I went apartment hunting on Friday, and the lady helping me with the whole process drove us from place to place, which was great because I got to see the city in a way I hadn’t before. Just driving around the Arc du Triomphe was an experience in itself.
One of the areas we drove through was Villiers. I didn’t end up choosing an apartment here, but it looked like a really interesting place so I wanted to come back to explore. I’d driven past a beautiful little square with a church in the middle, surrounded by restaurants and quirky boutiques and wanted to find it. I didn’t know the name of the place or exactly where it was except that it had to be close to Villers metro station.
Determined to see it again, I set off from the metro and walked in no direction in particular. I came across Rue de Lévis, which had been recommended to me for its food shops and market feel. It was raining on and off, but the street was still packed with grocers selling fresh fruit and veg and people browsing. Bakers, cheese and wine merchants all lined the street, and I just couldn’t resist nipping into one Boulangerie for a pain au chocolat. And it was the best I’ve ever had. Ever.
After Rue de Lévis, still wanting to find the square, I walked around for a while and stumbled across Parc Monceau. I love finding green spaces like these in the middle of a city, and although it was on a busy road, it was surprisingly quiet and calm inside. It has a round arched building at the entrance (which I’ve since learned is called a rotunda), and a large pond with arches, and an old carousel. Also dotted about were lots of sculptures of women sat underneath the bust of a stern looking man. What’s that about. Fun wiki fact, the first parachute jump landed here!
It was filled with families and their kids, and people on their Saturday morning jog. I know it might be a cliché, but I decided to sit on a bench under a tree and read my book. Absolutely loved it, it was so peaceful.
After I finished a chapter, I left to wander again. By now the square was becoming like my white whale. But I was getting hungry and tired, and had just about given up when I walked past a sign for Square des Batignolles. I’d found it! It’s a really small square in an area filled with hipster looking independent shops and bistros. Apparently the best pizza in Paris can be found here, so I’ll definitely be back. So pretty and definitely worth the search.
By this time, I was getting pretty hungry, so meandered back to my apartment for lunch before more sightseeing. In all, a pretty good morning’s wanderings.