In the shadow of Monet

I know I know, I’ve been awful about updating lately. After writing a really long post in Rome and then forgetting to hit save, I lost my blogging bug for a little bit, realizing that technology will always have one up against me.

A quick recap of the past few weeks – end of spring break in Athens and Santorini was incredible. Santorini was hands down one of the nicest places I have ever been. I went to New York for a quick 4 day trip for my cousins bar mitzvah. It was great to be back, even for such a short amount of time and has honestly made me much more homesick than I was before. I returned to France on the eve of the elections and saw one of the biggest parties ever going on in the Bastille. I finished school last week, turning in the longest paper I have ever written in French in my life (13, incase you were wondering). This week, my good friend Ben came to visit and we’ve been touring around Paris and eating lots of food. I’m headed to Budapest on Sunday to start a new summer adventure (more on that later). And now, instead of writing about my day trip to Giverny yesterday, I think I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.


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A Walkabout in Londontown

After a trip that started with a customs officer accusing me of having a fake passport and witnessing just about every shade of weather that the UK has to offer, I’d say that my first trip to London was pretty successful. Yes, as I made my way through security at Gare du Nord on Friday morning, that officer was flipping through my passport and looked me straight in the eye and told me it was a fake. I was freaking out for a moment but realized that that was ridiculous because I knew for a fact that it wasn’t fake. All I could think in the moment was “dear god just let me go through,” but I realized two seconds later that this guy was clearly a nut case as how could I be an American with a French visa and make it through so many rounds of security with a fake passport? Anyway, after that little debacle, I made it safely on to the Eurostar and under the chunnel to grand old London town.

As soon as we arrived, we jumped into a taxi and went to Jess’s parents apartment in Kensington, right next to Kensington Palace, where William and Kate live ūüôā (I was hoping for a meet-and-greet, but alas, no luck). I think traveling with friends who have parents in the final destination is really the only way to go. It was so nice to come home each night to a home cooked meal and having people around who knew all the ins and outs of London so I was a lost tourist for one moment while I was there.Friday Jess and I took a tour bus around town, which was a wonderful way to see the whole city. Yes, I know you’re thinking that’s the biggest tourist trap in the book and I fully own up to making fun of people who do them in New York, but it was really really fun and a great way to see all the sites that I had never seen before. I was very confused when we got to the Tower Bridge and I discovered that it was painted blue. I kid you not that in all the years of seeing pictures of British landmarks, I had never noticed that it was blue. Jess assured me that, much as I thought it wasn’t true, it had in fact always been blue like that. Guess you learn something never everyday!

We stopped around Trefalger Square where we happened upon an epic rendition of a Passion Play just in time for Good Friday. Nothing quite like seeing a 50 foot projection of a bloody Jesus while walking past the National Gallery for the first time. We were blessed with beautiful weather on Friday, so we took the afternoon walking around downtown London and around Buckingham Palace. (No sighting of the Queen – sorry to disappoint ;))You can tell that this city is in full on preparation mode for the Olympics that are only a few months away as there were countless construction projects going on and many signs that were announcing that countdown to the start of the games. After a few trips on the tube, which was pretty packed, its hard to imagine how packed the city is going to be when the whole world descends upon it in July, but I’ll leave that to the city organizes to sort through.One of the best places that we visited was Bouroughs Market, a wonderful food market that was not to far from the Globe theater. They had so many different fresh fruits and veggies, along with cheese, bread, oils, spices, and tons of prepared foods as well. I got a bottle of the most amazing truffle honey and ate some delicious salted fudge. I would highly recommend Bouroughs Market to any food lover. As we watched Bridget Jones later that evening, it turned out her apartment in the film is right next to the market and we had actually walked past it earlier in the day. Who would have known!¬†Our next stop was Camden Market, which is an eclectic indoor/outdoor market that has a St. Marks/Craft Fair/Flea Market type feel to it. It reminded me a lot of the Marche au Puces in Paris – hand crafted goods, alongside antiques, alongside awful Chinese import clothing. They did have the most amazing rave store where everything glowed in the dark and they had costumes that were straight out of the Jetsons. I was almost run over by some buses more than a few times as the whole concept of looking right first as opposed to left was still new to me.¬†

