Paris: Vive la Différence

the seine paris

Early last week I was in Paris. Briefly. Very briefly as I was there just for a day.

I took one of Les Cars de Air France (an air coach for everyone, not just Air France passengers) from the airport to the city centre. The ride in is more relaxing than taking the train but distinctly non scenic although at certain points along the route Sacré-Coeur is visible as it plays hide and seek with the surrounding high rises. And as central Paris draws closer the Eiffel Tower glides into view.

laduree paris

The terminus of the CDG Les Cars’ route is at Étoile so I headed for a late breakfast at a nearby branch of Laduree on the Champs-Élysées. Laduree, with its famous many hued macaroons, is a French culinary cliché but still and all I like it. On this visit the service was friendly but slow-ish and sadly the coffee was cold-ish however the mini croissant were delicious.

fruit display paris

It’s been almost a year since I was last in Paris but even when the gap between visits is shorter I tend to forget how stupendously different Paris is from my native Dublin. However, this trip, it wasn’t the world-class museums, the super-chic shops, nor the monumental amount of beautiful buildings that made me reflect on the difference but rather smaller things such as:


How artistic the pavement fruit and vegetable displays outside greengrocers are, I wonder can they move them indoors in the evening or are they redone afresh each day.

How you need to have your bonjouring hat on if you go shopping. On entering a small to medium-sized shop you will be greeted with either Bonjour Madam or Bonjour Monsieur depending on your sex: it is considered rude not to echo that greeting.

paris flowers

How very many flower shops central Paris has. Also, of course, chocolate shops, bakeries, lingerie shops and pharmacies.

paris v1

How even the an ordinary stretch of skyline looks good, it’s as if the city planners across the centuries had a divine plan for the Parisian rooftop jigsaw.

window display hermes

How the window displays are in a league of their own.

I might have noticed more differences if I hadn’t spend an inordinate amount of the day eating: the aforementioned breakfast, lunch (more of that anon) and mid afternoon cake temptation at the Rose Bakery outpost in Le Bon Marché.

Ah well, c’est la vie.


Filed under Paris, Travel

32 responses to “Paris: Vive la Différence

  1. I so wish I could go to Paris for the day, what a nice trip you had. Everything looks so beautiful. The fruit, the architecture, the sky Paris is just magical.

  2. Oh I do miss paris, I would like to go back now that i am older and braver.. parisian waiters always terrified me!.. c

  3. Surey Cousin

    Hi B. You have given E and I a real taster for the short trip to Paris we are making at the end of the month. A wonderful city to walk around and just potter – though we are heading to the newly re-opened Picasso Museam. Gx

  4. I have said it before, but it still amazes me that one can go to Paris for the day.

  5. Paris for a day – the ultimate tease! Am feeling somewhat peckish now 🙂

  6. Glorious!!!


    _sophia x

  7. What a nice short trip, dear B: Paris certainly knows how to be tres charmant 🙂

  8. How wonderful that you can jet over to Paris for a quick day trip! Sounds like your day sightseeing and eating was quite fun 🙂

  9. I’ve never had breakfast chez Laduree but it’s on my list! I can tell you have a great eye for details. Oh well! Kind of an important thing for a photographer! It makes a huge difference. Lovely pics, B.!

  10. Thank you so much Francesca. Despite the cold-ish coffee I really enjoyed my leisurely breakfast at Laduree. 😉 Bx


    That’s so delicious. The pictures are most delightful!

    And hmmmm, Ladurée… Oh the memories… I have never had breakfast there, but teatime; and lunch break; and of course took home as many macarons as I could fit into my business bag! Reminds me also that I’m trying to veganise their cookbook since 2013, a task which is hard to pull off with everything on the recipe list being strictly animal-based 😀

  12. That’s ridiculously nice! Beautiful photos I can almost smell!! You know, I don’t feel like living Europa by being in Ireland….

    • Thank you so much Tomomi and I am sorry for the delayed reply. Yes we are a bit away from mainland Europe, it would be lovely if we could just hop on a train to get to cities such as Paris, Rome, Milan …

  13. Tres joli billet!… Best wishes and thanks for sharing! Aquileana 😀

  14. Oh yes, ‘vive’ 🙂 Next instalment, please!

  15. Even one day in Paris is a good thing…I think you make good use of your time.

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