Paris: Our Daily Café Express

Saturday, October 9, 2010 5 No tags Permalink 0

In Paris we had a routine.

Lazy wake-up around 9am, white curtains and French doors, soft-hued flowers along the window. We stayed in a beautiful apartment, with many thanks to Monsieur P’s godfather, in a location almost too perfect to imagine.

The weather hovered in the low 60s our entire visit, calling for knitted fall sweaters, and the tall black riding boots Monsieur P bought me one afternoon. We’d get dressed and walk over to a neighborhood café in the 7th. He preferred to visit the same café every morning, but upon my insistence (persistence? ;) we went to different cafés each day. Why?

Well you see, we always ordered the same thing: an espresso each, or café express if you prefer.

But each place would present their café express differently, some offering a treat on the side. Certain places gave squares of dark chocolate while others offered crunchy, biscotti-like cookies. And some places didn’t give anything.

But the places where the best goodies were given were not at traditional cafés with outside seats arranged theater style, all facing outwards, but at proper restaurants. At A Priori Thé, an order of café express was accompanied by the tiniest chocolate chip cookie, a subtle nod to the owner’s American roots.

And at Cuisine de Bar, a lunch spot best known for tartines, buttery cookie “spoons” was delivered in place of a traditional spoon. The spoons are baked in-house, but come from the boulangerie next door. Perhaps you might know it? A famous little place by the name of Poilâne ;) We’ll talk more about their glorious tarte aux pommes next time…::drool::

It was hard deciding whether to take our daily café express at an actual café or restaurant. Which was more important: the setting or the “goodies” that accompanied the café express? In the end, the cafés won our hearts, because we could linger at our outdoor table for hours with conversation and books (I read the entire Millennium trilogy on this trip!). And when our eyes tired of reading, there was plenty of people watching to do!

As for the café express themselves…none were exceptional, but it was certainly the experience as a whole, and not just the drink alone, that proved most important.

5 Comments
  • Sasha
    October 10, 2010

    I just adore how they serve free cookies with the coffee…

  • j
    October 11, 2010

    in light of your recent trip i thought i'd pass along this whimsical video, if you haven't seen it alreadyhttp://alovelybeing.com/journal/louis-vuittons-quirky-guide-to-parisian-patisseries.html

  • anonymous
    October 11, 2010

    i love this!

  • anonymous
    October 12, 2010

    wow! nice combo. . love cookies when it's free=)

  • K and S
    October 12, 2010

    great cafe culture :)

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