Thursday, August 29, 2013

Honeymoon: Lunch at Le Chant Des Voyelles

Before we came to Paris, I had already made reservations at Benoit for lunch on the day we visited Louvre. 30 mins before our appointed seating at 2pm, we left Louvre & walked to the restaurant. The direction was simple: walk on the bank of the River before making a left turn into the street where the restaurant is located. Google map showed that it was just 20 mins walk, but somehow, we ended up walking for 30+ mins. 
The weather was perfect - air-con temperature and there was a gentle breeze. Even though we were walking at top speed, by the time we finally located the place, it was 2.15pm and they refused to grant us entry into the restaurant :( The waiter even pointed to his Rolex Submariner to show me the time. Thus, we had to settle our lunch at a nearby cafe instead. 
We chanced upon this cafe, which looked like a popular place with people outside. Almost fainting from hunger, we headed in straight without even looking at the menu. 
 This restaurant is situated in a busy area, near Pompidou Center. Even though we arrived after (supposedly) lunch hours, the restaurant was still filled with people. They were relaxed, enjoying their afternoon with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. They sure know how to enjoy life!
As usual, Leecher looking through the menu while I have already decided what I want to have. In the end, we both ended up having the set meal.
White & Red. Wine is so cheap in Paris that a glass costs €4 and this was cheaper than drinking water.
Bread to start with ~ soft and crispy that we polished off within seconds and had to request for 2nd serving.
Someone looking distracted, must have spotted pretty ladies walking outside.
Starving! Please let our food come quick!  
Lunch set meal at €13.50, which consisted of starter & main. Beverages are not inclusive. You get to choose from a limited list of selection. Being our first proper meal, we were eager to try anything on the menu.   
Started with The "Voyelles" Salad (lettuce, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, house smoked fillet of duck & poached eggs). Leecher had something exotic ~ rabbit terrine. Yes, you read it right - Leecher had rabbit meat. I took a small bite and it tasted almost like chicken meat. 
Next came our main courses; tagliatelle pasta with "Carbonara" sauce (fresh cream, thick-cut bacon and egg yolk) and grilled steak with roquefort sauce, served with fries.
Tuck in :) It was a hearty meal & we enjoyed ourselves, even though it was a pity we couldn't eat at Benoit. Well, when life gives you lemon, make lemonade!
Le Chant Des Voyelles
2 Rue des Lombards,
75004 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 4277 7707
As we walked along the street (not far from Le Chant Des Voyelles), we came across this bakery shop, Boulangerie. Initially I thought this was a chain of bakery, akin to BreadTalk, Delifrance etc. Little did I know that this was just a name for any bakery shop, since Boulangerie essentially means a shop that makes and sells bread. In this case, the shop above is Boulangerie Julien. 
I just had to walk in and grab something! 
I came out with a chocolate eclair (€2.70), which we polished off on the spot. 
Boulangerie Julien
24 Rue Saint-Martin
75004 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 4887 4617 
Opening Hours: 7.30am till 8.30pm (Mon till Sat). Closed on Sundays. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Honeymoon: Louvre, the perfect symmetry III

 One of my favorite time in the museum was trying to identify paintings that I could connect with. Being a history student, I was on the lookout for paintings relating to the French Revolution and of course, the legendary Napoleon Bonaparte.
"Coronation of Napoleon" was painted by Jacques Louis David, who was the official painter of Napoleon. The coronation took place in Notre-Dame cathedral, which we visited days later & I tried to compare the details that I saw on the painting versus what I can see in reality.
We headed back to Daru Staircase (yes, even the staircases have a name here!), only to be greeted with more visitors!
Leecher looked slightly worried that I'm not following him, haha! I've always joked about leaving him behind in a foreign land if he ever misbehaves or get on my nerves. 
We went down and headed straight for Galerie D'apollon.
Galerie D'apollon is famous for its high vaulted ceilings with painted decorations. The room was originally named Petite Galerie, but a fire destroyed part of it in the early 17th century. 
The gallery was bathed in gold hues from top to bottom. Huge panels of windows let the sunlight shone in. Momentarily, I thought I was in the land of gold, haha! 
Leecher reading through the history of this room, lol! Given his 256MB memory, I'll be surprised if he can remember anything he read. 
Spotted our horoscopes on the wall! I used to read up horoscope predictions & even did a love comparability b/w our signs. It was mentioned that in this r/s, though we cannot fulfil each other's every need, but at the same time, we appreciate what each one has to offer to the other. A Sagittarius woman is a very independent woman with a particular charm and an outspoken nature. She respects her individuality and hates to be dictated. This is sooo true for me, lol! A Pisces man is never judgmental in his attitude towards any dispute; rather he avoids getting involved in one. Pretty accurate for Leecher too!
Crown of Louis XV. The crown is the sole surviving crown from the French ancien regime and is made up of precious gem-stones. However, the gem-stones were all replaced by glass in this display. 
The Cour Carree of the "Old Louvre". The present-day Louvre Palace is a vast complex of wings and pavilions of 4 levels. Although it seemed to be unified, the Louvre complex is divided into the "Old Louvre" and the New Louvre.
The Old Louvre consisted of the medieval & Renaissance pavilions and wings surrounding the Cour Carree, as well as the Grande Galerie extending west along the bank of River Seine. The New Louvre consisted of 19th century pavilions and wings extending along the north & south sides of the Cour Napoleon along with their extensions to the west. Sounds confusing? Fret not, for it has been simplified to 3 wings: Richelieu, Denon & Sully, lol! That is just enough for tourist to remember. 
 Poor Leecher getting sleepy and tired from walking. He insisted on taking a break and proceeded to plant his ass on the nearest seat he can find.
Given the time constrain, we headed down to the section on Greek, Etruscan & Roman Antiquities for our last visit.
Venus de Milo, one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture, depicting Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love & beauty. This was added to the Louvre's collection during the reign of Louis XVIII. 
We didn't have time to look through each piece of sculpture. Instead, we focused on the "famous" ones, like "Psyche & Cupid", "Captive" etc.
Taken from inside the glass pyramid.
Finally, at the entrance of the glass pyramid.
Check out the queue behind the push-cart. This was the queue going into the museum from the pyramid entrance, even though it was almost 1.30pm when we left the place. Thankfully the museum is big enough to accommodate all the visitors.
We had to head off for lunch @ a nearby restuarant, before coming back again for more till its closing time. You can re-enter the museum multiple times in a single day, as long as it is within the museum's opening hours.
Off for lunch :) till the next post!
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