We woke up this morning and head straight out to sit in a cute Parisian cafe for breakfast. Coffee, chocolate croissants and baguettes with French butter fueled us for the walk down to Montmartre cemetery, where we were on the hunt for a number of famous boulangeries and patisseries.
We wandered in and out of boulangerie after boulangerie in the 18th arrondissement, buying an item or two at each. A cherry clafoutis at Maison Laurent started us off.
Highlight was Gontran Cherrier, famous boulanger (and a personal favourite of Rachel Khoo). The counter of treats was all too overwhelming, but I managed to choose a black baguette (baked with squid ink and nigella) and a slice of Bostock. This is one of my favourite treats – it is pretty much an almond croissant (almond syrup, almonds, icing sugar and a frangipane cream) but made on a thick slice of brioche. Baked crispy around the edges, this tipped me over the edge into sugar overload, so we started the search for something savoury.
Then, we head over to Père Lachaise cemetery to see Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Chopins’ graves. I made friends with the cemetery cat.
Then to Le Marais, a little old cobblestoned area full of specialty and designer shops.
First stop, Meert for their famous vanilla gaufres (waffles). They are wafer thin and served as a sandwich with a filling of sugar, butter and Madagascan vanilla. We took one bite and our eyes went wide. Do not, I repeat, do NOT miss these if you visit France. Such a strong, fresh vanilla flavour with the thin waffle biscuit was simply perfect.
We wandered further into Le Marais, stopping off at a jam shop called Le Chambre Aux Confitures. It had rows upon rows of jams, ranging from strawberry to banana and coconut.
We stopped into a tiny deli for Maison David for a few snacks from the well-known delicatessen. Two or three people can sit inside and eat cuts of meat or cheese, or you can simply pick up some groceries from a man people have called a ‘charcuterie artist’. But you can have your charcuterie – I’m sorry, the little pastries they have on top of the counter are where it is at. Little parcels of puff pastry stuffed with a slice of deliciously salty smoked fish. At €2 a pop, they aren’t cheap – but they are worth it.
Next up, our savoury foods (finally!) at a stylish little Portuguese epicerie called Tasca – cheeseboards and chocolate milk. We were served by the owner, Victor Silveira, who is quite well known in Paris for his cute cafes.
Over to Notre Dame, wandering through parks and finally head towards the Eiffel Tower. We had some more espresso on the street and then picked up some food for a picnic under the tower.
On the hour, the tower lit up with flashing fairy lights. We sat underneath and watched.
It was almost time to head home, so we wandered slowly back to the train station along the boulevard. We turned back and the last sight we saw before we head underground was the Eiffel Tower, lit up, with the moon perfectly positioned beside it. Bonsoir Paris! Until next time…