Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Visitor in Paris - Day 2

Sunday started a little differently than the day before, but the amazing weather was much the same. This handsome fella had the right idea having a nice snooze in the shade.

With another busy day of shopping ahead of us, Mum and I shared a cafetiere of coffee and fresh fruit juice at my flat, but instead of getting breakfast from the boulangerie we headed down to the Marais for brunch - fallafels at L'as Du Fallafel! Mum had never tried them before, or at least she couldn't remember whether she had or not, and after hearing me rave about them since I arrived in Paris she decided she'd like to try them for herself. There's no better place to get your fallafel fix than the Rue des Rosiers in the Jewish Quarter. It's such a cute little pedestrian street, and once we'd queued for about 5 minutes we took ourselves off to sit in a doorway with our pitas and get stuck in. You should expect a bit of a queue when you go to L'as Du, especially on a Sunday, but it goes down very quickly, so don't let it put you off - the fallafel is to die for. The portions are huge so we made sure we were good and hungry, and we both managed to polish off the lot. I was confident that Mum would enjoy it, and luckily she said she wasn't disappointed!

After fuelling up we were ready to get back to business, wandering around the shops and studios in the sunshine. 

Sampling different teas in a posh tea shop. 

This reminded us how thirsty we were, so we took a break to have cocktails and beers at a brasserie. Shopping is extremely thirsty work!

We finished off the shops in the Marais area and took advantage of the free Metro rides over the weekend to do some sight seeing at the Pantheon. Neither of us had been here before, and it was a very impressive building but just like the Arc, it's having building work done on the roof at the moment, they must have known I was coming! But it was on my list of things to do, and it was lovely to stroll around it in the sun. 

You can't get a sky much bluer than that.

The square in front of the Pantheon is pristine and very peaceful, and you can see the Eifffel Tower peeping up in the distance. 

For our grand finale we hopped back on the Metro and headed for the Champs-Élysées, destination Ladurée. Every time I walk up the Champs I wander past this bakery with my eyes positively bulging out of my head. I've heard so much about their amazing goodies and I've seen the evidence on Instagram and other blogs. I've always wanted to go in and see for myself and maybe even buy something, but I never have... Until now!

The outside of Ladurée is a gorgeous mint green colour, with gold trims on everything. It's beautiful. 

There was a small queue outside the shop so we got in line - behind golden roped crowd control barriers. We hadn't even made it through the door and Ladurée was already living up to its reputation as the poshest bakery in the world. We watched customer after customer coming out with big grins and holding beautiful Ladurée bags, and after a short while we were at the front of the queue. 

A smartly dressed lady ushered us forward, and we were in! To join the queue inside...

We eventually made it to the front of this queue which gave us plenty of time to see what was on offer. Tray after tray of the most delicious French pastries and chocolates were laid out, but I really only had eyes for the macaroons. We decided to get two boxes of 6 macaroons, one for Mum to take home for the family, and one for us! The hardest bit by far was deciding on what flavours to choose; Ladurée have their classic year-round macaroon flavours but they also have seasonal ones, and they all look gorgeous, so picking is no easy task.

I managed in the end though, and left the shop a very happy girl indeed.

We found a bench and couldn't wait to open up our treats.

The prettiest box of macaroons I've ever seen. 

Sitting in the sunshine on the Champs-Élysées with my wonderful Mum eating macaroons from Ladurée, you just can't top that!

The macaroons really are as good as people say, and the way they are presented make them all the more special. Happy and weary we made our way home; Mum even let me hold the bag the whole way home."

We spruced ourselves up and headed out for our last and possibly best cocktail-filled Happy Hour of the trip, and met up with my boyfriend Julian for a gorgeous meal at Cafe du Marche des Enfants Rouges. 

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend in Paris with my Mum. She's back at work now and I've come back to earth with a bump with uni work, but I still have one Ladurée macaroon left. It's a praline one which is one of my absolute favourites, so later as a treat I'm making myself a cafetiere and having my mac, just as it should be done. Thanks for an absolutely amazing weekend Mum! 

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