The weather gods were not with us today. Unfortunately the Paris forecast we’ve been reading for more than a week did not change. We bundled up and headed out across the Seine to a shop called G Detou which specializes in herbs, spices and especially baking goods. It’s been around for years and not one of those fancy yuppie type shops.
It was a fairly miserable walk, windy and rainy but at least the rain was not pouring. I was wearing my hiking rain coat, not a fashion statement, especially in Paris, but it sure kept the rain out and it has the kind of hood that stays on even in the wind. Bob braved the elements with just his cap and not-so-rainproof jacket. We managed to find G Detou after a couple of twists and turns.
The shop has been there for years and not fancy inside at all. We got our herbes de province at an excellent price but it’s no longer packed in kilo bags as it was the last Caroline got it. At least it’s in a plastic bottle – 250g, so easy to put in our luggage.
We walked to the Marais (includes the old Jewish quarter) for lunch at Chez Marianne, which was a Mediterranean type restaurant. The food was good, reasonable prices, and I loved the wall of red wine. Caroline had read about the best place for falafels in Paris and we walked by it after lunch. There was a long lineup outside, most people get take-out and eat on the street as there is very limited seating inside.
It was back home after that to warm up a bit and get our rain coats dried out although the rain had stopped when we came out of the restaurant after lunch. Caroline and I went bra shopping, to Simone Perele, which conveniently had a store just a 5 minute walk from our flat. I was not familiar with the name but Caroline has been buying it for years at Sofia’s on the Danforth – a Toronto women’s lingerie institution. Let’s just say the Paris prices were quite a bit less than in Toronto.
We had our first metro ride today to get our dinner restaurant, another Ron recommendation, called Le Pantruche. After a few missteps, we found the metro entrance where we could buy tickets. Aside from Bob almost not getting on the train, a guy in front of him stepped into the car and immediately stopped so Bob had to actually shove him in as doors were starting to close. Finding the direction we had to walk to get to the restaurant was the next challenge. The metro exit was on a very wide cross street with several other streets running off it. Thank goodness for Bob’s iPhone with Google maps. The streets had few shops with the word SEX but we saw lots of locals with kids so we didn’t feel in the least worried. There were quite a few restaurants along the way but it was not as touristy an area as where our flat is.
The restaurant was just great. Not very big, packed to the gills, we were lucky to get a reservation, and our feeling was that most of the patrons were Parisians. We saw two sets of people who were out celebrating as gifts were exchanged. We think one set was parents whose daughter joined them with some tops for the father. It was an easier trip back to our flat since we knew where we were going – always a good thing.