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4 Cs-Champagne, Cartier, Chanel & Christmas in Paris 2013 were fantastic!

4 Cs-Champagne, Cartier, Chanel & Christmas in Paris 2013 were fantastic!

Old Jan 5th, 2014, 02:15 PM
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This is great!! Thanks for the report.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 07:24 PM
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Denisea, wonderful Christmas Day! Love your reporting...
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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still enjoying and smiling at your reporting.
The morning market at Place Maubert so spot on...and what a nice Christmas present at Café Marley.

Looking forward to your day at the Cartier exhibit. We went, but my companions did not want to go in and instead we walked the Christmas market-not a good trade-off.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Where is the picture of the waiter? Café Marly is one of my favorites.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 03:20 AM
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Sorry KatyJParis but I have asked that your comment be removed. Advertising and soliciting is not allowed on Fodors and I don't appreciate you using my thread to divert Fodorites to your survey. Not cool.

I do not have a picture of the waiter at Cafe Marly. It didn't occur to me to take one but I should have.
FabFrance---you are right, not a good trade!
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 03:49 AM
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http://s1265.photobucket.com/user/de...20Paris%202013

link to Christmas Day photos and the Cartier.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 05:03 AM
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denise----of course you know I must comment on Marco Polo. Not only did you describe it well but the photo of MDH's favorite meal there, bolognese pasta, will cheer him up on this cold day in WI (15 below zero.) He will never make fun of me for taking food photos again!

We only get there once a year but Albano always acts as if he knows us and that we were there yesterday---a very chaming man indeed. One time we were seated next to a TV news person who is very famous in Paris.. So many people stopped at the table to say hello. We felt like celebs ourselves even we had no idea who he was.

The photos of the windows were such fun, especially the Prada windows. Loved the gal in the pink dress with the Xmas tree. And all that champagne and macarons----no wonder you love Paris.

Thank you so much for taking us along on your fabulous Xmas adventure.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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You two look so happy and relaxed and "at home" in your pictures. I always feel like I'm home in Paris, so I get it.

I started drooling over the Carbonara and then I got to the close-up! Wow. Must have that some day. Glad to hear you enjoyed LJR again - I, too, had heard some not so great reviews recently (never been myself, but it made it to the list after that Bourdain episode).

Sounded like a wonderful Christmas - low-key holidays can be just wonderful.

Great report!
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 05:07 PM
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TPAYT - I knew you would be waiting on Marco Polo. We always enjoy it and Albano knows how to treat people well. Those windows were very cool.

YankyGal - I am certain I was born in the wrong country. We do feel comfortable there and maybe the Champs is the reason??? I am proud that we were LJR fans before the Bourdain episode and we were relieved that it did not disappoint. I can't tell you how truly wonderful the carbonara was...do what you have to do but get it.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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Day 7 – Cartier at the Grand Palais, Isle St Louis and Reed (but in part two)

You know the drill, pain au chocolat, jus de pommes and a 'Bucks and then the Metro.

We arrived at the Grand Palais hoping not to see huge lines waiting to get in. Based on our recon mission the previous day we knew just what exit to take out of the Metro. We walked up to the entrance and there was a very short line. A museum official asked if we had tickets and directed us to the left. We made friends with the couple just ahead of us. None of us were quite sure where to go as it appeared we had been directed into the other exhibit. We were directed to go inside to buy tickets and I was afraid that might be where the big line was. Nope. No line. We bought an audio guide, were told how to use it and headed on in.

I have to give credit to waterdog (well, actually Mrs. Waterdog) as she mentioned this exhibit on her blog and we were so glad to know about it. As we were waiting on the train to come over, I spotted a huge poster advertising the exhibit and wondered how I hadn’t noticed it.

Well, right off the bat, this exhibit is dazzling. The craftsmanship and brilliance of the stones in these pieces is exquisite. There are compacts, lighters, pens, clocks and more. The more is tiaras, chokers, brooches, earrings, necklaces, watches and bracelets.

As you walk in there is a huge case full of tiaras. Now, we are trying to use the audio guides but nothing matches up with what we are seeing. We aren’t totally stupid and followed the directions given but both of us are having trouble and nothing we see matches the description. Oh well. The commentary was still interesting.

