Shearwin's in Europe 2017 travel blog

Bird in flight

The fountain is flowing

Napoleon's campaigns immortalised

Paris's first Patisserie

Rue de Montorgueil


Les Halles

Day 30 - Sat 17 Jun 17

We were away this morning at 1030 hrs and our objective was to visit the 3rd Arrondissement and our old stamping ground for a month, the Marais in 2013.

We crossed the river at Place Concorde and walked the route through Madeline to the Place Vendome. Significant renovations were in place last we visited and all signs of construction, except for a small area in the centre of the Place have been removed. It now looks great with the towering plynth reflecting Napoleons campaigns standing majestic. The shops lining the Place exhibit jewellery of considerable worth and well beyond the average customer.

We continued to the Passage des Jacobins, a rectangular all glass structure that disrupts the areas architecture. We could not recall having seen it before and while we liked the majesty of the building, we felt it was in the wrong place. There was a Saturday market in the streets surrounding the building.

I had set the horse statue of Louis ivx as my next way point but was distracted and finished up at the Palais Royal which was under preparation for a concert. We skirted the Palais walking up Rue de Richelieu, checking out the Hotel Washington, the second hotel we stayed in Paris in 1980 before making it to the Grand Colbert Restaurant; we had dined in 2013. We have the obligatory photo and are now considering it for our anniversary dinner next Tuesday night.

We next made our way to the first Patisserie in Paris ( I can't confirm the accuracy of that statement) Stofrer in Rue Montorgueli. The street runs into Les Halles which we passed many a time but for some reason never walked the street. For a Saturday morning it was certainly an "in" street of Paris; people, wall to wall eating places with markets running off side streets, a very dynamic area. We wandered and enjoyed a tasty lemon sorbet. Stofrer's was small and very busy; a gold mine.

In 2013, Les Halles was undergoing major construction which impacted the area significantly. We took a beeline to the area knowing much had been completed, noting that the outdoor park/garden is still under construction. We entered the new underground shopping levels and briefly wandered the shops with no great interest. The design of the dome is modernist of wings but once again looking uncomfortable, like the Pompidou Centre in this city of grand design.

We were now in more familiar territory as we wandered Rue Rambuteau, through the Archives along Rue Des Quatre Fils, passed the old apartment, up Rue Vieille du Temple to Philosophes.

This was a favourite restaurant and lunch was required. In true French fashion we squeezed into a single table between two occupied tables, shoulder to shoulder. We had a shared quiche salad but not shared wines while talking to a very pleasant Canadian couple from Vancouver; these are generally very pleasant events.

After lunch we headed back to the apartment crossing the centre of the Ile de la Cite into Place Saint Michel. It was then a case of wandering streets we hadn't been along as we made our way back through Invalides to "home".

We have enjoyed eating in at night but have pledged to eat local at least every third night; tonight's the night. We wandered around the corner to a restaurant specialising in Food from Crete. Kaye had the stuffed egg plant and I had the lamb shoulder with a bottle of Crete red. It was a nice dinner in a Greece styled restaurant.

After dinner we walked the area for about 45 mins, temporarily misplaced on several occasions, awaiting for the lights of the Eiffel Tower to come on. Unfortunately we had to make a special trip downstairs at 2245hrs to take the photo. I was in bed soon after and was unaware that the night party bus passed "home" twice with revellers destroying the quite of night that Paris quite remarkably settles into after midnight.

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