Postcard from Paris Part 2

Monday, 20 April 2015
stgermain-buildings tuilleries-1 st-germain-walking st-germain

How do I condense an entire week of Paris into two posts? Easy. I'll bombard all my readers with twenty million photos of food. I had good intentions of doing more fashion orientated activities but this fell wayward when I got distracted with.......f-o-o-d. This will explain why I have two chins instead of one. #dietbeginsNOW.

The glorious sunshine continued in Paris. The temperature spiked from a freezing 12˚C to 16˚C during the week we were there. Thankfully, I came prepared with two sets of clothes (winter and spring) which meant I didn't pack as lightly as I normally do. But hey ho, who am I to complain about having endless sunshine?




L'entrecote-dining L'entrecote-1

We were half starved at one point when we missed the traditional 12-2pm lunch deadline in Paris. Thankfully, the kind folks at Le Relais de L'Entrecôte was open. The steak was still as sublimely tender as I'd remembered and the special sauce was......as special as before (anything doused in butter tastes great) which we mopped up with slices of baguette. We lucked out with a wonderful waitress who kept a cheerful demeanor and didn't bat an eyelid when I butchered the entire French language to bits. Conversations died a natural death because we were too busy chomping down our incredible meal.


Le Relais de L'Entrecôte 
20 Rue Saint-Benoît
75006 Paris
Metro: St Germain




icecream cousins2

Kids and bribery go hand in hand. Want an ice cream? Clean your room. Want a ride on the carousel? No whinging. In short, bribery ROCKS.




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I literally stumbled upon this little jewel of a restaurant on my way from the metro station to our rented apartment in Montparnasse. It's nestled amongst rows of shops off the main street, miles away from the well beaten tourists traps. The staff were unbelievably kind even though kids are not normally part of their usual clientele and happily translated the menu when my French failed me. A smattering of English, French and plenty of sign language ensued....... Surprisingly, we understood each other.  They brought out complimentary appetizers (tuna crostini and olives) and drinks which were inhaled in a few quick minutes. The lightly flavored gnocchi and crisp spring asparagus went down a treat. My pork fricassee was so tender and well flavored, the meat literally melted in my mouth.  I wasn't so keen about their odd tasting rice pudding/cake/salted caramel concoction. On the other hand, everyone fought over the creme brûlée......... (the kids won).


C'est Mon Plaisir
53, Rue Didot
75014 Paris
Metro: Plaisance




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Lil L was so excited about the prospect of having a proper mom-daughter date in Paris. We strolled and people watched in St Germain before popping into Le Bon Marché to check out the food hall. Lots of oohing and aahing over the delectable patisserie display. Yes......we're both food obsessed. Next stop...the new shoe department where we played shoe critics.

Lunch was at Rose Bakery, a place where chic Parisians convened. I had the best cauliflower soup EVER (and I don't even like cauliflower). I wished I had the courage to ask for the recipe. Lil L was in squid heaven. Her passion for seafood knows no boundaries. We were dying to try out the dazzling display of cakes but we simply could not take another bite.


Rose Bakery
Le Bon Marché
24 Rue de Sèvres 
75007 Paris
Metro: Sèvres – Babylone





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We explored the little streets of St Germain and poked our heads into little boutiques for an ogle. I managed to burn off enough calories to have my next meal. It was so warm that we decided to nip into Ladurée for an ice cream. Notice the lack of chantilly cream on top of our large bowl of rose ice cream and raspberry sorbet? I would've had to run from one end of the Seine to the other to burn THAT off or grow a third chin. Neither option is appealing.

Kids are so easy to please but I guess it's the adults that make it complicated. It wasn't the Eiffel tower nor Sacre Coeur that Lil L remembered. It was the day spent with me giggling uncontrollably over the silliest things, sharing an ice cream at Laduree, jumping on a trampoline at the Tuilleries, making a video on her iPad with her cousins and the date that we had that is seared into her memory bank permanently.

Ladurée
21 Rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris
Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés





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Just so you know.....I did the clichéd thing and took gazillion of photos of the red Fiat in front of Merci's front entrance. I'm amazed the staff and customers at Merci cafe didn't roll their eyes when I took yet another million photos of my coffee and cake......... I'm Asian...I take photos of anything and everything.


Merci
111 boulevard Beaumarchais
Paris
Métro : Saint-Sébastien - Froissart




ootd-2
Outfit: Rick Owens leather jacket, Zadig & Voltaire sweater and Zara jeans.


I was thrilled to finally catch up with Grace after we bonded over the Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket project last year. We were grateful to be able to sit down face to face to have a meaningful conversation despite living in opposite ends of the world.

