First things first: welcome to the new and improved The Glittering Unknown! Thoughts on the new layout? Let me know in the comments!
Last weekend was one of my good friend’s birthday, so a group of us got together for lunch at the Salon de Thé (tea room) at the Grande Mosquée of Paris. The food is sublime and the tea and pastries even better, so though we’d (almost) all been here before, coming back was a no-brainer.
After lunch, a couple friends and I stayed to walk through the Grande Mosquée, as two of us had our cameras. The last time I was here I only managed to capture images on my phone (which you may have seen on Instagram) so I was glad to have a chance for some better images.
Of course, upon arriving it was made clear that my skirt (which ended just above the knee, nothing scandalous) was too short to be considered appropriate to enter the mosque. Thankfully, the security staff keeps a set of sarong skirts for
tourists women who are in the same boat as me, so I gamely tied one around my waist. I actually rather liked it- I wonder if they sell them?
Entrance to the mosque costs a simple two euros, so we paid our entry fee and wandered around, chatting quietly and trying our best to remain respectful even as our cameras clicked away.
When we were done touring the mosque, we headed back to the main part of the tea room to indulge in the best part- tea and dessert! Tea is two euros a glass and uniformed waiters walk around with glasses and pots on trays, much like the guy pictured above. A man with a tray of pastries came by as well, to the delight of my friends, but my tastes can be more particular so I grabbed my wallet and slipped away to the pastry case where I could make my own selections (read: everything pistachio).
If you’re looking for a Middle Eastern experience in the heart of the city, the Grande Mosquée of Paris is the way to go! It’s also heartening to see that there seems to be little residual backlash against the Muslim community here after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, despite the French reputation for being very discriminatory against people of this faith.
Grande Mosquée de Paris: 2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris
Salon de Thé: 39 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilare, 75005 Paris