With our overpacked suitcases in tow, we didn't much feel like navigating the Metro to our hotel upon our arrival in Paris. Taking a cab gave us a much better opportunity to stare out the windows, mouths agape, at the people, the buildings, the Vespas whooshing past, and the seemingly endless number of cafes. We arrived at our hotel, Hotel le Bellechasse, on the Rue of the same name, to find our home for the next five days. Following the cramped, though clean and economical, Spartan IKEA showroom that was our previous flat, we were elated when we saw our room. The whole hotel was designed by Christian LaCroix.
This is more like it.
We couldn't wait to get out and explore, so we freshened quickly and immediately struck out on le Boulevard St. Germain, a huge thoroughfare lined with chic shops and beautiful cafes. The weather was absolutely phenomenal, mid-seventies most of the time. We weren't complaining after four days of London gray.
My favorite storefront of the whole trip - can't get enough of the little welded parapluie.
They even make their tree grates beautifully here.
Will took me to the Cafe de Flore, where Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir would regularly come to have their heated philosophical discussions. Following the, um, interesting cuisine of London, we positively devoured the Croque Monsieur and salad verte put before us like small wolves.
If you couldn't tell, we like it here an awful lot.
Exploring one of the many old Parisian churches.
Wandering continued ...
Lilac is everywhere in Paris and in full bloom. The sheer volume and the warm air has left the entire city dizzyingly perfumed. Will says: "the scent wafts down the streets and mixes with the perfume of the boulangerie." He does enough over the shoulder editing - and we frankly have so many posts left - that I've demanded a guest post from him. Forthcoming.
After our long day of meandering, we circled back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. We were fortunate that a restaurant that was highly recommended to us, Le Vin de Bellechasse, was just one hundred feet away. The place was hopping, the clientele was cool, and everything smelled delicious. Once again, we ate like wolves and polished off two entrees (starters), two plats (mains), a molten chocolate cake and a bottle of wine. We wanted to be cool, so we couldn't bring ourselves to be seen taking a picture. Will fortunately snuck some clandestine iPhone shots, though.
Will's steak with bernaise
My veal Milanese
Moullex au chocolat
Post-gluttony, we were in need of a walk, so we headed up Rue de Bellechasse to cross the Seine. The bridge Pont Royal led us to le Jardin des Tuileres, near the grounds of the Louvre, all of which was beautifully lit.
As we continued through the grounds, Will brought a little something to my attention. Squealing ensued.
Better pictures of the Tour Eiffel will follow, but trust me, it was an amazing sight to turn around and suddenly see it all lit up across the river.