One of the most beautiful sights in all of Paris is surely the daily open air markets throughout the twenty neighborhood arrondissement.
They vary by day, and using a market du jour guide you can make a wonderful stroll of it, wandering from marche to marche, pausing for petit dejuner – breakfast in one neighborhood, an dejuner – lunch (always always with rose cotes du rhone) in the next.
One of my favorites is a daily market street, Rue Montorgueil. The gourmet shops spill deep into the sidewak creating an open air market all day, all week long.
The fruit and vegetable stands are living, organic works of art, non?
We scooped up a few kilo of Mirabelles and Peche, and enjoyed them both as an afternoon snack and a fruit pyramide on our kitchen table.
A peek inside warm, glowing Chez Georges.
The high as the sky carved mirrors, the handpainted moldings and columns, the plush red velvet banquettes, the white starched french linen tables, the crisp white napkins as big as bathtowels, the soft flickering antique sconces, and the shiny brass bistro railings are but a few of my favorite things.
And that’s before our steak frites arrived…
Ask anyone their favorite restaurant in all of Paris, and nine out of ten smile, sigh, and give you exact same response.
On Rue de Mail, as there are several.
The tiny slice of a bistro, with romantic lace curtains making it impossible to see what lies inside from the street.
Add to that the door is always just a wee bit ajar, beckoning you in, yet creating an air of initimacy and discretion.
The turn of the century red banquettes are of course, elbow to elbow, and don’t even think of having to get up to use the WC during your meal. You are tucked in so snug behind your table it takes a professional to pull your table out when you are finished.
No cool, rainy day in Paris is complete avec enfants (or without children for that matter) until you pop into un cafe pour un chocolat chaud – hot chocolate.
My choice is always the same – the stunningly beautiful Galerie Vivienne, and A Priori The.
The cafe sits underneath a turn of the century passage, with carved wooden doorways and columns, glass ceiling covered walkways, mosaic tiled floors, and simply oozes with Belle Epoque handpainted gilded charm.
The tea salon is a collection of bright oversize canvas umbrellas and linen clothed cafe tables, spilling into the passage from the tiny, cozy tea room.
The A Priori Chocolat, or chocolat chaud – hot chocolate – is always served as shown. Un pichet of chocolat and a small bowl for drinking.
In Paris and most of Europe, the hot chocolat is so thick and rich it resembles a melted chocolate bar, not our milky version in the states.
I personally am addicted to their The Jardin Vert – flowered with rose, chamomile, lavande, lovely notes of summer.
Mon salade du jour:
Lardon – Bacon
Beautiful, seasonal, delicious.
Even as a romantic Paris rain showers down outside in the garden.
Did everyone see Midnight in Paris? I will now always think of that movie and his love of Paris in the rain.
Yesterday the kids were in charge.
Today it’s my turn.
It’s a cool, grey Paris day, so off to trend spot we go.
First stop is Palais Royal, one of the city’s most beautiful and pristine gardens.
Once known as Palais Cardinal, it was built for Cardinal Richelieu.
He in turn left it for Louis XIII.
Louis’ widow Anne d’ Autriche preferred it to the Louvre Royal Palace, and moved in with young Louis XIV.
She rechristened it Palais Royal, and in 1780 filled with three story palais with cafes, shops, theaters and more to raise money for the burned down Opera.
Today, hundreds of years later, the cafes and shops and theaters thrive as a Parisian cultural icon.
Stella McCartney, Rick Owens, Didier Ludot, and more occupy the boutiques and take window shopping to a new level.
This is the view from our red velvet banquette for lunch at Restaurant du Theatre.