On Saturday we revisited some of our favourite places in Paris. We ate ice creams from Bertillion on Isle St Louis, wandering back and forth across the Seine. Then we struck south a little in the St Germain area to find an oyster bar/restaurant that Cath had read good things about: Le Huitery. They don’t take bookings, and we were a little later than hoped, so it didn’t surprise us that we needed to wait for a while for a take. We were second in the queue, and it only took half an hour or so. The oysters were as good as they looked, and as the photo shows, they look very good. Fantastic way to spend the afternoon.
After lunch we kept wandering along the Seine, through the Tuileries gardens until, as night fell, we reached the Christmas markets set up along the Champs Elysée. This was a scene of utter crowded chaos, and already there were littlies hopped up on sugar and going off. So we turned right, into the eighth, and strolled along the expensive-shop streets until we were back at the Louvre, where we stopped for a drink and a rest.
Restored to vigor, we hopped on a metro to get to our dinner reservation, a wonderful place called Will, back in the eleventh, near our hotel.
Very fine day.
Sunday arrived shrouded in mist, causing a bit of a sleep-in. Seemed like a good day to wander around Pere Lachasse. Because we were walking locally, and the maps don’t really show where the gates are, we arrived first at the back, walled section, and had to half-circumnavigate the place to get in. In retrospect we guessed wrongly: there would have been a closer entrance has we turned left instead of right. Such if life. There had been a surprising (to me) amount of change since our first visit, in 2006. Some new monuments to public disasters, and collective war dead. Clearly a very vibrant and active cemetery.
After that we caught another metro towards Place des Vosges, and started wandering towards the Stravinsky fountain, at the Pompidou Center, in search of lunch. We hadn’t counted on quite as many other people having the same idea. Cafe after cafe was full to the rafters, so we kept going. As we were starting to seriously flag, we thought to see if we could get a table at L’Ambassade d’Averne, which we’ve enjoyed before, and wasn’t far away. Sadly they informed us that the lunch sitting was over (at two pm) so we were back on the street. Eventually found a terrace cafe that would take us, and our second table was in a non-smoking section. Food wasn’t bad, but nothing to get excited about. At least we were sitting down.
By that stage we had run out of metro tickets, from our book of ten, so had to get mmore to keep going. Weirdly the vending machine rejected both of our credit cards, so we had to find a cashier to buy them with folding money. Went straight back to the hotel to get on line to see if there was a problem with our cards. Didn’t seem to be, so we headed back out for another meal. Cath had lined up a bar called the Marie Celeste, which served oysters as well as small plates. We made it to opening time, which was lucky because we managed to snag the last un-booked table for two. Oysters and plates were all excellent. A very pleasant evening indeed.
Woke up in good time to check out of our hotel. Caught the metro-2 to Chapel, which connects to Garre du Nord, which is where we caught our Thaleys fast train to Amsterdam, which is where we find ourselves now.
More news as it happens.