I’m currently away on my summer vacation travelling through Italy after a wonderful week spent relaxing with my family on the Greek islands. I would love to send you a couple of postcards from my travels but unfortunately I have no way of uploading photos from my camera just yet. I’m still thinking of Paris every step of the way and of course comparing each place with the beauty of my beloved city. I found a Ladurée in Rome a couple of days ago so I bought a couple of macarons and indulged in a little Paris daydreaming for a short while.
Fondation is such a happy cafe, partially due to the main barista, Chris, who you’ll always see joking and laughing around with his customers as well as an excellent playlist which results in an always upbeat ambiance. It might seem of little importance but coffee cups are something which I often notice and crockery as cute as those lime green cups are sure to make you smile. It’s large bay window allows the light to pour in turning the tiny interior into a much more spacious and airy cafe. When the sun is shining it almost seems a shame to sit inside and at Fondation you needn’t as a little terrace flows onto the side street once more enlarging the tiny space. My friend and I stopped in for breakfast which Fondation does excellently serving a very simple menu yet executed superbly proving once more that simplicity always wins. Their granola blend comes from the always delicious Emperor Norton which you can always rely on for the best baked goods in Paris and their avocado on toast is worth waking up early for.
16 RUE DUPETIT-THOUARS, 75003 // METRO TEMPLE
The other morning one of my loveliest friends and I went for a little breakfast date together, we were in the mood for something sweet so we stopped by Pierre Hermé to pick up a couple of Ispahan croissants. I’ve talked about these croissants before but they are worth mentioning again and again. The perfect flaky pastry is filled with a rose, raspberry and litchi paste and sprinkled with candied rose petals. It might sound a little bizarre and a little too extravagant but once you’ve tired it you won’t be able to look at the standard croissant in the same way ever again, in fact all other viennoiseries will pale in comparison. Whilst I wouldn’t incorporate these into my daily breakfast routine, from time to time there is nothing better than being a bit naughty and indulging in a pastry laden breakfast… is living in Paris excuse enough for this?
We headed around the corner to my favourite cocktail bar in Paris, le Schmuck, which is also open for coffee in the daytime. Luckily for us the sun was shining so we made ourselves comfortable on their Italianesque terrace which looks out onto a quiet road tucked behind St Sulpice. I can’t imagine a better morning than sipping a cafe creme and savouring every mouthful of croissant heaven in wonderful company.
The other day one of my dearest friends and I returned to the Parc de Bagatelle to celebrate our final day together in Paris for a little while. Far from our original plan but as the saying goes the best plans are made to be broken.. Or at least that’s what we kept chanting to ourselves to keep up morale whilst sat on a broken down train for five hours mid-way between Paris and Monet’s gardens. Forever the optimists, half a day later and one free SNCF lunch box heavier, we hopped back on a train to Paris determined not to loose a second more of our time together, and hired velibs to cycle back to the 16th. It was quite fitting in the end as this garden is our favourite place in the whole of Paris and over the years we’ve shared some lovely times here. We sat under the trees for a long time seeking out shade and enjoying the fresh evening air after being cooped up in a stuffy carriage for most of the day. After weaving our way through secret passageways and pagodas we tried to coerce the peacocks into spreading their feathers but this time they weren’t having any of it. On the way home we jumped back on our bikes and cycled through the Bois de Boulogne with the wind in our hair, giggling along and for a while I thought I was back in the woods at home rather than the outskirts of Paris.
After months of fickle weather it seems that summer is slowly arriving in Paris, it’s taking its sweet time but I suppose we wouldn’t enjoy it as much if we weren’t all waiting in anticipation.. Before I leave for les grandes vacances I’m trying to squeeze in as much as possible and enjoying these sunny days in Paris which can be few and far between. What better way to celebrate the sunshine than with a sweet little ice cream? All of the pastry shops in Paris appear to be creating an ice-cream version of their most famous patisserie. L’éclair de Génie has now become the cult place in Paris for delicious éclairs so I suppose it only made sense to jump on the band wagon and create an ice cream version. Honestly I have to admit that it isn’t the best I’ve ever eaten, I think he masters his choux pastry much better than his ice cream but nonetheless top marks for creativity. For me the chef patissier will always be remembered for recreating the eclair and making it modern again, for others he may be known as the genius who invented the ice cream éclair!
