SUNDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2012
A crisp sunny Sunday morning on the Champs Elysees.
The bird Market
I cannot visit Paris without a visit to the Grande dame of them all…Notre Dame.
I watch some children excercising and singing in the palygrpound at the side of Notre dame and briefly get a pang of missing my grandchildren.
I am meeting Roniece for lunch at Le Relais de l’Isle. on the Isle St louis, but I see her on the Pont St Louis and she is freezing!…not being used to such Arctic conditions coming from the Southern hemisphere. So we dodge into a cafe for coffee to warm her up. The price is high but the vantage point for people watching is priceless. It is too cold today for the usual musicians that play on the bridge.
The meal is delicious. Le Relais de L’Isle is a little gem and the price is unbelievable. My Danish freind Gitte found this place, credit to her.
I have goats cheese salad and then Lapin (rabbit) with orange. A nice variation on duck a l’Orange. The sweet sharpness of the sauce cutting through the strong flavour of the tender rabbit….but it is what the chef does with vegetables that is so clever here. I had three boules of mashed root vegetables, Potatoe and celeriac, sweet carrots and I thin parsnips. The flavours bended so well with the meat and sauce.
A hot dessert of prunes cooked in red wine and spice topped with cool vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint was a perfect dessert finished with coffee. All for less that 20 euro!
Here is a lovely portrait of Roniece
..and a not so lovely portrait of me!
We stroll through the quaint strets of the Ile St Louis and browse in the little shops. I bought some earrings knowing hey will be unique.
Roniece is still cold so we hurry to her little local bar on Rue Monge in the 5th for a hot chocolate and a mint tea for me. Sadly this is our swan song as Roniece leaves tomorrow.
So to tourist central in the 6th, I have been invited to a womens meeting at 1800h.
It is n ow too cold to take my gloves off to take pictures but I enjoy visiting this historic part of Paris, uncrowded now with tourists in the winter. I pass St Suplice and Odeonand lookin vain for a plaque on the wall on rue Madamewhere the Stiens had a house where they kept their collection.
In January, my freind Lizzie dragged this art philistine to an exhibition of Piccasso, Matisse and somebody else which had been collected by the stien family in the early 20th century. The paintings were really interesting but what really fascinated me was the story of the Stein family, how they came to live in Paris and their patronage of artists and writers of the time.
The evening was spent eating pasta and listening to a jazz duo in Poit Bulles 7 Rue Clement at the side of the Marche St Germain. Just as I was about to leave, my companion who I had been conversing with all evening, suddenly announced to the musicians that she was a chantruese and told them her name. They obviously had heard of her and they invited her to sing. Turned out she is a very talented jazz singer. I was enthralled with this impromptu performance.
Sometimes it is the totally unexpected and unplanned that give you those wonderful memories of Paris. This is an evening I will never forget.