a weekend in paris: ladurée, la tour eiffel & café constant

After we finished our amazing lunch at Chartier, we slowly meandered our way back to the left bank.  On our way to the Louvre in the morning I had noticed Ladurée, a famous pastry shop and tea room that started back in 1862 so we headed in that direction.

Ladurée is famous for creating the "double decker macaron" - two macaron cookies stuck together with delicious ganache filling.  We had to try macaron from the shop they started in!  There was a bit of a lineup, but it moved fairly quickly.  Our macaron were pretty expensive (1.60 euro each, I think), so we each picked two then continued our walk.  We stopped for a little break in a park overlooking the Seine to enjoy our treats.  I had picked orange blossom and red fruit. They were good, but I have to say that I like the macaron from Duchess Bake Shop (in Edmonton) better.

After a little break at our hotel (oooh, my aching feet) we made our way to la Tour Eiffel.  It's hard to describe how excited I was to see it in person.  My heart was fluttering and I couldn't stop smiling - it really feels like you're in Paris when you're at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  It's so much bigger than I thought it would be.  We took loads of pictures and walked all the way around it.

Underneath the tower I stopped into a souvenir shop, just to see what was there.  As I was walking back towards Trevor he asked me if I needed a souvenir and pulled a tiny silver Eiffel Tower necklace from his bag.  He said he had bought it months ago in Edmonton and had been waiting to give it to me.  So sweet and romantic, and that necklace will always be special because it was given to me under the Eiffel Tower on my first visit to Paris.

the café with 9 euro pints, but how can you say 'no' to all that atmosphere?

the café with 9 euro pints, but how can you say 'no' to all that atmosphere?

Next we walked to a nearby restaurant that Trev had picked: Café Constant.  We hadn't made reservations, so we put our name on a list and went for a beer at a nearby café while we waited.  Our pints cost a staggering 9 euro each, but we looked at each other and shrugged, then laughed - we're in Paris, who cares?  We went back to the Café Constant and had to wait for another 30 minutes, and we finally got in around 9:15.  It was definitely worth the wait.

To start Trev and I shared an order of foie gras with toast.  It was very simple, but delicious.  The taste was very delicate and the texture was smooth.  We both ordered the duck and potato pie for a main course.  I think we were both expecting something along the lines of pot pie, but were surprised when a wonderful haute cuisine spin arrived in front of us.  There was a lovely pan seared duck leg served with a very creamy, buttery mashed potato pie that had a layer of mushroom & shredded duck in cream herb sauce.  It was served with crispy fried potatoes and deep fried apple slices wrapped in wonton wrappers.  It was all so amazing - everything on the plate tasted wonderful.  In fact, Trev said that it was probably one of his favourite meals of all time.

I could have gladly collapsed into a happy food coma after that meal, but we noticed some of the desserts coming out of the kitchen as we were eating, and we all wanted to try them too.  We probably walked at least 10km that day, so we earned them, right?  We ordered the homemade profiteroles and a serving vessel filled with hot chocolate sauce was poured over them table-side...oh, so chocolatey and the vanilla cream in the profiteroles was really good too.  We also ordered the ile flottante with creme anglais and salted caramel sauce.  We all declared it the favourite - the fresh meringue was soft and fluffy in the light but rich vanilla creme anglais with just the right amount of caramel & salt.  It was heavenly and the perfect end to an amazing meal.

We left the restaurant at around 10:45 and headed back to the Eiffel Tower so we could see it all lit up. I knew that sometimes it had sparkling lights on it, but I had no idea when/if that happened on a daily basis, so when we arrived at just before 11 we hoped for the best.  The sparkling lights came on at 11 on the dot and lasted for 5 minutes.  (Turns out they only come on at 11)  It was truly magical and made me want to say "oooh" and "ahhhh", like when you watch really good fireworks.  Watching the sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower truly was the cherry on top of the most delicious day in Paris.