Since we had a relatively short stay in Paris, our days were scheduled to be jam-packed with sightseeing. And of course, we had to visit the Eiffel Tower. To be honest, I found the experience a bit underwhelming, especially when you’re being herded into an elevator with a billion other tourists. Although you can get a great view of Paris from the top of the tower, photos don’t really come out well since you’re taking photos through a glass or through a chain link fence. On the plus side, though, it only cost me €13 to get to the top, which is quite inexpensive for such a world-famous landmark. Afterwards, we stopped at Champs de Mars, a small park right across from the tower, ideal for picture-taking. Here’s a photo of me in my gawking tourist persona.
Done with our picture-taking, we headed to Champs-Élysées to do some shopping, which our days in Paris had been noticeably short on. We didn’t end up doing much shopping, but of course we stopped at Ladurée, one of the most famous macaron makers in the world.
Although the three of us purchased a box of six macarons to share, we didn’t end up eating them until we got home, and by then two of the six had been crushed/melted by the heat, and not fit for picture-taking. Not to fear, though, we also stopped by the Covent Garden location once we got to London, so there will definitely be some macarons on the blog in the near future.
We ended up having a late lunch/snack at Paul. I’d never heard of Paul before this, but considering that there’s a location right by our lodgings in London, it seems to be a world-wide chain. Owned by the same people as Ladurée, Paul also specializes in baked goods, than the former. We sat out on the patio, where pigeons pecked about freely and landed on our chairs and tables. The eating area was admittedly not very clean (being covered with garbage and pigeons), but there were only two or three employees who were often busy inside the store and couldn’t quite abandon their stations to tidy up the outside patio. I found this to be a constant theme while I was in Paris: many stores seemed to be understaffed, resulting in long lineups and frustrated employees.
To be honest, I don’t remember the name of this pastry. It was some sort of Apricot Danish (€1), and I ordered it because I love apricots and it was so cheap . It tasted pretty much like what I expected–layers of flaky, buttery pastry with apricot in the centre. There was some other sort of fruit pieces spread out throughout, but it didn’t taste exactly like apricot, and I’m not sure what they were. It wasn’t too sweet, which I appreciated after days of indulging in pains au chocolat.
I also had the Mini Brioche with Chocolate (€1), again because it was cheap. It was decent, but I honestly don’t remember much about it. I felt that the goods at the small local bakeries by our apartment, which we visited in the mornings, were vastly superior to what I tried at Paul. I mean, this mini brioche was good for what it was, but it was nothing memorable. It definitely wasn’t as rich and tender as I expect brioche to be.
Pickles had a Petit Pain de Menthe. I was curious about it because I adore anything with mint in it, but I was wary because this looked like it could be stale. We were both surprised that it wasn’t at all stale, and actually tasted quite substantially of mint. It was a decent size for a snack, which is how I felt of what we tried at Paul, although they also carry sandwiches and more meal-sized options.
Overall, we weren’t blown away by our experience at Paul, but it’s not like we expected very much from it, either. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that I saw a couple locations of Paul when I was in Seoul last summer, so I suppose it’s a larger chain than I thought. That being said, I don’t think it’s a huge loss that we don’t have Paul in Canada–I would take an Iced Capp and a box of Timbits over Paul any day.
75008 Paris, France