Day 1 of a week in Paris - Sunday
- Breakfast: Hotel? (not sure if la patisserie is open Sundays)
- Notre Dame; tour and climb tower
- Place Louis-Lepine - bird and flower market
- Sainte-Chapelle; tour and purchase billets for evening concert - LAST POST
- Lunch: Brasserie de Isle St-Louis -- Look for the stork!
- Walk Isle St-Louis; ice cream at Berthillion; Square Barye - THIS POST
- Supper: Sandwich or omelette?
- Evening concert at Sainte Chapelle - LAST POST
After reading about Berthillon in my favorite Paris travel guide - ACCESS - then finding the flagship store on rue St-Louis en Ile the main street down the center of tiny Ile Saint-Louis (the smaller "ship" island floating in the Seine, behind Ile de la Cité on which the Notre-Dame sits) and waiting in line for maybe 30 minutes, I was starting to realize that an ice cream cone in Paris was not going to be like an ice cream cone at Baskin-Robbins. Seeing customers leave with their small cone and one or two golf-ball sized scoops, instead of baseball-and-a-half sized scoops a la Baskin-Robbins, I noted that once again, the French culinary experience proved that if you eat smaller amounts of food made with expert skill from fresh, high quality ingredients, you will be satisfied with less.
There are unusual flavors, such as rhubarb, pear and grapefruit, but my favorite (not that I've tried them all) is strawberry, which my sister Nancy is enjoying, above, while she holds mine so I can snap the photo. The flavor is intense - as if condensed, and not overly sweet. One scoop is parfait pour mois.
I skimmed the history of ice cream at this informative site and learned that ices date back to 1100 BC! Berthillon began in the 1950s only. The Italians brought their gelato to France via Catherine de Medici - known as the mother of French cuisine (interesting that she, and it, were really Italian) - in the 1500s. She's the one, remember, who at age 14 married the Duc d'Orleans (who later became Henri II), also age 14.
This page on the Berthillon web site gives locations of the shops around Paris. But you will also find their ice cream sold in patisseries and restaurants around the city.
Here are two last images of Ile Saint-Louis, as this is the last post of Day 1 on the islands. The first is of the Brasserie de Isle St-Louis again, where we had omelettes, and the second is of the Pont St-Louis, the little pedestrian bridge between the islands where musicians, painters, body contortionists, magicians - entertainers of all sorts, set up their shows and hope for a few Euro in their boxes.
I loved the horn player with his child on his back.
Next post we'll move on to Day 2 of a week in Paris.
PARIS Métro: Cité