Tag Archives: Champ de Mars

Lunch With A View

Bonjour mes amis! I am still here, despite what you have NOT heard from me in the last week or two. I have put down my tour guide umbrella and put on my tourist fanny pack for a lovely visit to Budapest and Milan. As in Paris, spring is knocking but has not yet put down her bags. The trees have buds but few leaves and we are still zipping up our coats. The fruit trees are resplendent, though, and the forsythia is ablaze. I am loathe to miss the wild flowers in Texas this year, which promise to be especially knock-out due to the wet winter and spring, so I will be consoling myself with lots of fresh flowers from my market.

IMG_1776

But now, back to Paris!

I have been fortunate to dine at the elegant Jules Verne several times, but had not been there in over a year. When my mother and niece were with us we thought it would be the perfect time to revisit the amazing Eiffel Tower restaurant and share it with them. This Alain Ducasse restaurant is located on the second platform of the tower, and is accessed by a private elevator.

IMG_1966

IMG_1969

When the elevator doors open into the restaurant, you are led to your table by waiters who make you feel as though you were royalty. The tables are close together but not crowded, and the atmosphere is subdued elegance.

IMG_1970

The white dome in front of my mom is about to be flipped over to become a charger. The geometric pattern is repeated on the ceiling.

The food is every bit as good as one would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant (which it is).

who could resist this little beauty from the bread basket?

who could resist this little beauty from the bread basket?

soup starter- I think it was lobster

soup starter- I think it was lobster

spring asparagus

spring asparagus with an egg

roasted lamb

roasted lamb

chocolate dessert

chocolate dessert

another dessert doused in armengac

another dessert doused in armangac

Of course, it is not so hard to find delicious food and elegant presentation in Paris. The reason people reserve weeks in advance for the Jules Verne is for the view. I neglected to take any photos from our table this time, but if I had, they would have looked much like these, which I took from the top after we ate.

IMG_1984_2

IMG_1986_2

note- the triangular roof with green tarp, about one quarter from the top, is right by our apartment

IMG_1987_2

wave to the tourists

wave to the tourists

IMG_1994_2

It was a memorable lunch for all four of us. If you ever have the opportunity to dine at the JV- grab it!

Cheers to all of you.

IMG_1973_2

1 Comment

Filed under dining with a view, Eiffel Tower, Jules Verne, Paris dining

Dear Paris: Heaven called and wants its weather back.

Now hear this: Paris has been incredibly beautiful for most of the past two weeks.  If we don’t have a rainy day soon, my family is  going to run out of clean clothes and canned goods and end up eating marshmallow fluff in our bathrobes.  Really- it’s so hard to do anything like laundry, shopping, blogging, or cooking when springtime beckons.  I better get this figured out before I have a revolt on my hands here.

I promised to tell you about what my friend and I did last week and it’s quickly becoming a sunny, smiley, winey, cheesey, picnicky blur.  I may have to make some stuff up.

One day we went to a wonderful little museum in the 16th called the Musee Marmottan Monet, which is housed in a former hunting lodge and contains the world’s largest collection of Monet.  We were  fortunate that there was also a temporary exhibit of Berte Morisot there.  She was a respected Impressionist and was married to the brother of Manet.  Don’t worry- there will not be a test over this at the end of the post.  This was my first trip to the museum and now it’s on my “Recommend” list for art-loving friends.

No one should miss Luxembourg Gardens when the weather is like this.  My friend and I enjoyed it and then Mark and I went back Saturday for a picnic.  

One might expect to see signs in parks indicating in which areas one must stay off the grass.  You do see a lot of those in Paris.  However, apparently at the Luxembourg Gardens it makes more sense to designate the relatively small area where the grass is available for sitting.

But absolutely no lying, rolling, ball-kicking, or any other kind of fun-having.

A few people were interested, despite the limitations.My friend and I picnicked at the Champ de Mars, and it was divine.One day we went on a guided tour of the newly-opened exhibit at the  Museum of Decorative Arts, entitled “Louis Vuitton  Marc Jacobs”.  This interesting and sometimes quirky exhibit showcases each man’s contribution to fashion and their collaboration on the LV line.  I took these two pictures of old LV trunks before I realized that photography was not allowed.  Oops.

I found these images on the internet.  I guess SOME people are allowed to take pictures.

After such a stylish outing, nothing would do but that we dine on the terrace outside of the Louvre.

We ate gelato, admired pastries, swooned over flower displays, and walked all over Paris.

Stop right there, Monsieur Chocolate Chicken Man

And so Hotel Mai has closed its doors for a month or so.  We have some travel of our own planned.  And lots of picnics to be had.  Be the first to read all about it, right here, on Channel Mai Oui Paris.  All Paris.  All the time.