Sunday was our museum day. Well, it was actually Easter, so what better way to start the day than a stop in at St. Paul’s Cathedral for a mass? Most churches you have to pay to enter in London, but on Sunday, all are welcome to worship, and since this was Easter Sunday there was a huge mass going on. I don’t think I’ve really been into such a huge cathedral like that without actual services going on. As a little innocent Jew, it was¬†fascinating¬†to see. We tried to get into Westminster Abbey, but with the rain, the line and 16 pound price tag, we figured it wasn’t really worth. Something to look forward to next time!¬†

After our morning mass, we made our way across the¬†Millennium¬†Bridge to the Tate Modern, where we were whisked right in thanks to Jess’s moms patron card. We saw a Damien Hirst exhibit and a Yayoi Kusama exhibit – both amazing and highly recommended. Hirst does some very interesting things that involve rooms full of butterflies, dead cows heads and sharks suspended in¬†formaldehyde. Crazy to say the least. From the Tate, we made our way to the National Gallery, seeing some classic British, impressionist and Titan pieces. After our first day in Trefalger Square with the Passion Play going on, it was nice to walk around and see it a little less crowded.Monday morning, our last day in London, we went to the Royal Academy of Arts to see a David Hockney exhibit on its last day. Once again, thank god for Jess’s mom, who is dutiful patron of the arts and took us straight to the front of the long snaking line. I had never heard of David Hockney before but was utterly amazed by his work. He uses the most vivid and bright colors in his landscapes and has recently taken to doing almost all his artwork on his iPad. Quite cool, no?

I don’t think any visit to London would be complete without a trip to Harrods. Reminding me quite a bit of Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s, Jess and took our time¬†pa-rousing¬†the 1000 pound shoes and 2000 pound chihuahuahs. (No joke, they were selling dogs for over 2000 pounds). Needless to say, I bought a little pencil pound for 3,50 – likely the cheapest thing in the entire 5 story building.¬†

London was really a highlight of my semester. Staying with Jess’s family was wonderful. Having a home cooked meals (and seders) and an entire apartment to come back to at the end of the day can’t be beat. London reminds me a lot of New York, even more so than Paris. It’s full of people, full of activity, full of life all the time. The streets are constantly crowded, but it still felt manageable. Even with four days, I felt like I just saw the tiniest slice of what the city has to offer and I am eagerly anticipating a return trip soon!

The Palace of the Sun King

Living in Paris, I think it’s just an assumed part of life that you will at one point or another make your way to Versailles, especially when you have visitors in town. It’s like New Yorkers going to the Empire State¬†Building¬†or the Statue of Liberty. You live in New York, so it seems¬†instinctive¬†that you would have been to these major landmarks, but don’t tell anyone – I’ve never been to the Empire State Building. I shall add it to my to-do list when I get back to New York in the fall.

I actually went to Versailles when I was in France in high school, but the day of our visit, the workers were on strike and we couldn’t even go inside. It happened to be a beautiful June summer day, so we couldn’t really complain that we had the afternoon to walk around the gardens, as the gardens garner a whole day visit themselves. The thing I probably remember the most about my trip in high school though was the amount of tour buses I saw. I¬†genuinely¬†don’t think I had ever seen so many buses all converged in one place in my life. That in itself was pretty awe-inducing.¬†This past weekend during my visit, it was no where near as crowded and while we had to wait about 20 minutes in line to get in, I can only imagine the wait during peak tourist season in the summer!

So we all know the history of Versailles, right? You have Louis XIV (the Sun King), Marie Antoinette, The French Revolution, Napoleon, etc… It’s a place steeped full in not only French, but world history – the peace treaty ending World War I was signed in the famous hall of mirrors. Perhaps it’s the cynic inside me, or my general lack of interest during our tour, but I was struck with how fake everything seemed. Completely¬†gilded¬†in gold, gawked over by millions of tourists, was this really a place that the French nobility lived?

The famous hall of mirrors: 

I guess this gold and¬†extravagance¬†is an obvious sign that nobility did indeed live here and it’s no surprise why the French Revolution happened if this was how the rich were spending money. At the same time, it all seems so lavish that it’s hard to imagine this was an actual palace inhabited by real people. But then again, I guess that’s what the rich back in the 18th century did, right? Spend lots of money on gaudy and kitschy decorations. I had always heard the Versailles actually smelled awful, as there were no working toilets and people would empty their chamber pots right outside their windows. Not quite the idea of luxury and splendor.¬†Even the door handles are covered in gold!¬†

I’ve been working on some essays for school and am very much in this¬†mentality¬†that Paris is so much of a spectacle, losing much of it’s original glory and splendor underneath all the gloss – Versailles being a perfect exampled as it is literally gilded over! I’ll try and get past all my¬†cynicism¬†for one moment and recognize that it is still a beautiful building.¬†The hall of mirrors is something you have to see in your lifetime and reading about the excessive sleeping practices of the King was pretty funny. (Getting a chance to watch the King go to bed was a thought of as a great honor). There was some¬†beautiful¬†artwork not only framed and hung, but painted directly onto the walls and ceilings.

