Monday, September 24, 2018

Deyrolle & Laudree

Our second day in Paris began by exploring the enchanting Deyrolle, a shop and cabinet of curiosities open to the public, a reference in the field of taxidermy, entomology and natural sciences, whose vocation is to show the beauty of Nature. The entrance to the shop is small and unassuming, yet when visitors step inside, they are met with a magical world full of majestic animals, it felt like being transported to Narnia. (At Deyrolle, with only a few exceptions, no animal was killed to be mounted: the non-domestic species come from zoos, parks, where they died of old age or illness. They are traceable, and protected species are held and delivered in accordance with the Washington Convention.)

Photos are strictly prohibited in the shop, so all these images came from the internet. Most of the specimens are for sale, all cost a very pretty penny. Some of the specimens are also available for rent, if you ever find yourself in the need of a tiger or a giraffe for an evening... which I actually totally have, if only I lived closer to this one-of-a-kind shop.

At the back of the shop on the second floor, yes, there are multiple floors, is the entomological room, which was one of my favorites. The drawers of the entomology room are filled with colorful butterflies, iridescent beetles, and other fascinating and rare insects. As with all the other specimens in the shop, these are all for sale as well, you can even design your own bell jar with several different types of insects. Again, if only I lived closer!

There was the most charming floral shop next door to Deyrolle, Vienne had a lovely time pretending to arrange flowers and take orders while we waited for our Uber to arrive and take us to a very special place for lunch...

Bethy had made reservations at LADUREE!!!! Be still my heart, it's hard to describe the love I have for this place. We got special birthday treats at the New York location when I was there for my 30th birthday, and I have had several macarons from Laudree cart in the Paris airport, but I had never had the pleasure of going to the actual Paris location, let alone having a sit down meal there! Dreams came true this day.

Even the gorgeous, colorful menus bring me so much joy.

After we checked in, we were lead upstairs, away from the noise and chaos of the shop. We were shown through several rooms, each one elegant and stunning. The room where we were seated was probably my favorite, it was so feminine, light and airy. We were also the only ones seated in our room for the majority of our meal, the silence was just as delicious as our meal.

Their rich, decadent hot chocolate was a must.

I ordered the monte cristo pinwheels. They were so delicious.

After we had finished our lunch, we made our way back down to the shop to join the large crowd of fellow Laudree fans to grab some treats for the road.

So many sugary delights to choose from! It was hard to make a decision when I really wanted at least one of each!

In the end I ended up with three boxes of sugared almonds, I pretty much just wanted the boxes for decorations, the almonds were an added bonus. And a box of assorted macarons. My all time favorite Laudree macaron is their strawberry candy, it's filled with a marshmallow filling and coated with sugar, it's heaven. Also, their packaging is perfection.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

La Fermette Marbeuf & Montmartre

Our first full day in Paris began with the most elegant meal at the gorgeous Fermette Marbeuf. 
Just a few steps from the Champs-Elysées, the Fermette Marbeuf is a unique restaurant where the authenticity of its décor (listed in the historical monument inventory) and exceptional charm of the Art Nouveau style meet. The chef's cuisine is at the same time new and classic, and always inspired.

Bethy had researched fun places to eat in the city, and found this stunning establishment and knew right away I would love it since Art Nouveau is my favorite style of art, architecture, interior design etc. Bethy even threw me an elegant Art Nouveau birthday party a few years ago CLICK HERE to see pictures from that memorable soirée.

La Fermeet Marbeuf made all our Art Nouveau dreams come true in all the best ways, it was one of the most gorgeous places I had ever seen. I honestly felt like I was dinning in a fairytale.

Our meal was equally as beautiful and tasted fabulous.

I loved every single detail of the decor, the stars in the carpet, the bees on the walls, the flower lights in the arch ways. Perfection, it was just perfection in every single way.

Even their exterior decor is amazing, I mean look at this classy dog bar for all the Parisian dogs! I really doesn't get much better than this place.

After our heavenly meal, we took the subway to the artistic district of Montmartre.

Our first stop was at a fun little carousel for Vienne, not pictured. Our second stop was at the Wall of Love, Le Mur Des Je T'aime. The wall was created in 2000 by calligraphist Fédéric Baron and mural artist Claire Kito, it is composed of 612 tiles of enamelled lava, on which the phrase 'I love you' is featured 311 times in 250 languages.

The symbolism of the wall was a personal choice of the artist. A wall is, of course, a symbol of division and separation. But here, Fédéric Baron wished that a wall could also be a support for the most beautiful of human feelings.

The red splashes on the wall symbolise parts of a broken heart, and can be gathered to form a full heart.

While it's not one of the major attractions Paris has to offer, the Wall of Love was such a fun surprise to stumble upon. It is such a lovely sentiment of acceptance, love and unity. I loved the time we spent admiring all the beautiful and different dialects of the world.

There was also an adorable little playground right next to the wall that V was very excited about. Vienne is an amazing travel companion, she handles the ups and downs of travels extremely well. But, we always loved looking for opportunities to let her embrace her childhood and to get her wiggles out, especially after fancy affairs like our formal meals.

Then we began the journey to the top of the hill to see the beautifully unique Sacre-Coeur Basilica. It's always fun wandering the narrow, cobblestone streets in the part of Paris. Since it was rainy out, there weren't any artists out painting, but there were plenty of adorable, artsy store and restaurant fronts to make up for it.

While there is a tram that goes to the top of the hill, we chose to climb the stairs, in the rain, for the full experience. I'm pretty sure we worked off our entire lunch and then some ... it was a lot of stairs.

I loved this sign and I appreciated it congratulating me on climbing over 200 stairs.

The climb was worth it for the amazing views of the entire city as well as seeing the Sacre-Coeur. I have visited this basilica before, and I love it. I first saw it in the incredibly beautiful french film, Amalie, then saw it in person in 2007 when I visited Paris after my study abroad in Italy. It's one of my favorite buildings in Paris.

After our visit through the Sacre-Coeur, we definitely took the tram down the hill, no more stairs for us. But we did still stroll up and down some of the charming streets on our way back to the subway, (which actually turned out to be a walk to a corner and calling an uber because we were so over being out in the rain... traveling, it's an adventure).

We mostly window shopped, but this perfume shop was calling our name and we just couldn't resist stepping inside.

We admired all the pretty bottles, smelled dozens of perfumes, chatting with the adorable shop owner, and bought Vienne her very own, tiny perfume bottle.

We were SO excited to get home, change out of our wet clothes and put on warm, dry pajamas and snuggle up with blankets and treats to watch a movie. Beth and Reece hadn't seen the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so we chose to watch that. We kept the drapes open so we could watch the Eiffel tower sparkle every hour. It was the perfect, relaxing evening in.