OOgling the yummy cakes through the window :D
Its so lovely to not have to wake up to an alarm. Leisurely lie in and no plans whatsoever. Great. Breakfast was a bit of a late affair, the fiery ball was already high in the sky and the rays beaming its warmth. A leisurely walk to the local boulangerie where we got fresh baguette and croissants. The window was fully of yummy sweet pastries and cakes, enough to make your mouth water. Everyone is out and about on the streets at this time of day or sipping coffee outside the many cafes.
I gobbled by breakfast up like a savage and had a goal in mind to cover the shops and to spend some serious money on some great vintage finds. I had my list of vintage shops in one hand and a map in the other.
Fresh baguette and photo wall on Rue Charlot
What I did forget to grab was the mini phrase book :(
The shops I had in mind were all located in the Le Marais area, walking distance from Paris
buddy's flat. I hit the coiffeur vintage first on Rue des Rosiers. This place is small and quite dark instead. The rails, boxes and shelves are stuffed full of goods. At the time I entered there are no other customers and the lady watching the shop. She comes over cautiously and looks at me suspiciously. I nod and whisper a "bonjour" before starting to peruse the shelves. She sticks her nose up in the air and turns back to her stall. I gather about 6 interesting looking items, mostly old denim and dungarees.
Coiffeur, vintage shop 1
I ask to try them on and as I don't have my phrase book and poor grasp of the French language I say it in English. She grunts and nods and ushers me into a tiny box with a curtain, while she counts the number of items I have and recounts them. Inside is full of other stock hanging on the pegs in there, making it even more cramped and small. I realise there is no mirror as I struggle to get my clothes off and put these clothes on. I continue anyway and I feel my way around the outfit to decide if I like it. I struggle as you can imagine its not the most easy task. After 2 minutes I hear the lady shouting something through the flimsy curtain and I fail to understand so I open the curtain up to see what the issue is. She continues to speak French to me as I shake my head and ask if she can speak any English.
F-Star, vintage shop 2
She looks at me angrily and then barks... "can you make hurry, I have lots of guests." Grrr, the lady has officially pissed me off now, ahem, I thought I was also a customer. So I decide that its not even worth the hassle, she clearly isn't bothered about my custom. I change out of the one outfit that I managed to get into, I fling the curtain open dramatically and dump the clothes back at her. GRRRRRRR!!! I hate this lady. What was the need to be so rude? I would not recommend to shop here as the customer service level is 0. The changing room is terrible and there is a lot of second hand junk they try to pass off as vintage. As I was leaving the shop had become really busy and in a place like this that is so small and packed with so many goods it is difficult to move around.
Fripe "P" Star, vintage shop 3
Not a great shopping experience having to fight your way out of the shop. When I perfect my French language skills that will be the first place I will return to so that I can tell that lady how rude she was!
Onto my next venture. "Fripes Star" Rue de la Verrerie. This place was a short walk from Rue des Rosiers. They had designer vintage in stock. In the cabinet by the till counter they had 1960's-1970's Raybans sitting along side some other French designers. In the coat section a few burberry trenches were visible along side Ralph Lauren jackets. These items were considerable more expensive than the other regular none designer stuff. Again this place is not huge but much bigger than the other place.
It was so busy in here either so there was space to peruse the rails and shelves looking for that unique piece. I spotted an area for denim in particular the dungarees. I made a beeline for it. I had a look through at the shapes and sizes within the selection. I needed something very classic, a light wash and not too short like some of the hot pant style ones that are hitting the racks in London. I rifled through the rack with passion, until I spotted the perfect pair. Exactly as I wanted and with adjustable straps, perfect. I didn't bother attempting to try it on as the changing room was again very small, with a flimsy piece of curtain and full of other stock that shouldn't be there. I bought it with fingers crossed that it would fit.
I was so pleased with this find I paid and left onto my next place, "Free-P-Star" on Rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie. This place was more like a giant jumble sale. There were more second hand gear than vintage gear. People were rummaging through rails of stock and diving and getting lost in boxes. No luck here.
On my way back to Paris Buddy's flat I passed an Olivier & Co, I got some chocolates from there as a gift from a friend and decided to venture in and get some more. The chocolate hazlenuts are divine and also got some savoury stuff too. A bottle of the sundried tomato pesto, nom nom. Lunch consisted of fresh baguette, cream cheese, tomato pesto with parma ham on top, double nom nom.
We went for coffee afterwards in a cafe about 10 mins walk from Rue Charlot.
Rue Charlot by night
Paris buddy ordered deux cafe crema, apparently it is understood that if you order a latte everyone knows you are a tourist. Well bring it on I am a tourist and not ashamed, give me my latte. The cafe crema was very strong, shot to my head like a bullet. I guess this is what I'm here in Paris for? :D
Dinner is a late affair in Paris, so we didn't hit the restaurant until around 10pm, Les P'tites indecises, bar and restaurant, Rue des 3 Bornes. The place is heaving on our arrival, all the tables are full and the bar is stacked. Windows are steamed up and people are chattering and laughing. The waiter spots us pretty much immediately and like a magician he pulls a stray table out of nowhere, shuffles a few people over and creates us a place.
Except there are no chairs... again his does his magic trick and two chairs are pulled out of thin air. The menu is a giant black board, which is transported around to eat table, all the meals hand written on with chalk. While we decide I take a look around the room to see what everyone else is eating for inspiration. The table of boys beside us were wolfing down huge steaks, I have to have one but I fear it may kill me as I attempt to eat it. I am that hungry that I decide to take the plunge. One steak for me... asked for well done, as I know that a medium steak in Paris would mean one with a pulse. Be safe and order well done. Paris buddy decides on a pot of beef stew with vegetables. As it is so busy the drinks and food take forever to be served.
No bread, no table water, nothing. The waiters are 'laxed about the speed and service, which irritates me, i'm starving! Like a monster!
When the food finally arrives my knife and fork is at the ready, before the plate hits the table i'm already tucking in. The steak is amazing! Cooked 'well done' is actually medium. Perfect colour, perfect texture, perfect taste. The mash is divine, perfectly creamy and well seasoned. Paris Buddy's stew is crumbly melt in your mouth heaven. The veg, nom nom! Everything is above excellent. Hit the spot like a bullseye. Unfortunately the the wine not so great urgh!
While we are blindly focused on the food in front of us, the b'day gathering around the bar area suddenly kick into life.
Grrrrr! time to tuck in :D
The customary, embarrassing sing song starts, not only are the friends singing but the whole damn restaurant joins in too, complete with table banging, clapping and wolf whistling. Pow wow, atmosphere or what!
After devouring the meal like a couple of savages, I was falling into what I call a food coma. A long gentle walk back to the flat helped a little until... of course drama on the streets. I blindly didn't notice a patch of sick on the pavement and stepped on it... not just stepped on it but slipped and went flying into the air, both feet off the ground, rumble tumble motion kinda action! Almost killed myself!