The Kings bed:
The top of the Queens bed: The Coronation of Napoleon: 

After we finished inside, which involved being hit in the back by more than a few backpacking toting Asian tourists, we took a tour around the gardens, but it’s still a little cold here in France, so most of the statues were covered and all the fountains were off. We did stop at Marie Antoinettes house, as she had her own housing unit on the other side of the compound, away from the main chateau. I guess her and Louis XVI really didn’t get along. Having already been to the gardens before, I wasn’t that¬†disappointed that it was all green with no color, but I was¬†reminded¬†how nice it would be to just spend an afternoon sitting down by the canal in a few weeks when it starts to get sunny outside. I will¬†definitely¬†come back not for the palace, but to have a picnic in the park!¬†

Walking around with the ‘rents:¬†

Marché Bastille

I’ve been meaning to write about this market from the first day I moved into my apartment. The day I arrived in Paris, the realtor said I was so lucky to be living in this neighborhood as one of the best open air markets in all of Paris was held right around the corner from me. At first I was hesitant to believe this, and after the first few weeks of gloomy weather in Paris, the market didn’t seem all that great to me. Then, these past few weeks, as spring has started to come out from behind the clouds and I’ve visited more markets around the city, I’ve come to realize just how truly amazing my corner march√© really is.

I think what really amazes me the most is how much produce you can get for so little money. I will walk away with bags of apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, onions, some spices and perhaps a baguette having only spent 10 euro max! I like to walk over to the market with only a limited supply of change to see how far I can stretch it. I usually do an entire circle of the markets before deciding on my purchases so that I can see what looks best and get the better deal.

The best part about walking through the markets, besides the obvious visual pleasing foods, is the sounds and smells.¬†On one side of the market towards, towards the Bastille roundabout, there are many Middle Eastern vendors, hawking their wears at dirt cheap prices. The sounds of “UN EURO UN EURO POUR UN KILO” is heard often and they are always offering my slices of clementines. Seriously, I’m only ever offered clementines – what about an apple slice?

As you walk further north, you see the more mom and pop type stands that clearly have their regular customers. Lines at these places can often be quite long as each customer is given as much time as they need to pick out their foods. I don’t often buy so much from these vendors as they tend to be a lot more expensive.¬†

In regards to smell, huge chicken roasters are found on every aisle and as the weather gets warmer, the flowers are becoming more and more beautiful every week. While the market happens twice a week, once on Sundays and once on Thursdays, Sunday is definitely the better day to go. There are more vendors our in general on Sundays and there is just a bit more of a livelier atmosphere as more people have time to shop on the weekends. 

I love walking past the fish stands. Huge trays of ice sit out holding countless types of fish and sea creatures. Oysters and mussels are quite popular and many merchants just have huge baskets of them sitting right on their tables, all that much easier for picking through. I don’t eat oysters or mussels myself, but they’re quite interesting to look at.

I always try to grab a box of eggs as half a dozen organic eggs is half the price as at the supermarket. I’ve yet to get any cheese as I’m always intimidated to order as I never quite know what I want and I don’t know how much one orders.

¬†I do hoard nuts and dried fruits from the spice vendor. One of the guys there knows me now and always makes fun of me for taking so long as I never know what I want at first. I bought a few spices last week and forgot to label them right away, so I’m sitting with either curry or¬†turmeric in my cabinet, can’t remember which.

La March√© Bastille takes place every Sunday and Thursday. This is the most amazing place to go and do some excellent people watching. All sorts of fascinating characters come out to the markets. You can buy just about anything you would ever need – fruit, veggies, meats, fish, bread, cheese, and of course…some socks!

Creamy Spinach & Tomato Pasta

Back in the States, I was very much an eat dinner around 7ish type of person. In high school I ate dinner with my family just about every night around the table (or counter I should really say) and in New York, I would either make a meal for myself or to share with my roommates. In Paris, I’ve found that eating anytime before 8 seems to be quite taboo. I walked into a pizza place on one of my first days in Paris around 7:15 and they said it was too early to order. How crazy is that? I guess eating later goes in line with the whole mentality of taking a much longer and enjoyable lunch here, so you’re satiated until an 8 o’clock dinner.

