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A Humid Afternoon in Paris

My friend David told me about a new macaron place up in the 18th by Arnaud Larher, so we scheduled a "research excursion" to yesterday afternoon to go check it out. The weather was, however, not ideal. It was 80°F, with what felt like 80% humidity. Sticky, yucky. And not even sunny. Not the best weather for schlepping around Paris, but when there are macarons involved I’ll go almost anywhere, under any climatic conditions. Even when I’ve had a bad day.

At Arnaud Larher, at 57 rue Damremont, 18th.

The boutique happens to be next to one of my favorite bakeries in Paris, Arnaud Delmontel, so we stopped in and split a sweet Brittany pastry called kouign amann first (David insisted I hadn’t lived until I tried one). Sugar fix satiated, we headed next door into the minimalist setting of Arnaud Larher. We chose a selection of macarons: coffee, pistachio, dark chocolate and caramel (because David prefers the classic flavors) and the Pear-Raspberry-Sechouan Pepper (because I like the weird flavors).


David takes a lot of photos for his blog. Unlike my small piece of merde, his camera actually takes great photos, too.  We always ask permission before taking photos inside someone’s shop. The ladies here were very nice and indulged us. It doesn’t hurt to buy something before unpacking your equipment.

David’s photo of moi in macaron heaven.
Normally I would recommend eating macarons with tea (although I prefer hot chocolate, that’s just sugar overkill). But we were hot and thirsty, so we headed down to the Café de la Poste at #76, where we could sit on the terrace and people watch with our macarons and two bottles of cold Perrier, "avec une rondelle" said David to the waiter. He looks confused. "Une rondelle de citron," David adds. "They don’t do slices of lemon on this side of the Butte," I joked (I actually used to live nearby, at metro Jules Joffrin, during the heat wave of 2003).
No ice, but a cool drink nonetheless.

The neighborhood has become quite the trendy place for Parisian bobos since then, so we got our Perrier’s with lemon and commenced the taste test. I’m a big fan of Ladurée, so I prefer my macarons a bit crunchier. The Pear-Raspberry-Pepper one was mushy, and didn’t taste peppery at all, and the caramel, usually my favorite, was a bit too sweet. But they were still better than any other food I could think of eating in that heat. So two thumbs up, if they weren’t two metros changes away from my current abode, I might even come back. 
Apparently there’s a crack problem in Paris, too.

I’m not sure what’s the best part about being friends with David, our shared love of sweets, our shared admiration for cute men, or our shared sense of humor. It makes for a fun afternoon of café terrace people-watching: "Check out her stilettos!" "Is that guy wearing a wedding ring?" (we’re so American), and "Get out your camera, I see crack." Thus the shot above. Hey, if we can’t make ourselves laugh…
On the other, more traditionally fashionable side of Montmartre, Rebecca Magniat was celebrating the launch of her latest book, Chic Shopping Paris at the jewelry boutique Geraldine Valluet (5, rue Houdon, 18th).


Rebecca, the proud author of an adorable little book (and proud mother-to-be, as well).

Rebecca runs a shopping tour company of the same name, so she knows her stuff! Find the book on Amazon, in English bookstores in Paris, and in stores like Anthropologie in the States.

I’m probably just taunting the weather gods to get up to more mischief, but I’m quite happy that it’s cool (66°F) and overcast today. I even saw a few fat raindrops on my windowsill. Because if it’s going to be overcast (and therefore impossible to get rid of the deathly pale pallor of my legs) it might as well be refreshingly so. Unfortunately, the weather is supposed to remain this way for the next week or so, at least (not that I trust the forecasters to get it right more than five minutes in advance), so I may never get to wear my adorable new summer shorts. Contrary to the traditional "no shorts in Paris" rule, shorts are actually very chic this season. But these legs haven’t seen sunlight above the knees in over two years, and I’m allergic to the orangey hue of self-tanners, so despite my whining, I really would love the sun to come back. You hear that, weather gods?!


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  • Loved this entry. FWIW, we are macaron soulmates as I too prefer the weird flavors (I hear they sometimes do a foie gras macaron at P. Hermé – sounds kinda disgusting but the freak in me is intrigued) and a crunchy exterior. How cool that you also mentioned the kouign aman! That’s gotta be one of my favorite things in the world. Right up there with canelés.