June is theoretically the month marking the beginning of summer, but that’s not obvious in Paris this year. Summer comes in spurts with some sunny days followed by several days of gloomy weather. What always impresses me at this northern Parisian latitude is how the days are incredibly long around the summer solstice.
If I look at meteorological data for June 21st, the sun shone for an additional 29 minutes in Paris than in Montreal. In addition, probably because of the positioning of these cities within their respective time zones, the sun starts rising in Montreal at 5:06 am while it is delayed by 45 minutes in Paris. Since few people wake up this early in the morning, we cannot enjoy as much the prolonged hours of sunshine in Montreal. Dusk in Paris, stretches up to 10:40 pm, which makes difficult any attempt to bed early.
A Few Restaurants of Note in Paris
For various reasons, we did not have much time to go grocery shopping and cook, as creatures of comfort we made the easiest choice: eating out. I’ll spare you the addresses that I did not like.
We first dined at this Pierre Boyer-Sang two years ago. This restaurant is still good and an enjoyable place to be. For dinner, there is only one menu of six dishes that you won’t get to know the ingredients before finishing your plate. A great dining experience for only €39 per person. The owner is always around and has a very friendly staff. It’s a place to try at least once, especially now that we can book reservations either for 7:30 pm or 9:30 pm. If you like enjoying your meal slowly, prefer the second service.
6 rue Gambey, 75011 Paris (Métro Parmentier L3), 09 67 31 96 80
Paris Feni, fruit-bar
Just a few steps from Pierre Boyer-Sang, but in a completely different universe, Paris Feni offers Sri Lankan/Pakistani food and fresh juices. The menu and the quiet terrace attracted us for a meal on a sunny Saturday afternoon. We were not disappointed by our tasty fish curry. It could have been spicier, but the French have little love for spicy food. Simple, good and affordable (€12 plate, €5 big juice).
15 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris (Métro Parmentier L3)
Chambelland, a Gluten-Free Bakery
I had never pushed the doors of this bakery in front of which there is a queue every Saturday. After hearing positive comments about this place, on a day off I indulged in having lunch there. I truly enjoyed my vegetarian sandwich and my raspberry tartlet (lunch menu €12). I have since adopted this place as my main bakery. I love their levain, buckwheat and rice flour breads. Try the athletes’ bread with dried figs and nuts it is a delight even though it’s a bit pricey.
14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris (Métro Parmentier L3)
Lower Belleville is slowly turning into an Italian neighborhood with many new shops opening lately. It’s a welcomed change from Vietnamese restaurants, on la rue de la Fontaine au Roi settled for the terrace of the restaurant Olio Pane e Pomodoro. Not knowing what to expect, we were surprised by a simple, but tasty, Italian cuisine. From appetizers to desserts, everything was good. The only negative was that the portions were too big. For those of you who are innamorato with Italian wine, this restaurant has a great wine selection. If you are looking for a quiet meal, you should settle for a table inside as the street is quite noisy (at least on Friday nights). I would definitely return to see how this restaurant evolves.
46 rue Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris (Métro Goncourt L11), 01 83 06 04 57
A great hair salon
During my first years in Paris, I almost never had my hair cut and every time I did, it was a disaster. Pedro suggested I try his hairdresser as he had told him that he knew how to cut curly hair with a razor.
Ever since I’ve been seeing Franck, I’m getting haircuts more regularly and I often get compliments on my hair. Last week, I took a leap of faith and asked him to dye my grey hairs that are becoming plentiful. I have trouble getting used to the darker colour. But after going to a hair salon, I find it best to hold my judgement for a week and half. After all I have never been disappointed before!
Brin d’esprit – 18 boulevard Jules Ferry, 75011 Paris, 01 43 55 32 83
Earlier this month, Pedro went on a business trip and left me with my beloved croquette. It felt good to have the home to myself and eat cereal every night without having to take into account the desires of another person.
However, I realised that to be a lone dog caretaker is not easy. I had to cancel my yoga/pilates classes, because if I had gone, he would have stayed by himself for 12 hours straight. On weekends, I felt guilty leaving him alone so I stayed-in with him a lot. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to have a dog when you’re alone, but it’s awfully easier for couples!
Happy Canada Day fellow countrypersons!