...More beautiful roses and facades... so much attention to detail everywhere... We came across some gorgeous hidden courtyards within the city: peaceful oases away from a bustling city. In the Musée d'Orsay's bookstore, I picked up a book entitled Paris au calme, which I since discovered is also offered in English as Quiet corners of Paris; it's a wonderful little book which features secret, quiet, and very lovely corners all over Paris -- corners which one would most probably not find when on the beaten track... I'd love this book to guide me on my next trip to Paris...Oh, yeah, on my return flight home, I vowed to myself that I will be coming back to Paris, hopefully very soon!
...La droguerie is where I saw the most beautiful French ribbon. I was bedazzled by this shop's ribbon selection, but because it was definitely on the expensive side and I was, very unfortunately, pressed for time, I was unable to decide under pressure, and sadly, came out empty-handed! ( I vowed to come back though...) The shop also offers a yummy selection of yarn, notions, buttons, beads, trims, patches etc... However, I did buy a few things at the very quaintly-located Entrée des fournisseurs; its charming ivy-clad facade, which is shown in the photo just below that of the columns, is recessed from the street and fronted by a pretty little courtyard. This little shop is a sheer delight with its selection of ribbons, trims, button, patterns (great patterns for doll clothes), crafty books (sewing, knitting and crochet) and wool felt in beautiful colors; while it also carries beautiful Liberty fabric, I did find it slightly cheaper at the well-stocked and relatively large fabric and notions shop Tissus Reine ( 21 Eur./m instead of 28 Eur./m at Entrée des fournisseurs), located at the foot of Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, and definitely worth a visit. While I was tempted by the wool felt, I ended up solely buying books at Entrée des fournisseurs (I'll show you my haul in a later post). I just noticed while writing this post, that Entrée des fournisseurs also has a blog -- might be worth checking it out!
...I spotted the whimsical gnome stool/table and the fabulous study in color (the photo under the gnome one) at the Centre Pompidou, which houses a very extensive collection of modern and contemporary art (or creations, as described on its website). The museum turned out to be one of my favorites because the artwork, installations etc. I managed to see (I barely had time to explore two of its floors - yup, I vowed to return here too!) were often very eclectic, at times playful (often a hit with the kids), and definitely very inspiring, thought-provoking, and interesting from a design perspective... (Hmmmm... I can't help but wonder if La droguerie's banner design was influenced by the above-mentioned "study in color" painting?!...)
...OK, I know you've seen a zillion photos of the Eiffel Tower, but I had to show you a couple of mine just to underline the fact that the Grande Dame is truly magnificent! In the daytime, her iron structure made me think of pretty lacy trims, and at night, in all her glittery glory, she hit every single romantic bone in my body... We viewed her at night from the Seine on one of those boat cruises, something I would have most probably not done except for the strong urging of my children; it turned out to be a highlight of my trip because there was something so special about going under beautiful old bridges in Paris at night. I think it was also a hit for me because our cruise turned out to be a more modest one, not all lit up with disco lights, as my kids put it... Oh, can't forget to mention, we were also mooned from the banks of the Seine!
...When in Paris, I was told, one must go to Ladurée and taste their macarons (sandwich almond-based cookies in many different flavors and colors), and so, I did, and... was not disappointed; not only are they pretty to the eye, especially when they are stacked up as in their exquisite window displays (last photo), but they are also absolutely scrumptious! The very lovely Ladurée shop, which also includes a salon de thé (tea room), is definitely worth a visit... and I vowed to return and actually take the time to sample some of their perfect creations in their beautiful tea room!
P.S. Thank you for all the enthusiastic comments you left on the first of my Paris posts! I hope you will also enjoy this installment. I only wish I could reply to all your comments, but alas, I seem to have no time these days (when will I ever have time?!...) Anyhow, part 3 is in the works...