I went to Paris and Versailles last weekend with Colm. We spotted this building in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, which I thought was eye-catching. On the side of a building on Rue des Saint-Pères, just north of Rue de Verneuil, it appears to be a screen, to protect the corridor in the building from birds flying through it. I like how something with a practical purpose, was designed and made to be aesthetically interesting and pleasing to the eye. It captures attention in a positive way. It is simple, yet makes a great impact compared to what a boring screen and plain wall might have done (or not done).
Paris is one of my favourite cities and I have been trying to visit for a weekend at least once a year. I have been many times before – sometimes to see the sights, sometimes for work or to visit friends, and always for the food and drink. On this visit, we went to Versailles for the first time. The palace and the gardens are immense, which does not sufficiently describe it. At a later date, time permitting, I’ll post some more thoughts and images of the Château de Versailles. However, a top tip for dining in Versailles, which we figured out a bit too late, is to head towards the market (Place du Marché Notre Dame). The perimeter of the market is lined with a wide variety of wonderful looking bistros, restaurants, cafés, and bars. We also figured out it probably made more sense to visit a patisserie or boulangerie and pick up a baguette or some delicious pastries to take back to the hotel (or in months with warm, sunny weather, to have outside in a park), rather than search high and low for some place to sit down for breakfast. It was far more cost-effective (no seating in the patisseries and boulangeries mean low overhead costs and more affordable products).
As for dining in Paris, I got an excellent recommendation from a friend to try Bistro Volnay on Rue du Volney, near Place Vendôme in the 2nd arrondissement. Definitely for game lovers and carnivores, with an excellent and affordable wine list. On Sunday we went to Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. We ended the weekend rather pleasantly in London, watching Amélie the film (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain) so that we could retrace our steps at Sacre Coeur as Amélie led Nino on a bit of a goose chase.