My parents and I strolled around the first arrondissement and stumbled upon countless parks and squares with the requisite fountains and general fabulosity to which one gets kind of numb after awhile.
We installed ourselves at a sidewalk table on a cafe in front of a theater called La Comedie Francaise and savored cups of coffee and the bustle of rue Saint Honore. An interesting note about coffee here- coffee with cream in it (which the French never drink after breakfast) is twice the price of black coffee. Mom and I have decided that the “cafe allonge” , which is basically espresso in a larger cup with water added to it, tastes exactly like the black coffee we drink at home. How unusual for me to prefer the cheaper variety of anything.
I took Mom to a ceramics shop that my friends and I went nuts over when we were here in April. It’s hard to capture the charm with my camera because the shop is very small and snakes back to an even smaller room. The shop is called Astier de Villatte The dishes are made in Paris and are to die for.
This link will show you infinitely better pictures of the shop and the dishes.
Here is a picture of the bowl I bought myself for our wedding anniversary back in April. Mark wasn’t really all that into the bowl, but he was happy to be relieved of gift-buying duty . And I love, love, love it.
That night we tried a restaurant recommended by a friend of my sister’s called Les Papilles (which I thought meant “butterfly” but in fact means “tastebuds”). It was in one of my favorite neighborhoods near the Luxembourg Gardens, and we took a cab in order to enjoy the scenery and not be smashed into the metro at rush hour.
Like many Paris restaurants we have tried and loved, it was tiny and full of personality. Bottles of wine are lined up along the wall, and we were told to go select a bottle or two to go with our meal.
Les Papilles prepares only one menu a night, so one would be advised to check on the offering if one is a picky eater. It was so nice not to be forced to make any difficult menu decisions (which often are more of the “what the hell does that mean?” variety than the “hmmm- what should I choose?” variety) and they brought out our food in large dishes set in the middle of the table. Voila!
This is a terrible picture of the restaurant, but it gives a glimpse of the colorful tile floor and the width of the restaurant. We were at a round table at the very back, which was perfect.