The Nagasaki Angel
Image (c) eyepreferparis.net
The Paris Headquarters of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has a wealth of paintings and sculptures on display in the Y-shaped building near the Eiffel Tower. But less well-known is the tranquil Japanese water garden known as the Garden of Peace. Quite apart from the beauty of the place it is also home to one of Paris’ more unusual sights – the Nagasaki Angel. On 6 August 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, flattening the city and leaving 130,000 people dead. Three days later, another B-29 dropped an even more powerful atomic bomb on Nagasaki which essentially vaporized the place.
Image (c) eyepreferparis.net
In the suburbs of Nagasaki the largest Roman Catholic church in Japan in Urakami was completely destroyed but when survivors searched the ruins they found part of a sculptured angel that had survived. Her torso was gone but her head and wings remained intact, providing a much-needed symbol of hope to the locals. Her face was still recognizable but the bomb had damaged one eye; at first glance it looks like she had been crying. The Nagasaki Angel was a gift to UNESCO from the city in 1976 to celebrate the Organization’s 30th anniversary.
UNESCO Headquarters & Garden of Peace, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris. Call (+33) 01-45680359 for details as the latest information we have is that tours must be reserved
Metro to Ségur. http://www.unesco.org/visit/jardin/
Image (c) Travelmuse.com
Where better to learn about wine than Paris? Italians might have something to say here, but anyway; when in the French capital you are going to be drinking the stuff – why not become a little more au fait with all it has to offer? Marketing itself as a ‘cool wine tasting company’, Ô Château’s owner Olivier Magny is quick to explain that its doors are open to all. One of the main aims was to reduce the snobbery that can be associated with the wine world and he certainly appears to have succeeded.
Image (c) luxedaily.fr
There are some 40 different wines for tasting by the glass, and you will even have the opportunity to sample several extremely rare and expensive bottles in understandably smaller quantities. This is due to some fancy high-tech devices enabling wine to be kept fresh for longer. This may just be your only chance to sample Chateau Petrus without re-mortgaging your house. For those wanting to learn more, there are three sessions a day in the more intimate tasting rooms. As you can see from the photos here the premises themselves are beautifully appointed. The last time we checked there were five different tastings on offer and you’ll need to book in advance. By the way, all tastings are held in English so the language barrier should not get in the way of your grape-based enjoyment.
Ô Château, 68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris. See website for opening hours and tasting times – extensive English site
Metro to Les Halles. http://www.o-chateau.com/
Image (c) e-hoosta.com
Finally we had to share this place with you. From the outside it looks rather ordinary, a tiny place with a red front that you would probably walk right past even when hungry. Peering inside you’ll see only a handful of tables and minimal decoration – but this should be interpreted as a clue to the focus on one thing – the food. The menu changes daily and is written on blackboards on the walls; there are also specials each day. The Chef, Cyril Lalanne, uses only the finest produce and conjures up a mouth-watering range of dishes.
Image (c) Time Out Paris
On our visit we had duck pie as a starter, pork as a main course (but this is no ordinary pig – rather the cochon noir de Bigorre, an ancient breed with a fantastic flavour) and a variation on rum cake called Baba a’l’armagnac, which has to be eaten to be believed. Service is excellent, the staff are as passionate about wine as food and their recommendations can safely be followed. Given the size of the place you’ll have to call and make a reservation- English is spoken both on the phone and in the restaurant so don’t hesitate to make that call. Without a doubt the culinary highlight of a long weekend in Paris – and a restaurant to which we will definitely return.
La Cerisaie, 70 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris. Open Sunday to Friday 1200-1400 and 1900-2200
Metro to Edgar Quinet or Montparnasse. http://restaurantlacerisaie.pagesperso-orange.fr/