On a rainy afternoon in Paris, what could be nicer than a spot of afternoon tea? A very international group of twenty-something girls met in the Galerie Vivienne, one of the many hidden passages in the second arrondissement. In the 18th century, these passages were popping up all over the city, turning it into a shopping labyrinth. Of those that survive, some are definitely of the shabby-chic variety but the beautifully preserved Galerie Vivienne's amazing mosaics and grand architecture transports you back to the belle époque.
We headed to A Priori Thé (a nice French pun to show that tea is an absolute priority) for small talk and scones. After indulging, I wandered off with a Swedish dancer I had just met to explore and admire the curiosities in the windows of Galerie Vivienne and other passages in the area. If you fancy a little window shopping away from the tourist crowds, this is the area to delve into - old maps, faded books, retro toys and lots of lovely treats.
|Magical mermaid skull and hot-air balloon voyages - some of the many delights to be found|