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Published: June 13th 2013
What beautiful day for a bike ride through the gardens....
I don't know how we will go past L'Orangerie as our favourite so far - this gallery is such a gem, and perfect with kids as it is so small and peaceful. We hopped on our trusty velibs and rodein the sunshine through the Tuileries gardens this morning on our way there. The avenues of trees are truly beautiful. I ignored the fact that the restaurant in the gardens is a tourist trap, and took my time enjoying a cafe-au-lait and watching the people go past.
With our Paris passes we skipped the queue at L'Orangerie and were admitted very quickly to the gallery, which only allows a small number of people to enter at a time. I had no idea that L'Orangerie had been built expressly to house Monet's paintings. The beautiful colours of the artwork and unique white curved walls, combined with magnificent natural light, captured everyone's imaginations, and we spent quite a long time just wandering, or sitting and admiring. The children were quite awed to be seeing Monet's paintings "In the flesh" rather than on notecards or coasters!
I was in no hurry to leave, but we had plans to begin a much- researched macaroon
tasting tour today, and our tummies were telling us it was time!
Most of last year, Isabel and I spent time trawling the internet, trying to find out about the best macaroons in Paris as they are a family favourite. We came up with a good list of places to try, and carefully planned our "Macaroon Crawl" before we left Melbourne. Anyway, we headed off from the L'Orangerie to our first stop - Pierre Herme in St Germain. The queue for macaroons went out the door and up the street, but we hopped on the end of it and were soon inside. My favourite was definitely the raspberry, but the salted caramel was also a hit. I did get a sharp rebuke from a staff member for taking a photograph of the cake display ("NO photo!!") but apart from that it was a lovely visit. Isabel is not having a birthday party with her firends this year as we are away, but we are looking for a MAGNIFICENT birthday cake to take with us to a picnic under the Eiffel Tower on her birthday - Bastille Day! We spotted a few potential candidates her at Pierre Herme......
at Le Deux Magots was fun, but HOT. It was impossible to avoid the sun, however people watching distracted us. Some of the most beautifully dressed people I've seen wandered in and out, and we loved soaking up the atmosphere. After lunch, waiters and waitresses wandered around with trays of unbelievable cakes, pastries and macaroons, so of course, we HAD to try one!
From the Deux Magots, we did a bit of bargain clothes shopping for Hugo at the IKKS boutique in St Germain, then wandered past Laduree - just the window was stunning! The amazing Chinoiserie-style tea room makes us wonder if we should make a date to eat more cake there later in the week.
Dinner was an exciting time - we met our dear friends Dorine, Gitte and Jurgen who moved from Melobourne back to The Netherlands for dinner. We are so thrilled they decided to come to Paris to meet us. We hopped on the Metro for the first time to head up to Sacre Coeur and then to a restaurant in Montmartre for dinner. Dorine told us a story of a lucky escape on The Metro. A man who hopped into the same
carriage was followed in by two teenage girls. They opened a window in the train, then, just as it was about to leave the station, jumped out and threw the man's wallet (minus the cash) back to him through the window. Dorine says he must have looked just a bit richer than them, so they escaped being targeted. At least he got his wallet back.......
I looked at the girls over dinner, deep in discussion and was suddenly struck by how quickly the years go past, how grown-up they looked, and how lucky we are to share this great experience with our kids before they are all grown up.
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