After our very nice and refreshing stop at Laduree, the Missus was itching to do some shopping.
I was however, quite surprised that She kept a rather leisurely pace as we headed down Champs-Élysées.
And while we didn't visit the exhibition at the Grand Palais, which was actually built as an exhibition hall for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the building has had many uses over the years. During World War I it served as military hospital, during the Nazi occupation a truck depot.
We stopped at the statue of Charles de Gaulle on Place Clemenceau to take a photo.
This area, full of lovely green spaces is called des Jardin des Champs-Élysées and is quite lovely. There are many statues and fountains located on the garden grounds. This one, named "Fontaine des Ambassadeurs", also known as the "Venus Fountain" dates back to 1840.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées ends at a large public square, Place de la Concorde, know for its two grand fountains.
And one dramatic looking, gold topped obelisk, which was originally located at the entrance of Luxor Temple in Eqypt. If you've read our posts on Istanbul, Rome, and even Brno, you'll know that the Missus has a thing for Obelisks, so we had to stop here. The Luxor Obelisk is supposedly over 3000 years old and was shipped from Luxor in 1832, arriving in Paris late in 1833. The pedestal details how the obelisk was transported to Paris, quite an engineering feat back in the day. The original pedestal resides in the Louvre. The gold leaf Pyramidion was installed in 1998 to replace one that had been missing since the 6th century.
It's quite a busy area.
We were going to check out Place de la Madeleine, but by this time the Missus was focused. So we turned left on Rue Saint Honore, then left on Rue Cambon, and arrived at the Missus's destination in the very upscale Opera Neighborhood.
They flagship store of Chanel......sigh. It was quite an experience, with one on one service, refreshment, and so on. I won't go into how much $$$$, or should I say "€€€€" the Missus spent. But let's just say She was quite happy...except for not having shoes in Her size.
In case you're thinking about stopping by:
31 Rue Cambon
75001 Paris, France
The Missus, disappointed in Chanel not having the shoes She wanted, had a plan B so we headed off. At least I know why they call this area "Opera". It's because of the Palais Garnier, the striking looking Opera House.
Around the corner from the Opera House on Rue de la Paix is a location of Repetto. Repetto was founded in 1947 as a maker of ballet shoes. It is super popular in Japan. Being married to the Missus has its hazards; I know more about handbags and women's shoes than any red blooded male should. Anyway, the shoes are quite beautiful. The Missus requested black; but the savvy saleswoman brought out a pair of the Repetto BB in Flame Red and told the Missus they were the number one selling shoe in Japan! I gotta admit, they did look good, so I told the Missus buy them both (She's since bought four more.....sigh). Here's a wonderful blog post if you want to know more about Repetto shoes. There was one funny thing that happened. As I paid for the shoes, the young lady who helped us looked at my name and started talking to me in fluent Japanese! Ok......tis was starting to get a bit surreal. In chatting I found out she was one-quarter Japanese, though she didn't look it at all, and felt more comfortable speaking in Japanese than English!
22 Rue de la Paix
75002 Paris, France
Lest you think I've gone around the bend and this has suddenly become a fashion blog.....
The Missus and I were getting somewhat hungry. While we didn't want too much to eat since we had quite a dinner planned, a croissant and coffee was just not going to do. Looking at my trusty Google Map, I noticed one of the places I entered, an interesting concept restaurant named Boco.
Created by two brothers, Vincent and Simon Ferniot, the shop is basically what I'd call Fast-Casual...or perhaps "Fast-Bistro". It has definitive French twist. Most of the items are served in a "bocal" (glass jar), which, in additional to being recyclable, means you can eat it in the restaurant, or take it home with you. In fact we saw two folks come in and leave with bags full of jars. I read that most ingredients are organic, and here's the kicker, are recipes from a star studded cast of chefs.
You basically pick your stuff out....let them know if you want to eat in, whereupon they'll heat up the items that need it, or take it to go.
Word of warning; this ain't super cheap. Especially if you visit the shop in Orly Airport. But just wanting a smaller sized meal, this proved to be quite relaxed and nice.
We started with Rabbit Rillettes and Celeriac...sorry no photo, we were hungry and just whacked this.
This recipe was courtesy of multi-Michelin starred chef Stéphane Décotterd. It was refreshing, the lapin perhaps a bit on the dry side, but the celeriac and mustard-aioli based sauce was really nice. Not too rich, nice acidity.
The Missus loved the Ouef Moelleux et Mousse de Courge au Lard.
Think of it as a perfect poached egg in a pumpkin mousse, with bacon. This recipe courtesy of Gilles Goujon, whose name I recognized. He is the chef and owner of Three Michelin starred L'Auberge du Vieux Puits.
My favorite dish was the lamb confit over winter vegetable ratatouille.
So perfectly gamey...at Orly, the whole dining area of Boco there smelled like this. Kinda scary to Americans, comforting to me. Loved the sauce, a bit of acid, some tanginess, I think from a tomato product, with an interesting sweetness. The lamb was both tender and gamey...the flavor of the green pasture coming through.
Overall we enjoyed this meal. It was comforting, the portion sizes not too large, definitely not like your friendly neighborhood Chiptole, Five Guys, Luna Grill, or Panera. The young man working here was very friendly. Not everyone's cup of tea....but if we had one on the corner, I'd be there quite often.
3 Rue Danielle Casanova
75001 Paris, France
From here we headed back, walking through the Jardine de Tuileries. Folks were out and about, socializing. We stopped to watch this game of bocce.
A couple of the guys waved me down...wanting me to embarrass participate. I just laughed and nodded a solid negative. Where was the uptight and serious French folks told me about?
Surely not here in the park...enjoying the fall colors or lounging by the fountains.
We walked along the Seine and past Place de la Concorde.
Passing by the steady gaze of the statue that represents the City of Lyon.
And over the bridge.
We meandered our way back to our hotel on Avenue de la Bourdonnais.
We decided to take a short nap. As we unloaded our bags, you could see that the Missus had "made out".
But you know what? In my own way, so did I.....
Thanks for reading!