Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paris: Monday 22nd Feb Printemps & L'Orangarie

We wandered down some covered shopping arcades that were part of Baron Hausmanns redesign of Paris streets. These now have little shops of many varieties.

Covered Shopping Arcades

We went to Printemps department store today and saw the fantastic restaurant with a cupola of stained glass. We weren’t the only ones taking photographs of this lovely area. We wandered around a few streets and shops before stopping for a sandwich for lunch.

Printemps Restaurant (click on pic and it will open larger in a new window)

After lunch we headed down to the Jardin des Tuilleries and Musée de l'Orangerie which has Impressionist paintings by Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Monet, Renoir etc. Here there is a floor with 2 oval galleries devoted to eight giant panels of water lilies called Nymphéas which Monet donated to the state in 1922 as long as a suitable venue was found for their display.
Giant panels of Monet's Lillies at the L'Orangarie
We wandered through the courtyards of the Louvre – they really are amazing buildings

In front of the Pyramid at the Louvre
On the way to the Louvre
Dinner this evening was at Chartier, which had been recommended in a number of publications as an experience, rather than a gormet meal. The lamb chop was very rare, the snails great and the house red ok. This place can seat 300 and is essentially a hot seat restaurant; there was a queue of 50 people when we left. We were seated alongside an older French couple with limited English, but we managed a pidgin French/English conversation. The whole room was talking and it gave the place great atmosphere. http://www.restaurant-chartier.com/www/visit/

It was a 20 glasses of wine night – but only because the wine glasses were only slightly bigger than golf balls! Apparently it was like having a 2oz beer.

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