Sunday in the Marais District
There is nothing like the first morning you wake up in a new city! Without any scheduled activities, we slept in and planned a leisurely day of and exploring the arrondissements beyond our hotel.
Fuel for our exploration came from Angelina’s. A Parisian institution on the Rue de Rivoli, Angelina’s is considered a must-stop, although it took me three trips to Paris to finally go there! We visited on a Sunday morning around 11 am and only had to wait a few minutes to get seated. It was very fun and would have been worth a longer wait–and the line often stretches out of the doors down the street. I chose the Healthy breakfast option, it included a whole grain roll(called cereals on the menu), a yogurt with granola, a small bowl of fruit, coffee, and a juice. My daughters enjoyed the tray of pastries with juice and coffee (petit-déjeuner parisiene) and the petit-déjeuner Angelina with the pastries, a roll, fruit, hot chocolate or coffee and included two eggs. The famous hot chocolate tastes like melted chocolate, and it was a little too rich for me, but my daughters loved it.
With our trusty Google maps to guide us, we set off to see Le Marais. One of the best parts about visiting Paris is the ease with which you can walk nearly everywhere your legs could take you. There are clearly marked crosswalks with pedestrian signals at most intersections and safety in numbers because everybody is walking somewhere.
Known as the bobo district (bourgeois bohemian) Le Marais is not exactly a bargain hunter’s paradise, but the prices are much more accessible than the shops on the Champs-Élysées. On Sundays, some of the streets are closed to vehicular traffic and the shops are open late. You can find French staples like Petite Bataeu and international chains like Uniqlo. The storefronts are charmingly old Paris and there are many cafes and bistros to grab some more sustenance to power through shopping, or at least a glass of wine for those, like me, who are less inclined to shop-till-you-drop.
We loved American Vintage and the Danish designer store dMn. In most French stores, the clothing is curated into collections, and if you are on the cusp of seasons, the previous selection will be on sale. The salespeople at Gerard Darel helped my daughter find a pair of jeans–even pulling her size off the mannequin. And the French salespeople are much more outspoken than in the U.S. about what they think you should try on and about fit. The saleswoman at Gerard Darel was very kind, but firm with my daughter that she did not need the smaller size and called me in for reinforcements. At the lingerie store Princess Tam Tam, my daughter did not like the silhouette of a bra she tried on and was taken aback when the saleswoman assured her she could find a bra more suited to her “physique.”
We crossed the Seine to grab dinner and get ready for our visit to the Louvre on Monday! New post tomorrow!