Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The last time we were in Paris was on our honeymoon and it was for less than a day!

This time around, I was excited to see more of the city and more of the food of the city.

So, after a light hotel breakfast on our last full day in Paris, we started at Poilâne.

Even though this place mainly makes bread, I had wanted to try their tarte aux pommes (apple tart). This was very flaky and had just the right amount of apples.

The lady who was passing out samples of the punitions happily allowed us to take some photos inside the shop.

We also got some punitions (300 grams) but I'll talk about them a little later in this post.

Kinda around the corner from Poilâne is Le Grande Epicerie, which translates to me as gourmet supermarket heaven.

Pretty much every food item you can think of is sold here.

We picked up some items for lunch as well as some items I had been wanting to try.

I was really impressed with the cashier, she put everything carefully into our shopping bags, trying not to smash anything. This was unlike the other cashiers at places we picked up our dinner from which were similar to convenience store/market types, some would just throw everything in the bag!

Since what I bought ended up to be quite heavy, we zipped back on the metro to our hotel, dropped things off then zipped back out to Montparnasse.

There is a huge tower called Tour Montparnasse, the elevator takes you 196 meters (643 feet) up in 38 seconds.

Great view of the city! especially since the weather was so nice.

From Montparnasse, we then headed to Pont d'Alma, where I'd heard it was a nice place to take photos of the Eiffel Tower from.

It was a great spot!

We then walked toward the Parc du Champ de Mars and happened to turn up rue de Monttessuy and wow!

Another awesome view of the Eiffel Tower.

At Parc du Champs de Mars, we found a spot on the grass to picnic on, "no alcohol" say the signs though I spotted some "hiding" their stash.

We did have some wine with us but saved it for later that day and drank sodas with lunch instead.

Lunch was bread, mine was a mini-ficelle topped with poppy seeds...yum!

And our main dishes were a grilled vegetable salad and a marinated seafood salad, which we shared.

I really liked these items and Satoshi liked them even more because he kept talking about it for the rest of the day.

One thing you have to keep an eye out for while picnicking are the crows and the pick-pocketers. All were out in full force and we ate leisurely but also while clutching our bags and lids for our food.

For dessert, a little of the punitions we had purchased earlier.

I first learned about them awhile ago here, these cookies are buttery, a little sweet, yet very sturdy, we packed some for our picnic and not one crumbled.

(I also packed the rest in my suitcase to bring back to Japan and again, not one crumbled, and my suitcase was pretty stuffed!)

So after lunch, we walked under the Eiffel Tower towards Trocadero, another great view of the tower and then we zipped on the metro to the Arc de Triomphe.

We found out that you can climb to the top of the Arc, so we did...284 steps later we were at the top...eep!

It's a spiral staircase, so go slow, or you may get dizzy. And there aren't many places for you to stop and catch your breath on the way up. (no one said you needed to be in shape for sight-seeing?!)

But, the view was spectacular, especially since the weather was nice.

After all that stair climbing, we checked out Publicis Drugstore, a place for sweets as well as other items.

Then at this point, we were feeling a little hungry, so we stopped in at the McDonald's on Champs-Élysées.

I had heard they served Ladurée macarons in the McCafes and Satoshi was in the mood for a burger.

As soon as we walked in, Satoshi excitedly says..."Kat, they serve beer here!"

So, I ordered him a burger and beer and I ordered myself some macarons (caramel, citron & pistache (pistachio)) and unfortunately a very sickly sweet iced tea.

I was impressed that they had sidewalk seating for customers.

The macarons were delicious, I liked them all--caramel had a caramel center, citron had a lemony cream & pistache had a pistache cream. All were very well flavored.

After a nice snack and time to rest our feet, we then headed to Blanche, to check out A l'Etoile d'Or, a not to be missed candy shop, but sadly they were closed.

I had missed an important piece of info when I looked up this place...to call on a Monday, because sometimes they are closed.

A little bummed, we then went on to Montmartre to see the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

As we walked up the steep cobblestone path to the basilica, I found a little shop, La Cure Gourmande, selling nougat, calisson and other treats.

At this point, our feet weren't happy, but the basilica was beautiful. We rested twice in the pews.

We had wanted to go up to the dome area, but saw that it was 300-something steps up, looked at each other and said, "forget it".

So we headed back to the hotel, picked up some items for dinner and then readied our bags for our early departure the next day.

Even though most of our time in France was spent with a tour group and our trip was short, I think we got to see and do quite a lot.

The weather had been forecast to be rainy for most of our trip, but we were lucky to see more sunny days.

And even if the temperature was almost 20 degrees less than Osaka's (sometimes it was colder than that, brr!), I was just happy to be away from the awful humidity.

I shot a couple videos on our last day in Paris, here and here.

I hope you had as much fun as we did....Thanks for bearing with my rambles and "merci" Satoshi for taking me to Paris!

8 rue du Cherche-Midi
75006 Paris, France

La Grande Epicerie de Paris
38 rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris, France

Tour Montparnasse
33 avenue du Maine
75755 Paris, France

Publicis Drugstore
133 avenue des Champs-Élysées
75008 Paris, France

A l'Etoile d'Or
30 rue Fontaine
75009 Paris, France

La Cure Gourmande
8 rue Steinkerque
75018 Paris, France


jalna said...

You had me at "apple tart" and then things got better. Great post! I love that shot of the Eiffel Tower centered between the buildings.

Gregg said...

I always love reading about trips to Paris. It's always seems like an eternity passes between trips to the City of Lights. Thanks for the report

K said...

What a wonderful day! I love that they sell macarons at McD's!

Rowena said...

With the reactions that Satoshi had from the FOOD, I bet there'll be more Paris trips to come. I ♥ Le Grande Epicerie; could definitely burn a hole in my pocket in that place. So sad that your trip report ends here :-(

K and S said...

he he, glad you enjoyed this Jalna :)

Hope you get to Paris soon Gregg!

I loved that too K!

he is hooked Rowena :)

Take care everyone!

Japan Australia said...

Sounds so good. Paris is a beautiful city. Did you climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower?

Japan Australia

K and S said...

no we didn't J-A, the lines were kinda outrageous.

Take care.

KirkK said...

What a wonderful post Kat! Thanks for taking me along for the ride.

K and S said...

glad you had fun too Kirk :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I am still marveling over macarons at McDonald's ;-)

K and S said...

I can't believe McD's had macarons either Deb...they were so good though!

Take care.

Barbara said...

Wow Kat you packed so much into the day. Fabulous adventure.

K and S said...

Thanks Barbara, I don't know what we would've done had the weather been bad.

Take care.