Architectural tour

A stunning Hector Guimard design

After a lovely sleep in, we dragged ourselves down to the hotel breakfast room and availed ourselves of the rather over priced meal and coffee ready and waiting.

Interestingly, last night, I mentioned to Mirinda that it was quite good that we appeared to be in a hotel that is off the tourist map, simply because I’d only heard French voices in the lobby and on the stairs. This all changed with breakfast.

There was about 138 couples in the room, all furiously grabbing at buffet food and coffee, and only one couple spoke French. Apart from one German couple and a pair of Brits, the rest seemed to be entirely made up of Americans. In fact, there was more Americans than I remembered seeing last time we were in New York.

Anyway, it was crowded. Sort of like a department store on a Saturday morning.

Today was rather dependent on the weather. Mirinda’s stupid iPhone said it was going to rain all day. This was a complete lie. It turned out very nice and quite warm.

So, given that we weren’t instantly wet, having walked out the front door, we walked down to the Metro to go to Western Paris and the Auteuil district.

It used to be a village just outside of Paris but has been completely subsumed into the capital. Even so, there’s a bit of the village still to be had in between some of the high buildings.

What had really bought us so far out was the plethora of early 20th century architectural examples. It seems that a lot of the more well known designers wove their magic in and around the streets of this, now, middle class to affluent area.

The Algerian embassy at Hameau Boileau – whatever that is

We spent a wonderful few hours, just happily wandering from street to street and noting architects we are never likely to remember, admiring buildings and the incredible queues outside patisseries.

This is the thing about France. Every Sunday morning, the artisan bakers have a queue outside their door and up the street. After all, the French love their fresh baguettes so they’re willing to queue for them. I’m used to seeing it in the country but this is the first time I’ve seen it in (almost) a city.

So proud, they etch their names in the wall

At the end of one of the quieter streets, we found a bustle of activity around a rather sizeable Tabac. We decided to sit among the horse race betting fraternity and have a cafe creme.

It’s so much nicer having a coffee at a nice local tabac than it is in the heart of tourist ridden Paris! Cheaper too.

Flowers are quite rare in Paris or so we’ve found

Having refreshed ourselves, we set off once more, exploring normal, every day suburban streets. It’s the best way to truly get the feel of a city which is somewhat handy if you are thinking of moving to one. Clearly this is an area in which we would live if we ever happened to move to Paris. There’s even a cafe I could run…

It was shut and surrounded by scaffolding still…

We were very careful to avoid the Versailles feet agony of Friday so we paced ourselves between walking and sitting, winding up at a lovely little restaurant for lunch. It’s quite close to the Eglise d’Auteuil metro station (where we’d started). Lovely food, lovely staff. Highly recommended, though it gets quite busy of a Sunday afternoon.

Au Clocher du Village: We ate outside.

The rest of the afternoon was spent pretty much the same as the beginning, wandering up and down streets, admiring different styles of building. Eventually we hopped onto the Metro and returned to Odean and our hotel.

The beautifully simple Cubist style of Richard Mallet-Stevens

The rest of the afternoon was spent in restful contemplation, blogging, blipping and reading.

I’ve mentioned before how there appears to be an awful lot of Japanese restaurants in Paris. Tonight we gave in and went to one.

The menu consists of all the individual items and then collections of the items arranged into set menus. This is pretty handy for non-Japanese folk like us. We selected the one with the most things we liked.

Mirinda, apparently, likes eel (at least the way the Japanese prepare it) so added to her set menu, she included some. She thinks it may have had some honey on it and it was lightly grilled. I don’t like eel. So I didn’t indulge.

We also had one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen on a Japanese menu, beef and cheese on a skewer. I think this may be a westernised Japanese dish because I’ve never heard of it in Japanese food. Actually, I’ve never heard of Japanese cheese at all.

While happy enough to eat eel, Mirinda passed her beef and cheese skewer to me (wimp).

Actually, the meal was delicious (lots of sushi and maki, pickled ginger and wasabi) just enough to finish off the day. I particularly recommend green tea ice cream and Japanese style Tiramasu dessert. Odd, but nice.

We then had a brief wander around the Odean Theatre before returning to the hotel. A close to perfect day.

Mirinda studies the architects in the Rough Guide

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3 Responses to Architectural tour

  1. flip100 mum says:

    Message from Dad ug he did not like the sound of your meal hahaha.
    I found it all very interesting HAS TO BE MY FRENCH BLOOD. hahahaha
    love mum

  2. Mirinda says:

    How can the eel eater possibly be the wimp in this story?

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