It is a cold, rainy Sunday morning, but I don’t mind. I never mind a cold Sunday morning in Paris, because the treats and the vendors at my local organic market are full of warmth. As I head out the door, I can almost smell the potato pancakes sizzling on the griddle chez Les Gustalins. It is always my first stop, mostly because it is the first stand on the right as I approach boulevard Raspail from rue du Cherche Midi in the 6th Arrondissement.
Dainty macarons are just as cool as cupcakes, but they’re more than a fad in France. Le macaron is a delicacy: a melt-in-the-mouth meringue sandwich with a delicate crispy shell and a creamy ganache or jelly center.
When I first moved here, Paris had the three s’s: shopping, sweets and sights. After six years, nothing has changed.
My favorite kind of shopping in Paris is vintage. It’s affordable and, most important, it’s fun! One of the best neighborhoods for thrifting is the Marais. It’s full of little shops like Coiffeur and Noir Kennedy, which are two of my favorites.
In the late 1800s Paris counted among its artisans several local brewers that had set up shop around the city. One Paris brewery, Gallia, occupied the then open grassy spaces of the Montrouge neighborhood, near what we now know as the 14th Arrondissement. Using the quarries and underground cellars of this region for fermentation and bottling rooms, Gallia took part in a tradition of Parisian beer making that thrived until, abruptly, it all but disappeared as a result of the rising rents and urban expansion of the 1960s.
Where better to spend the afternoon than at the fabulous Hôtel Plaza Athénée, where I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the public areas as well as the wine cellar, kitchens and chic accommodations thanks to Travel Onion. Let’s put it this way: this Paris hotel is not too shabby! Julie Hong from Sales and Aude Bourgouin from Press Relations hosted our little tour party and introduced us to the directrice of the hotel, Laurence Bloch, who was just so nice and approachable.
Last night I was a very lucky girl. It was my birthday and The Frenchman invited me to L’Arpège for a cozy, romantic, three Michelin star, eight-course light dinner. “Light!?!” you may say mockingly, but yes, light. Amazingly light and incredibly delicious, because the chef at L’Arpège, Alain Passard, is a man who loves to have his way with vegetables, and, I dare say, he does it like no other.
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