We had decided to come back to La Madeleine to visit the church and to go to Maille, the famous mustard shop. On the way, we discovered the Paris-London café right across from the flower shops of La Madeleine. This restaurant is particularly well known for cheeseburgers but the food is good for all the French classics. Not so long ago, burgers in Paris were not only few and far between, but (gasp!) shunned. Today, gourmet cheeseburgers are the latest craze in in Paris, not surprising as frites or French fries originated in France. The chef at Paris-London, Maurice Guillouët, spent ten years with Joël Robuchon and was a chef at the Ritz. “France has excellent bakers and exceptional breads, so she is able to offer the best burger.” The restaurant was packed, with efficient service, very friendly and helpful, with a good selection of beers and wines by the glass in red and white. Guillouët uses Iberian pork belly instead of bacon, with soft cheddar cheese for a delicious sauce tartare. The result is a great gourmet cheeseburger.
We first came across La Madeleine after the Beach Boys concert, it appeared like a Roman mirage in central Paris. Madeleine Church (more formally, L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine; less formally, just La Madeleine) is in the 8th arrondissement, centered at the end of rue Royale. This is on a line-of-sight between Gabriel's twin hôtels in the Place de la Concorde to the square established in 1755, as Place Louis XV. The Eglise de la Madeleine is situated between Place de la Concorde and the Palais Garnier opera house, in Haussmannian Paris. Its construction started in 1764 and was finished in 1842. Its appearance is not typical of a religious building, in the form of a Greek temple without any crosses or bell-towers. Its 52 Corinthian columns, each 20 meters (66 feet) high, are carried around the entire building. Napoleon wanted it to be a pantheon in honor of his armies. Inside, there are sculpture, paintings and the famous neo-Byzantine mosaic created by Charles-Joseph Lameire. The magnificent church organ was designed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Throughout the year, both day and night, the church holds quality classical music concerts.