Carin, Hana and Grace were incredulous when they found out that I pretty much lugged all the ingredients for our dinner from the U.K. I'd invited them over to our rather spacious Paris apartment in Montparnasse for a combination of traditional southern Chinese and Korean meal. There were 4 photographers in the apartment but none of us managed to snap a photo........ These days, I'm all in favor of dining at home with friends so that we can chill, take our time with our meal while the kids run around and knock themselves out with whatever games they want to play with.



eiffel tower-1 eiffel tower-night

I've made close to a dozen trips to Paris over the years. I don't tend to romanticize Paris nor do I have my blinders on because if you scratch below the surface of any seemingly perfect city, you'll find problems abound, be it bureaucracy, unemployment or lack of customer service. Despite my rather shocking grasp of French, I've been truly blessed with a warm welcome and kindness from strangers and friends alike in Paris each time I've been back. To all the Parisians that I've met over the last ten years, thank you for your gracious hospitality.









26 comments:

  1. Fabulous post Marlene. I have been taking my daughter - now 15 - to Paris every year since she turned 7 and we have such amazing memories. We can't wait for our next trip. Making memories with our kids is priceless. Lil is very lucky to have a mum who knows this. Hx

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    1. H, thank you for sharing your story. I've got a long way to go before Lil L is 15 but I hope she'll continue to enjoy our trips as much as you and your daughter in the future.

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  2. I agree with you, about kids 'memory bank' thing. It is always not about object, but experience! And food, food can be such a powerful thing in our memory too. :) - I Ying

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  3. What a beautiful post Marlene. I really enjoyed going through your French adventure with you. And you're right about the memories you can create with your children. They're not bothered about history and architecture - they will choose to discover a lot of that of their own backs as they get older but they live for the now and the now is about having fun. If they have fun and a great day - so will you.

    And I think I put on a stone looking at that lush food. #hungry

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    1. So true. They can always return when they're old enough to make their way back.

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  4. What a fabulous journey I just had with you through Paris (through your post!) such a beautiful city we have always been blessed with beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies when we have been there so I have a completely rosey vision of it. The food looks amazing (I am now starving and craving squid!) beautiful photography Marlene, an absolute joy to read these posts love, love, love it, xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Frances for the kind words. So many French brands have set up shop in the UK so I just concentrate on eating instead :P

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  5. Gorgeous images! Makes me miss Paris so much. Rose Bakery and Merci are two of my absolute must-visits when I go. And of course you look so Parisian-chic! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Natalie. I've just nosied over to your blog and am LOVING it.

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  6. i am so jelly of your travels wow!!!! also you seriously need to be a food photographer- i seriously find myself wanting to eat all ur photos lol! you look so chic in that leather jacket!!! gorg! xO!
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    1. I'll need to do less food photography. I seriously need to lose some weight after one gorge-fest after another.

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  7. The shots of the kids are SO cute and god it looks like you had the most delicious time! x

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    1. I don't normally say this but I'm rather proud of the 3 kids. They behaved beautifully.

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  8. We're off to Paris in 7 days, can't wait! Think I will need to buy an extra memory card or two. Paris is just too pretty! Great photos, thanks for sharing. x

    Life & Love by Victoria Lagnehag

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    1. You'll definitely need a couple of memory cards. I went a little overboard with my camera and smartphone.

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    2. I suspect I will too, ha! Plan to post on the blog after the trip, hope my readers will be patient. There will be quite a few, no doubt... :)

      Life & Love by Victoria Lagnehag

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    3. Have fun in Paris, Victoria! I'm sure they'll be patient for anything to do with Paris.

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  9. Just take a knife and stab me in the heart. All of it. Le sigh...

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    1. You live in a beautiful part of the US too....

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  10. Ahh Marlene, next you go to Paris, either alone or with your daughter, do try to go in other place than the touristics one for a chance to really see Paris.
    Try for example 15 arrondissement or 20 or even the 3rd, if you're afraid to cross path with "native parisian" coming from immigration... as do a lot of us by the way. Sigh! I appreciate that you mentioned that not everything is all rose or all is black but well, who can they know Paris when one is only staying is the same "polished" areas. Do come once close to Bastille area. Even I do not know Paris that well, and I discover some places each time I go (which is far less than previously because well, I am older an the pace of the city is sometime too much for me lol).
    That's the reason why now, when I come to London, I try not to go too much in very famous places (well to be honest, I do go to Fortnum, for the teas and others, and to Liberty... and the museums) but just get off a tube station (with a real map mind you) and walk the streets with my eyes opened and my nose up sometimes. But I am glad you came when the weather was much milder.

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    1. M, it's not as easy to move around when you're traveling with 3 young kids and a few more adults but I'll keep that in mind. I don't mind places where there are a lot of immigrants as I'm one of them as well :)

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  11. I love France, but have somehow managed to get this far in life without ever visiting Paris. How have I managed that? Your beautiful photographs have made me even more keen to see the place, and of course sample some of the fabulous food! Glad you had a great trip xx

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    1. Becky, you'll have to treat yourself to a trip to Paris one day then.

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  12. Amazing photos Marlene, especially love the piccie of the three girls x I completed my University 'work placement' in Paris in 1995 (Eek)!! It's one of my fave cities. Really enjoyed following your journey on Insta - Keri xxx

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    1. Oh really?! I didn't know that. Bet your French is tons better than mine.

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