Montmartre and the Luxembourg Gardens

We awoke on Monday to find Paris blanketed by a silver mist. Although it wasn’t the optimum weather for staying warm, we welcomed the perfectly diffuse light which only seemed to reveal the specular beauty of the buildings below it. Armed with our jackets (and a 5 euro umbrella) we journeyed up the hill completing the hundreds of steps necessary to reach the Sacre Coeur. From the terraces below the church, you can see out over all of Paris. Even though the misty rain covered much of our vantage point - it was still a beautiful and surprisingly calming vista. 

We wondered around the peripheries of the cathedral before taking a brief pass through the inside. Content with our site seeing and ready for some warmth we adventured through Montemarte’s winding streets towards the Place du Terre for an early lunch. I was SET on finding the charming little piano bar I had dined at 6 years prior when I visited Paris in college. I knew the general area but only had one photograph of the street to go from. I found the spot that matched my photo and to my hearts pure delight there it was right next door, Le Petaudiere Pizzeria Restaurant and Piano Bar. I practically squealed out loud when I saw its’ corner door and flower boxes just as they were in my memory. 

We went inside and were promptly seated in the little upstairs not one table over from where I sat back in 2010. Elated and giddy Jeff and I sat down and snapped our space (more to come on the Vlog). We went with the best deal of the house a 12 Euro prefix including French Onion Soup, Pizza and Ice cream. While Jeff opted for the Burger - I spooned every morsel of my soup. It was just as good as I remembered. The piano man downstairs began to play Coldplay and with a wink from Jeff (a little surprise he cooked up with the man) I was transported back to when the same Yellow song filled the space during my first visit. Gosh, it was so surreal - to be back in the same place, eating the same meal, listening to the same live melody 6 years later…and seated across from my HUSBAND. God is good ya’ll.

We said our thanks and told our stories and with a wink from the pianist and the host we were off towards Notre Dame. But not before Jeff pulled us into the best surprise detour of our trip. Wanting to find a place he spotted down an alley way - Jeff and I stumbled upon the sweetest view of Montemarte through two charming high-rise apartment buildings. What a view eh?

Winding down and down and down again towards the city center we played and laughed through the autumnal streets. Eventually we fell on a Metropolitan line and resurfaced at Notre Dame. 

I remember how grand this Cathedral was the first time, but getting to experience Jeff gaze into this ancient church for the first time was such a special moment. Built over the course of 850 years, Notre Dame is an incredible monument to visit and I highly suggest adding it to you Must-Do-In-Paris list. Even though our LA church meets in an elementary school and we recognize that you don’t need a grandiose building to worship God, there is something to be said about experiencing the Great Creator in a truly great cathedral.  

After passing through Notre Dame, we decided to continue our adventuring on the south side of the Seine. I attempted to roughly navigate us as I excitedly listened to Jeff process how crazy it was to be in a 800 year old church. We had sweets on the brain (shocker) and stopped off to get Jeff a crepe at Culture Crepes on Rue Saint-André des Arts. This was by far the best creperie we visited in Paris. They offer amazing service and quality and are tucked away in what we are calling the SOHO of Paris. 

We spent the rest of the day wondering around the streets near Rue Bonaparte gazing into design stores and fabulous boutiques selling everything from photography books to chic apparel and art deco furniture. We naturally had to stop at Ladurée Bonaparte for some afternoon macaroons and window shopping. It was as beautiful as I pictured it to be and although we decided to forgo dining at the Palm Tree Cafe, it looked incredible and I would add it to your list if you are looking for a decadent and well dressed lunch spot. 

We ended the day with a stroll through the fanciful Luxembourg Gardens. These masterful gardens stretch just south of the Luxembourg Palace which serves as the seat of the French Senate. Even damped by the rain, this park was beautiful. The benefit of rain in a tourist city is that it tends to clear our a lot of the crowds. 

It truly felt as if we had the place all to ourselves, and so we turned the upper terraces into a little date spot. Macaroons in hand we nibbled and surveyed our surroundings. Paris has definitely grown my obsession with the ornamental and the Luxembourg Gardens have definitely become my favorite park in central Paris. 

Stay Tuned for more posts from Paris! 


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