8 Comments

Filed under Eiffel Tower, fashion, flowers, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris museum, Uncategorized

Can Spring Break in Paris Really Be Better Than in Gulf Shores, Alabama?

That groaning noise you thought you heard recently was my washing machine begging for mercy.  My hilarious son, his cool fashionista girlfriend, and two sweet friends of my daughter all left this morning to return to the states.  The beds are slowly being remade, the towels replaced in the linen closet, the bathrooms cleaned, the table linens washed.  The apartment is so quiet now, and Sawyer is moping that the eight extra hands for petting him have waved goodbye and disappeared.  We had such a good time entertaining and enjoying the enthusiasm and giddiness of people seeing Paris for the first time.

The weather was too good to be true for  most of the week.  We took them to the Eiffel Tower and for a picnic and a pretty fine view.

Look mom, no coats!

Yeah, so these people aren't us, but they knew how to picnic on the Champs de Mars. Laudree macarons and champagne- who needs fried chicken?

One afternoon Son and Girlfriend and I went to the Pompidou to see a Matisse exhibit.  Because they were so well -behaved and didn’t break their audioguides, I told them we could get cocktails on the roof terrace of Le Georges, the museum restaurant.  After twenty minutes of no service, we left, but not before taking some sweet pictures.

And instead we got some fabulous gelato back on the ground, so BOOYA Monsieur Pompidude!

And instead we got some fabulous gelato back on the ground, so BOOYA Monsieur Pompidude!

I told my son to pick out something nice for graduation.

One night we took a boat cruise, which has always been a totally family-friendly activity in the past.  However, it seems that when the weather first gets warm in Paris, the banks of the Seine become a popular venue for various forms of sexual pleasure.  So the lesson is that the last cruise of the evening is definitely not going to be rated “G”.  Now we know.  And I pray that the parents of the girls who were with us on the Party Deck never find out about this blog.

My sweet friend Laura arrived on Friday morning, when the high for the day approached 70 degrees.  She was not allowed to plead “Jet Lag” , and we took her back to the top of the Pompidou for dinner her first night .  The service was only slightly better than it had been a few days earlier when we stomped out.  Here’s the thing about the wait staff at Le Georges: they are all drop-dead gorgeous and ever so glamorous, and they would rather be striking poses at Fashion Week than carrying trays of champagne and sea bass.  Here are a few shots of the funky interior of the restaurant.  You might notice some of the waitresses in the background.  They don’t look busy.

The last day the kids were here the weather returned to her old self, meaning that the temperature dropped 20 degrees and threatened rain.  Unfortunately, that was also the day we were scheduled for an all-day bike tour in Versailles with Fat Tire Bike Tours.  Nothing to do but layer the clothing and pray it didn’t rain on us, which we did and it didn’t.  If you ever are in Paris  (or London or Barcelona or Berlin), you should look into Fat Tire Bike Tours.  We rode a train 20 minutes to Versailles and then walked to a storage facility and received our bikes for the day, which we rode all over the grounds of Versailles before touring the inside of the chateau.  We had a great time, despite the weather, and were home in plenty of time for our 7:30 dinner reservation.  We were able to see much more of the grounds than we ever could have on foot, and had a great time doing it.

You might guess why I was not thrilled to visit the Hall of Mirrors that afternoon.

This photo explains why I was not thrilled about visiting the Hall of Mirrors that afternoon.

Pretty sweet digs, Louie!

As I said way back at the beginning of this long post, the kids are all on their way home, the air mattresses have been deflated and put away, and we are left with a very quiet apartment and lots of this.

Laura will be here for a week, however, so we will try to find some things to do that will interest you.

Gotta go.  We’re trying to make the last boat tour of the evening.

8 Comments

Filed under Centre de Pompidou, Eiffel Tower, family, Paris museum, Paris outings, Seine, Uncategorized

Saturday. In the park. I think it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

London friends wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower on Saturday morning.  We were happy to take them, but opted to hang out on the ground, in the Champ de Mars, while they did the whole waiting in line to go up and then waiting in line to come down thing.  It was a gorgeous morning, and Sawyer was psyched at the opportunity to go to the only “unofficial” dog park we have found in these parts.  Unfortunately, it was a heck of a lot colder than we thought when we left for that little outing, and the four of us pretty much froze our butts off out there.  I was glad that we were on the ground- our friends said the wind was pretty wicked up top.

It’s hard not to love Paris on a day like Saturday.  Even though she is whipping your ass with a cold wind that doesn’t stop, and the public toilet is too awful to even consider using, and you can no longer feel your feet because you stupidly didn’t wear socks.

Despite those minor inconveniences, Paris still rocks on a day like Saturday.

Rock on, friends, and wear socks.

8 Comments

Filed under Eiffel Tower, Paris outings, Sawyer, Uncategorized