Advent Calendar 2020-Day# 17

JOY is the theme, as I already mentioned, of this 3rd week of Advent. And, children hit the top of my ‘bringing me JOY‘ list. So, heading to Le Bon Marche’s (https://www.24s.com/fr-fr/le-bon-marche) children’s department is worth a visit to me, giving me an idea of what Parisians consider important to them and their children. I had a goal this visit though,,,to purchase a gift for a newborn back in the U.S.

The escalator ride gets me in the mood of the Holiday season. And the featured image of colorful trees is also one of the Holiday greetings.

Take the stairs…exquisite, aren’t they, with some smartly arranged artwork to assure me that I am headed in the right direction.

Not only was the children’s book department impressive but the cozy cut-out reading spaces appealing… apparently, to the children and at least one father.

This book’s cover is a hoot!,,,not only spelling out the alphabet but also including the majority of what are often the favorite ‘we come to Paris for these reasons’! I am sure you can think of more!

Such a quintessential example: Women, Paris, and ELLE fashion magazine! This is another book highlighted on the shelves!

Oh, Christmas tree…the King of the Forest…The ceiling-mounted tree theme of the 2019 Holiday season at Bon Marche was highly effective in the children’s department.

Hopscotch to keep you headed in the right direction!

Now these toys represent just some of what might keep a child intrigued…

But this sweet adorable cherub found what she was looking for!

It was time for me to head to my go-to restaurant at Bon Marche….But guess who was coming to dinner…I mean lunch and waiting in line with the rest of us!

Yes! In France, dogs are welcome IN restaurants. They are well-behaved and usually tuck themselves under the table, often not seen. I have really never seen a dog start an argument with another. Maybe one or two on the street over 35 years of my jaunts to Paris, but never inside.

The tables were packed but, somehow, they found a table next to a window for me, my premier seating choice. Primo Piano (https://www.primo-piano.fr/en-gb) is an Italian restaurant. Their pasta is freshly made every day. I finish out my meal with tea and a biscotti on the side. The presentation of tea is formal in Paris and I like the importance placed on its looks as well as its taste. Also, knowing that I can ‘own’ that table for as long as I want, whether here or any cafe/restaurant, even if I am only ordering a drink is relaxing to know. Of course the price reflects that!

Why do I find JOY looking out the window? The view always captivates me because it represents Parisian life and its changing of the seasons. Soothing….The first photo was taken about 3 years ago in January and the last, just in November 2019.

I don’t know why it took so long for me to take a stroll through the minor-sized park below but I finally did so last year, noticing there are always people there (some I don’t see, of course, from the restaurant window) utilizing the various areas for eating their lunch, children getting a short time of play, or seeking respite from the busyness of Paris, for instance…

As you can see from this bird’s eye view, the trees in winter when their leaves have shed and in the fall when there is still some growth on the trees, allows you, more or less, a view of the Hotel Lutetia on the other side of the park. Lutetia, in the first photo is in the midst of an extensive ongoing renovation. In the second, the flag is announcing its recent completion. Once owned by the owners of Le Bon Marche, the history of the Hotel Lutetia, the only Grand Dame hotel on the Left Bank is worth reading about: https://www.hotellutetia.com/history

A stop by the Holiday department is always a must too at Le Bon Marche.

Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree sung by Miley Cyrus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYJw6xuS85s

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