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A full Thursday with Gerald Mulot and Simply Red!

We had a 10am visit of the Gerard Mulot location on rue de la Glaciere in the 13th, which we had booked through the Meeting the French website. Let me tell you, this is a steal at 10 euros per person. We took the metro to the Glaciere exit and the outlet is about a five minute walk from the metro station. We met our charming guide and the other people who would join the tour with us outside the store and we went in right at 10am. We were given a great tour which lasted about 1 hour. Mulot has 3 stores in Paris, but everything for all three places is made at this outlet in the 13th. First, we were taken to the back room where they make the famous macarons de Gerard Mulot. We met Patrick, who has been making macarons for M Mulot for over 20 years. It's only in the last few years that the process has become somewhat automated, with a new machine spewing out the macaron shells about 40 at a time. It's still a very labour intensive process and all the fillings are hand squeezed onto the shells. We learned that the shells themselves don't have any different flavourings, they are all made from the same almond paste dough, just the colouring is different. It's the fillings that are flavoured and what flavours they are ~ almond, coffee, caramel, lemon, raspberry, chocolat, nougat, pistachio, coconut, and then the seasonal ones depending on what's appropriate for spring/summer or fall/winter. There are endless flavours and I hope to one day be able to taste them all! We were given samples of the ones they were making at the time, which were grapefruit and nougat. Yum, yum, yum.........

Then we were led to the temple of decadence, the chocolate room! The young man there was very proud of his art and was willing to show us how they made all the different kinds of ganaches, chocolate bars, fruit jellies, marshmellows ( which I don't usually like, but these are nothing like the Kraft marshmellows we are used to back home! They are infused with all kinds of different flavours and are just melt in your mouth delicious) Again, the process is all hand made and very labour intensive, which helps explain the high prices of these little pieces of heaven. The ganaches take up to 2 days to make!! Again, we were given samples of what they were working on at the time and then at the end of the tour, we were given a little goodie bag of different kinds of chocolates and a macaron. I'm sure that the price of the tour was amply covered between the samples we ate on site and what we were given to take with us.

The tour ended a little after 11am and we rolled out of the store in a chocolate-induced haze of happiness. We decided we needed to walk off our goodies and so we started walking down rue D'Alesia. We crossed from the 13th to the 14th almost immediately and took D'Alesia all the way to Didot, stopping a few times at the destockages and degriffe places along the way. We had come shopping on this street known for outlets last year (Sonia Rykel and Cacharel both have stores on the street and there are many places selling last year's Diesel, Marlboro Classics, etc jeans, shoes, and shirts). No luck with the shopping this time but it was cool to explore another area more completely. We ended up at the Montparnasse Cemetary and saw a few of the "famous" graves, including Larouse (the dictionary guy), and Serge Ginsbourg, along with many other less famous, but no more less impressive tombstones. We walked around in the peace and quiet for over 30 minutes and then hunger started to rear its ugly head. I had told my friend Diane at work that I would check out the location of the hotel she is staying at in September, the Hotel Royal on Blvd Raspail and it turned out to be a few minutes from the cemetary, just past the Lycee Paul Bert. We took pictures for her and then headed over to Blve Montparnasse to find lunch. We saw all the famous places like Le Dome, La Coupole and Le Relais de L'Entrecote, but I had looked up my Pudlos for a lunch place in the area and had found Parnasse 138 as a good bet. It was just a little off the more heavily trafficked part of Montparnasse, but it was worth the walk. There was no English being spoken and obviously a few regulars having lunch. They have several lunch specials available from a large menu, ranging from 12.90 to 18.90 for either 2 or 3 courses. You just get more choices with the higher price ranges. I had an old fashioned blaquette de veau and Den has a rumsteak. Both were very nice, nothing exciting but good value for our lunch $$. Den had an iced nougat for dessert, which he really enjoyed. Fortified once more, we strolled over to Jardin de Luxembourg and then over into the 6th. We leisurely walked around, enjoying going down some different little roads until we crossed over the Seine and walked back to our Marais apartment. We did quite a lot of walking today, but it was at a nice slow pace.

We freshened up and had a quick supper of leftovers and decided to walk to the Oylmpia on Blvd des Capucines in the 2nd for our Simply Red concert. We got there with minutes to spare, but we could have been late since there was an opening act. Once Simply Red took the stage, the place went wild (well, as wild as aging Baby Boomers can go!). Den and I both love this band, with their jazzy/bluesy songs belted out by the golden voiced Mick Hucknall. We had seen them in Montreal about 15 years ago and his voice is still as strong and clear as it was then. They sang all their hits and did 2 encores. The concert ended a little before 11 and it was such a clear cool night, we decided to walk as long as we could. We walked past Opera Garnier all lit up like a birthday cake and down Avenue de L'Opera and down off a bunch of little side streets, always toward the Marais. We found a little sports bar called the Sous Bock and sat down for one drink, which turned into 2 and then even into 3!! We sat outside and people watched for almost 2 hours and stumbled home from our latest night out this trip. We laughed and giggled and drank our mohitos and were silly middle aged people who were having a great time. This was a long, long day but it was also one of our best days. Between chocolate and great live music, we had great food, dead people, lots of walking and drinking and just enjoying being in this great city.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 1, 2009 4:08 PM.

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