// SMUDGE - Paris Part 1: Champs-Élysées, La Tour Eiffel, and Montmartre //
I of course had a wonderful first week returning to my favorite place in the world. Between picnics under the Eiffel Tower, dining at swanky places where every single person had their sunglasses on ( in the shade ), to the beginning of my quest to eat everywhere Anthony Bourdain as been, these are the highlights of my first week back in Paris:
- Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, and Ladurée
Walking around the “Rodeo Drive” of Paris can always be a little overwhelming because of the intense mass of tourists but never the less it’s a must. While I would never actually buy anything at the Louis V or Gucci stores here (much rather find a vintage treasure of such at a random little boutique) these big designer stores are all worth going in and walking around, as most of them are the flagships stores for these iconic designers so they have gone all out. After walking up and down both sides of the giant shopping avenue, I went to people watch at the gorgeous Arc de Triomphe. It is a very comical experience watching people come within inches of losing their life for a photo opp. For lunch I headed to Ladurée, home of the world famous macaroon and legendary lavish “tea rooms” to dine and eat sweets. I had herbed goat cheese “cheesecake” over crisp salad. This was unique and very decadent. For dessert I had chocolate and vanilla macaroons and honestly I don't know why I ever get any flavor other than vanilla because they are always my favorite at Ladurée.
- Rosé under the Eiffel Tower than lunch at Monsieur Bleu.
One afternoon I decided to make a very girly afternoon of my alone time and packed a blanket, french Glamour, Rosé, goat cheese, a baguette and headed for La tour Eiffel. When I first got there I made the mistake of setting up camp right underneath her. Way too many tourist, hungover people sleeping, and beggars playing intense sympathy cards. So I walked a couple more minutes farther towards The Seine and found a nice shady spot that was beyond peaceful. Whilst reading and enjoying my wine I did have a photographer come up to me and ask if the model he was shooting could pose next to me because his shoes matched my hat....lol. I struck a pose like a good sport from my blanket and pretended to be Serena Van Der Woodsen in my mind. The pictures actually looked pretty cool from what I saw on the digital screen, gave them my business card, but have yet to receive said promised photos by email. After I killed my wine and finished my magazine I wandered along until I noticed a gorgeous terrace attached to the trendy museum Palais de Tokyo , it was a straight out of a movie looking restaurant called Monsieur Bleu. This place was full of fabulously dressed frenchies and literally every single person had huge dark sunglasses on. So I immediately threw mine on real quick and ordered some foie gras. It was salty and creamy in every way foie gras should be. For my main dish I ordered ham, asparagus, and parmesan risotto which was delightfully rich and perfectly seasoned. If you want to have a truly glamorous Parisian lunch with killer views of The Eiffel tower this place cant be beat.
- The best croque madame I have ever had in Paris at Coquelicot-Montmartre (a tip thanks Anthony Bourdain).
Coquelicot-Montmartre was my first stop on my Anthony Bourdain approved Parisian restaurant list . Coquelicot is famous for their bread / bakery so I of course went right to the sandwiches on the menu and spotted one of my favorite french classics a croque madame ( it is essentially a ham and cheese grilled sandwich , topped with a fried egg). Well people, this ended up being the best flipping croque madame I have ever had, actually one of the best hot sandwiches I've ever had in my life and honestly, I have been thinking about it way too much since. Coquelicot-Montmartre is an absolute must stop in Paris, I mean even the baguette that was served with our food on the table was the best I had since arriving, bread perfection. Afterwards burn off the calories and walk your a$$ up to Basilique du Sacré-Cœur for the best view in Paris.