Pépites Parisiennes (IV)

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun – and I’ve certainly had fun compiling this little series about my recent trip to Paris. While it may not be the end of the road for this series, as I’m rather fond of the title, it has now reached a red traffic light, so to speak. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting (and revisiting, as was the case for a few) some of the crowd-pleasers, but felt most at home wandering the city’s fringes, which were both peaceful and picturesque. On our last day, after an essential detour to a pâtisserie or two, we headed out to the nineteenth arrondissement and gradually worked our way back to the tenth, conveniently finishing just a short walk away from Gare du Nord, where Laurence would catch the Eurostar back to London. Until next time, Paris. / Comme dit le proverbe, le temps passe vite quand on s’amuse – et je me suis bien amusée en écrivant cette petite série sur mon voyage récent à Paris. Tandis que cela ne sera pas nécessairement la fin du voyage pour cette série, car j’aime bien le titre, elle se trouve devant un feu rouge pour l’instant, pour ainsi dire. J’ai adoré mes visites (ou bien mes deuxième visites, selon le cas) des grands monuments, mais je me suis sentie plus à l’aise en flânant dans les quartiers plus loin du centre, qui étaient à la fois tranquille et pittoresque. Le dernier jour, après avoir fait un petit détour à une ou deux pâtisseries, nous sommes allés au dix-neuvième arrondissement et petit à petit nous nous sommes dirigés vers le dixième, finissant près de la Gare du Nord, d’où Laurence prendrait le Eurostar. À la prochaine, Paris.

#13 | La Mouzaïa is another of Paris’ most picturesque residential neighbourhoods – and one I wouldn’t have known of if it weren’t for this post from CatherineRose. (If you’re headed to Paris and want to venture off the beaten track, she’s got you covered.) Branching off from Rue de Mouzaïa are dozens of narrow lanes, lined with colourful terraced houses in hues of pink, green and blue. Greenery spilled over the brightly painted wrought iron fences and geraniums burst out of flower pots and window boxes. Joie de vivre filled the air, with the sound of lively chatter and the chinking of glasses carrying into the streets. / La Mouzaïa est un autre quartier résidentiel et pittoresque sur Paris – et un que je n’aurais pas connu si je n’avais pas lu cet article de CatherineRose. (Si vous allez à Paris et souhaitez aller hors des sentiers battus, elle vous prend en charge.) À chaque côté de Rue de Mouzaïa, il y a plein de ruelles, chacune bordée de maisons mitoyennes colorées, en nuances de rose, vert et bleu. La verdure a couvert les clôtures peintes en couleurs vives et les pots de fleurs et jardinières étaient plein de géraniums. Avec le bruit des gens papotant et entrechoquant, ce quartier a respiré la joie de vivre.

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#14 | Leaving La Mouzaïa behind, we carried on down the hill towards the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Gone were the swathes of tourists which smother the lawns of the Jardin du Luxembourg: this is indisputably a local park. Climb to the Temple de la Sybille at the top of the butte (hill) and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with an unobstructed view of Sacré-Cœur to the north. Although it looks like a natural geological formation, the former gypsum quarry was heavily landscaped to incorporate the grotto, waterfall and surrounding lake. On a sunny day, it’s well worth bringing a picnic or picking up some goodies from one of the nearby boulangeries to enjoy in the park. / En sortant de La Mouzaïa, nous avons descendus la rue vers le Parc des Buttes Chaumont. La foule de touristes qui se repose sur chaque centimètre d’herbe dans le Jardin du Luxembourg a disparu : ce parc est indiscutablement un parc pour les parisiens. Montez jusqu’à la Temple de la Sybille en haut de la butte et vous serez récompensé avec un beau vue de Sacré-Cœur au nord, sans obstructions. Bien que la butte semble être une formation naturelle, la carrière de gypse a été forte aménagée pour créer la grotte, la chute d’eau et le lac qui entoure l’îlot. Un jour de beau temps, il vaut la peine de venir avec un pique-nique ou d’acheter quelque chose d’une des boulangeries du coin pour manger au parc.

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#15 | I rather like wandering along canals – be it the walk along Chester Canal into the city centre, a potter along Regent’s Canal in my lunch break or meandering the picturesque canals of Bruges with a waffle in hand. Canal St. Martin was just a short walk from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and was the ideal spot for us to wrap up our long weekend in Paris. This lively area attracts people-watchers by the dozen, sipping coffees in cafés or sprawling beside the canal watching the world go by. Amsterdam’s canals feel a little manic, but this was quite the opposite, much to our delight. / J’aime bien marcher au bord d’un canal – que ce soit une balade au bord du Chester Canal pour aller au centre-ville, une promenade près du Regent’s Canal pendant mon déjeuner ou bien une petite promenade au bord des canaux pittoresques de Bruges avec un gaufre dans ma main. Le Canal St. Martin n’était qu’à deux pas du Parc des Buttes Chaumont, et était donc l’endroit parfait pour terminer notre séjour à Paris. Ce quartier attire plein de monde qui aiment tout simplement regarder les gens, en buvant des cafés aux cafés ou en reposant au bord du canal. Les canaux à Amsterdam sont assez frénétiques, mais heureusement ce n’était pas du tout le cas ici.

