Sunday, 3 November 2013

Paris Days 1-3: Markets, walks and a spot of shopping

Market goodies
We spent most of our week drifting round Paris. Wanting a holiday where we could recharge and having visited Paris before neither of us wanted to do to much. I had no intention of visiting the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe or the Louvre and we didn't.

We stayed in a beautiful apartment in the Bastille area of Paris and before we went I started a map of markets that I'd like to visit and restaurants to eat at.

We were staying round the corner from the Marché Bastille and headed there on the Sunday morning to check it out and buy a few goodies. I idyllic memories of French markets, but this one was a bit too crowded to be idyllic and I don't think either of us enjoyed it that much as a results. We did manage to buy some beautiful figs, excellent saucisson and a very stinky Langres cheese.

Walking by the Seine
After lunch in our flat we went for a walk. We had plans to drift towards the Jardin des Plantes and Bibliothéque Nationale, but ended up walking north along the Seine instead. After a while we decided to head for home and drifted back to our flat via the district of Les Halles, past the Pompidou centre and through the trendy Marais backstreets to our apartment.

We decided that we wanted to eat dinner in our flat and had quite a bit of trouble finding food shops open on a Sunday. It shouldn't have surprised us really!

On top of Galleries Lafayette. I'm not looking too excited!
We nominated Monday as shopping day and set off to Galleries Lafayette. When we arrived we headed straight to the roof to check out the panoramic views of Paris. Despite dating for a year Becks and I have never been shopping together before.

Lafayette was heaving and I wasn't as enthusiastic as I could have been. I don't think my comments on the clothes Becks tried on were always the most useful!

After Lafayette was bailed from the crowds and headed down to Place de le Madeleine which is known as a foodie area. We recharged for a while sitting on the steps of the church soaking up some warmth from the late October sun.

Quirky café near Place de la Madeleine
When the sun popped behind the clouds we had a quick look inside the church and then headed for the food shops. Against all expectations I wasn't that excited by the food shops. There were a series of Fortnums style shops that sold over priced tea, chocolates, condiments and macarons. I'm sure the brand names are quite famous in France, but they meant nothing to me.

Wanting to leave the hordes ogling the macarons behind we found a cute little café on the nearby Rue Vignon. Run by a very friendly lady she sold us two hot chocolates, up sold us with some cakes too (not that much convincing was required) and then took our photo.
Marais backstreets
Recharged by our rest we headed to our second department store of the day Printemps. It was deserted compared with Lafayette earlier and a much more pleasant experience as a results.

We decided to walk all the way home and it was interesting to see districts we'd never have otherwise passed through. We passed a jewellery district, a coffee roaster run by my namesake and more residential areas.

Boite de Poste
On Tuesday we walked up to the covered Marché Les Enfants Rouge. I was hoping for a better market experience after Sunday, but it was completely dead with only half of the stalls open. We really weren't in luck with our market visits during our time in Paris.

After the market we wound our way back home through the northern backstreets of Marais. Full of boutiques and quirky shops northern Marais was an enjoyable district to be staying near. (I was less of a fan of southern Marais which was tourist central.)

Citroen van
In the afternoon we visited Musée Carnavalet which had an eclectic art collection and was a rather confusingly laid out museum. We drifted round it pretty quickly, although the Roman exhibition downstairs was more interesting.

Rainbow over the Place des Voges

1 comment:

  1. "quite a bit of trouble finding food shops open on a Sunday"

    Try finding wine shops open on a Sunday afternoon! Aaaaaaaarggh!!!!