Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday Evening May 27th: Paris Carrie Bradshaw Style

I had been talking about Berthillon ice cream since we arrived in Paris.   We tried to get some earlier in the week,  and after a bit of a hike, we were disappointed to discover it is closed Monday and Tuesday.  We would find Thursday, that they also close at random, especially when it rains.  I had my heart set on having that ice cream, so we found a cafe that served it (several of the cafes located on the Ile Saint Louis do).  It was well worth the wait!

Mark ordered the vanilla, which was very good, but in no way compared to the best ice cream ever created - Berthillon's caramel au beurre sale (salted caramel).    It was the creamiest, richest, most perfect scoop of ice cream known to man kind. 

I loved the cafe chairs!  If I was a photographer, I would create a book solely of pictures of cafe chairs. 

Walking in the Ile de la Cite was one of my favorite Paris pastimes.  I always felt a sense of calm there compared to the busy streets in the more touristy areas. 

I just thought this was a whimsical use for a Chablis barrel

Heading to the Petit Palais, we walked though the Jardin des Tuileries

Where else in the world do you see lampposts this ornate?

Finally, we had arrived at the Petit Pelais for the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit.  I had been anticipating this since I read about it months ago!!  (PS: I'm loving his glasses and am thinking about get a new pair similar to these. Thoughts??)

We learned that Yves Saint Laurent's famous trapeze dress (on the right) was born out of his desire to shed the confines of his Dior image.  He sought to shed the restrictions of a brand that was no longer a comfortable fit for him, much like he thought women would enjoy garments that did not restrict them.  So in opposition to the narrow, fitted, corseted gowns of Dior, he created a dress that was feminine, but free for movement.  

I cannot begin to express how incredible this exhibit was.  We were there for two hours, but I could have stayed longer.  The headsets are a must, as there is so much to learn about the inspiration that goes into creating a haute couture collection.

After the exhibit, we thought we'd stroll around the Champs Elysees and eventually make our way down to the Hotel Plaza Athenee - where Carrie Bradshaw lived with The Russian in SATC.

It is an absolutely stunning hotel.  The scalloped balconies, the red awnings, the flower boxes, the wrought iron - SWOON!

We were not going to let a little rain ruin our evening...

And what better place to take shelter than the Le Relais Plaza..

I ordered a cosmopolitan and the Lobster Soup "En Veloute with a Cepe Mushrooms Infusion."  The bisque was served over creme fraiche and sauted mushrooms and had sesame seed oil in it.  Wowsers!  It was outstanding.

After the Black Angus Beef Fillet Rossini for Mark, and the Spit Roasted Pork with Creamy Polenta with Olives and Tomato Preserves for me, I thought I'd never be able to eat another bite.  The meal was rich and decadent and flavorful.

But when the dessert cart rolled up to our table, we couldn't resist!  We selected the Millefeuille (meaning a thousand layers) with Madagascar vanilla.  The pastry dough was light, buttery, and flaky.  The pastry cream was whipped into soft clouds of vanilla perfection.  Of everything we ate in Paris, I think this was my favorite.

From my journal: Just when I thought this day could not feel any more like my dreams of Paris, our dessert arrived.  And almost as if on cue, the restaurant's pianist began playing La Vie En Rose.  A married couple at the bar moved towards the piano and began singing this classic French song in two part harmony.  I find myself misty eyed.  And now I know why people come to Paris and fall in love.  I am in love with this city and more in love with Mark than I have ever been.


  1. Millefeuille will forever remind me of the gray dress Carrie wore in Paris - the one she fell asleep in when she was waiting for The Russian.

    Ah Paris. It really is such a dream city. Now you know why I feel so head over heels in love. My dream is to return there for my honeymoon someday. I think it'd be the perfect place to take my future husband. :)

  2. Jealous. I have no other words!!! Your trip sounds perfect, I'm so glad you had a great time!

  3. Those red awnings, wow! You can really tell that you had a wonderful time on your trip. I am dying over your pictures. And yes - you should totally look into getting some of those glasses - I think they would be fab on you!

  4. Isn't the Plaza Athenee absolutely breathtaking??? Fiancé and I had champagne and desserts there, and I was positively giddy to be in the exact spot Carrie was in Paris. Le sigh.

    The food all sounds heavenly, and I am tres jealous you got to see the YSL exhibit! That red dress is TO DIE. Paris truly is the most romantic city in the world...

  5. So sweet! Thanks for recommending the YSL exhibit!

    Ps. Were you taken aback of the cosmo price at the plaza?

  6. Oh HOW fab!! That food looks amazing as well as the surroundings!! ENJOY!!

  7. you say you are not a photographer but you so are! you captured some lovely moments and things.

    ps - your little gifty for guessing my fave mets player is being shipped tomorrow.

  8. Oh, I love Paris and you're making me want to go back right now! The meals you've had sound divine!

  9. I'm so glad you mentioned the light posts! That is something that stood out to me a lot there. How beautiful they all were! Another great set of photos! It all sounds so wonderful. And a thought about the glasses....get some! I love those kind of glasses. I just got some kind of similar at a yard sale. I'm going to get them refinished.

  10. gorgeous post and photos! I really need to get to Paris soon!!

  11. Love the chair photo! Sounds like another fabulous day.



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