How can an English student like myself miss out on paying a visit to the iconic Cafe de Flore when I was in Paris? Located at the crossroads between Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Rue St. Benoit, in the 6th arrondissement, this cafe has a legacy for being a gathering point for French intellectuals in the post-war period. Just imagine; the likes of thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre once pondered the world at this very cafe, watching the world go by….
La Pâtisserie Viennoise is a small, unassuming cake and coffee shop tucked away in a corner off the Parisian tourist area of St. Michel. We just happened to be walking by and could not help but marvel at the array of cakes and tarts on display: huge slabs of chocolate cake, exquisite almond tarts as well as all sorts of other delights. It is pretty well-known, filled with a good mix of both locals and tourists, and settling in the cosy coffee shop seems like the perfect thing to do on a slightly chilly winter’s day.
How do you decide on a place to eat for lunch?
My principle is usually to stay away from chain restaurants, especially if you are exploring a new town, on the reasoning that since I’m in a new place anyway, I should try out something that is unique to the location rather than something that is so easily accessible anywhere.
But it was a cold and rainy afternoon and my friend (who was in town for a weekend visit) and I were dying to warm ourselves up with decent food at manageable prices, so we gave up on trying to trek halfway across the city centre for that perfect lunch place, and Cafe Rouge it was.