sugar and spice and twinkly lights

I’ve just got back from Paris – my last trip for a while.

I’d like to say we really made the most of the five days I was there, and crammed in as much as possible. But that would be a lie. The reality is that it was extremely cold and we mostly stayed in bed watching Game of Thrones and eating things like this:

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(freshly baked brioche from the boulangerie)

and this:

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(caramel spread…totally delicious!)

(In fact, as you will see, this post is basically about (1) delicious things and (2) sparkly things.)

We did manage to get out a bit, despite the cold and our laziness. I wanted to see the Christmas decorations at the Galéries Lafayette and Printemps, the two main department stores, so on Thursday we went into the city centre and had a look.

Galéries Lafayette:

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Printemps:

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After a while we were starting to get cold and hungry, so I decided to treat Olivier to a patisserie at Ladurée. Neither of us had ever been before, but the last couple of times I’ve been to Paris we’ve gone to a different salon de thé, so we decided to continue the theme.

We both had the house special hot chocolate, which was as rich and thick as you might expect.

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I had a macaron pomme caramel, which was a huge pink macaron filled with pieces of apple around a core of salted caramel. It was kind of like a cross between a macaron and a tarte tatin. Bizarre, but delicious.

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Olivier had something amazing and chocolatey. I can’t remember what it was called, but I have to confess I got food envy. It was like a layer of chocolate tiffin with layers of chocolate and chocolate mousse on top. Yum.

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Yesterday we came back into Paris in the evening for a party at a friend’s apartment. Because I won’t be returning to Paris until the spring, and Olivier will also be away for most of that time, we decided to do one of our favourite things, and go up the Tour Montparnasse

If you are going to Paris, take my advice and give the Eiffel Tower a miss. Do the Montparnasse Tower instead.

The view from the top is truly breathtaking.

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These are actually two old pictures, which I took when I lived in Paris. This time, when Olivier and I went up, it was already pitch dark outside. We went up onto the roof terrace to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle, but it was so cold and windy we only managed a few minutes before making our way back inside to the cafe on the 56th floor, where we each had a glass of wine and marvelled at the view.

I must have been up there five or six times now, but every time it takes my breath away.

I like to look down at the street below and watch the cars and buses moving slowly, and tiny people, smaller than ants, walking along the pavement. And as much as I love to see the city’s many landmarks, all lit up, I also enjoy looking at the tiny lights shining from thousands of windows, and thinking about the people in those apartment buildings, having dinner with friends or getting their children ready for bed. So many people are down there, living out their lives, each one at the centre of their own story. I always feel strangely comforted when I remember that I am just one of seven billion people, and my own personal worries and dramas are really not all that important.

Au revoir, Paris.

I’ll see you in the spring.

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One thought on “sugar and spice and twinkly lights

  1. Pingback: the city that never sleeps | pépère the cat

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