Trying to be the best Parisian I can while I’m here, I find that I’m falling into this pattern of eating later myself. Last night, after having a lunch around 1:00, I looked at my clock and saw that it was already 8:15 and I had yet to start making anything to eat. I had bought these tomatoes earlier in the week and didn’t want them to go bad, so even though it was late, I was still hungry and this was an easy, yet very delicious recipe to whip up in about 20 minutes. By 8:45 I was back at my computer watching some Breaking Bad. (Side note – everyone needs to watch this show. It’s so good!)

Cooking for myself if often challenging, which is why I love to bake, as baked goods are easy to transport the following day to give as gifts. Last year I at least had the option of giving my leftovers to my roommates. Now that I’m all by myself, I try to remember that whatever I’m going to make I’m probably going to have to eat for 3 or 4 days depending on how big the servings are. I guess in theory the answer to all this would be to make food in smaller quantities, but sometimes it’s easier to just use a whole onion or a whole pack of spinach instead of having small amounts of these¬†ingredients¬†left over, which I often find go bad before I get the chance to use again.
This is really simple pasta dish that I will not mind having in my fridge for a few days. I’ve been on a soy kick lately, as I was trying to limit my dairy intake a few weeks ago when I was feeling sick, so instead of half & half, I used soy and some ermante cheese I had in my fridge. I did notice that my cheese tended to clump up a bit, so using¬†parmesan cheese¬†(and possibly cows milk) the cheese mixture might combine with the pasta a little better. Cooked spinach is so¬†delicious, especially when you add cheese. I still have some leftover, but it’s mostly pasta now, as I ate most of the spinach last night ūüėČ In the end, the leftovers somehow always manage to get eaten, but I can’t wait to have roommates again next year to eat it fresh!
Creamy Spinach & Tomato Pasta 

(Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 lb. whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5 oz) package baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth broth
  • 1/4 cup milk, half & half or soy milk
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) container grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:

1) Cook pasta according to package directions.

2) While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add your sliced shallot; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until translucent.

3) Add spinach and broth; cover and cook for 1 minute.

4) Add milk, 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese and the black pepper.  Stir to combine; cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
 
5) Combine spinach mixture, pasta and tomatoes in large bowl.  Garnish with parsley and remaining cheese.

6) Enjoy ūüôā

La Passage du Grand Cerf

I’ve written about the flaneur before –¬†a person who walks the city in order to experience it – and now am¬†genuinely¬†starting to feel like one. I’ve been in Paris for just about 2 months now and no day goes by that I don’t think for at least a few moments of how lucky I am to be able to walk along the streets of this amazing city. I think I can safely say that I’m past the honeymoon phase of my stay here in Paris. I still love it, but I’m feeling more comfortable, more at home, less touristy. I don’t feel the need rush to go out and do everything all at once, which is exactly how I felt when I first arrived. Of course, my to do list is still ten pages long, so if I plan on checking it all off before the end of May, I’d better keep the pace up.

A glass covered arcade in the midst of the busy 2nd arrondisment, La Passage du Grand Cerf transports you back in time to the 19th century, right to the heart of the time when Baudelaire was writing about his famous flaneur. I can only begin to imagine what it must have felt like to walk down this alleyway 200 years ago with the huge arching glass windows letting in so much beautiful light and the abundance of little shops and restaurants that line the way. 

Today, it’s home to some small boutiques, including this amazing one that sells all sorts of knobs. I kind of have this weird obsession with knobs. Last year I spent over 50 dollars at¬†anthropologie¬†buying new knobs for my dresser. It might have something to do with the fact that I want to own everything in the home section of that store. Either way, I spent a solid 15 minutes checking out these ceramic little balls until I realized it was going to be silly for me to buy them as I don’t even have a dresser here to put them on and I have 10 perfectly good knobs waiting for me back at home in New York. They’re still so pretty to look at!

After my stroll through the passage, I took a rest at a cafe right across the road and sat drinking my coffee and gazing at the people who happened to go down through the arcade. It somehow manages to vanish within the busy landscape of present day Paris. Many people didn’t even seem to notice it as they walked down the main drag, while a few happened to turn their head upon seeing the cherry red carpets and stopped to take a peak inside, much like I did.

