A special treat, my friend, Stella, recently visited Paris. I’ve asked her to share with us her adventure. Here is her final post with personal tips to make your own trip special. There is also links to chocolate shops where you can order these treats sent right to your home.
Simple day by day itinerary
When you get your museum pass you will buy it for a 2, 4, or 6 day period. You can use the pass at as many places as you can manage during the time period you purchase. Be sure to check guide books or the museum’s website to see which days they are closed.
This is the schedule that worked for us:
Friday – arrived
Saturday – walked our neighborhood, farmers market
Sunday – lazy morning, walked Ile Saint Louis, watched street performers, Notre Dame, walked Left Bank
Monday- Fontainebleau & l’Oragnerie (activated Museum Pass)
Tuesday- Saint Chapelle, Archeological Crypt, & Musee d’Orsay
Wednesday – Cluny, Monuments & Architecture, Arc de Triomphe, Rue Cler
Friday- Jaquemart-Andre House
Saturday- Saint-Sulpiece, Sacra-Cour
Sunday- planned Bastille Market, Eiffel Tower; actually did- the Unity March
List of chocolate shops (yummm, yummm, yummm)
One of the delights of Paris is the small artisan chocolate shops. I tried as many as I could find. Some of the chocolatiers have more than one location. I’ve listed the location I personally visited. If you can’t make it Paris any time soon, take heart, you can order boxes of chocolates from any of these shops.
Near 14 Rue de Rivoli is Maison Georges Larnicol . There are many
unique chocolates to choose from. What I especially like at this shop were the macarons. Don’t confuse these with macaroons, which are an entirely different thing. For an explanation click here . Just looking at the pictures of macarons gets my mouth watering.
At 36 Rue Vieille du Temple is de Neuville– their chocolate
melted perfectly in the mouth with very delicious and inventive modern flavors like lemongrass ganache covered in dark chocolate. These may be my favorite
L’eclaire de Genie at (or near) 14 Rue de Parvee – chocolates and eclairs who’s flavors push the boundaries of imagination.
A la Mere de Famille at 47 Rue Cler from them I had a few ‘coffret de pates de fruits’ soft little fruit gelatins that were bursting with flavor and not sugary sweet. I also bought some chocolate wafers in different flavors they were also very good, but very delicate. They do not travel well in a bag so make sure the clerk puts them in a little box if you are saving them for later.
At 26 Place de la Madeleine is Fauchon a highly touted department store in the old-fashioned sense of the word. Each “department” is staffed with clerks who take their job of providing high quality service to each customer very seriously. Come here to be pampered and doted upon, in the reserved French manner. The chocolates were good, but no better than any of the smaller places I visited.
Michel Cluizel is located at 2 Rue des Rosiers. We drank a lovely, smooth, rich hot chocolate here.
A place I didn’t get to try, they were closed, but who had some amazing window displays is Joséphine Vannier at 5 Pas de la Mule St
If this isn’t enough Paris Chocolate shops for you check out: ChocoParis with a list of chocolate, pastry, and ice cream shops as well as maps for chocolate walks. Wow! That’s the way to see Paris with your girlfriends.
A few other hints:
Metro – If you are going to be in Paris for many days, like we were, get a Metro pass.
If you are there for just a few days a booklet of ten tickets should serve you just fine. Rick Steves’ guide book to Paris does a good job explaining the pros and cons and how to get the pass.
Getting around– Plan on walking a LOT, as the Parisians do. Paris is NOT disability friendly. The sidewalks are uneven or narrow, steps are of varying heights, not every place will have an elevator or ramp. So if you need special consideration in this area plan accordingly.
Louvre – if you can give yourself two full days in this museum. Also, if you don’t take a guided tour (which was terrific and I recommend doing so) be sure to find your way to the mote of the ancient castle that the Louvre is built upon.
Tap water – we found the tap water wherever we went to taste fine. In fact it was much better than the heavy chlorine taste in many American cities. Not as good as the sweet, fresh water out on Sophia’s farm. Bring a refillable water bottle. If you want tap water while dinning you’ll need to ask for it. Bottled water with meals, bubbly or not, available to buy as well as just about any other refreshment you can think of.
Pop up shops – You might find as you are browsing stores what is called a ‘pop up shop’. These are temporary shops that might only be at that local for a few months. They are worth a look. The inventory will be limited as it is often a designer trying to get their name and fashions noticed. I found several darling outfits at a pop up shop.
Sales – If one of your objectives for going to France is to shop you will want to go in January (starting the day after Epiphany) or July. The stores in France are only allowed to hold sales two times a year. You will find huge discounts during this time. I bought scrumptious red leather boot for half off!
Vegetables with meals – we found that very few meals
come with vegetables. The salads you see listed are usually a meal in themselves. Devlin and I would get one of the large salads and share it before our main course came. Had to do something to balance out all the chocolate!