Friday, 6 March 2015

A Sweet Toothed Farewell to Paris

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I woke with a heavy heart on my final day in Paris.

Never having been I didn't know what to expect of the City. With so much hype around one single place, you never know if you'll be disappointed. Yet I certainly wasn't. I had fallen a little bit in love with Paris. It's rather like London in the sense that it is a bustling, metropolitan city, yet I think it might be a bit more beautiful.

We decided to finish our Parisian love affair with a fitting tribute. Something beautiful and something iconicly Parisian.

Brunch at Laduree.

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Paris has just as much of a tea room culture as Briton does, with elegant Parisian ladies would sip on tea whilst nibbling at delicate patisseries rather than scones. 

In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller by trade founded a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale. Sadly in 1871, a fire in the bakery occurred, however Laduree saw it as an opportunity to transform it into a pastry shop.

However Ladurée's rise to fame came in 1930 when his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the original idea of the now infamous double-decker macaron, the sticking of two macaron shells together with a ganache as filling.

He also opened a tearoom at the shop which because back in the 30s ladies in Paris were not allowed into cafés, it became a huge success with women, giving them new freedom.

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Laduree is now world wide famous, mostly for its macarons, but I urge you to go upstairs and have brunch. Whilst yes, it is a tourist magnet, and not really a place actual Parisian's would go for brunch, it is just incredibly beautiful inside, that it can be forgiven for it's tourist nature.

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I had a feeling the hot chocolate would be something special here, so taking a bet, I plumped for it.

Well, boy were my instincts correct. Thick, decadent, hot chocolate came, which easily filled two tea cups worth. Add lashings of thick fresh cream, and you have a rival to Angelina's Hot Chocolate I raved about. 

Which is better is of course the hot question. I have to give this prize to Angelina, but Laduree, you seriously know how to do a hot chocolate! I didn't expect that.

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The French are not exactly known for their savory breakfasts, so it was a round of French Toast for each of us.

Dan opted for plain with maple syrup, which even came in it's own little bottle. I really wanted it to accidentally fall into my hand bag, but my logical side won.

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I opted for the rather more decadent version, with fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis and fresh whipped cream.

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Battle of the pouring toppings eh?

I'll take your dinky little maple syrup bottle and raise you epic coulis action!

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Oh my! Simply delicious. You have to add it to your Paris list, as it's an experience in itself, with the service rather acting like an age gone by when everything was more refined and elegant.

Of course, do leave some room in your stomach though as downstairs is of course the famous patiserrie. It's very hard to not resist. Yes, I didn't resist.

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The famous macarons. I indulged in a box of 8 to take home with me. If they still do the limited edition blackcurrant violet one, get that. It was far the best.

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Leaving with a very sweet tooth, we decided to go walk some of the sugar rush off.

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Walking along the river seine is one of the most beautiful roots in Paris. From the glorious architecture, to the caricaturists along the road sides.

One thing I couldn't not see in Paris was the Pont des Art or more casually know as the Love Lock Bridge.

Maybe I'd got caught up in the romance of the city with my boyfriend, who knows, but either way I was allowing myself this one mushy moment.

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Just remember your Google Maps though! There are a lot of bridges along the seine.

Seriously, what did we do before smartphones eh?

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Pressing on, we finally made it...

Only it wasn't quite how I pictured it.

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Mid last year, a section of the bridge had collapsed and fallen into the river. Fearing for the safety of the bridge, the authorities had boarded the railings to stop people from attaching their love locks.

Now I don't know much about bridge safety measures, but surely they could have used something other than cheap, nasty chipboard? It had just been graffitied and vandalized, making the bridge look dirty and horrible.

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However thankfully, there is still one small section left preserved, so I could still marvel in all the declarations of love that had been made over the years.

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It is such a shame that such an iconic landmark has been covered up in this way. Hopefully they will find a more fitting safety feature.

After doing a little shopping, we decided to walk about to our hotel and pack.

However we still had one thing left to do, and luckily it was right by our hotel.

The arc du Triomphe.

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Yes I stood in the middle of the road for this shot.

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The Arc du Triomphe is in honour of those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.

Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

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Don't say I won't get down and dirty for the perfect photo. It's not all glamorous bags either!

Continuing to use my City Pass from my collaboration with the Paris Tourist Board, it was straight in and with no charge using the pass.

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Ascending the 50m spiral stair case climb, it is all worth it once you reach the top.

The views are amazing.

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Once again, put me and Dan together, and we will do anything for the perfect shot.

With complete 360 views of all 12 roads leading off the Arc Du Triomphe, showcasing the Eiffel Tower, the Roue de Paris and the Montparnasse Tower, we were keen to try out some different photography styles.

With a constant stream of traffic down the Champs Elysees, we opted for a long exposure traffic shots.

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Not bad for the height and distance away.

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We just stood up there and gazed out for what felt like hours. The views are just incredible.

Paris was beyond my expectations, and opened up so many experiences for me.

Not only did I get to do and see some incredible landmarks, but it also gave me renewed interest in pursuing photography.

So farewell for now Paris, though I'm sure I will see you soon.


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9 comments

  1. This must be your most food porniest (is that word?) post ever! Laduree just looks incredible! What a fab time you must have had!
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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  2. Oh Laduree how I love thee! I have a branch far too close to my office and I have to walk to the station a different way daily or I'd be stopping in every evening.

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  3. stunning pictures, looks like you had a brill time! x

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  4. Gorgeous pictures. I missed Laduree when I visited Paris - all the more reason to go back! We have a tiny Laduree that only does macarons in Sydney CBD, but it is really nothing compared to what the original looks like!

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  5. I was in Paris on Wednesday, weather was glorious. Even though I used to live there, I never got round to climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  6. Your breakfast looks wonderful and how sweet is that maple syrup. I am surprised after this you could move. Your pictures are beautiful. I am glad that someone else things the same about the love bridge, tacky Lucy x

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  7. Haha, awesome. I love your dedication to getting the perfect shot!

    I stopped by Pont des Arts while I was there too. So sad the state of it.

    Hope you're having a great week!

    V
    Life+1

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  8. Breakfast sounds amazing! I will have to visit there if I ever go to Paris. I do love a good sweet breakfast!

    I love the Arc Du Triomphe! Its such an iconic place! Them long exposure shots are amazing! :)

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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  9. Your brunch at Laduree is awesome. Hot chocolate adds a pure flavour to the toast. The bread and macarons at Laduree are so delicious and appetizing!!! Thank you for the great post.

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