Not quite high tea, but good enough. I met a friend, who is a very good designer and photographer, for tea this morning. It ended up being lunch at Kusmi Tea on the Champs-Elysées. I’ve walked passed the Kusmi Tea store a few times but only recently learnt that this is their flagship store in Paris, and en plus, that there is a tea house with a terrace beyond the colourful tea canisters displayed in the store.
“A wealth of history can enrich us”
This trip was an entire history lesson wrapped up in a holiday. A visit to the Normandy D-day Beaches was long overdue, and as much as we did not see even a fraction of the numerous historial sites that commemorate the Second World War around this area – we saw enough to come out of it more knowledgable than we had been.
When Wanderlust – that is the venue – opened in Paris two years ago, a friend was quick to let me know that: “They’ve taken your blog name!” Not quite, but my photoblog Wanderlust in PARIS is very similar to Wanderlust’s site name: Wanderlust Paris, so a lot of traffic gets directed to that blog. Good for me I suppose, not so much if you’re searching for the hippest, coolest place to dance the night away in Paris and you land on a photoblog.
The Spring school holidays are almost upon us, and I just got around to organising all the pictures taken during the last school break. Better late than never.
It was Normandy, once again, with a visit to Le Mont St. Michel and a few days spent in Bayeux. This felt like an entirely new trip for me – if you recall the last trip to Normandy passed in a bit of a haze.
A couple of weekends ago, looking for a bit of inspiration on what to get up to on a Sunday afternoon, I thought a walk and lunch along the banks of the Seine would do it. Les Berges are deemed the coolest place to hang out and a definite hot area for the young and old alike. Following on the advice of Hip Paris blog and others I plied my children out of the house with promises of some really cool places along the Seine, and great places to have lunch. Let’s just say the marketing exercise by the city of Paris has been a wondrous success.
In the interest of making the most the recommendations of the New Year, we started with the sampling of authentic cuisine . Orient Extrême in Neuilly-sur-Seine has two pros going for it – it’s a walk from our apartment and to date – three visits later – the service and food have been consistently good. Make sure to call in the morning for lunch and dinner reservations because late reservations only start again from 7pm. It is and has always been busy since it opened, about 4 months ago.
Le Patio in Amboise did not disappoint. We steered fairly clear of the restaurants right in front of the Château after reading reviews such as “overpriced tourist traps…”, and made our way to the contemporary Le Patio. With its modern decor and contemporary menu which did not offer the usual french fare, it also proved to be great value for money.
The Château d’Amboise was our first stop in Amboise – a tour that lasted about 45 minutes. We we there during the week, so it was not as crowded as expected. Beautiful landscaped gardens and gorgeous views of the river Loire. A short 10 minute walk from this château is the Château Clos Lucé – famous for being the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519.
Tours makes for a good base for exploring the châteaux of the Loire. Small, animated – especially in the evenings- and a short drive from the famous Amboise and Chenonceau chateaux. Its famous Cathedral and old town are its main draws and while its château is not as remarkable as the others in the Loire, it is a lively city, with its university town feel, pavement cafés, cobbled streets and bustling Place Plumereau, which proved to be the perfect place for enjoying the warm late fall weather.