Postcards from Paris: Part Une!
November 28, 2012 / Stephanie Miskew / 0 Comments
Before embarking on a two week exploration of some of France’s renowned wine regions, Steve and I spent a few fabulous days in Paris. From food and wine to art and fashion this city definitely has it all! So what to do in this veritable cultural wonderland with only a few short days and so many options? Here’s a few of our postcards from “The City of Light.”
This trip we stayed at the historic Hôtel de Crillon, one of Paris’s six Palace Hotels, located on Place de la Concorde. Constructed in 1758, this hotel is situated in the center of Paris, a great location from which to explore this fabulous city. Directly in front of the hotel is the Place de la Concorde, one of the largest squares in Paris, conveniently situated between the Tuileries and the Champs Elyseés. The square is home to the majestic Luxor Obelisk which was originally located at the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Egypt. The structure was gifted to the French in the 19th century and in 1836, King Louis Philippe had it placed where the guillotine once stood during the Revolution. It is flanked by two beautiful, ornate fountains, the Fontaines de la Concorde. The square also provides a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower at night which I am happy to share with you in the short video below!
After arriving at our hotel from the airport on a Sunday morning, we sunk into sumptuous, cozy chairs in the gorgeously appointed lobby to enjoy to enjoy a glass (or two) of Champagne and some delicious pastries including my favorite, pain au chocolat. Shortly after we headed for the Boulevard Raspail Market located in Paris’s 6th arrondissement. The market is open three days a week and on Sunday becomes one of the city’s marché biologiques, or organic markets, which extends from the Rue de Cherche-Midi to Rue de Rennes. The market featured beautiful stalls of fresh produce, delicious meats, fragrant cheeses and brilliantly colored flowers – it was truly a feast for the senses!
After the market we meandered through Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the charming neighborhood that lines the Left Bank of the Seine and is home to many storied cafés and brasseries including Cafe de Flore (a personal favorite!), Les Deux Magots and Brasserie Lipp. You’ll also find an array of specialty food stores including Poilâne, arguably the best bread in Paris, as well as Pierre Hermé, home to mouth-wateringly beautiful confections including delightful mille feuilles, a rainbow of macarons and decadent chocolates.
When planning our itinerary for this trip, I was very inspired by one of my new favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen and starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. This movie is a MUST for any Francophile and/or lover of Art History, Literature or Music! I particularly loved the scene at Polidor where Owen Wilson’s character first meets Ernest Hemingway and we were able to find it on Rue Monsieur-le-Prince during our walk – it actually looks alot like it does in the movie.
After a mid-afternoon nap, we headed out that evening for a little more exploring and luckily, we didn’t have to go far to find another great location from Midnight in Paris – Maxim’s was right around the corner from our hotel! Maxim’s is an historic Paris eatery established in 1893 which is known for its Art Nouveau decor and reputation for its world class cuisine and famous clientele. Maxim’s attracted a slew of celebrities over the years including Jean Cocteau, Aristotle Onassis, Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson as well as Brigitte Bardot, who caused a scandal in the 1970’s when she entered the restaurant in her bare feet. In Midnight in Paris, Marion Cotillard’s character Adriana is smitten with the idea of La Belle Epoque in Paris and Maxim’s is one of the places she desperately wants to visit in order to escape the mundane 1920’s. I don’t know about La Belle Epoque but it was certainly nice to be there in 2012!
To be continued in Postcards from Paris: Part Deux!
November 28, 2012 / Stephanie Miskew / 0 Comments
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