One of the items on my friend’s wish list, was to visit the quaint area of the 13th arrondissement. I like this area of Paris and was happy to explore it once again.
The 13th, an outer arrondissement of Paris is a mixture of winding cobbled lane ways, eclectic cottages, unattractive 1970’s style apartment blocks, street art on every corner, with a quiet, village atmosphere about it.
Leaving the bustling main boulevard, we worked our way through the cobbled streets, both of us photographing just about everything we came across.
Although I am not a fan of graffiti defacing walls and buildings, for some reason, it seems to work in the 13th. One of my favourites,featuring on almost every shopfront is MissTic’s stenciled street art. Although I recently learned that if she is caught adding new work, she will be heavily fined.
At exactly the moment my friend’s tummy started to rumble, we came across Chez Gladines, a quaint cafe I had been wanting to try out. A gorgeous little bistro with red and white checkered table cloths, good food, a great ambience and really friendly staff.
Clearly a popular and inexpensive place to have lunch, it wasn’t long before we were sharing a table with another couple as we sipped on a glass of Rose.
My friend, being a vegetarian, in a city full of meat eaters, finds it a little challenging to get a good meal, but her potatoes and cheese didn’t disappoint and my plat du jour of chicken in a creamy mustard sauce was delicious!
Continuing our journey of the 13th arrondissement, we happened across a quaint window with pretty flower boxes adorning the sill. We pressed the buzzer and were lead into the sweetest little shop, via a private courtyard. Atelier La Clariere sells homewares, antiques and hand-painted fabric.
My friend couldn’t resist buying a set of antique table napkins and a tablecloth, a lovely souvenir to take home.
Our time was starting to run out, we needed to head back to the Marais, to meet up with a friend of mine for drinks but a toilet break was in order.
A local tabac, provided a quick, cheap café, standing at the bar and the use of their toilets. As we entered, camera’s in hand, the barman insisted my friend take a photo of him, posing this way and that, leaning on the beer taps, tilting his head from side to side. Laughing, sipping on our espressos, my friend marvelled at the friendliness of the people we had come across and couldn’t work out where the clichéd rude Parisians were hiding!
Making it to my favourite bar, just in time, a lovely surprise was awaiting me. Propped up on a table top, with an array of toys about her, was my friends little baby girl. No wonder French children are so well behaved in cafes, they start at an early age. As the time passed and she got a little restless, all the waiters, including the boss, took took turns in holding her, finding ways to entertain her and keep her happy. After some cuddles, photos and Christmas present exchanges, my friend attached her little bundle of joy in a baby carrier and left us to have a delicious meal at Petit fer a Cheval.
The bar was unusually quiet and perhaps my friend who works there was bored or perhaps he wanted to ensure my friend had a memorable time in Paris, either way, he pumped up the music and after a few more glasses of Cote du Rhone and a little encouragement, had her dancing the night away.
All in all, it was just another day in Paris.