Recently, I have been coming to grips with how much of a spectacle Paris is. Everything has such intense meaning and importance to the tourists who come to see it, but I often feel that the magic that made Paris so wonderful in the early 20th century¬†has somehow been lost behind all the pomp and¬†pageantry¬†of 21st century Paris. It tries so hard to cater to the many millions of tourists who pass through its borders every year and sometimes the original¬†significance¬†of these places is forgotten. Le Passage du Grand Cerf, to me at least, is a reminder of what the splendor of Paris used to be like, before it became glossed over. Sure, the stores and boutiques are not hundreds of years old like the passage itself, but the archways and windows contain a secret history that only those who search for it will find. So many people come to Paris today and only hit up the big landmarks and sites. While that’s a valuable thing to do, one must go beyond the sheen and find places like Le Passage du Grand Cerf in order to be a true flaneur.

A walk with the dead (at P√®re Lechaise Cemetary)

Recently I realized I was born in the completely wrong century. The more I‚Äôve wandered the street of Paris and read about its history, the more I wish I could have been an ‚ÄúAmerican in Paris‚ÄĚ in the early 20th century. Can you image the streets of Montparnasse, filled with the likes of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald? Paris not yet the tourist spectacle that it had become today? Obviously Midnight in Paris has forever changed Paris for me, but still, I think it would have been pretty awesome.

Of course the mother of this whole “Lost Generation” was Gertrude Stein, who helped foster the career of many young and struggling artists and writers in Paris during this time. I really don‚Äôt claim to know enough about this amazing woman, but I‚Äôm trying to learn more and really, I think we had a little heart to heart the other day at her grave ūüėČ

Gertrude Stein is buried at Père Lechaise Cemetary, something I didn’t know until I walked into this rolling green cemetery that is a really wonderful place to visit in Paris. No, one doesn’t usually think of a cemetery as being a really wonderful place to visit, but with the likes of Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and the famed Kurdish singer Yilmaz Guney (don’t ask my why, but there are surprisingly a lot of Kurdish and Iranian people buried there), Père Lechaise is an wonderful place to take a stroll on a sunny day. 

My friend Allison and I started out jaunt at Père Lechaise at the southern entrance, wandering throughout the many different districts of the cemetery. There are simple tombs and basic headstones to elaborate chapels and towering monuments. Some of them are so old that it’s hard to read the writing of who is buried there. Sadly, many of the older tombs are not well taken care of, often covered in cobwebs and leaves and some even have fallen apart, leaving a pile of rubble in their wake.

Towards the north, the graves seemed to be much better taken care of than those further south. Allison and I pondered why this was ‚Äď many of them still seemed very old, yet looked so much nicer and shinier. Any ideas?¬†

During our walk, we saw the burial sites of Baron Hausmann, Oscar Wilde, and yes, the great Gertrude Stein. Of course, there were lots of tombstones we could have seen, but after a few hours of walking through such an immense graveyard; there are only so many more dead people you can take. 

It‚Äôs still possible to get buried in P√®re Lechaise today, as there were some recent headstones from just last year, but I was reading online that space is so tight, some people are buried in the same tomb as previously deceased family members ‚Äď not the most pleasant idea.¬†

I would love to go back to see the graves of Edith Piaf, Moliere and Balzac to name a few. There was something quite serene about walking through it all on such a lovely sunny day. I could only imagine the ghosts that come at night though!

I don’t think it’s the same George Harrison you’re thinking of ūüėȬ†

Even in death, dogs are still mans best friend: 
Looked it up, no relation to Dr. Kevorkian: 

The Bastille Eclair

I’m realizing that in my pursuit to eat all the eclairs in Paris, I’m going to have a hard time writing about the shops that they come from because most patisseries here don’t have their own name. They just say Patisserie or Boulangerie out front. I guess I’ll just refer to the area from what it comes unless the store has its own name.

Anyway, this was my first eclair since the best one at Stohrer (actually, it’s not my first since then, but the first one that’s been worth writing about. Even in Paris you can find a really bad eclair). Right around the corner from me on Rue de La Roquette, is a very cute little patisserie that actually has an extensive display of pastries and breads for just being the corner bakery. I call it the Bastille eclair as you are stones throw away from the Bastille roundabout when you walk up to this patisserie.

