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August 23

Day 4 in France:  Maison Cousu, La Boussole, and More

Day 4, or Saturday, was a light tour day with the group; after which we had free time.

We went to a couple of spots in the city which were no longer extant.

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One of the sites used to be a women’s prison behind a church. The building has been in constant use and remains a public works building.

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Some of the bars of the prison still remain (on the opposite side, I forgot to take a picture of.)

From there we visited a “small” local church that Louise de Marillac would have attended called Saint Nicholas des Champs.

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As you can see, this church has not been restored lately and remains quite dirty.  There’s even a mesh kind of wrapping around some of the facade – they do this if/when pieces start falling to prevent any human harm from future falling stone.

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I loved this newer stained glass from the 20’s, but any images simply fail to show how pretty it was.

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Our day ended up even shorter due to one of our stops being closed so we were let off around 11am to go and explore the city on our own.

The last fabric shop I wanted to visit on this trip, one I knew was open in August, is a new-to-me fabric store called Maison Cousu.

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I made my way over with a couple of other gals who were interested to check it out with me.  We were kindly greeted by a woman, whom I presume was the owner (but I can’t be certain).  I asked if I could snap a few photos and she obliged when I said I was a blogger and even left her my web url.

“Hello Cousu.”   :)

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They had their own branded notions section – and I couldn’t resist the plastic buttons that I can cover.  I’ve always seen metal ones at JoAnn’s but never plastic!

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They have both a yarn (knitting & crochet) section as well as a fabric area all in the one petite space.  But the selection is so expertly curated that I never found it overwhelming to shop in.

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It was hard to resist the metallic pineapple prints (in pink and yellow below):

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Fabric & Buttons:

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They had garment fabrics in both knits and wovens, quilting cottons, oilcloth, etc.  But never was it overwhelming yet a decent selection of all of these types of fabrics in the one space.

Yarn/Needle Craft Area:

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Not photographed was their selection of Indy Parisian sewing patterns.  I was smitten by a few, but hesitated since I knew they would be in French.

I came away with those self-covered buttons, 2-ish meters of a Liberty Art fabric I couldn’t resist, and a metallic grey sweater knit remnant that will be made into a cute little notions bag.

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After we left Cousu, my group of 3 became 2, Amy and myself.  We didn’t really have an agenda for the day as I had already gone to all of the shops, churches, and monuments I cared to on current & prior visits, as had Amy.  She made for a super pleasant shopping buddy and we hit the town.  :D

I don’t have tons of photos of all of the shops we went in.  But we stopped in Galeries Lafayette on Haussmann blvd to hit up Longchamp for Amy.

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We were totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of people here, so we left to find another nearby Longchamp boutique.  I ended up getting myself a grey and white tote bag with the Eiffel tower on it.  :D What sold me is that you can only get this one in Paris (or on ebay).  And the prices are around 50ish Euros cheaper if you buy it in France vs. the US.

We did some walking, stopped in some more shops, grabbed a late lunch.  We ended our excursion in a different Galeries Lafayette building, one with home goods and foods that I was at last year: it’s basically a one stop shop for gourmet chocolate, macarons, and champagne.

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Our Damage (and Amy’s feet):

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The chocolate & caramels from Jean Paul Hevin came home with me but I made quick work of the Pierre Herme macarons and eclairs from L’Eclair de Genie.  These ecalirs – heaven!  I don’t even like them normally here in the US – but these are quite different and phenomenal.

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Amy and I rested in the hotel for a little while, and then met in the lobby with some of our other tour friends to head out to dinner.

My boss, Joe, having been in France several times recommended a place called La Boussole.  Being good sports everyone consented to taking a metro ride to a different part of the city to go there.

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Since we had a decent sized group, we opted to sit indoors, although it was a lovely night.

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When I went downstairs to the washroom, I snapped these photos.  It looks like a separate, romantic dining space in the basement.

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Aren’t the stone walls amazing?!

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After dinner, I think we were all looking to grab more drinks at another bar closer to our hotel.  I honestly can’t remember if I joined them or headed to bed for the night.  Knowing myself… I probably pushed myself and went out for another glass of wine, as I hate to miss out on any type of fun.  heh

In either case, I ended my lovely day reading a couple chapters in this fun novel called Austenland.  It’s pure candy reading – but so fun for vacations and the like.  (I’d be lying if I said I only read it once on vacation and promptly came home to watch the film again.) lol

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Stay tuned for more France posts… I still have days 5-10 (or 11) to go.  :D

  1. Kathy / Aug 26 2016

    Very nice post! My daughter loves Longchamp and I did find her a bag with the Statue of Liberty on it at Macy’s flagship store in NYC.

  2. K-Line / Aug 27 2016

    This day sounds stupendous. I love the look of that restaurant.

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