“I cannot tell you what an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!” ~ Charles Dickens
This quote from Charles Dickens really cannot be closer to the truth. Paris is truly magical. Every time I land in Paris, I feel a rush. I was absolutely enchanted when the taxi drove down the road with the sign Rue de Berthollet. I stared out the window looking at the entrance to my flat. It was a charming 18th century building on a bustling street in the 5th arrondissement. I looked around at Parisians out on their balconies watering pots of flowers, or French women walking down the street with their child on a scooter getting them off to school, or some on the way to work with a baguette sticking out of their backpack. I quickly became obsessed watching the hustle and bustle of the day. Is this real? I get to live here? I noted that there was a boulangerie on the corner of my street as well as a traiteur. A traiteur is a takeaway store that actually has a chef who prepares simple French dinners to go, as well as meats, cheeses, combination salads, wine and desserts. Yes, I had been dropped at the point on earth where food is the central focus. I was instantly happy. I paid the taxi driver and entered the door code to the large old wooden pine green door.
Upon my arrival the quintessential French woman whom I had rented the flat from, Genevieve, immediately greeted me. She was very welcoming and showed me around the charming place, which I would call home for the next three weeks. I thought I was enchanted from the outside but once inside, I was even more enthralled. The flat was complete with two sets of large French doors that opened up onto the balcony; it had a fireplace, a full kitchen, and several windows allowing the place to feel light, airy and bright. It was perfect and exemplary.
I became ever so present again as I always do when I arrive in France. I noticed Genevieve had a style about her that seemed simple yet sophisticated, but more importantly, not as if she was trying too hard. It was utterly elegant. She had a bohemian look about her wearing violet jeans and an ivory blouse. Her hair was a bit messy, but still fashionable looking, she wore very little make-up letting her natural beauty shine, and immediately pointed out the bubble gum I was chewing would ruin my palate. How embarrassing! I guess I needed to break my gum chewing habit while in Paris. It was apparently non chic.
I was a bit delirious from my travels, however when Genevieve offered me a cup of tea at her residence upstairs, I could not resist. There was something about being invited to “hang” with a Parisian woman that was fascinating to me. I had always been told that Parisian women are very cold, too cool for school, and it takes a very long time to “un-peel the onion” so to speak. To get to know them or dare I say build a friendship seemed almost impossible. She made a delicious cup of tea for me, all loose leaf as she said she despised “the bags” mumbling something about quality. We started talking about my future sommelier school and Genevieve’s face lit up. Turns out, her father was from Bordeaux and so wine had always been a strong presence in her life. We had a lovely conversation, which lasted about an hour and ended with Genevieve showing me maps and writing a list of the best boulangeries, restaurants and butchers on the block. After my lovely introduction, I came back down to my flat and settled in. I unpacked my suitcases, set up my room and took a nice long bubble bath. Once refreshed and ready, I embarked on a short little stroll down the street to the small market. I grabbed a basket and added whole milk yogurt, sparkling mint water, wine, cheese and jam. I then stopped at the boulangerie Genevieve had recommended and picked up a baguette and some croissants for the morning. I also purchased a beautiful slice of Quiche Lorraine, which I planned to devour for dinner. I was exhausted but in complete bliss being out and about in my neighborhood attempting the French language, and picking out my daily baguette. I sat on my balcony that evening and watched Parisian life pass me by. For the next week I would get to “just be” in Paris until my wine program started. I was ecstatic. My first day in Paris had been a success, and I went to sleep dreaming of what tomorrow would bring.
Made me desire a trip back to Paris. One day soon I hope
Krista Bender says
Fabulous Kylie! Fingers crossed!
I am beyond thrilled about this whole new website you’ve created! I can’t wait to dive in. Paris is so magical and hearing about it from this perspective is so much fun. I also really appreciate the champagne reviews and information!
Krista Bender says
Thank you Stephanie 🙂 Glad you are enjoying it!
Love it sis!!! Can’t wait to get back there one day