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Friday, May 20, 2011

Shopping on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées~ Day 3 in Paris

I have to say of the three days I spent in Paris, the last was my favorite! I am not sure if it was the shopping, great food, or the non stop joy and laughter while experiencing all that Paris has to offer.


We began the day with Andrea once again at the wheel. It was decided that we would quickly drive past several of our favorite landmarks.

La Tour Eiffel (Time for a climb?)

Eiffel Tower from the South

Musée du Louvre (Hello, Mona Lisa!)

Pont Alexandre III (The most famous bridge in Paris.)

Les Invalides (Final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte)

Then we began driving down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. THE street for Parisian chic. We whizzed by shops such as Chanel, Dior, and many others.

But you know where the western end of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées leads to right? The Arc de Triomphe.

More specifically a crazy roundabout filled with traffic from TWELVE streets that dump directly into the center which features one of Paris’ most famous landmarks. (Thank you google for the aerial shot.)

Andrea announced “I am going to show you how to drive this thing.”  I no sooner said “WHAT!” then thought I’d better video tape the experience of my death. Wholly Schmolly! What ensued was tremendous laughter on both our parts. We went around at least 4 or 5 times. Look kids ~ Big Ben, Parliament! Our Videotape Tuesday series will soon debut on Metis, until then:

At the finish I announced I almost peed my pants while simultaneously needing a drink. We opted for the famed Parisian teahouse Ladurée. Of the three locations, we chose the original on 16 Rue Royale. Look~ they even monogrammed the teapot cozy with my initial! The flavor: Thé Marie Antoinette, a rose and jasmine flavored tea.


Of course I ordered desert! It was Religieuse Rose~ a delightful concoction of a rose custard nestled inside a rose infused cream puff scattered with raspberries.


We then went next door to stock up on tea and of course bought a few macarons.


Next we decided to take a stroll over to the Palais~Royal. We passed by several sweet shops and displays.


The Palais Royal was built between 1633 ~ 1639 and was the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu. Upon the Cardinal’s death in 1642 the palace became the property of the King Louis XIII. Over the years it changed hands many times via the political and social climate of the times.


The Palais now houses houses the Conseil d'État (Council of State) and the Ministry of Culture as well as several high end shops such as Stella McCartney and a few second hand couture shops such as Didier Ludot which specializes in vintage Chanel and Hermès .

But oh it is the gardens that will leave you breathless. It was the duchesse d'Orléans who created the gardens in the 1660’s and I am forever thankful to her. I smelled the sweetest rose that I have ever encountered in this heavenly scented spot.

Famished, we decided we would pop into a nearby place that was on my “must see” list. Le Grand Colbert. You know, THE restaurant where Diane Keaton goes with Keanu Reeves but is interrupted by the love of her life Jack Nicholson in “Something’s Gotta Give”? Hmmm. We knew we were in the right place, but instead of the elegant  windows that once looked like this:

We found this:

Hollywood arriving is not necessarily a good thing. The charm was gone. What once was:

Sadly now posters cover the lovely frosted mirrors and a track of the movie plays consistently in the powder rooms. This once grand space needed to be retitled, as Andrea expertly pointed out, “Something's Gotta Change”. 


Still we sat and I had the best soupe à l'oignon de français (French onion soup) of my life. It was so cheesy. Much like Le Grand Disappointment. But we laughed and THAT was very good.

Next up, a delightful trip to the Brittany coast.


Linking to:

French Cupboard

French Country Cottage

Common Ground

The Charm of Home

My Romantic Home


Teresa said...

I've been to Paris twice but everytime I see friend's pictures I discover something I missed and, absoutely, must see S.O.O.N.

Thank you so much for your sharings Laura (I've been following the posts, but only today I overcame the envy and replied ;)).

I prayed for you to have lovely weather that allowed you to see and do everything you wanted.

Girly note of the day - Love how you color coordinated with LADUREE. You've never looked so good, or them ;).

Thanks a bunch.


Debbie said...

Oh my goodness, I want to go. I loved the shot of you with the shopping bags. That was darling and ought to be framed. I would agree about Hollywood and loved the new name "Something's gotta change".

It's so fun to visit Paris with you!

Stitchfork said...

Laura your photos show what a wonderful time you had!
xo Cathy

Karena said...

Oh Laura I am yearning for a trip in the near future!! I love seeing you with your Laduree bags!

Is Andrea being camera shy again!?

Art by Karena

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily! You will love it!

the cape on the corner said...

gorgeous! one day i will see all that in person, too, i have no doubt! i love the bike-reminds me of holland.

Debra@Common Ground said...

I'm loving the tour, Laura! AND that moss covered bike! I may never get there, but seeing it thru your eyes is wonderful!!
xoxo Debra

martinealison said...

A chaque fois pour moi Paris est un éternel émerveillement...
Je vous souhaite plein de bonnes choses en Bretagne... Mes enfants vivent à Plouescat tout près de Roscoff que je vous conseille de visiter... Je m'y trouverai à nouveau en juillet et si vous étiez encore par là, mon gendre vous ferait déguster des crabes tout frais!...
Gros bisous.

Charlene said...

An AMAZING POST!!!!! I LOVE all of the places you showed us. We MAY be going this fall. I may be contacting you for hotel ideas. I guess your friend did all the language interpertations??? Or do you speak French? That concerns me a bit. Thanks for sharing!

Mimi said...

I AM TAKING NOTES!!!!!I hope to see all of this one day soon!!
loved those dresses in that vintage shop ...that red polka la la

Mimi said...

I AM TAKING NOTES!!!!!I hope to see all of this one day soon!!
loved those dresses in that vintage shop ...that red polka la la

Little Leslie said...