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#16 | Last, but by no means least, what’s a trip to Paris without sampling its sweet treats? The French know that a choice of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate simply won’t cut the mustard, so any self-respecting glacier will have at least three times as many flavours. Berthillon is considered to be one of the best, though I wouldn’t say it was of noticeably better quality than the ice cream I purchased from a vendor outside the Jardin du Luxembourg. Then there’s the classic duel between the two premier macaron houses, Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. (Personally I prefer the latter for its more unusual flavours, but to each their own.) Finally, if you need to satisfy crêpe cravings, my favourite spot is Crêperie Genia (7 Rue de la Harpe) – you’ll be served speedily, have plenty of toppings to choose from and get change from €5. / Enfin et surtout, qu’est-ce que c’est un séjour à Paris sans avoir mangé ses gourmandises? Les français savent qu’un choix entre vanille, fraise et chocolat ne suffira pas, donc tous les glaciers qui se respectent auront au moins un choix trois fois plus grand. Berthillon est considéré comme un des meilleurs glaciers parisiens, mais je dirais que la qualité chez les glaciers autour du Jardin du Luxembourg est aussi bonne. Puis, les fabricants des macarons, Ladurée et Pierre Hermé, sont au coude à coude. (Personnellement, je préfère ce dernier, car les saveurs sont plus intéressantes, mais à chacun son goût.) Finalement, si vous avez une folle envie de manger une crêpe, j’adore Crêperie Genia (7 Rue de la Harpe) – le service est rapide, le choix de garnitures énorme et vous ne dépenserez pas plus de €5 pour une crêpe.

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If you missed the previous instalments, click here for the first, here for the second and here for the third. / Si vous avez raté les épisodes précédents, cliquez ici pour le premier, ici pour le deuxième et ici pour le troisième.

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14 thoughts on “Pépites Parisiennes (IV)

  1. I love love love the 19th! Did any of the cats come out to visit in La Mouzaïa? (Thanks for linking to my post!) I have actually never tried Pierre Hermé macarons (actually, maybe not even Ladurée…) I was broke broke broke when I lived in Paris, so I only splurged for my favorite viennoiseries. Thanks for sharing your favorite crêpe place! I added it to my Paris map 🙂 I love that you explored some of the best Paris monuments and lots of little local places off the tourist path. Do you have anything on your list for your next visit, or did you check off everything this time around?

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    1. Sadly the cats weren’t cooperative that time, but I feel like that area merits a return trip one day 🙂 (Luckily I had my cat fix at the Cité Florale the day before.) I think I would also have been super broke had I lived in Paris, so I don’t blame you for just splurging on your favourite viennoiseries! (Paris 8 was one of the partner universities where I could have been a lectrice.) It was a nice mixture of things, and given the heat and crowds it was so good to escape to the outskirts from time to time! I’ve still got a few odds and ends (like the Bois de Boulogne, other sections of La Petite Ceinture and boulangeries I didn’t make it to), and doubtless there’ll be more added at a future date – I’m always checking out Time Out for inspiration! I’m beginning to think Paris is one of those cities you can never fully “do”, if that makes sense.

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      1. I agree! I love it because you can explore it endlessly, especially throughout the years as it changes and you change. Interesting that you also had the choice to go to Paris! What made you choose Lyon?

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      2. Seeing how areas evolve is one of the nicest things about returning to the same places every so often. Leeds had links with a few universities (Lyon, Paris, Lille, Valenciennes), but I chose Lyon as I’d visited for a day with a friend back when I was on my year abroad and loved it! (Plus, I couldn’t resist the chance to explore all those natural parks nearby.) It also seemed a better size for me – I think Paris could have been too overwhelming, as while it’s nice to visit, living there would be a different kettle of fish.

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      3. Yes, Lyon is definitely more livable than Paris, although I love both. It has evolved a lot too over the last few years – lots of new cafés and restaurants. I enjoyed my brief visit to Lille but I think I would have chosen Lyon too 🙂

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      4. It also came down to which region I wanted to explore more of, and the mountains swung it in Lyon’s favour 🙂 I still haven’t been to Lille – one of these days I’ll have to venture over and see it for myself. Moving down south has come with a few advantages, including a wider choice of transport options!

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  2. Nice post Rosie. Hope you’re having a good day. Grim here for summer. Been to Conway for the annual gas service so had a nice wander around Conway, trip to Edwards and drive through Abergele, really nothing to see but some rather fine buildings. M x

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  3. That view of the Sacré Coeur from le Parc des Buttes Chaumont looks stunning! I didn’t get to see it when I visited several months ago (rather, I didn’t know one could get views of it from here), so I’ll need to return! Another blogger recommended Canal St. Martin as well, and that’s only adding to my bucket list of things to see in Paris! While it appears your “Pépites Parisiennes” series has reached the end, I’m sure it’s only temporary as you have many opportunities to revisit the City of Lights in the near future– after all, you’re only a hop and skip away by channel!

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    1. It’s a great viewpoint! Took us a while to figure out how to get up there, but navigated the maze of paths in the end! Bucket lists for Paris just keep growing, don’t they? It’s definitely more of an “on pause” than an end, that’s for sure 🙂 I’m hoping to explore a bit more of Europe, but I’m sure I’ll find myself back in Paris soon enough.

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  4. Ahhh, I’m almost crying – Paris me manque trop! Merci pour tes photos 🙂 Elles sont magnifiques! et je suis d’accord avec toi au sujet des macarons – I like Pierre Hermé better, not just for the flavors but I find they handle their macarons (and thus customers) a bit better. I had numerous Ladurée people throw macarons in the bag and chip/break them, but have never had that happen at Pierre Hermé… 🙂

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    1. Paris (et la France en général) me manque aussi! I like how the flavours at Pierre Hermé change seasonally too, so you know there will always be a new one to try each time you return. That’s no good – when you’re paying €2 odd for a macaron you don’t want it crushed! I’ve discovered there’s a branch of Pierre Hermé in London, so luckily I don’t have to wait until I’m next in Paris for the macaron experience…

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