Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Paris is Always a Good Idea!

This is Part Two of my 2018 Paris posts.  Warning!! Picture overload! Read Part 1 about Notre Dame before the fire here. In late April 2018, my husband and I enjoyed a cruise on the Danube River then onto France for three days in the Loire Valley( Gardens in France blog post here) and another three days in Paris(Paris is Always a Good Idea).

We left Amboise in the Loire Valley early morning thinking we would have most of the day in Paris but little did we know that the train workers were on a slow down. We had to wait for several very stressful hours in the train station in Tours hoping that we would even get on a train to Paris that day. 

 Thankfully because of a House Beautiful magazine I was reading a lady who was an American spoke to me at the train station and we exchanged valuable information about the train situation. We finally arrived in Paris that afternoon and checked in our hotel in the Montparnasse area.
This is the lobby in Hotel Sainte-Beuve.

Our room had a picturesque and spacious balcony.

 After getting settled in our hotel we went exploring. We easily spotted Cafe La Rotonde's outside eating area as we began walking. We decided to stop and have an appetizer of Escargot that would be a quick and good late lunch. 

This lovely flower shop definitely called me inside.

As we kept on walking the familiar Les Deux Magots is a favorite place to people watch and enjoy an aperitif. 

The hotel had a very nice breakfast the next morning.  The previous day had been warm and I wore a short-sleeved shirt but this next day was cooler and I wore a sweater and scarf. 

Our day started out with Laduree, an elegant pastry and tea room on the Champs Elysees. They are the premier source of macaroons in Paris and sell 15,000 a day. 

We were seated upstairs at the very same table where we had sat on a previous visit. The beautiful gilded furnishings and lavishly painted ceilings create an elegant atmosphere.
Why I didn't ask the waiter to make our picture I don't know because Mike is looking bored!

Our desserts and cappuccinos were very good. And look at the gorgeous pink roses on the mantel above our heads!

 It is hard to choose between so many beautiful desserts.  Laduree's packaging is so pretty and a gift from Laduree is something to be desired.

From here we walked on down to the Arc de Triomphe. I wish we had walked to the top on our first trip to Paris years ago. I can only imagine the spectacular scenery from the top. I missed the boat though because I know I could not walk that many steps now.

It was on this spot that my husband, the wannabe french speaker, had his proudest moment in Paris. A Frenchman seeing that he had a map asked him if the adjacent street was the way to the Eiffel Tower. He replied, "No monsieur, c'est lá ba,-No sir, its over there". And then counted the number of street crossings to get to the Avenue Kleber, "Un, Deux, Trois! 

As you walk on any street you hear different languages being spoken. The atmosphere is always exciting. The street flower markets are enthralling! 

Then we rode the batobus down to the Eiffel Tower which is a hop on and hop off boat on the Seine. There are so many beautiful bridges and I challenge myself to remember the names but with anything you have to use it to remember it.

 The Pont Alexander 111 is one of the most ornate and extravagant bridges in the city. It was built for the 1900 World Exhibition.
It connects the Champs Elysees with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
This is a typical cloudy day in Paris. This is the same day I made the pics from the Seine of Notre Dame in the Remembering Notre Dame Before the Fire post as well as some I made after we got off the batobus.
That night we had dinner at  Cafe La Rotonde which was close to our hotel. Its website defines it as a "brasserie" and a restaurant. It has been around since 1911. The food was exceptional and we highly recommend it. It is located at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail.
My husband had the Dover Sole which he went on and on about. I wish I had snapped a picture when they brought it out whole for him to view before they filleted it.

My steak was absolutely perfection. 
My steak frites, as they call them, were the best I have ever had! 

Strolling through the Tuilleries Gardens in May was a visual delight. Of course, I began dreaming of alliums in my garden looking like this. I planted bulbs right on time in my garden and they came up about 3 inches and died. It was an extremely dry time and even with extra watering, they did not make it. Maybe next year!

