Saturday, June 23, 2012
Shopping, Eating, Dancing Girls
What a busy day yesterday was!
We began with a visit to the Gallaries Lafayette, a very old and beautiful department store situated behind the Paris Opera house. The building that houses the women's stuff is the original and is centered around a large open space 5 stories tall topped with a beautiful stained glass dome. It is stuffed with amazing designer wear, I however bought a pair of sockettes which I forgot from home.
The adjoining building houses menswear and an amazing gourmet food court. It looked and smelled delicious.
We paused for a coffee (S's first real Parisian expresso), hot chocolate and croissant, then had a quick trip home to pick up some warmer tops, it was quite cool, then headed to the Musee d'Orsay. Unfortunately my until then flawless reading of the metro maps failed me and we wandered about for awhile and then took quite a long walk down the seine to get there. But it was so worth it, it is an amazing building, especially after the massive refurbishment it recently underwent and there is just nowhere in the world you could see that concentration of amazing impressionist art (plus a whole section on art nouveau furniture which I love).
We headed home, stopping to pick up a very yummy almond croissant (lunch - well we are in Paris after all) had a rest and then got ourselves dressed up as we headed to a big night out. We had booked on a tour for dinner, a river cruise and a Moulin Rouge show!
The dinner was to be at the Eiffel Tower, however it has problems with its lifts at the moment with only one working. This means the queue to get up can be over 2 hours long - clearly not ideal for a dinner reservation, so we had been moved. The next disappointment came with they announced it was to be a set menu and the main was going to be fish. Those of you who know S will know he does not eat fish. However it all worked out. The restaurant, Les Ombres (the shadows) is in the top of an art gallery - the Musee de Quai Branly - with an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. They organised a different meal for S and the food was delicious.
We started with an appitizer of some tiny cheesy puff pastry things, before moving on to entree of a most extremely delicious soup. The combination of a noisy restaurant and the waiter's accent meant I don't know exactly what the soup was but I think it was a veloute with spinach and ricotta pasta. It was sublime.
Main was fish for me, chicken for S. They were both very nice, not quite the standard of the the entree though.
But dessert - chocolate cubed - was great. A round of chocolate mousse sat on a very thin layer of chocolate cake, topped with a macaron shell and a chocolate wafer. The plate was finished with a swirl of chocolate sauce. The meal wrapped up with a coffee and petit fours of mini friands.
All in all a delicious meal with a spectacular view.
From there we were herded onto a river boat for an hour long cruise of the seinne with commentary. It was lovely but a tad chilly.
Finally we headed up to Monmatre and the Moulin Rouge. Unfortunately we were quite late arriving and our tables were right at the back with a slightly limited view, but the show started moments after we sat down. I have to say I expected a higher quality of dancing. The costumes are amazing and those girls really can do a high kick, but the dancing was somewhat limited and not necessarily sychronised. Possibly I'm over analysing this as a dancer.
The show is songs and dancing, plus other acts. The best were two male gymnasts. They stole the show from the girls. Yup, even the men agreed that their act beat half naked dancing ladies - although the act in a swimming pool filled with water and pythons did have a few people gasping. Still it was a fantastic thing to see, I highly recommend it, a true Parisian experience.
It was after 2am by the time we got home - hence the belated post. Still Paris continues to prove to be a very entertaining city.