I’ve had some bread from here before, but never anything else. After buying some produce at the market the other morning, I went inside to grab a croissant for breakfast. Needless to say, I walked out with 2 croissants and an eclair, since it looked so delicious.Since I had yet to have breakfast, I restrained myself and waited until I got home and had my croissant and coffee before I decided to take a bite out of the eclair. To start, it was¬†definitely¬†on the bigger side of eclairs that I have seen, making it all that much more alluring. I have to figure that getting anything this early in the morning means it has to be somewhat fresh, don’t you think?¬†

Right after my first bite, I knew that this was a decent eclair, but no where near the level of the Sthorer eclair, which all eclairs will now be compared to. While the pastry cream inside was good, although not quite as rich as I would have liked, the choux dough could not hold it’s own. Yes, I agree that the choux dough should be light, but this was just too light and flaky.¬†As I’ve said, I had some bad eclairs here in Paris, so this¬†definitely¬†was not in the bad category, just not in the perfect category. Since this patisserie is just around the corner, I would certainly go back to grab another one, or maybe even try some of the other yummy things they had on display, but for now, I shall continue to sample more eclairs!!!

Blé Sucré

Living in Paris, one has the luxury of having a a boulangerie or patisserie on just about every block or street corner. In my few weeks here, I can honestly say that I think I have already eaten enough baguettes to last me a lifetime. For 1 euro, it’s such an easy snack or¬†accompaniment¬†to a meal at a very cheap price.

While I have eaten myself through enough baguettes, the same cannot be said for croissants and pastries. I have such a sweet tooth and a basic croissant au beurre is the perfect morning breakfast treat. Luckily for me, there is a wonderful little patisserie right down the block from called blé sucré (translated to wheat sugar). In the 3 block walk to blé sucré, there are about 10 other places to stop and grab an coffee and pain au chocolat, but believe me, the extra few blocks to this little gem of a shop are well worth it.

Their croissants are perfect. Just the right amount of flakiness and it peels apart into perfect strips. As I’ve sampled more and more croissants during my time here, you really do start to notice what separates the¬†mediocre¬†croissants from the epic ones.¬†Mediocre¬†ones tend to have a spongy texture and lacks the perfect flakey crust. The ones from bl√© sucr√© on the other hand earn top marks in all aspects of the perfect croissant.

The other day, I decided to venture off the beaten path of my usual regular croissant and happened to grab this piece of amazingness. I really need to start doing that more often because you usually end up with something even better than what you went in for in the first place. 

I’m not even quite sure what it is, as I didn’t hear the woman when she mentioned the name, but let me just say, it’s wonderful. If you like almond croissants, cinnamon buns, or danish pastry, this one if for you. Similar to a cinnamon bun, but without quite the gooiness factor of one, this peeled apart in rounds and had a maple/sugary type glaze on top with some slivered almonds. It was so delicious and as usual, I couldn’t control myself from eating it far too quickly. Along with a cup of coffee and a glass of juice, this would¬†definitely¬†be the perfect breakfast treat.

The Best Eclair in Paris? Perhaps…

I’ve realized that I have not had enough eclairs in my life. I’m somehow never quite as drawn to the eclairs as I am to the cookies and cake, which I often gravitate towards whenever I’m at a bakery. Now that I’m in Paris though and every¬†patisserie¬†has a healthy supply of eclairs, often in many different flavors, I’m finally realizing how much I’ve been missing out.

This realization stems from a recent visit I took to La Maison Stohrer, perhaps the oldest patisserie in all of Pars. Not only are they the oldest, but they also claim to have the best eclair in all of France too. I was a little hesitant at first, given, as I said before, I don’t eat eclairs all that often, but after having one for myself, I think they deserve the title.¬†

Bitting into these sweet creations was heavenly. The chocolate pastry cream inside was perfectly chilled and light as mouse. This is seriously a delicious piece of pastry. It took all the effort I had not to eat it up in just a few bites.¬†I was about to buy a second, but¬†remembered¬†that I really didn’t need to eat two in a row and I was out of money!¬†

In addition to the eclairs, they have beautiful display of other pastries, chocolate and breads. Out front they had a special table selling extra galletes des roi, which are being sold at every bakery these days. 

I would¬†definitely¬†recommend La Maison Stohrer to anyone in Paris. It’s on the wonderful Rue Montogrueil, which is worth a walk down anytime. Now that I have discovered the pleasures of eating eclairs, I think I shall now try to sample eclairs for all different patisseries, to see if the one from Stohrer, is indeed the best eclair ever.