Lillies, Hot Chocolate, & Picnic on the Seine

Lillies, Hot Chocolate, & Picnic on the Seine

The usual start to the day, then off to the Musée de l’Orangerie. The Musee is located just inside the Jardin des Tuileries next to the Place de la Concorde. It is most noted for Monet’s Water Lillies’, which he gifted to France as a symbol of peace the day after the armistice was signed in 1918. The panels stretch nearly 100 meters and are displayed in two large oval rooms as the centerpiece of the Musee. The subject for the paintings was a pond and its water lillies’ located in Monet’s personal garden. The panels represent the pond and lillies’ mood for every time of day and season. Absolutely worth the visit.

From I’Orangerie we were off to Angeline Paris (226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001) for lunch and their famous hot chocolate l’Africain. The cafe was founded in 1903 by an Austrian confectioner and named in honor of his daughter-in-law. Its most famous regulars include Coco Chanel. While the chocolate is the main attractions of the cafe, the food and pastries are equally impressive. One hot chocolate is sufficient for two to share, you’ll know why after you see the video, super thick and rich.

After Angeline, a walk was in order. Off to see Saint Madeline‘s church and then a little shopping in the hoity-toity district that surrounds it. The exterior of St Madeline’s looks more like the White House than a church. The interior makes up for it with its stunning alter of marble statues under a domed ceiling. A good spot to sit, rest, contemplate, and light a few candles.

The shopping around Saint Madeline’s square is much like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, except there are more food related stores. The big attraction was Fauchon La Madeline, charcuterie, pastries,….., and the most expensive cognac I’ve ever seen. A bottle of Louis XIII was over 4,000 euros, there were others that were equally expensive but in smaller bottles. No samples, well then, no purchase by me either, I’m sure they were sad to see me go.

Our dinner plan for the night was a picnic on the banks of the Seine. Adjacent to the Musee d’Orsay is a very wide set of wooden steps that lead to the rivers edge. There we setup our picnic of pate, a tapenade we bought at Fauchon, baguette, and vin blanc. Our little speaker with French music set the mood perfectly. Tour boats were passing by with passengers waiving at our personal riverside cafe. We sipped wine and watched the setting sun cast an alpenglow on the buildings of the Louvre. One of our favorite dinner outings.

A short ride on the metro took us to the Ile de la Cite’ where we boarded an open air boat for an evening cruise on the Seine. Just one hour, the perfect amount of time. The lights of the city, bridges, and the Eiffel Tower, were reflected on the water. Our guide pointed out, and gave the history, of all the points of interest in both French and English with just the right amount of humor. We loved it.

Monet’s Water Lillies.

Lunch at Angeline’s.