I found myself faced with an unusual dilemma.
Apart from a few last minute items, my suitcase was packed and ready to leave with me tomorrow. The lid closed easily, the weight seemed under and there was still plenty of room to spare. This problem needed to be rectified, tout de suite! If the suitcase wasn’t packed tightly, the items may flop about in an unruly manner.
There was only one thing to do for my last full day in Paris and that was to shop. The sales were still on and I needed a new outfit to wear for my final dinner in Paris.
Well, that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!
So many gorgeous clothes to choose from but I had my heart set on a bright pink pair of shoes to set off the splash of pink on my new black and white spotted dress. It appears that hot pink shoes are not in fashion and although I searched every shoe shop and department store, I left deflated, sans pink shoes although I did manage to find some others to my liking marked down by a whopping 70%.
Armed with enough carry bags to keep the paper recycling industry in business for the next few years, I headed back to the apartment to face my next dilemma, what to wear!
Both new purchases of a cutesy, frothy beige skirt looked fabulous teamed up with an oversized black jumper, my decision was final.
Julien and I agreed to meet at my favourite bar for an aperitif, before deciding on where we would spend my last Parisian dinner.
A text message went off in my pocket, your favourite bar is now my favourite bar too. Julien had obviously arrived early and was at my favourite bar, I giggled and replied as I increased my pace, I’m surprised they let you in, only cool cats go there.
Just as I was about to walk in the door, he responds with, now Petit fer a Cheval is also his favourite bar, I wouldn’t be allowed entry.
We were both beaming at our silly jokes as I approached him and delivered a kiss for each cheek.
Julien had a few ideas of where to eat and I had a few up the sleeve of my new woolly jumper.
The search was on and the elimination process had begun, not unlike our other evenings together, in search of the perfect cafe.
I am sure that anyone else would be mystified and agitated at our mutual process but it is part of the fun and once we decide, it always seems to be the right choice.
We were down to the last cafe on our list, when I stopped dead in my tracks and squealed with joy, jumping up and down on the spot.
Julien! I screamed out to him, he had continued walking, not realising I had stopped.
Walking back towards me, he couldn’t understand what had caused my excitement. The closed shop I was beckoning him to explore, had Julien’s head cocked to one side and a puzzled look on his face.
It is closed he says, still unsure what all the fuss was about but look, there are people inside I tell him almost breathless. I don’t even think it is open for business yet, he points out, electrical wiring waiting for a sign to be installed, no opening hours on the door.
Unfazed by his remarks, I try the door and it opens, the two people inside look up in fright. My excitement didn’t allow me to find the French to ask them if they were open. Ask them I squeal to Julien, unable to contain my excitement, and he does.
They are closed but will re-open tomorrow and 11am. Perfect.
Bouncing down the alley way, towards the café, animatedly explaining to Julien the reason for my shear joy, became apparent, although he didn’t share my enthusiasm.
My favourite shoe shop had opened it’s door in Paris. A couple of years back, I took the Eurostar to London with only one mission in mind to buy shoes. I had checked earlier in the year to see if there was a chance that they had opened up in Paris but only a pop up shop for the summer and it had closed by the time I arrived in December.
With my friend in Paris and having to go through the process of replacing stolen items, it had robbed me of time that I would have ventured over to London once again, to explore the latest designs.
I will be back tomorrow at 11am on the dot, banging down their door.
The final café on our list, Le Père Fouettard was our choice and was perfect.
Sheepskin rugs on the terrace chairs, timber floors and furniture, little nooks and crannies over the two floors, super busy, yet friendly waiters, a lively, unpretentious crowd, very comfy chairs and a perfect spot by the window, had us smiling at each other, we had done it again. We had found our perfect place that we mutually agreed upon.
The meals were large and delicious.
Duck with aligot begged me to order it. I love aligot and it goes perfectly with duck.
Aligot is a creamy, silken mashed potato that is beaten into submission with cantal cheese and crème fraiche, which results in a stretchy and gooey silken mash, which is absolutely sublime.
Julien decided on the plat du jour of rabbit.
We had yet again, another lovely evening, which made it all the more difficult and sadder to say goodbye to Julien.
We had had such wonderful times together, shared great food and wine, laughed at one another’s sense of humour, boogied our bodies late one night, enjoyed our cafe selection process and explored the night time streets of Montmartre together.
I don’t like this goodbye business one bit!
It isn’t goodbye insists Julien as I stand in front of him, awkward and sad to have to deliver another goodbye.
A bientôt I say, no he says; à la prochaine.
He is right and the three simple words make me feel better as we embrace.
Until next time.
Le Père Fouettard – official website 9 rue Pierre Lescot Paris 75001 Nearest Métro: Châtelet Open: Monday – Sunday 8am – 2am Julien Dartois – Tour Guide firstname.lastname@example.org Personal and Group Tours of Paris in English, Spanish & French