Palace of Versailles: Stepping Back Into Time

I’m back in SF just in time for a gorgeous week (temps are in the 70s and 80s)! Chris and I celebrated our big news with some friends at a happy hour at Churchill and at dinner at 1300 on Fillmore. A few people have asked so just for the record, no, I won’t be baking my own wedding cake. I will however be baking two other friend’s wedding cakes! I am getting ready for their cake tastings which means two things: 1. I started exercising and 2. I will need to find willing mouths to feed any leftover cake. While I turn my kitchen upside down, let’s reminisce about where we were just over a week ago: Paris!! 

Chris and I visited Château de Versailles last Saturday. About a half hour train ride from Paris, Versailles is easy to get to and well worth the trip. 
Versailles is huge. Like Disneyland-on-steroids-huge. It’s so huge, there are golf carts available for rent to drive around the grounds. Prepare to be exhausted! We arrived relatively early in the morning, about an hour after opening and there were hardly any lines. We bought the Passport Tour for 25 euros each which included access to the palace, gardens, both Trianon palaces, and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. 
Hall of Mirrors
Versailles served as the center of politics after Louis XIV moved his court and the government from Paris. Under his rule, he expanded the palace into Europe’s largest castle. An audio guide is included in the price of the tour and was very useful in learning about the history of the different rooms and areas in the palace. The palace is truly breathtaking. Each room is uniquely decorated with ornate gold moldings, silk fabrics, crystal chandeliers, and more! I cannot imagine living here however. Its a tad ostentatious for my tastes (says the girl who uses burlap string and clothespins to hang up photos). 
We ended up breezing through several of the rooms towards lunchtime since we were both hungry (and hunger leads to haste as we all know). We avoided eating in the restaurant inside the palace since everything was overpriced and I heard wasn’t all that great. A single macaron was over 4 euros!! 
Thankfully we picked up some baguettes at a bakery in Paris to enjoy in the gardens. There are benches in most areas where you can sit and enjoy your lunch. I think it was a bit early in the season since not many flowers were in bloom. Most of the trees didn’t even have leaves on them! Regardless, the gardens served as a nice area to relax. 
Personally, the best part of the grounds was touring Marie-Antoinette’s estate. Her private estate is a stark contrast from the palace. I loved the cozy, almost-provincial feel to it. I could see why she needed a place of her own to get away from the pomp of Versailles. 
I’m so glad we got to visit Versailles. It was a great experience and it would be awesome to come back to for an event. Versailles has hosted concerts, operas and parties. I can’t even imagine how spectacular they must be!

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