Saturday, October 30, 2004

Paris

pret a lancer

Canal side art

Just back from a few days in Paris, where I was able to loaf about enjoying some of the autumn sun.

Tuesday was the journey down; Eurostar, as ever, and after a hair-raising taxi ride from the Gare du Nord to the Novotel Les Halles, I could settle down and start to explore for food. For a change, I wandered up past Les Halles to the Rue Tiquetonne, for the rather excellent Loup Blanc. This serves various marinated and grilled meat and fish, along with some green salad and rice, and a choice of more exotic salad accompaniments, such as various sorts of melon in coconut milk and lime juice.

Wednesday was cool and grey, so time for a yomp up to the Parc de la Villette (head up Sebastopol to the Gare de l'Est, bear right, keep going past Stalingrad), to the Cité des Sciences, and a promenade in the park, before returning along the canal. As it was raining by evening, dinner was in the Creperie St. Eustache, in the Rue Sauval, close to the hotel, an unpretentious, simple creperie, with good cider. Needless to say the weather put me off the idea of watching the lunar eclipse.

Thursday was warm and sunny, a last indian summer, pleasant to sit in shirtsleeves in the Jardin des Plantes after a promenade along the Rive Gauche, and otherwise not do a lot. It was even too warm for a jacket in the evening, when going up to the Bourse for a traditional French meal at the Gallopin. A leisurely meal, then strolling back along the Rue Montmartre in the bright moonlight.

Friday, tried to shop — but the season is wrong for silk shirts, and the dedicated silk and cashmere shop I'd used some years ago now seems to have been replaced by something downmarket. Lunched at the Trappiste — Salade Parmentier, for a change, with a couple of bottles of Rodenbach grand cru, double fermented and aged for two years in oak — before starting the journey back.

Entry composed while eating a couple of quiches from the bakery just by the hotel.

For the less able visitor, I would definitely recommend the guidebook Paris en Fauteuil — and collecting a lot of 10 and 20 centime pieces, as the reasonably accessible automatic toilets take 40 centimes a shot.

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