drinking overpriced coffee (and chocolate) at the famed Cafe de Flore

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The charming Le Petit Zinc restaurant just around the corner from Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore.

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Stumbled upon a bookstore specializing in antiquated first editions.

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Exploring every cranny and nook of Paris

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A typical cafe scene in Paris

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Running late to an appointment but had to make a pit stop at one of the Amorino stalls in Tuilleries to pick up a couple of gelatos and a salted caramel crepe.

20140409_114101_1 20140409_201700_1 Happiest place on earth - for kids. As for the parents - be prepared to empty out your bank account.

2014-04-12 04.41.35 1 Near the Old Marais where the men are better dressed than women

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Off to buy grocery but had to stop to smell the roses. Literally.

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We went in search of a couple of recommended restaurants but alas, they were all shut on a Saturday afternoon. Feeling rather dejected, we figured our best bet is to wander off the main streets............... Et voilà, we found this teeny tiny seafood place.

These clams would've tasted so good with a splash of white wine and plenty of parsley. There were plenty of sea urchins to choose from too.

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Gawking at beautiful buildings at every turn

Picked up a small crate of strawberries from Marché des Enfants-Rouge, the oldest covered market in Paris (circa 1612).

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Just before sunset.

I guess you've noticed the lack of posts and the minimal text under the photos.  As you can see, I've been busy pretending to be a Parisian........okay, a wannabe Parisian whose French is bad enough to make the most tolerant local wince. I've done barely any shopping unless you count numerous visits to patisseries, food halls, markets or boulangeries and admiring the imaginative window displays outside the stores. Over-eating for an extended period of time has dulled my brain cells to such a degree that I've sat in front of my laptop for an hour without being able to piece together a coherent and legible sentence. Suffice to say, you'll have to put up with seeing more photos than words.......

Paris: Cafe de Flore & Tuilleries

Thursday, 10 April 2014
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Once upon a time, I was exceedingly anal retentive when it came to planning an itinerary which included an hour by hour schedule. It was enough to drive a person traveling (usually the husband) with me bonkers. If you're coming from a long way - say, New Zealand and you've saved for years, you want to cram EVERYTHING (every church, museum, palace) in a short space of time. It was exhausting. I couldn't bear seeing another majestic cathedral or read the history of x, y and z building for the next decade or so.

We spent the previous day just......what's that new popular word these days? Chillaxing? I loved gazing at the street style (the real stuff) in Paris from a cafe, chatting with Josephine and Lil L, wandering aimlessly and getting hopelessly lost.

We figured that we needed to do one REALLY touristy thing - go to Cafe de Flore. The ever gracious waiters there kindly let me photograph the cafe several years ago without even ordering a single cup of coffee. Yes, the coffee is pretty average and completely overpriced but hey, we got to pretend we were chic Parisians for a few hours.

Paris: L'Éclair de Génie & Chanel

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

At the risk of turning this lifestyle blog into a more accurate representation of myself - glutton, I thought I'd throw in some fashion bits (aka Chanel) to even the balance. Anyway, let's talk about French patisserie for a second. I'm ashamed to say that I've walked down Rue Pavée in Le Marais on several occasions yet I've never once noticed the nondescript L'Éclair de Génie, located next door to my favorite sandal maker, K.Jacques Saint Tropez. Anne suggested we visit the store after our lunch at Merci and there was no way I would turn down that offer. I can't believe I've missed this incredible place ALL these years.

A couple of well dressed elderly French ladies looked rather bemused and even laughed out loud at my desperate attempts to capture these beauties on the street in broad daylight. Yes, the wacky things that bloggers (okay, just me) do..........  The caramel éclairs are fantabulous!

Lugging around a massive bag as well as an equally large DSLR has taken a toll on my shoulder. It's funny how well I'd survived today without having to carry my whole life with me for the entire day. Thank goodness, I'd brought a smaller bag which was spacious enough to stuff a battery charger, cellphone, metro tickets, cards, tissues and cash inside.

Paris: Merci store & Jardin de L'Hotel de Sens

Monday, 7 April 2014
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Merci-food2 Merci-dog Merci-cafe Merci-plants Merci-home1 Merci-home2 copy Merci-home3
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If you've been following my Instagram feed, you probably realized by now that I'm in gay Paree. Lil L and I are visiting Paris with a friend without an itinerary. Yup. How brave of us (or perhaps silly). We've decided that we'll wander through the narrow streets of Paris aimlessly, sip coffee and people watch, stuff our faces silly with food, put on 10 kilos, practice our français (we've only gone as far as bonjour and merci. Months of studying the language and that's all we can do. pfffffft)......

Anne quickly realized that 70% of my Instagram photos are of .......... food (I'm Asian. It's in my DNA). She suggested that we meet at Merci, a rather unique concept store with a philanthropic objective and have lunch at the cafe there. I was all prepared to photograph the mini but to my surprise, an equally cutesy yellow truck has replaced its predecessor. My poor friend looked startled when I whipped out my camera - the size of a hand cannon and proceeded to photograph anything in the store that moved or was stationary. Sorry, Anne......(again, I blame my Asian genes). By the way, did you see the photo of the chicken? If looks could kill...... It also has a name. Yes. They named that hen. She is also the epitome of an Angry Bird.

I was particularly taken with their home department on the top floor. I'm rather rubbish at interior decorating the way I am with plants but I came away inspired by how they put together the dining room and lounge.

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The three of us followed Anne who is a Parisian to see some of her favorite places in Le Marais. We walked through the beautiful Place des Vosges which is the oldest planned square in Paris and promptly collapsed on a bench at the beautiful Jardin de L'hotel de Sens nearby to rest our weary feet.  More on the blog soon...... or follow my Instagram feed.

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris
Metro: Saint-Sebastien Froissart

Jardin de L'hotel de Sens
7, rue des Nonnains d'Hyères
75004 Paris
Open 08:30 to 19:30 (winter) and 09:00 to 20:30 (summer)
Metro: Pont Marie


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