As you move through the exhibit, it’s like a who’s who of royalty and wealth (Queen Elizabeth, Daisy Fellowes, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Wallis Simpson, Barbara Hutton, Marlene Dietrich, Princess Grace). The sheer size of some of the emeralds, diamonds and rubies is staggering. At one point there is a huge, old ledger book that listed all the Cartier clients. There are drawings of some of the pieces used in the design.

The maharajah necklace is stunning and included over 2900 diamonds with a center stone that was the 7th largest diamond in the world. The pieces guide you through the world influences that began to influence fashion. You are shown how India and the Far east influenced jewelry design as hotels and travel opened up to those parts of the world.

At the end of the exhibit, you see pieces worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and even the tiara worn by the Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Wedding. I love my engagement ring but Princess Grace’s emerald cut ring is impressive. There is a pair of jeweled crocodiles commissioned by a Mexican actress Maria Felix that are amazing. They could be worn together as a necklace or separately as brooches. One is covered in emeralds, the other is covered in yellow diamonds.

It was at this point that I realized that a key piece of the audio guide instructions had been left out and that is you enter the number of the exhibits that are starred to hear about them (not enter the number of the piece). So as we were finishing up, I finally learned to operate the audio guide. I need some Champagne!

You also are treated to the Cartier panthers, which I am obsessed with. One piece was a brooch with the panther perched on a huge cabochon sapphire. Gorgeous.

Chaz loves watches and so was very interested in that part of the exhibit. There was a lot to see at this magnificent exhibit. I can’t explain how impressive this collection is. There are over 600 pieces and I can’t imagine what the value of all the pieces must be (the behind the scenes security has to be massive). We paid 11 euro a piece to see these priceless pieces.

http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/eveneme...e-et-lhistoire

Since we were right by the Champs Elysee and we didn’t eat much last trip from the Christmas market stalls (we both had been very sick). Chaz was hoping to re-visit the potatoes and saucisson he didn’t get to fully enjoy. So off we went and found that vendor immediately. The saucisson is grilled and has cheese inside. The potatoes are coated in cheese sauce with chunks of sausage in it. It was good but I didn’t eat too much of it.

Side Note: I had a goal this trip to NOT get sick. We both got really sick last time we were in Paris two years ago in November. Chaz got really sick our last night in Paris 3 years ago in December. I really wanted us to get in and out of Paris without getting sick. So, I minimized my intake of the “fair food”, even if it was Paris. I was super vigilant on this trip with Wet Ones, Purell and hand washing. I also made an effort to not be in the Metro without gloves on and no hands to the face. I don’t usually take cleanliness to the OCD level. I am always a thorough hand washer (as my background is in the clinical medical laboratory). But, I did take it to a whole new level on this trip in an effort to keep us both well. And, it worked. I am sure that it’s mostly luck but I want to believe it was all those Wet Ones.

After the Christmas market lunch, we decided to walk. It was sunny out and not too cold. We followed the Seine all the way to Notre Dame and over to Isle St Louis. I needed to pick up a few gifts for friends. I love Isle St Louis and had meant to spend more time there this trip. Where does the time go?

Anyway, something to drink sounded good before the shopping started. We stopped at Brasserie Isle St Louis and sat outside. Now, listen…I appreciate that performers have the nerve to put themselves out there. There was a young lady who had set up with an accordion and was singing. Sadly, singing is not her greatest talent. I was so glad that someone threw some money in the jar for her and I mentioned that I hoped she sings for the pure joy of it. It was not good. But, ya gotta love her for putting herself out there and I am sure she is great at many other things. I got kinda worried for her because there was a loud mouthed, angry, crazy gut going from corner to corner, ranting and raving about something and he made his way over to her.

An espresso and a diet coke led to Bertillon ice cream. It was windy and cold and a bit crazy to order ice cream. We got Caramel and Creole. The Caramel was good but not the same salted butter caramel we had fallen in love with 3 years ago. The Creole was interesting and a bit like rum soaked egg nog. Good, but not my favorite. We enjoyed our time but we had shopping to do. We made plans to shop and then go back to a little place across from Brasserie Isle St Louis called St Regis for some après shopping wine.

Our first stop was Olivier and Co. They have all kinds of olive oil products and related products. I picked up a few kitchen towels and lavender sachets. The lady working there was very friendly to us.

