Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paris Day 7

J'adore le pain.
I cannot say that enough. I love breads. Now that I am finally in the capital of bread, I am determined to start the hunt for the best baguette, croissant, pain de campagne, you name it... as soon as possible.

Very luckily, just two streets down from our hotel sits Le Grenier à Pain (rue Faubourg Poissonniére), winner of 2010 Meilleure Baguette de Paris. It's main shop is in rue des Abbesses where online reviews says is the place to get their award-winning baguettes. Therefore, being on my way to Poilâne, I quickly grabbed my favourite viennoiseries- un pain au chocolat et un pain aux raisins- to temporarily assuage my hunger.
The street of morning Paris.
All of their buildings look like this. And I mean everywhere. It is impossible to find a single high-rise; the tallest structure would probably be Eiffel Tower. I think I quite like it like this; nothing to obstruct my view of the clear blue sky.

A pinch of shopping along the way.

And here we are! at Saint Germain des Prés district where the original Poilâne bakery on the Rue de Cherche Midi remains its flagship store. I have heard from Gabby that in Paris, the patisseries don't like to have pictures of their goods taken. I was not too sure whether this includes boulangeries as well but I was not keen to try this out. Hence, I could only stand on the opposite street to take a fleeting shot of this quaint wooden shop front.

Poilane sells their signature Miche bread by the gram. The first thing I did after exiting the shop was to plunge my hand into the large white paper bag for a slice la miche de pain and put it in mouth. The second thing I did was to take a photograph of the bitten bread.

Just two doors down Poilâne, there is un petite cafe that sells open toasts, using only Poilâne miche de pain.
Condiments: Oregano, salt, rosemary and pepper.

Left: Spinach and corn salad with mustard dressing. Right: Tomato and mozzarella toast, and prosciutto and goat cheese toast.
Last but no least (in fact the most important), dessert: a most vibrantly coloured millefeuilles aux fraises.

It seems that it is customary to drink a strong espresso after each meal, for the waitress would definitely ask: un cafe? Oui, bien sûr!

One interesting sculpture I saw. Aptly describes "... right up your ass".

It was a Tuesday that day if I remembered correctly. And the next on my schedule after Poilâne was Musée du Louvre -
The most visited museum in the world.
The museum which houses Leonardo Da Vinci, Rapheal, Titan, and Rembrandt.
The museum that was epic center of The Da Vinci Code.
The museum that does not open on a Tuesday.
(Note to all: Do your homework before going on a trip like this. Check the opening hours, rates and everything. Be kiasu!)

Thus, we spent our time taking pictures of Le Louvre, the glass pyramids and all, instead, which was great due to the fact that there was not much tourists around compared to the following day when we came again.

We continued our way to the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which is at the west of Le Louvre. (The larger Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile) stands at the western end of Champs Elysées)

And continued straight into The Tuileries Garden (Jardins des Tuileries), originally the royal garden for the Tuileries Palace, now a public garden located between the Musée du Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. Great place for picnics (at the open field) and other love-ly activities (in between grass hedges).

Hence, we bought a few gateaux from Pattinson's Patisserie and joined in the fun!

Jardins des Tuileries

My flower-shaped creme glacée au chocolat noir. First a chocolate cake, then a chocolate ice-cream; I was feeling rather chocolaty that day.

Place de la Concorde; The Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation.
Behind us is the North Fountain of the two most symbolic fountains in Paris. And opposite the fountain is the giant Egyptian obelisk that is too huge to fit into my camera from where I was standing, so I gave up trying to take a photograph of it. But you should know, it is the one of the two Obelisks of Luxor that the Egyptian government gave to France in 1829, which only arrived in Paris in 1833 after the gargantuan effort of the French to transport it.

You have to agree that Paris has got quite a number of great monuments with its fair share of history, of how it came to be. At the end of the day when we returned to our hotel, tired from all the walking, I have got to admit that Paris is a city rich in culture that has got so much history to share. I can't help but fall in love with this city.

Dinner. Escargot, Rosé, Carbonara and pizza.
Warning: Paris has got as many good food establishments as downright disappointing food places. Once again, do your homework.


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