Last Saturday myself, and almost everyone in the lingerie trade in the whole wide world, visited Paris.  I went along with my very good school friend Alex.  The purpose of my trip was to visit a fabric trade show, Interfillier, to try and find some new fabric suppliers to use in my creations.  I’m kidding myself really that this was the main reason for going to Paris.

It was in fact mainly to wonder around the beautiful city and go into pastry and chocolate shops!  What made the day even more magical was the blanket of fluffy white snow that covered the buildings, trees and pavements.  Whilst I was at the fabric show, my friend Alex wondered around and took pictures of the beautiful scenery.

As you can see, the snow meant that she couldn’t get a good picture of the Eiffel Tower, but we did manage to snap it later in the day when it had stopped snowing.

Alex did however manage to get some pretty good snaps from her view point.  She couldn’t remember which building it was, but it was only around £5 to go to the top, a lot less than, and much less crowded than the usual tourist viewpoint the Eiffel Tower!

We met up again around midday.  Alex had had a FAB morning investigating Paris, whilst I had walked around the exhibition site getting crosser and crosser before FINALLY finding it and choosing a few fabrics to have samples sent to me.  So I was a little grumpy, but my mood was soon to change as we embarked on our walking tour of Paris.

I had downloaded two tours in advance of our trip from the A Girls Guide To Paris website.  One was called, “Exploring Rue du Cherche Midi”, and the other, “Pastry and Chocolate Tour”.  I had been to Paris previously so knew of a few places we could go for a walking tour, so we started at my favourite foodie type shop La Grande Epicerie.  La Grande Epicerie is a little like the food halls in London’s Harrods or Selfridges.  It is filled with the most amazing counters of food.  Everything from pastries, chocolates, cheeses, meats, pies and salads.  They all look AMAZING and you just know they are going to taste delicious!

I bought a giant raspberry macaroon (the big pink on in the second picture down), and might I add I spoke completely in French, and Alex bought an apple tart for her parents mainly by pointing and saying oui when they got to the right one 😉 teehee.

As we were near, we walked to the start of our first diy walking tour that started on Rue du Cherche Midi.  The website sold it to us by telling us:

“We wind you through Cherche-Midi’s fantastic antique shops, secondhand stores, tea salons and cafés”

What’s not to love about that!  We didn’t get very far before stopping for a bite to eat at a recommended cafe on the tour, Le Nemrod.

You just know  somewhere is going to be good when the locals eat there, instead of all the touristy types.  Paris is clearly not for people of a certain size.  Inside all the tables are tightly packed together and you practically sit on top of the person on the table next to you.  We ordered a classic French dish, a Croque Monsieur!  Alex decided to be all Parisian and ordered a glass of red wine with her meal whilst I opted for a caffeine fix in a cafe ou lait.

Deeeeesquishous!  If not a tad pricey.  Well that is the general theme of Paris, it is not a cheap city to be in.  Basically don’t bother going if you want to shop till you drop for bargains.  Anyway it was a lovely meal and rest stop so I recommend trying it if you ever happen to walk past Le Nemrod, for a slice of authentic Paris hospitality.

On to the rest of the tour.  We followed it as far as we could, but there was something “going down” in Paris that day as the Police were blockading the rest of the road that we wanted to walk along.  So we didn’t get to visit all of the places on the tour, but we had a good go.  Here are the highlights of the quirky and antique shops we did spot.

I really want that giant book!

The second two pictures were of my favourite shop of the lot, a gorgeous Vintage shop selling all manor of beautiful fur coats, handbags and jewellery.  Look at how happy my face is!  You know I was saying Paris is expensive?  Well those beautiful crocodile skin handbags (in pristine condition) were marked as 350euros and 495euros……………dream on Betty!

I couldn’t resist snapping this hair salon, complete with retro drying hoods!  So cute!

Alex and I then headed to the starting place of our second tour, the pastry and chocolate tour!!!  I must admit we went a little “off piste” at this point as the instructions were a little confusing.  Basically if it said turn left on the instructions to find such and such, if we actually turned right we would find it.  So we improvised, and turns out, there are A LOT of beautiful pastry and chocolate shops in Paris.  Here are some of the highlights:

Amazing Choclatiere that looked way too posh and expensive to enter, but beautiful chocolate creations in the window!
There is something about this that makes me want to smoosh my face in all the cakey goodness

With all those scrummy pastry and chocolate shops it is hard to see how the French are so slim!  I guess, however, it is because we didn’t see a single chain junk food shop in this area, so they must eat fresh and locally produced food.

Anyway I think that is enough visual stimulus for one post.  In my next post I shall take you on the remainder of our walking tour of Paris which includes the best macaroon shop in Paris, more scrummy food stops and a spot of being a tourist.

Lots of Love