Thank you so much for this virtual trip. Your pictures are lovely and the close ups make me feel I'm there. I can taste that rose dessert. Regarding my table, I have an affinity for the Civil War, and when I saw this table, I had to get it. I hope someone feels the same and buys it. My house is too small to keep it. I'm full up!

Beeutiful by Design said...

Great to visit Paris with you while on lunch break in Kentucky! Enjoyable - Jennifer

Diann said...

Oh Laura! What a fun adventure! Everything looks wonderful and so much fun!

Amanda said...

What a dreamy post! Thank you for taking us along on your Paris shopping spree! I'll be back soon to do more dreaming! Your photos are gorgeous! Have a lovely weekend!
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Monica@The White Bench said...

Aaah, fabulous reportage!
Your comment made me giggle ;) Here's the link to see more:

Susan Marie said...

I'm loving reading about your trip. I also made a trip to Europe, which included Paris, about five years ago. I absolutely fell in love with the City of Lights as well at the burgundy country side. Keep the great story and pictures coming.

Hollace said...

My first thought was how perfectly coordinated you and the shop window were in that top photo. Darling picture!

Linda said...

Like Hollace's comment before me, I thought the same thing about your perfectly coordinated photo of you and the shop window. ;)

Continuing to enjoy your lovely account of your trip. Thanks for the good read (and photos).

♥ Linda

Sheri, Jess, and Nel said...

Your Blog is so charming, and your pictures are amazing!! My daughters took a trip to Europe, and Paris was their absolute favorite. Thank you for visiting us at Red Rose Alley - we appreciate it, and hope to hear from you again.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Do you ever look anything but gorgeous? Having a good time is written all over your smile!

Maria said...

beautiful! "Paris is always a good idea."Audrey Hepburn

Lana K. W. Austin said...

I am living in Italy right now and am dying to go to Paris. I've never been. It's what I'm hoping will be my 19th wedding anniversary trip--just a wee little jaunt over to Paris for the weekend!
Your shots/tales of your adventures
are magnificent!

Lana In Italy

Chrissy said...

OH I am so having parisian envy here. Isn't Laduree just fabulous. My husband and I have been long for a Lemon Tart, mmmm :) Praying you have a safe and wonderful trip, can't wait to see more pics.

Sandra Evertson said...

I don't know which is more beautiful... you or the cookies!
Gorgeous photos btw!
Sandra Evertson

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

You look like one of those effortlessly beautiful French women we always read about.:) Love the pearls and the macarons. We are tentatively planning a Paris trip in 2012. Seeing this makes me wish it was sooner. :)

Auntie Em said...

I am enjoying each and every one of your beautiful photos! If only we could smell the flowers and even the tea and dessert. Brave you for driving the roundabout!
Thank you so much for sharing all these amazing memories! :)

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

loving the trip, brings back such great memories! Wonder if Natalys is still open on Champs? I remember my girlfriend went in there and bought her niece the cutest baby clothes. That baby is a teen now :(

Bohemian said...

I SO enjoyed going on a virtual tour of Paris with you. Lived in France for a while as a child but don't remember it... my Parents LOVED it there though and feathered their Nest with many fab French and Algerian pieces they brought back from their tour of duty there when they used to have American Military Bases in France.

Dawn... The Bohemian

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Thank you so much, Laura for sharing your trip with us. I am living through every word you write. It is all so beautiful and glamorous and... Paris!
And it looks like you are having the most glorious time!
The dessert look amazing! But what else would I expect.
I look forward to the Btrittany coast.
xo Yvonne

Sara said...

Lovely tour. I've never been... alas, someday... (sigh).

It's as if Laduree dressed their window just for you! You look fabulous in front of it!

Looking forward to the next stop!


Angela said...

Oh how I would loooove to be there!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Such gorgeous photos!! Your vacation looks amazing! :):):):):):):):):):):):)

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I am going over next month...thank you for the tips on some new things to see. said...


I am so enjoying this tour! The photograph of the Eiffel Tower is stunning; giving true perspective to it's size. The bags you are holding outside Laduree match your pretty blouse perfectly! The red and white polka dotted dress at Didier Ludot has my name on it. But my favorite spot of the day were the gardens! It looks like a postcard.

Your Friend,

Marti McClure said...

Laura, I'm planning a trip to Paris in the Fall and your posts are wonderful and adding to my excitement to visit this beautiful city. Thanks for sharing your experiences! Marti

Hines-Sight said...

I loved looking at your photos. Brought back memories. I, too, had tea at Laduree

Rhonda said...

Thanks for the lovely tour and the beautiful photographs. I know you had a ball - love all of the lilac-y colors.


Fay said...

Hi Laura what a FABULOUS picure of you and thankyou for the Paris fix the palais royal is my constant I LOVE all of it mmmmm wonderful enjoy the memories
fay xx

The Pennington Point said...

I am really enjoying my vicarious trip through Paris. C'est Magnifique! Lisa~

Sherry said...

Wow Laura,
What gorgeous photos! Thanks for taking us there and linking it up!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

You look so cute in that pic Laura! And your trip look's amazing! I so want to go, what a great tour guide you are!

Joanna said...

Nice pictures! France really has a passion of preserving architecture! The arches, the bridges and the details are very stunning! Great post, check out also 3D Rendering

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

ABSOLUTELY amazing and inspiring post!! I enjoyed this so much! What a dream~ thank you for sharing at FNF :)

Kristy and Adam said...

Hello Laura,

I have just found your blog through searching information on Paris! We are going to Paris this September and I was delighted to find your blog! You have blogged about places I didn't know existed there, so thank you! I am so excited to be going there and can't wait to devour pastries, chocolates and great food!