There seems to be quite a trend setting in Paris with new cafes popping up every month and within a two minute radius of one another, however none of them quite compare to the charming little Boot Cafe. It’s no secret that space doesn’t come cheap in Paris which is consequently resulting in smaller and smaller cafes forcing owners to be even more creative with their treasured few square meters they fought so fervently for. Who would have thought that a former cobbler’s would provide such a perfect spot for a cafe? What this cafe lacks in size it certainly makes up for in character; providing old issues of Vogue to flick through or to purchase if desired as well as artsy postcards covering the walls.
I stopped in for breakfast one morning with one of my loveliest friends and we both ordered their granola, naturally. An Emperor Norton blend made exclusively for Boot cafe, nutty and crunchy and served with fromage blanc and red berries. The sweet lady behind the machine happily chirped away answering any questions (if you’re as inquisitive as I am) whilst making us a wonderful coffee with a smile.Either their coffee was too good or I was too tired but something wasn’t letting me leave without a second latte to-go. After all this coffee was made for walking!
19 RUE DU PONT AUX CHOUX, 75009 // METRO SAINT SEBASTIEN FROISSART
One of the many things which I adore about the Palais Royal gardens is the constant change of flowers. Every month there will be new flowers in bloom and the flowers of the previous season will slowly shrivel in order to make room for the next batch. Whilst it is always saddening to see flowers wilt, it is always reassuring to know that new life will spring in the form of pretty flowers thus making every trip to these gardens a pretty surprise. The last time I took photographs here the trees were looking much bearer but the magnolias were in full bloom yet when I returned there wasn’t a single magnolia in sight and instead rose bushes had taken their place. But these weren’t just any roses, they were the most beautiful powder pink roses I’d ever seen, each petal folding in on itself to create the most beautifully delicate creases.
The Ispahan macaron has to be my favourite macaron of all time. A concoction of raspberry, rose and litchi, flavours which wouldn’t have called to me at first but after my first bite I couldn’t imagine a world without such an ingenious combination. This season Pierre Hermé has created a range of veloutés macarons, a silkier and more velvety version of his traditional macarons. Each of them are delicious, (can Pierre Herme do no wrong?!) but of course the one with the lasting impression for me would have to be the Ispahan. Next time I’m in need of a little sweet snack I know where I’ll be heading.
Not long ago I went to Blackburn coffee when it had just recently opened, however I didn’t get a chance to taste their coffee as I choose the green tea so a second visit was most definitely necessary. Do you know those kind of places which entice you to return the moment you leave its doors? Blackburn is that kind of place. After all a menu with so many delicious dishes would require countless visits to taste them all. The lunch time menu consists of home-baked dishes such as oeuf cocotte and generously topped tartines prepared in front of you and served alongside a hearty salad and coleslaw. Whilst I’ve been dying to try one of their savoury dishes, the last couple of times I haven’t been hungry enough for lunch so have instead opted for a tea break. I ordered carrot cake which comes with a little pot of fromage blanc and was moist and nutty enough to keep me content, and my friend ordered the cookie, we both washed down our desserts with a superb latte.
52 RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT-MARTIN, 75010 // METRO CHATEAU D’EAU
Aren’t we all searching to uncover our favourites cafes in Paris? I seem to be perpetually on a mission to find that cafe which perfectly matches my interior tastes, my palette and offers good coffee. On this quest I often tend to frequent coffee shops opened by expats as from experience these are the places offering quality coffee and friendly service. Much as I love these haunts, it’s nice to go to a Parisian cafe every once in a while, after all we are living in Paris and not Melbourne right? As far as the perfect quintessential Parisian cafe goes, l’esplanade comes pretty close. Located at the heart of Invalides, the terrace is just off the busy road and has a view towards the Musée de l’Armée. The waiters are dressed in traditional attire and are as friendly as French waiters are ever going to be. The terrace is wonderfully elegant with white marble tables and beautifully clean and white crockery. Another reason why this place stands out is its breakfast menu offering more than your standard carbohydrate-fueled fare of croissants and bread, instead serving bowls of fresh fruit and granola, an unknown concept to most French institutes.
52 RUE FABERT, 75007 // METRO LA TOUR MAUBOURG