I adore the statuary, the fountains and the flowers in the Tuilleries Garden every season that I have been. 
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel Louvre entrance. I found it very interesting to read that the four horses that pull a chariot on top of the arch are a copy of the quadriga at St. Marks Cathedral, Venice. Originally, the real thing was used at this site but was afterward returned to Italy.

The Chinese-American architect that drew up this design is said to have thrown caution to the wind but the absurdity of his design fit perfectly. This pyramid of steel and glass was built in 1989 and is instantly recognizable around the world. 

It turned cold the following day as you can see jackets were needed.

One of the delights in Paris are the coffee breaks and a hot drink was welcome on a cool day. In France and Italy, locals don't drink cream in their coffee after 11:00. I think this was around11:30 a.m. according to my camera but they knew we were Americans.

You know a restaurant is good when you eat there two nights in a row. We had dinner again at Cafe La Rotonde and it was fabulous again the second night. I won't show you pics of all the dishes again but I had a veal chop with mashed potatoes and Mike had the duck. But the highlight of the evening was the "Mille Feuille." This is the dessert I had heard so much about from the book, "A Gentleman in Moscow." It did not disappoint.

Our three-day trip was very nice. Because we have seen most of the places that you must see in Paris we could relax and just "be there" and not have a schedule. 

Other Paris posts here and here.

Paris is Always a Good Idea! We love Paris. Thanks for joining me. Please tell me your favorite thing about Paris.

Please check back next week for the Welcome Fall Tablescape Blog Hop. There are many talented tablescapers you won't want to miss. My table is Thursday.


  1. Bonnie, what wonderful arm chair travel this morning with my coffee. I loved all of your photos, they are just beautiful. Paris is one of my favorite cities and I am so glad you wrote this post and shared with us. I would never tire of visiting the “city of lights”...it is magical and romantic. I can’t decide what is my favorite thing, I love soaking up the sights, tastes, and smells, walking and taking in the architecture, stopping at a cafe and people watching. I love it all!!! Have a wonderful day!

  2. Oh, Bonnie, I enjoyed every photo and word. While, I have never been there I certainly hope to one day. I can't begin to tell you the volumes I have read about Paris and France and have a dear friend whose daughter lives there. My friend visits her ever year and stays a month, traveling around the country. I hope you will share some of your favorite dishes on the new series on my blog, At Table. One of the recipes I will be sharing, at some point, is Sole Meunière. If you have never made it - it should make your husband happy as he enjoyed his meal of Dover Sole so much. Thank you, Bonnie for sharing your wonderful photos and telling about your marvelous trip. I felt as though I was there with you.

  3. Loved all the wonderful pictures. What awesome memories for you Bonnie. I would love to go to Paris and France one day. What a sweet trip. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. Thank you for the trip to Paris Bonnie, it must have been wonderful to simply walk around and taste your way through the fabulous 3 days of your stay!

  5. Bonnie, thank you for a most delightful trip to Paris...the architecture, the flowers, the food...all magical. This is a gift to share with us.

  6. This brings backs dozens of memories and inspires me to find a few new places, too. Yes, it's always a good idea and even better to have such beautiful photos by which to remember it. What a fabulous trip, Bonnie. I needed a Parisian dose today -- thanks!

  7. Dear Bonnie, all of your favorite places are mine as well! We also traveled to the Loire Valley with a car rental. We based in Tours and travel to several areas and villages. Amboise was one of my favorite places. It rained the day were there but it didn't matter to us, we were in France! We've been held up with train strikes as well. It can be so frustrating when you are on a schedule. Enjoyed all your photos. It feels like I was there with you enjoying some of our favorite spots and food. Awesome post!!!!

  8. I enjoyed seeing Paris through your pictures and story, Bonnie. Oh my, the food looked spectacular, not to mention the scenery!! What a special trip that was for you and your hubby. Thank you for sharing the beauty with us.

  9. I loved seeing all the beautiful flowers and food! Thanks for the link. Love you.


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