Wednesday, 24th May
NOW WE ARE TWO – We left our Hotel just before 9 and made our way on the Metro to Opera as we had booked a 10:30 GUIDED TOUR of PALAIS GARNIER. This gave us time to sit at a sidewalk Cafe to enjoy breakfast as we watched the masses of cars, buses, bicycles, motor bikes taxis and pedestrians negotiate the area in front of the opera house.
“At the request of Napoleon lll, in 1861 Charles GARNIER undertook the building of a ‘new Opera House’ in the haussmanian Paris of the late Second Empire. Inaugurated under the Third Republic, on 5 January 1875, the edifice bedazzled contemporaries with the opulence and eclecticism of Garnier’s bold architectural and decorative scheme. His masterpiece instantly became the model for the Italian-style theatre. Functional and flamboyant at the same time, the Palais Garnier is considered one of the world’s most beautiful theatres.”
We were given earpieces so were able to hear our guide with ease and her French accent graced the occasion as the information she gave came in an informative way with a little drama – I was most impressed.
We enjoyed lunch at the Cafeteria in La Fayette and then began our walk back to the Tuileries via Place Vendome housing the Ritz and many high fashion stores, particularly jewellery. In my research I had read of a Rose Shop in rue Saint Honore so I was more than a little determined to find it. In 2010 the illustrious Hotel COSTES expanded to include a boutique dedicated to roses, following in the footsteps of Josephine Bonaparte, the first Empress of France, who in the 1800s created a rose garden which included over 200 varieties. It is named COSTES ROSES and is a tiny flower boutique, a place of abundance and lush goodness. Rose is the flower par excellence, it is a symbol of elegance and simplicity.
Our next indulgence was at ANGELINA’S on Rue de Rivoli where I had their famous Hot Chocolate and a Millefeuille – !!! Finally back through the Tuileries Garden to our Hotel at about 5 o’clock – a most enjoyable but tiring day before we move tomorrow.