Paris: Day One
After much anticipation, planning and rearrangements of my flight itinerary due to delays and mechanical problems, Paris is where The Simply Luxurious Life has arrived for the next few days.
And since the first day blended into the first full day and I’m still nursing a bit of jet lag, I’ve combined them all into today’s post.
While some of you have been following the images and videos I’ve shared on Instagram, a few of the images below will look familiar, but I’ve also included many that will be new to everyone’s eyes.
As a Parisian blogger expressed to me upon my arrival that I must have brought the sunshine with me, Paris has been enjoying clear blue skies, temperatures in the high seventies and lower eighties, and it has been cause for much celebration and plentiful smiles on the locales who have missed their typical beautiful spring.
So where do I begin . . .
Ahhhh, my daily simple luxury routine – sipping a cup of hot tea. And while being in Paris, my supply must be replenished. Making sure I did not run out of time on my trip, I stopped into Mariage Frères to stock up on my favorite blends. Tucked into the 4th arrondissement in the Marais district on a narrow side street - Rue du Bourg Tibourg, the wooden façade contains shelves of tea to smell and purchase. A tea room and history of tea museum is also inside.
For those of you who enjoy black tea infused with lavender, I recommend Earl Grey Provence and if you prefer green tea – Vert Provence.
While I will be doing a more in-depth post on the entire tour organized by Paris by Mouth upon return from my tour, I couldn’t have been more pleased with my experience. The opportunity to better understand the district in which I’ve rented an apartment was thoroughly enjoyable, intimate (only 6 other people) and full of information.
~59 RdS bakery (ideal baguettes) named as one of the Top 10 Baguettes in Paris in 2008~
Now some of you are going to throw your hands in the air when I make this next comment, but I must say it. There has been a long and ongoing debate (and most likely, my opinion will not bring it to a halt) about which patisserie – Laduree or Pierre Hermé – makes the most delectable, melt-in-your-mouth macaron.
After having tasted Laduree’s sweet confections last year in Paris and New York City and then venturing to Pierre Hermé’s shop in the 6th arrondissement on Rue Bonaparte, I must profess that Pierre Hermé tops my list. And upon learning from my Paris by Mouth tour guide that Laduree sold their recipe to McDonald’s, my decision was confirmed.
A tiny shop, but quick and helpful service. I picked up chocolat, rose and citrus macaron and was swept away for a moment as I reveled in their airy, sweet, flavorful goodness.
Les soldes in France are a twice a year shopping holiday of sorts as boutiques, department stores and nearly all top designers put their wares on sale. By law, French businesses cannot have sales as they choose throughout the year like the states or the UK, so in January and July, bargains are everywhere you turn.
While for VIP clientele, a private invitation will be given to allow for early perusal, the merchandise is then opened to the public. Now these sales are not the case where all of the favorite looks and designs get stocked away and only the lowly remnants are put on display. Nope. Aside from the new collections for the upcoming season, everything is on sale. And as the month progresses, the sales’ reductions increase.
~While shopping in Le Bon Marche~
Determined to find Diane von Furstenberg’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés boutique on Rue des Saints-Pères, I was delighted to discover that all of her spring clothing, shoes and accessories were slashed 50%. Yes, that can be seen as a good thing for one’s style or a frightening thing for one’s budget. I filled my dressing room and went to work making some very difficult decisions.
~Inside DVF’s boutique, gazing at all of the clothing items on sale.~
The Saint-Germain-des-Prés area is located in the 6th arrondissement around the church of the former abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and it is considered one of the biggest tourist areas in Paris. And when it comes to Parisian cafes, two of the busiest and most iconic are located side by side – Cafe de Flore and Deux Magots (view my Instagram video here of both). Please note, that while the food is nothing to write home about – classic fare, cafe au lait, wine, etc., it is the ambiance and Le Regard (people watching) that serve as the draw.
I highly recommend at least once in your life during a trip to Paris, either enjoy a morning croissant and warm drink with the locals watching people traverse from the Metro to work or dropping in for dinner.
~My choice for my first dinner in Paris, Cafe de Flore. An appetizing Salade de Flore (chef salad), a glass of rosé from Provence and the latest issue of The Daily Mail to catch up on the day’s news.~
~A few finds from my day of shopping from Le Bon Marche, Poilane, Premiere Pression Provence olive oil and Diane von Furstenberg.~
After a full day of touring, shopping, tasting and dining, my feet were delighted to walk through my Cobblestay studio door (more on their rentals and my experience later) and sip of a hot cup of Vert Provence Mariage Frères tea while nibbling a chocolate macaron from Pierre Hermé.
Click here to see Day Two as it was full of even more experiences I cannot wait to share. Just a hint – Paris street style, a concert and delightful serendipitous moments.