« Spring on Friday night and an easy Saturday | Main | A Sultry afternoon in Montmartre »

Sunday in the Marais and Chez Janou

Yesterday was a hot sunny day in Paris and we thought we would spend it wandering down the little side streets of the Lower Marais and into Ile St Louis. We didn't have any set places to see, we just wanted to explore a part of the Marais we hadn't seen before. The area was full of tiny little streets filled with beautiful stone apartment buildings, little squares, private schools and not too many retail outlets. Den found some fig trees growing in the middle of Paris and we also happened upon part of the wall which surrounded Paris over 1000 years ago. We also stumbled upon Village St Paul, a delightful enclosed area full of little cafes, antique dealers and apartments. Den read that this had been the private garden of King Charles V and you can still see the arched doorways that would have led into the garden.

We continued walking slowly, enjoying the fountains, squares, and tiny cobbled streets. We eventually made our way to the Pont de Sully and crossed over into Ile St Louis. I had the naive idea of treating ourselves to some Berthillon on this Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately, half of Paris had the same idea. Rue Louis en L'Ile was packed wall to wall with tourists and Parisians enjoying the sunshine and the lineups at Berthillon, Amorino and any place that advertised "Berthillon" ice cream were at least 30-45 minutes long. I don't like ice cream that much! We finally made our way to the end of Ile St Louis and found a place to sit at one of the very touristy cafes just before the Pont St Louis. We ordered some ice cream and sorbet and some tap water. We sat for about half an hour, enjoying our break and just watching the masses of people out for a Sunday stroll.

We then walked across the bridge onto Ile de la Cite but we decided not to face another wall of people at Notre Dame, so we walked along the edge of the Seine on Quai aux Fleurs. We came across the Sunday bird market but lots of clucking and chirping is not really our thing, so we continued onto Place Dauphine where we sat a little while and watched some young guys playing boule. These guys were all decked out in their Sunday best, tight jeans or white pants, pointy shoes and tshirts or collared shirts and a few were even sporting deconstructured blazers. Only in Paris do you find such stylish young men playing a game in the park!

We walked back to the right bank via Pont Louis Phillippe and strolled along the Seine once more, enjoying the many bouquinistes selling their wares. We passed by Zimmer Cafe where we will be having dinner with friends on Friday night and checked out the menu (looks yummy, but then I wouldn't expect anything less from the person who chose it!) We strolled the little streets of the 1st angling ourselves towards our apartment but staying away from busy rue Rivoli. We stopped for a cafe creme at a cute little bar along rue Renard for a caffeine pick me up and finished our Sunday stroll through Lombard street, de la Verrerie and through Bourg Tibourg to our home away from home. I really love the location of our apartment, it is so central to everything we want to be near to.

We washed away the humidity and grime of Paris and spruced ourselves up for our Sunday dinner at Chez Janou in the Marais a few blocks from Place des Voges. I had wanted to try this Provencale bistro last year and we never made it. A couple we met during our lunch at Chez Prune last week had been and recommended it, so we had made reservations this morning on our way to the Richard Lenoir market.

We arrived a few minutes before our 8pm reservation and the place was packed. There is a cute little terrace outside and a funky bar/restaurant inside, decorated with posters of Provence. The bar is famous for serving over 80 different types of pastis. We passed on this licorice flavoured aperitif and just ordered the vin du mois, a nice little rose from, where else, Ile en Provence! There is no prix fixe, but the carte is very reasonable. Den ordered from the menu du jour and had a salade Nicoise with large strips of anchovies and the pork medaillons served in a cream sauce with endives au gratin. I had the mussels provencales and the thon provencales (when in Rome...........). I think I made my server's day when I asked if I could have my tuna steak served very rare. She smiled widely and made a flipping motion with her hands, indicating that the chef would just sear it quickly on both sides and voila! My mussels were delicious and I mopped up the remaining olive oil and spices with the great crusty bread on our table. Den enjoyed his pork very much and my tuna was to die for, still red in the middle, drizzled with olive oil and some salty spices and served with rice and a tiny ratatouille in the center of the rice. We enjoyed a very nice meal, the restaurant was packed, loud and boisterous, but in a very good way. We opted to share their famous mousse au chocolat when we saw the portions that were being handed out at the other tables. They bring a huge serving bowl and just ladle your plate with as much mousse as you think you can handle. It was just the right end to a great little meal. The food was tasty and satisfying, not hugely inventive or fancy, but very homey ~ a fun little place to have a nice Sunday meal. Our bill was 82 euros, very reasonable for the amount and quality of food we enjoyed.

We strolled back through the very warm Sunday evening and stopped for a nightcap at a little bar on corner of de la Verrerie and Bourg Tibourg, just around the corner from home. It was the perfect end to another perfect day in Paris!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 25, 2009 3:50 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Spring on Friday night and an easy Saturday.

The next post in this blog is A Sultry afternoon in Montmartre.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33
© 2008 - 2011 Slow Travel