Next up, Diwali. I love this little shop and I could spend a ton there. This time, the shopping was not for me (although I would love to “steal” the gifts). There were two ladies working there who encouraged us to unfold the scarves to get a good look at them. We found two that would make great gifts and they packaged them up nicely for us. Very pretty stuff here. The colors are so incredible and they have all things scarf and fun jewelry related.

Well, right across the street is a favorite chocolate store. De Neuville (used to be Cacao et Chocolat). I was heartbroken that they were out of the little chocolate discs with a few nuts and dried fruit/ginger on top. But, they did have my chocolate covered almonds. I doubt I will starve and I am sure it’s for the best.

So, a glass of wine was waiting for me down at Cafe St Regis. The place was still packed in the late afternoon. We found one chair and another place to stand at the bar. Cotes de Provence for me and a red wine the bartender chose for Chaz. We had a good time chatting and just being in Paris. A man in one of the bar chairs started chatting us up. He was quite a character and turns out he was Portuguese, living in Paris, with a Harley and the dream of moving to Australia. He has been there a lot and loves it. Apparently, he does alright as he used to live in St Germain and now lives on isle St Louis. Time to switch to champagne and another glass of red for Chaz. We talked to this man and his friend for a while and had a great time.

www.cafesaintregisparis.com/en/

6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris 4e arrondissement, France (at the corner of rue St Louis en I’lle).

We went back to our apartment (so close to ISL) and Chaz took a little nap. Since I didn’t eat much of the saucisson and potatoes at lunch, I decided to bust into the olives and Roquefort. That cheese was the best cheese I have ever had. Sheer blue cheese perfection. A great snack to tide me over until our dinner at Reed. (Chaz probably shouldn’t be sleeping through this)!

More later….more making out in public (not us), the bitchy guys next to us at dinner and dinner at Reed.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 08:39 PM
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What a grand holiday in Paris. Loving it all. Did I miss a picture of you wearing the scarf and necklace?
I too, enjoyed my day in Chanel, though I only bought a lipstick, they treated me to mineral water and gift wrapped
my small purchase. At Hermes, I bought a scarf but the service was not special like at Chanel.
I await more of this fun adventure.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 08:40 PM
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So glad you stayed well this trip, I remember reading about your trip and illness two years ago. The Cartier exhibit must have been stunning. I LOVE to look at jewelry but other than wedding and anniversary rings don't own fine jewelry--any extra $$ goes toward travel.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 12:27 AM
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Great report! I've added Marco Polo to my list of restaurants to try for my trip in July. Would have loved to see that Cartier exhibit.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 04:03 AM
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Denise, we are glad you enjoyed the Cartier exhibit. Mrs. WD found out about it from an article the NY Times, so I bought tickets on-line before we left the States.. We both enjoyed it immensely. We did go early as it seems you did and we had plenty of room close to the glass cases. By the time we left the crowds were so great you could hardly see the exhibits.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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That Cartier exhibit sounds amazing - too bad it ends before my trip. Enjoying following along with your trip...
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 08:44 AM
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What an enjoyable report. Thanks.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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OK...I have not gotten around to a photo with the loot. I am traveling this week and have not gotten to that.

Remember the Chanel is not Chanel fine jewelry, so other than my engagement ring (which I still love) no jewels here! The Cartier was truly stunning and I can't imagine what it must be like to own something like that! So glad we were lucky enough to see it while there.

Ruedebuci....I hope you enjoy Marco Polo. It is not one of the famed French restaurants but we enjoy Albano, the atmosphere and the food. I think it is the only restaurant that we have visited on every trip to Paris and when we need a break from all the French fare, it works for us.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Will try to get the rest of Day 7 up tonight.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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>>An espresso and a diet coke led to Bertillon ice cream<<

I think you and my wife are related. I wonder which is worse; bad French in a southern american drawl or bad French in a Minnesotan northern accent? We speak the same amount of French but I found that the French are very forgiving as long as I was polite and apologetic. Also iTranslate helps
Luv your pictures.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Denise, Really enjoying your trip report as it is bringing me right back to Paris especially pics of the many glasses of Champs.....our fav thing to do when in Paris!
Wondering how you liked the apartment and location as we had that apartment in mind for our trip in September...stayed in Kir last time but tired of the Seventh Arr. For a while.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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Chaz would've loved the Jaeger LeCoultre auction exhibit we went to two years ago. Our only regret is not coming home with something but we were both too worried about getting caught up in auction fever.

Glad you both stayed healthy this trip.
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