Brexit, we’re out (I voted to remain). The pound is tanking, shares free falling, and we maybe on the brink of another recession. Forget all that, come with me and enjoy a little bit of Paris.
Paula arrives in Paris
I skipped French class this week to meet Paula who arrived from London to spend the day in Paris.
With only a few hours to spare we didn’t stray far from Gare du Nord. You might think there isn’t much to do around there, but you’d be wrong.
Up and coming Paris
If you walk ten minutes down Boulevard Magenta, you get to Canal St Martin, the up and coming, or up and come part of Paris.
The canal was built under the order of Napoleon in 1802 to supply Paris with fresh water; it is now lined with cute, shabby chic shops and cafes. In the morning it’s like a sleepy village, but at night, this is the place to head to. Crowds spill out of bars on to the banks of the canal and just down the road is Republique, and Oberkampf – two other great going out spots.
We need coffee
Though Paris is famed for its cafe society, sadly its coffee well and truly sucks. It is awful, dreadful – either a weak cafe creme or a strong, but uninspiring cafe noir and not much in-between.
But if you look hard enough you can find good coffee. In Le Poutch, on rue Lucien Sampaix we savoured a strong cappuccino and caffe latte with a decent caffeine punch, while catching up on the last eight months.
A Parisien lunch hour (two-and-half-hours in real time)
In preparation for Paula’s visit, I had booked us into Les Vinaigriers, a small restaurant on the corner of rue Lucien Sampaix, and rue des Viniaigriers.
Don’t let appearances put you off, this may look like a quaint country bistro, but the kitchen rustles up excellent, market fresh fare.
Paula’s ricotta and ground almond ravioli was exquisite. My bream ceviche was simple and refreshing. But it was the desert we came here for. A soft, chocolate pudding with a molten, rich, oozing, chocolate centre – mi-cuit chocolate. I don’t think I need to say much more.
We managed to roll out at 3.30pm, more than satisfied. Just enough time to drop Paula back at Gare du Nord, and for me to hop on a Metro to go get the kids.
Canal St Martin photo courtesy David Fleg, Flickr