Paula In Paris

Paula In Paris

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

Canal St Martin

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)

Molten larva chocolate

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.

We had coffee at Le Poutch, 13 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010

We ate at Les Vinaigriers, 42 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010

Canal St Martin photo courtesy David Fleg, Flickr


  1. June 30, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    That chocolate cake looks delicious. I have never visited Paris but it is on my list of places that I want to visit one day!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 30, 2016 / 12:51 pm

      Thank you, the cake was superb. I’d say push Paris right up your list – well worth a visit, even if it’s just for cake!

  2. yvonne
    June 27, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    Gosh it surprises me that the coffee isnt great!! I would love a 2.5 hour lunchtime though! x
    yvonne recently posted…HELLP – We are GrandparentsMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2016 / 7:00 pm

      I know you’d think in France there’d be great coffee, but alas no – it’s pretty awful! But at least the bread, wine, cheese and cakes are amazing!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      Oh man, the cakes, their are patisseries that are just like jewellery shops, cakes stored in glass cabinets – just drooling at them is heaven!

  3. June 27, 2016 / 9:27 am

    Oh that looks so lovely. I had a wonderful holiday in Paris last year and would love to go back.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2016 / 7:03 pm

      Oh please do! It’s a fabulous city, well worth a return visit!

  4. June 27, 2016 / 8:57 am

    wow it looks like you had a great time.. and that chocolate cake looks amazing!!
    jolene recently posted…Seaside crumbleMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2016 / 7:04 pm

      That chocolate cake is just scrumptious, the first time I had it was with citrus ice-cream and olive oil, sounds like a seriously odd combination, but it was seriously good!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2016 / 7:05 pm

      Awesome desert, and we had to heave ourselves out of that restaurant!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 26, 2016 / 5:46 pm

      Awww…thanks so much, I do really miss being able to go for a coffee and a catch up with an old friend.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 26, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      I know it sounds crazy, but it is do-able, and not ultra expensive (my last tix back to London were cheaper than going to Birmingham)! It’s a great city to visit – lots to do with kids too!

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