La Fontaine de Mars

La Fontaine de Mars is at 129 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris.

I couldn’t leave Paris without having an authentic French meal. My Tita gave a couple of recommendations around the Eiffel Tower area and we picked La Fontaine de Mars, a typical bistro in a 1930s setting. It was also a celebratory dinner of sorts, a lovely treat of my cousin Kris for acing her dental surgery class. Her teacher was so impressed with her skills, especially as a first time surgeon! We couldn’t be more proud.

Fontaine, as it turns out, is a tourist favorite but upon arriving at the cozy two-storey corner building, it was filled with locals already enjoying their meals. We were seated in the second floor with a noisy, animated bunch of about twelve people chatting non-stop, with matching pounding on the table while laughing out loud. Never knew the French could let loose like that!

On to the star of the night, the food.

It’s not a French meal without foie gras. This one was seared to perfection and served with caramelised pears. The combination was mind blowing!

Another must was the escargot. Tasty, nutty and baked to perfection!

My main dish was duck breast with a side of the smoothest, most buttery polenta. I swear I could taste some foie in the sauce. Didn’t complain!

Kris had the free range chicken with rice.

My sister had the beef tenderloin with fries.

Mom had the duck confit.

For dessert, we all shared this canonigo type of pastry. It was light, not too sweet and the perfect palette cleanser.

A few blocks from the restaurant, we walked to the park by the Eiffel and were rewarded with this magnificent view!

Truly one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Merci

I first saw Merci in the IG feed of one of my favorite fashion blogs, Sea of Shoes. Jane, the creator, had a really charming photo by their cafe window which prompted me to visit the concept shop. When I got to Paris, I googled the address and found out it was just a 10-minute walk from our apartment. Of course I had to go! The walk turned out to be 15 minutes or so—especially longer in leather boots—but once I entered their library/coffee shop and saw the exact same spot where Jane’s photo was taken, I’d forgotten about the trek.

Turns out there were two different doors to the building which can be easily missed since the main door is quite hidden from the street and I didn’t notice a sign where the library entrance was. Best way to locate it is by building number which is 111. You’ll need to go into a small courtyard (pictured above) to find this entrance where their famous red Fiat is parked; I discovered this later on when I was inside the store. The coffee shop/library is connected to the main floor which housed the beddings plus retail area in warehouse-style interiors that was actually a huge space, complete with a second floor and a basement. It was quite overwhelming to navigate at first and you can’t just stay for a few; everywhere I turned there were so many interesting and cute corners to discover with everything from apparel, bags, shoes, accessories, trinkets, home stuff etc. The second floor was filled with all kinds of furniture, displayed and curated so beautifully I wanted to stay and take it all in..heck even live there!

The basement was where the restaurant or la cantine was. I didn’t get to take a photo because it was quite hectic but I did see the scrumptious healthy salads and open sandwiches they served. There was also a small garden behind the eating area where some fresh herbs were grown. I thought, wow this store has everything! And don’t even get me started on the shoppers and attendants; I’ve never seen so many chic people from all races in one place, I kid you not. It was almost intimidating. Even if I had my camera with me, I don’t think I’d have the guts to ask for photos—wish I did. I’ll just have to settle for my iPhone pics for now and daydream about the day I get to visit again. If you ever find yourself in Paris, make this place part of your must-sees!

Merci is at 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris.

This vibrant wall greets you on your right when you enter the first floor. As per their site, a new theme is now in place just in time for summer, aptly called Bikini.

Local and imported brands mesh together in one gorgeous mess.

Only when I posted this did I notice the light fixtures. So understated and chic, so French!

This is the second floor where all the furniture is housed. Spot the stylish Asian couple, just one of the many that day.

Cozy, airy, not contrived. Everything I want in a space.

I was intrigued by these light fixtures. Or are they?

Mismatched yet goes so well together. Home peg!

Bird’s eye view of all three floors.

More trinkets at the basement; to the right is where the cantine is.

I know, bad blurry shot but too cute not to include. I think the theme that time was sleep/loungewear!

Roaming with Chuck: France

Lourdes

Here’s the second instalment of Roaming with Chuck, this time in France. Yes, I was the one with the super colorful outfits in the sea of neutrals but I did get a “bonjour!” from a lady looking straight at my bright green outfit as I walked by the Opera House. Perhaps they are closet brights lovers too, oui?

Paris