Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday May 27th: A Parisienne Picnic for Deux

After reading a passage from Fodor's Paris Guide 2010 on how to spend the perfect day in the St. Germain, I was set on following their itinerary.  They suggested hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots, a very famous (and charming) cafe on the Blvd. Saint Germain.  This was to be followed by a walking tour of the neighborhood with culinary destinations whose products would combine to create a delightful picnic to be shared at Luxembourg Gardens.   I couldn't resist this!  It seemed both a little less structured and rushed than our three previous days had been, but it was also satisfying knowing that the shops we would stop in had come so highly recommended.  

Enjoying a cup of chocolat chaud: the hot cocoa there is outstanding!!  It tastes like a melted hershey's bar.

Our first stop was Le Grand Epicerie.  I'd be absolutely broke if we lived in Paris for many reasons, but this place would bankrupt us for sure.  It was the Bergdorf Goodman's of grocery stores where the items look so beautiful on display you can't imagine they could get any more appealing anywhere else.

The charcuterie selection was first class!  Mark got a few slices of prosciutto, some sausage, and a thin slice of duck liver pate that was to die for.

If only our spice collection at home could be this diverse and neatly presented...

The expression "like a kid in a candy store" had never had a truer meaning...

Our next stop was Quarterhomme where we selected a small wedge of a soft blue cheese, a small wedge of Camembert, and a small version of the St. Felicien I tried yesterday with Paule.

We were so taken with Poilane and couldn't have been more excited that it was on our picnic planning itinerary.  I couldn't wait to go back again just to smell the intoxicating aroma of their freshly baked breads. 

We bought a brioche, a few slices of their famous sourdough, and a slice of flan (which if you were a McKenzie's Bakery fan tasted just like their custard pie - my favorite item from there!).
The last stop on our sightseeing picnic planning route was Pierre Herme.  Wow!!!  What a beautiful shop.  It would be my dream to be able to create pastries as stunning and tasty as these.  With my new found love of salted caramel, I selected a large salted caramel macaron.  Mark went with a beautiful chocolate and hazelnut dessert that came in the most precious little box!
From my journal:  I had so much fun walking around the St. Germain today with Mark.  While we had a destination in mind, it felt like we just kind of let the neighborhood lead us on our way.  And I think the drizzle and the gray skies added a little romance to the excursion since it kept the streets from being overcrowded.  For the first time since we had arrived, we would find ourselves walking together with no one else around.  That was the Paris I had imagined - private, and quiet, and peaceful.  We had finally found it.

Because it was raining, we opted for a picnic on our balcony versus one in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  I'd say it turned out quite nicely!
That's my kind of spread!
I'd give anything to be back on that balcony about to dig in to the little picnic we had created!

From my journal: Just as the rain forced our picnic inside, a parade started rolling down the street across from the hotel!  They aren't throwing beads, but there are bands, and people in costumes, and floats.  For the first time since we left the states, I feel at home here.


  1. My stomach is growling for all of that food, and my heart wants to be in Paris! Lucky girl! Love your hair in that first photo. Wish I could braid that well.

  2. Wow!!! This looks absolutely amazing!!! I am so glad you had such a wonderful time and got back safely!! I have missed out and I'm going back right now to catch up on your vacation!!

  3. Beautiful! It sounds like a very yummy picnic indeed! We did a similar version on Saturday here too because of the rain ... except ours was all via Publix :P

  4. WOW! Each and every post is more fabulously perfect than the last. I'm so jealous. I love salted caramel, I die for blue cheese, & bread is my ultimate weakness, ha! Looks wonderful, thank you so much for sharing all these pics & stories! And ps - I love your braid, so chic!

  5. yum. double yum. We did something similar our first night in paris. we wound up arriving at 6AM and instead of heading right out & about town when we arrived, my husband HAD to take a nap. So we woke up sort of late, ate lunch and checked out town- but by the time dinner time rolled around, we were so tired and did not want to sit in a restaurant so we walked down Rue MOntorgueil and got stuff for a picnic in our apartment.

    Now I want a custard pie from McKenzie's!!! Thanks. ;)

    We didn't spend a ton of time in the St. Germain, but I wish we did. That's on my list for the next time we're there!

  6. oh! and feeling like you're at home- I felt that too- on the second day when we were walking around the Ile de la Cite. I walked past a street market and the people were haggling like in the French Market- and then we went to Notre Dame and I felt like I was home! I totally get it!

    Then, that night, I saw a patisserie named with my last name (maiden) and it really felt like home!

  7. Awwww, the picnic on the balcony looks so adorable! Cheese, wine & Pierre Herme. What more could you ask for?

  8. I am loving your recaps of Paris! Looks like you had an amazing experience!

  9. I am loving these recap posts. :) What a wonderful day. That little picnic looks divine. What a perfect way to discover a neighborhood of Paris.



Related Posts with Thumbnails