A stylish brunch at Hardware Société

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Photos by Ketevan Giorgadze IG: @katie.one

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Perched at the top of the steps of Montmartre is the Australian restaurant Hardware Société bringing it’s Melbourne flair for brunching to a space decorated by black and white tiles, marble top tables and colorful golden rimmed coffee cups – a blogger’s dream café.

Though I can’t say I enjoyed the climb up the stairs (it’s next to the Sacre Coeur Basilica), the quiet neighborhood was an oasis in the typically polluted streets of Paris.

I went up with my friend Katie (whose photos I shared) and ordered from the tempting menu. A flat white, a plate of roasted mushroom with poached eggs on a bed of cheese and toast, an egg casserole (fries mixed with chorizo and eggs) and a raspberry pastry. It’s worth climbing the stairway to heaven!

 

 

Magnum ice cream in Paris

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I’ve been hearing quite a lot about the new Magnum ice cream shop that opened in Paris, so I passed by Le Marais to get a taste. It’s not your typical ice cream bar on a stick, you design your own ice cream. Mine was vanilla inside, dipped in milk chocolate then sprinkled with three flavors of pearl-like beads.

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IMG_1436It’s no wonder they’re marketing this to fashion girls – the likes of Kendall Jenner and Suki Waterhouse being ambassadors for the brand. The ice cream is a jewel! #ReleasetheBeast IMG_1376

A weekend in Château Landel

IMG_0236.JPGI was never the kind of little girl who dreamt of princesses and castles.Though I did own enough Barbies to populate a tiny island, it wasn’t until recently that I got the idea to spend a night in Cinderella’s abode.

IMG_0379Apart from the many palaces and castles kept as historic landmarks and museums, France has hundreds of castles used as a hotel space where you can book your wedding or just spend the night. I chose Château Landel – a small getaway between Paris and the town of Rouen (where Gustav Flaubert the author of Madame Bovary is from).

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IMG_0513The bedroom was small with rose pattern wallpaper, a circlular window that opened to the gardens and lamps whose yellow light made me feel I was in an abbey. The bed squeaked and the wooden beams were ancient, but this is what sleeping in an old French home is like – quaint, cozy, and 18th-century-ish. Of course, it was traumatic when the WiFi wasn’t working, but it was nice to step away from the digital world and spend an evening gazing at the stars. After all, the place describes itself as ‘le relais du silence’.

IMG_0441.JPGHow beautiful it was when the light of morning peaked through my window, and my breakfast was brought to my bed. I dipped into flaky croissants, orange juice, tea and pain au chocolat. Everything is so fresh in the countryside – the food is warm, the air is clean, the people are kind. A weekend in a castle is a lovely break from Paris.

Château Landel: http://www.chateau-du-landel.fr/fr/

 

 

 

 

La Grande Epicerie

IMG_0901.JPGThe luxury department store Le Bon Marché is home to an equally upscale specialty grocery store called La Grande Épicerie. What is just so grand about it? Well they have every ingredient, sauce, or sweet confection a true Parisian chef can dream of.

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Though I’m not a connaisseur of exotic jams or honey, I love to look through the thousands of perfectly packaged items and dream of one day being able to cook my guests a three course meals using these lavish recipes. I do however do plenty of shopping at their baked goods section! Aside from the rasberry cakes, and strawberry cakes, and mousses of chocolate, I love to get a box of macarons. I opted for the following flavors. lychee, yuzu vanilla, pistachio and rasberry. Mmm, c’est delicieux!

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Lily of the Valley

 

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Lily of the Valley, not the scented poisonous blooms but the tea room by Temple is a romantic’s fantasy. Run by a married couple, Paul and Pauline, their decor transports you to an Alice in Wonderland tea in the garden atmosphere. The ceiling is covered with lush greenery and flowers hanging low, the porcelain tea cups and even the tiny pink floral details of the sofa pillows give a fairy tale feel.

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I stopped by for Earl Grey tea and a chocolate chip cookie which was gracefully brought to my table by Paul in a silver platter. The Parisian born owner evidently cares for aesthetics – pâtisserie books and candles decorate the shelves. Even the seemingly fading floor pattern is vogue. (The owners seem to have a knack for everything adorable, after all their marriage proposal was on an air balloon.) If you’d like the chance to be whisked away on a daydreaming cloud for a moment of your day, stop by for afternoon tea.

Find it: Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris

Café de Flore

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Breakfast of croissants and a warm cup of coffee at Café de Flore, this is how to spend the morning when in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Sitting on these wooden chairs, reading a book in the morning light, projects a peaceful aura among the raucous of incoming tourists. There’s a chirping going on from the right corner of the restaurant – a parakeet. The waiters of this historic place – once the hangout of philosophers like Sartre – actually allowed an old man to bring in his parakeet and it’s perched on his shoulder singing to the content of a toddler in the table next to it.

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The Rive Gauche is known for being more laid back, and I assume the more eccentric folk linger here. It’s got none of the hectic stress of the East of Paris, and that’s why it’s perfectly fine for a bird to be in the restaurant. I don’t mind even if the coffee is expensive, and it’s swarmed by tourists. Café de Flore takes you back to the old Paris – rich with the charm of the past.

Find it: 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris

Barbara Rihl

IMG_1160My version of shopping in Paris is different from that of Miami – where I just put up with one giant department store like Nordstrom or Macy’s. In Paris, I wander through each boutique, and one designer I found and am fond of is Barbara Rihl!

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Located in Le Marais next to Karl Lagerfeld’s boutique, Barbara Rihl is a Parisian girl’s toy store. Cute chic girl illustrations make me fall in love with their pouches, bags and notebooks every season. When in the neighborhood, I wander into one of Paris’ best boulangeries –Au Petit Versailles du Marais. It’s received multiple awards for it’s baguette traditional, and I eat every single type of viennoiserie when I’m here.

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Find it:  25 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris

The Louvre in the Rain

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They say Paris is better in the rain, perhaps those who say this find themselves with nowhere to be, like I found myself today. No errands, no schedule, blissfully watching the downpour over the Louvre pyramids in a sort of gray silent peace… Naturally I shared the view in a hallway with hundreds of other awestruck tourists. Seeing Paris this way through the eyes of other dreamers rekindles that enchanting effect – like the first time I saw the city.

I shared a little video about Paris in the rain with the most beautiful lyrics.

Happy Monday.

 

L’Eclair de Génie

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Oh eclairs.  That vanilla cream filling gushing out of a choux-doughed pastry, topped with pecan crunch? Oui! Of course, I had to have three.

I stopped by Bourse metro station at the Fabrique Eclair de Genie and picked out strawberry, lemon tart and pecan flavors. Not a big fan of eclairs, but these always surprise me with their subtle and decadent taste. They’re as good as they look. Plus, this gave me an idea. I had no clue what to get my friends for Valentine’s Day, but maybe personalized eclairs would be a good present no?

Find it: 35 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris