jeudi 24 mai 2012

Decadence in Paris

I decided to give art and culture a miss today and instead tackle some some of the other things on my Paris To Do List.

Bloggers and magazines such as Gourmet Traveller sing high praises of Coutume Café, in particular its coffee. It is one of several cafés with an Australian link reportedly raising the bar in regards to coffee in Paris. The café is owned by a French-Australian duo Tom Clark and Antoine Netien. 
The decor is very industrial, stripped back to basics with its rub-backed parquetry floor, white tiled bar area and translucent plastic flaps 'hiding' stores and supplies. The laboratory theme was carried through to the stainless steel bench where I ate and the beakers for carafes.

Slightly unusual décor for a Parisian café

The café did not disappoint. My expresso was very good, equalling the better coffees I have had in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. My lunch of Norwegian smoked salmon with pancakes was delicious. I forgot to note from the menu the details of the pancakes and the accompanying dressing. I think they should sell the dressing - I was tempted to ask for extra. The serving was an ideal size for a light lunch and there was no doubt that they did not skimp on quality ingredients. 

Coutume Café is rather conveniently located around the corner from Le Bon Marché department store. Unlike the first time I visited the store, I felt comfortable wandering around looking and touching the luxury goods. Staff were helpful but not intrusive. I can't however understand why the price tags are invariably hidden from view. Perhaps if you have to ask or handle the goods then you can't afford to shop there. I saw many beautiful things in the store but was not seriously tempted to buy anything. Not even the Australian Ugg boots at 150 € for the basic ankle model could tempt me. The other shoes that seem to be popular in France are high healed sandshoes and Le Bon Marché had quite a range. Most are in the same colours as other sandshoes but I found some that really make a statement. I am not really convinced though about them as a fashion item. I must be getting old!

As the sun was finally out in Paris after weeks of rather average weather I decided to head to the Tuilerie Gardens and enjoy the scenery from Café Diane, mentioned by Fraussie, from Aussie in France,  in her post, Five Places to Eat Lunch near the Louvre. I only had a drink so I can't comment on the meals but I will be going back another day as it is such a beautiful setting.

Flowers and more flowers in the Tuileries Gardens
I was planning to go to a play but feeling tired I instead decided to make my way to a bar for an apéritif. I knew Le Meurice was not far, once again thanks to Fraussie's 3 Places for an Apéritif in Paris post. Her local knowledge gave me some idea of what to expect and I was not disappointed as I brazenly walked past the two doormen and through the revolving door. It was not immediately apparent to me where Bar 228 was located but eventually I found myself ushered into a comfortable leather chair. A stool was immediately pulled up for me to place my handbag on. They must have realised that I had only bought my bag the day before.  I was taking my time to drink my 14 € glass of rosé (which was excellent) so that I could soak up and enjoy the atmosphere. The head barman noticing that I was nearing the end of my nibbles quickly whisked them away and replaced them with another serving. Rather generous I thought. Not wanting to seem too greedy, and trying to be ladylike, I left most of them.

Coutume Café: 47, rue de Babylone, 75007 PARIS
Café Diane:  Jardins des Tuileries, 75001 PARIS 

Le Meurice - Bar 228: 228, rue de Rivoli, 75001 PARIS

4 commentaires:

  1. I'm glad you're enjoying my recommendations though must say that it's a bit worrying to learn that my life is so decadent!

    1. Oh dear, I didn't mean to infer that. Condensing all the things into one single day however was overdoing on my part. :)

  2. The perfect Parisian experience. I'm a big fan of Bar 228.

    1. I can certainly understand why you are a fan of Bar 228!


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