Sunday strolls (Musuems and McDonalds edition)

Yesterday’s Sunday stroll took me to Porte d’Auteuil where I discovered the Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil or the Botanic Gardens. Strolling around the gardens, I felt like a lady of leisure back in the day when women wore large frivolous hats and long flowing dresses and parasols. Of course I was wearing none of these but I did have my brolly on me as luck would have it, it began to lash out of the heavens. Luckily I had time to get a walk in around the gardens before hand and admire the gargoyles, the wonderful variety of flowers (in all colours imaginable) and the classic greenhouses that provided the backdrop.

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Later on in the afternoon I decided to visit the Museum of Architecture at Trocadero (Le Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine). This was an especially unique museum as it basically features the facades and scaled down models of some of France’s most famous architectural masterpieces. It was a really interesting use of an indoor space to showcase features of buildings that we are only used to seeing in an outdoor setting. Plus, the view from the windows, especially on the 2nd floor where the space is dedicated to the evolution of more modern architecture, is not only amazing (see below) but also very fitting, as can see the variety of iconic buildings across Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to Invalides to Tour Montparnasse.

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And what would a day at the museum be without a stop off in McDonalds to end another fun Sunday in Paris. 🙂

Hope you all had a nice Sunday! x

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Saturday (and Sunday) strolls continued…

Yesterday I decided to make the most of what looked to be an otherwise dreary day in the capital and ventured out to the town of Rambouillet. Making the most of my free transport within the Ile de France during weekends and bank holidays, I did some research and found an alternative to Versailles in the Chateau de Rambouillet. Although, nowhere near as grand as the Chateau de Versailles, the Chateau de Rambouillet suits anyone looking to avoid the masses and take in the naturous surroundings whilst discovering what is frankly a hidden treasure. Rambouillet is only 40 minutes from Paris Montparnasse (if you get a train with no stops throughout, an hour if you don’t) and boasts a 13th century manor, formerly home from home to Louis XVI who came here mainly for hunting. The grounds are huge and are home to forests, lakes and even sheep! Louis XI had a dairy built here specifically for Marie Antoinette, which she didn’t use that often but all the same, is beautifully decorated with “medallions” of cow inspired illustrations. The chateau is the summer residence of the French president and it’s not hard to see why.

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Saturday (and Sunday strolls)

The only thing better than a weekend in Paris is a bank holiday weekend in Paris. Three days to further explore this city which I am still getting to know in more detail.

Friday got the weekend off to a good start as we got to finish early so of course, with the sun shining, I let my feet guide me to les Jardins des Tuileries.

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On Saturday I decided to wander by La Defense and Neuilly sur Seine. This stroll was inspired by the previous weekend, where I took the bus to Beauvais to catch my flight home for a couple of days in Dublin. Whilst I wasn’t overexcited about a long trek out to the airport after a long day at work, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw on the way. The bus took us from Porte Maillot and made it’s way by Neuilly sur Seine (the Blackrock of Paris), then out to La Defense, taking a turn to the right which brought us along a part of the Seine I hadn’t travelled before. Whatsmore the weather was gorgeous and I made a mental note to come back and venture by these parts when I would return.

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Doing just that, I got off at Pont de Neuilly metro stop (line 1) and walked up to La Defense (sneaked into Quatre Temps) for about an hour and continued strolling until I realised I was in Courbevoie!

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Luckily, the Eiffel Tower was in my eyeline and I eventually found my way back to the centre. However, completely missing the walking along the Seine part of my stroll, I returned again on Sunday, this time getting the metro to Porte Maillot and walking through the tree lined avenues of Neuilly sur Seine centre.

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Neuilly sur Seine town hall

Once I finally came to the Seine, I took a right and walked along, in the cool shade of the trees by the road side and eventually crossed over to the sunnier side and descended on to the river bank, taking in the rays.  

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To be continued…

Sunday strolls – Jardin des Plantes

One of my favourite places to go in Paris when I want to take it easy and either stroll around or read a book is Les Jardins des Plantes. No matter what the season, whether it’s Autumn with the golden and crimson leaves crunching beneath my feet, Winter when the trees glisten with frost and I’m wrapped up nice and cosy in my woolies or Spring… (I will let the photos beneath explain)

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Comedy, Springtime and my failed attempt at baking

On Monday night, I started the week off on a fun note but going to see How to Become Parisian in an Hour. This is the best selling show in Paris and it wasn’t hard to see why. Within five seconds of arriving on the stage, Olivier Giraud had the audience (a mixture of French and overseas visitors) in fits of laughter. His impression of Parisian life and encounters in the metro, restaurants and shops was so spot on that it was hard not to find it hilarious. Honestly, Paris is such a great city but there are aspects of living here that do sometimes get to me such as the miserable faces in the metro every morning or the rudeness of sales staff but Olivier explained this so well that at the end I nearly empathised with them (I stress ‘nearly’!). This show is a must see for anyone visiting or living, or even passing through Paris but I would say it is particularly relevant to those who have been in Paris long enough to no longer be amazed by the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower and the one sided view of Paris we experience as a tourist. 

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During the week, I went to the park by the Champs Elysée and enjoyed the warm weather. I was amazed at how suddenly Spring had hit the park. Suddenly there were cherry blossoms that seemed to have bloomed out of no where and flowers of every colour planted all around. 

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It was especially nice on Tuesday so decided to walk home.

Yesterday, I attempted to make brownies as I was at home sick for the day and had planned to come back to work next day with yummy Nigella inspired brownies for my colleagues. Everything was going to plan until firstly, I realised I was 100g out of butter just as I had melted the butter and chocolate together. After running out to the shop across the road, I managed to throw the remaining butter into the mix without any trauma. I continued by adding the eggs and the sugar, then the almonds and walnuts. After folding the mixture into the mini baking tray I had bought specially (as I have a mini oven) the ultimate despair took over as I attempted to slide the tray into the oven only to realise it didn’t fit! I must have turned the tray diagonally, hexagonally, vertically but alas it was not meant to be…I then transferred the mixture to the smaller tray I had (which is really supposed to be a “crumb tray’, bunged it in the oven and hoped for the best. When I took it out 25 minutes later (the recommended time) it appeared to be cooked on the outside and “gooey” on the inside just as the recipe stated. However, even when left to cool, it remained “gooey”…even this morning when I opened up the plastic container I stored the mound of gloop in…so alas, no brownies for my colleagues today 😦 And my hopes of becoming a domestic goddess will just have to wait another while longer…Image

 

How deceiving!

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I tried

So yea…it’s fair to say I’ve sickened myself off chocolate now without having eaten any of it. Plus I’ve to get a refund on that baking tray now…

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