Meeting my friend Guy in Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 17 of 18 › view all entries
I woke up pretty early because my friend Guy from Belgium was going to meet me in Paris at the hotel in the morning and we were doing the trade fair together that day. He was taking the train down from Brussels and then meeting me at the hotel in order to leave his luggage in my room since he could not check in before after 2 pm.
There was a strike in Belgium amongst the train staff and he was not sure if the train to Paris was affected but luckily there was no problem which he called to tell me a 7 am. Guy was at the hotel just before 9 am and it was great seeing him again; last time had been at a birthday one month earlier.
We left the hotel to find a place for some breakfast and we ended up at a place just next to the impressive and beautiful grand old Hotel Louvre.
We had a freshly baked croissant each of us and a cup of Café crème. We just enjoyed the place so much that we prolonged the stay with a second cup because the place was too nice to leave from.
We decided to leave for the fair at the exhibition at Paris-Nord and went down to the metro in order to catch the RER at Gare du Nord. It didn’t take us more than 45 minutes before we were at the exhibition.
We took the train to the corner of the Latin Quarter just next to the Notre Dame. We went inside the Café Le Notre Dame at Quai Saint Michel; the café looked like what I always have associated with a traditional Paris café and I was not disappointed after we had entered.
We found a table in the middle of the café because the wind was cold and every time someone entered or left the wind came in cold and reminded of the winter coming to Paris as well.
We ordered a couple of beers and enjoyed the calmness of the café looking at the traffic getting heavy outside as the Parisian’s started to go towards home from their work.
From here we walked further in to my favourite area at Rue Dauphine; here we entered one of the most wonderful tourist traps in Paris; Café Le Buci. The Café is situated on one of the most touristic corners in the Latin Quarter and it has for sure all the looks that you expect from a Paris Café regarding interior and exterior even the waiters looks like they are picked out of a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painting.
It is a place you enter if you want to be in a Paris painting extraordinaire and feel good about overpaying for it. Everything looks great and the view is stunning and so are the prices! Here you pay 5 euro for a 25 cl Carlsberg and 10 euro for 50 cl.
We decided to meet again in the lobby at 7.30 am and decided to find a place for a drink before eating. The first place we went into was the nice and small “Bar De L'Entracte” which is one of the smallest cafés I have ever been too but also a very famous on. The bar has 6 seats inside and there can probably be 6 standing in the bar; in the outside season they can host some more but it is a small and fabulous place.
The café was almost next door the hotel and the whole corner where the cafe is situated is so picturesque that you just want to bring it back home.
The tiny “Bar de l'Entracte” is known as an "Intermission" place for the theatre and a place that serves aperitif with breads & goat cheese. It's a favourite place for many and I am definitely one of them. After the first stop we walked around in the area until we saw the Willy’s Wine Bar which also is a really nice place to hang out and enjoy a good glass of wine; well even a whole bottle with some friends.
The bar just had its 30 years anniversary opening in October 1980; it has now for decades now been a convivial vinous establishment and a part of the fabric of Parisian life. Standing in front of the establishment you are easily taken by its elegant 1930's facade, and first inside the first that meets you before a small from the very friendly waitress is a long, polished oak bar with an enticing & very personal selection of wines by the glass & the bottle, available at all hours.
The wine list features over 250 references, strongly representing the wines of the Rhone but also Bandol, Languedoc, Sherry, & more.
From the bar you can see the cozy rear dining room, with its high oak beamed ceilings. On the walls you can see a huge part if not all of posters with Willi's 'bottle art' collection to which a new image, commissioned from a different artist, is added each year.
After a glass of wine in the cosy bar, where I probably will be also the next time I am in Paris, we went further down the street looking for a Japanese restaurant. We had decided to go for some Japanese since the whole area was crawling with them everywhere.
We walked pass a lot of different restaurants before we for some reason stopped at the Restaurant Japonais in Rue des Moulins, where there were two small Japanese restaurants next to each other and we just picked one of them.
Inside it was quiet small and it looked like a very small and cheap Danish grill; it turned out that they had seats on the first floor as well, but we decided to stay downstairs and close to the kitchen so we could see the chef work. We ordered a huge boat menu and ordered some beers to start with.
After some time the boat came and man! There was food for days or at least for two hungry guys. The ingredients’ were fresh and the food tasted wonderful. There were more than enough for us and we were quite full leaving the place after having managed their largest menu offering for two persons.
Afterwards we walked back to the hotel in the narrow and rainy streets that surrounded the hotel. It was time to say goodnight for me as I had a flight from CDG airport at 7 am.