Happy Friday from Paris! It felt like I pushed the reset button after a very fun, but broken up week last week with the Fête Nationale on Wednesday. After almost six months of waiting (just five days short) I finally picked up my Titre de Séjour, my French residence card, this week. Unfortunately, almost all of the horror stories you hear about the French administration are true. It’s just part of the experience! This week’s Five Friday Finds from France features the croissant from Le Boulanger de la Tour (it’s worth going out of your way to get), a note about traveling to Paris during les vacances, a book on French Château Living and more.
French Château Living Book
One of my favorite bookstores to walk by in Paris is Librairie Kogan. There’s usually a table outside with a selection of beautiful coffee table books at a great price and there are always plenty of titles that catch my eye in the window. This week it was L’Esprit du Château that made me stop and stare. The book is available in English as French Château Living and has the most stunning photographs of Château du Lude in the Loire Valley.
Château du Lude still has its original decorative interiors and is one of the most historic châteaux still in tact having survived the French Revolution. Château du Lude has been family owned for over 250 years and in the book you can discover both the stunning interiors and gardens. It has me dreaming of another trip to the Loire Valley, which is a fabulous region not far from Paris to discover.
Le Boulanger de La Tour Croissant
Something I often tell people who are visiting Paris and France is that you don’t need to go out of your way to find the “best” croissant or pain au chocolat. I usually just pick one up at the boulangerie in my neighborhood or have one with a coffee at a café. However, I will now be traveling for the croissant from Le Boulanger de la Tour. I mentioned this spot in last week’s Five Friday Finds from France and tested it this week. Oh my gosh. It inspired me to start a “Things I Love About Paris” list in my phone.
I happened to go right when a batch was coming out of the oven so I got a warm croissant for myself and a warm pain au chocolat for Romain. When we ate them almost 30 minutes later they were still warm. You really feel the butter, in the best possible way.
A Note about Traveling to Paris During Les Vacances
Starting in mid-July and through the entire month of August, French people take their vacations. This makes August in Paris a nice time to visit because there aren’t as many crowds. However, it also means that quite a few places are closed for the entire month. It’s always a bit challenging to know what is closed and for how long because oftentimes signs are just posted to the door. I’ve had countless experiences where I’ve gone somewhere assuming it was open only to find out it was closed.
This week I noticed about 75% of the vendors at Marché Raspail are on holiday. My butcher closes at the end of this week and neighborhood restaurants will start closing next week. There are still plenty of places that stay open, but it’s something to consider when traveling in August!
A Festive Summer Terrasse
One place that I’m hoping stays open through August is Coya in Beaupassage. The garden just screams summer fun and feels more like Monte Carlo than Paris. If you haven’t walked through Beaupassage yet be sure to check it out. There are a handful of excellent restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and more.
The Best Lunch Deal in Paris?
Also in Beaupassage is my beloved Thierry Marx Boulangerie where I often go for a quick lunch. They have a new incentive right now: if get your lunch from Thierry Marx and keep your receipt, you can come back after 5pm for a free baguette. If there’s a better lunch deal in the city I’m not aware of it!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Five Friday Finds from France. I’ll be back tomorrow with Weekend Links!
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