05 May, 2011

dreaming of paris

A friend of mine is going to Paris for a few days this summer - lucky girl - and asked me if I had any recommendations. I gave her a few general ones on the spot, but have been thinking about it since. It's so fun to dream about Paris, so I thought I would share a few of my favorites here. Strategically, my favorite way to plan and navigate around a city is the Moleskin city notebook.

1. Bread and Roses bakery @ the corner of rue de Fleurus & rue de Madam 

This is where I fell in love with scones and with every pretty french woman who walked out with a baguette. The quiches are by far the best I have every tasted and their iced tea, which is very popular, is served in a pitcher with slices of oranges and sprigs of mint.

2.  Chez Gourmand @ rue de Fleurus 

 The charm of this restaurant is nearly unbearable. The food is amazing, too. If you google it you will find all kinds of reviews. An old married couple owns and runs the place by themselves. They forage for mushrooms, grow their own vegetables, and get local game from their friends. Those are definitely wild flowers on the table. We arrived for dinner just as the last party was leaving, so we had the place all to ourselves. The woman spoke some English and was more than happy to give us recommendations. She doesn't need any waitresses. Her spunk and independence are made evident by her Doors t-shirt, pearls, and worn low heels. If you're there late enough the chef will come out to talk to you when he closes the kitchen, and call you mademoiselle, until he realizes you're already married. It is definitely worth making reservations here.

3. Cacao & Caocolat @ rue de Buci
This was one of my favorite gelatto places - the mint is delicious, not at all like mint-chocolate-chip, but like fresh mint leaves crushed up and frozen with milk and sugar. In reality, I love all gelato, but this makes the list because I really enjoyed walking around the few blocks surrounding it. There were many people leaving work and meeting friends at caf├ęs, wooden toy shops, shaded residential roads, and art studios. It was probably the neighborhood I could most imagine myself living in.

Note: all of the above are in the 6th arondissement, because that is where we stayed, so I got to know it the best.

4. Picnic on the Seine

see those little people on the concrete?
We didn't actually do this, but I definitely will if/when I return. The best way to go is with a baguette, a bottle of red wine, a hunk of cheese and a lover. Don't worry about any utensils or even a blanket - it seems that the magic of the City of Lights makes setting your food on the ground acceptable here.

Oh! And while you're there, don't miss the old Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in the Latin Quarter

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