Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hidden Gem in Paris: Place des Vosges

A hidden gem in Paris because not many tourists go astray in this part of the city except for Victor Hugo fans. This elegant early 17th century public square in the Marais district is quite popular amongst the Parisians.

Click here to see an aerial view of the beautiful square: Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges is a true square in the sense of the word, measuring a perfect 140 metres x 140 metres. It is the oldest planned square (circa 1604) in Paris, previously known as Place Royale, and commissioned by Henri IV. The square was used as the prototype for residential squares in the coming years and centuries in Paris and the rest of Europe.

I just love structure because it promotes clean lines. That is the reason why I love the red brick houses and the vaulted porticoes that frames Place des Voges. They were all built in the same design and colour scheme. It's very easy on the eyes and it evokes the royalty sphere.

Today, Place des Vosges is a place where many locals frequent on a weekend to picnic and sunbathe especially on a warm sunny day. There are many art galleries here as well, a few specialty boutique shops and restaurants including the Café Hugo of the Victor Hugo—author of the ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ fame, and his house—Maison Victor Hugo, that is now a museum. He used to live here Place des Vosges.

Let me take you on a quick stroll of the place. Here are my pictures:

A hotel with a secret garden courtyard.

Dammann will bring you to luxurious and gastronomic heights on their massive collection of tea delights.

Most people on the park are locals!

It was sweltering hot last August when we were here, so we stopped by at Cafe Hugo for some cold bitter lemon drinks.

Tip: Free parking here on Sundays and you can park inside Place des Vosges, on the pavement beside the inner garden square.

Travel Period: August 2012
Destination: Paris, France

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bistro in Le Marais, Paris: Lunch at the Royal Turenne

Located 10 metres from Place des Vosges, ‘Royal Turenne’ is not hard to miss. The brasserie has a bright blue cobalt colour facade and sits on a very strategic location bridging Place des Vosges and the shopping street that is open on Sundays, Rue de Francois de Bourgeois.

I thought the waiter was flirting with Bru!

I was craving for dried ham and vegies while Bru was not sure on what to order. Eventually we made our decision over a glass of chilled rose.

Bru is taking mussels and moi a green salad topped with dried cured ham and foie gras. Except for the burnt bread, my salad order was very nice. Bru on the other hand enjoyed her mussels as well.

Steamed mussels and a green salad of foie gras and cured ham.

Hi there! Sante =)

Many do not know this but the shops in Le Marais are open on Sundays. Bru and I did a little bit of window shopping here after lunch on Rue de Francois de Bourgeois.

Sundays in Paris are slow (and anywhere else in Europe). Most shops are closed and doesn't open until Monday afternoon. Sundays are then best spent inside museums, strolling in the parks, checking out the many Parisian open-air markets such as the Richard Lenoir or Bastille Market and shopping and lunching in Le Marais.

Tip: Shops in Le Marais are open on Sundays.

Travel Period: August 2012
Destination: Paris, France

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Morning drinks and walk in Le Marais, Paris

On our last day in Paris last summer (August), Bru and I spent the day in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements: Le Marais. Our hotel is located just across the neighbourhood so we didn’t have to walk that far.

Le Marais (means: Marsh) is a historical and aristocratic district in Paris. There is a big Jewish community living here as well. Its one of those hidden gems in Paris that first time and second time visitors would not know.

Join us for a stroll and morning drinks…

We first headed off to Les Marches des Infants Rouges on Rue de Bretagne, the oldest covered market in Paris dating back to the 1600's.

We were expecting to see the usual open-air market with stalls but instead we were welcomed by an array of hip cafes and casual restaurants inside the mini market complex. We saw a few vegetable and fruit sellers as well but majority of the stalls were selling food and the casual dining experience. Ready-to-eat food or ready-to-order food. Take your pick!

Anothing thing that women need to know about Le Marais is that there are vintage stores here selling haute couture signature labels, however, for some strange reason we lacked the mood and energy to check them out. After a peek in the oldest covered market in Paris, we sat in a cafe and stayed put. It is a Sunday after all, and we are officially lazy =(

I am trying to figure out what these fruits and vegetables are? Help?

The green bulbs, are they not zucchini flowers that are yet to blossom? On the far right are dragon fruits I believe, and on the upper left, the dark purple-ish fruit I have no clue what they are.

Nonetheless, the Parisian vegetable and fruit vendor is always a joy to see.

We settled ourselves in a typical Parisian cafe on Rue de Bretagne for drinks and people watching. Coffee for myself and water for Bru.

Because it is a Sunday, Parisians are out having their croissant and coffee, their morning read and a ciggie as well in their favourite neighbourhood cafe. Some were walking their adorable dogs while the older ones are having a slow morning stroll with their canes.

People watching is a grand thing =)

A few doors away on the same street, an eye-catching patisserie is selling these yummy goodies... they look sooooooo pretty! I am already full and satisfied just by looking at them =)

Anyway, lunch is calling. We are heading off to Place des Vosges where we will have our mid-day treat. See you there.

Travel Period: August 2012
Destination: Paris, France

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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