Caper Berry Gravy

Monday, October 30, 2006

J'aime Paris!

Hello! So, it is back to reality. I'm back at work, just got over the jet lag and wishing I was looking at the Eiffel Tower again. Or just being anywhere on holiday again! Obviously I didn't have a chance to blog about what I was doing so there's lots to tell. Can you imagine, no stops for the internet? But seriously, there was so much to do!

Where do I start? Maybe I'll work back from the end. Paris was our final stop and I had scribbled down a list of recommendations sourced from Gourmet Traveller's Paris edition imagining long lunches between galleries and shopping. There were relatively long lunches but nowhere I'd planned. It takes a lot of planning to work out what your next day's activities will be and which arrondissement you'll be in when, I was like a schoolgirl studying every night. Unfortunately you can't plan opening hours!

I did consider selecting some of the famed restaurants and making a booking way in advance but I thought it'd be more exciting to just find cafés and maybe discover a new treasure or two. (A lot cheaper too!) There were two cafés I'd really wanted to try. Café Constant is an off-shoot of Christian Constant's Le Violon d'Ingres; we went there on a Sunday night and it was shut. OK, Le Violon d'Ingres is also closed on a Sunday so maybe they shut on a Sunday. The next day we found ourselves on rue Saint-Dominique again, hey let's see if they are open for lunch... but no, it remained shut, "chairs turned upside down, lights out" shut. I figured I gave them 2 chances but funnily enough, we didn't feel like seafood in the restaurant nearby and I now realise I turned down the other restaurant in their portfolio, Les Fables de la Fontaine. Oops!

The other
café was Chez Stella because Gourmet had such a lovely description of an old favourite. (It's actually in the above website link.) We were going to head that way anyway so when Café Constant didn't come through, we headed towards Chez Stella. I knew that after 2 misses, we would have to be treated to a fantastic meal so I excitedly dragged T out of the metro, threading my way through the streets. When we got to Chez Stella there was a sign on the door, "Closed due to health reasons". Arrrghhh! We did wonder if it was the chef or the patrons' health in question. :-)

After that, I was determined to just stick to my plan of not planning and it worked a treat! Funnily enough that afternoon we were going to the Centre Pompidou. Check out what was on their door:

Don't worry, after that everything went smoothly again and we had a fantastic time. I love Paris!

Café Constant 139 rue Saint-Dominique
01 4753 7334
(To check when they open!)

Chez Stella

3 rue Thérèse
01 4296 2215.