Monday, 20 January 2014

Vintage Shops and Macaroons in The Marais

I can't quite believe it, but I had my first class of the semester this morning. How did that come round so fast?! I opened the curtains to a very grey drizzly Paris, so I put on my trusty ankle boots and scooped up my butterfly brolly finished off a quick coffee and made a dash for the train. I really have thrown myself in head-first with the Paris Metro, but I have to say I've taken to it like a duck to water. It's dead easy to use and doesn't cost too much at all. Plus, all the lines are connected and you can get pretty close to where you need to be using just one ticket. Pretty convenient, but I digress.

So I arrived in Montparnasse (5 minutes late I admit, but I did well navigating in rush hour for the first time on my own I think). We share a building with the American Columbia University but only have one corridor and seminar room in the entire building, which is actually good because it's pretty difficult to get lost once you're inside. 

I had a successful first class and checked the notice board for any exciting updates. There are lots of visits planned for us students which I am so excited for! I'm down to do an Art History module and our first visit is to the Rodin gallery. Ahh, the Paris life.

Afterwards I made my way back to my little flat to have a spot of lunch and reconvene with my housemate, Livvy. We had agreed to have a full on exploration of the Marais district before going our separate Parisian ways, so we shrugged our shoulders at the pleut (that's Francais for rain) and headed off in search of adventure and sweet treats.

We had an absolutely wonderful afternoon of puddle jumping, practising our French on unsuspecting shop assistants, and running in and out of vintage shops crammed from floor to ceiling with leather satchels, doc martens, waistcoats, denim jackets and more fur coats than you could shake a stick at. I love the smell of shops like that; it's the deep leathery musky smell of bargains.

We chattered away to one another and must have walked for absolutely ages. It was only when we passed this delicious hop window that we realised two things: firstly, we were hungry, and secondly, we had been here almost a week and hadn't had a macaroon yet!

How delicious does everything look? I must make it my mission to try one of everything before I leave the city. 

So many gorgeous looking pastries and sticky buns. Even the bread here is beautiful.

Nevertheless, there is only one thing we were interested in...

Pistachio macaroons! And goodly-sized ones too. These ones were €1.40 and are slightly larger than your average-sized macaroon, always a good thing in my opinion! A bargain for a beautiful patisserie in the centre of Paris. 

Livvy is absolutely mad for them, and I'm so glad she has alerted me to their existence, as they are rather wonderful. She had almost eaten hers before I got a pic of her! They're soft, gooey, and elegant, and the perfect afternoon treat for an afternoon shopping trip in Paris. 

Heavenly. Happy with our choice of treat and with a couple of cheeky vintage purchases in hand, we meandered our way back north to our flat via the Pompidou Centre.

After getting distracted by a French bookshop and getting upset that we couldn't read any of the books because they were in French, we got ever so slightly lost. But then we wandered past what we've been calling the Marais' 'fake Arc de Triomphe'. It's a big arc in the middle of a big built-up area which looks rather interesting! If you get a bit lost (which I am prone to doing) and you see this then your heart does a little jump because it means you're close to home. 

I absolutely loved my afternoon of freedom, and it felt like my first proper taste of Parisian life since arriving. I'm very nearly almost done with my Winter essays, and soon as I am I will be back out with my camera exploring once more. I just have to choose which arrondissement is next on my hit list...

Bonjour Paris!


  1. Beautiful photos! They're making me really hungry! I didn't manage to eat any macaroons when I went to Paris the other month but luckily there's a Laduree not too far from where I live :)
    Lucy x
    La Lingua : Food + Life in Milano

    1. Where do you live? I'm jealous! Oh thank you :D macaroons are amazing