tea for one...
Burns is a Journeywoman who calls Washington, USA home. This lucky
woman also lives part of every year--the three lovely months of
spring--in France. She is currently working on a guide to the tearooms
of Paris and has agreed to share her expertise with us. Karen writes...
Alone in Paris? Lucky you!
Paris is a fabulous city for exploring on your own. Being a Journeywoman
you're probably okay with dining solo. However, after four or five
days the thought of another multi-course, calorie-laden French meal
might not appeal to you. Or, maybe you're just looking for an inexpensive
lunch served at an odd time of the day. Let me introduce you to
some of my favorite tearooms of Paris.
Last time I counted there were
one hundred and thirty-six salons de thť in Paris. They range from
the famous spots filled with lunching ladies-who-shop to tiny unknown
little gems on empty side streets. At most of them, you can find
salads, quiches, pasta, fish and meat dishes, as well as soups,
with prices ranging from 50 to 100 francs. Add dessert (and tea,
of course) and it's a great little meal.
Latin Quarter offers fab desserts...
L'Heure Gourmande, 22,
passage Dauphine, 6th Arrondissement
the heart of the Latin Quarter, a quiet pedestrian passage runs
from the lively rue Dauphine west to rue Mazarine. To find it,
head south on the rue Dauphine from the Pont Neuf and keep an
eye out for a tall iron gate on your right. Step through (it's
always open during the day) and mid-passage there's L'Heure
Gourmande, an elegant sanctuary with gold-washed walls
and a lofty ceiling painted blue and white like the summer sky.
What a lovely place for lunch! Try one of the five quiches, a
generous salad, or an assiette chaude (hot plate) served between
noon and 3:00 p.m. What kind of hot plate? Well, there's the Mezzaluna
(mushroom-stuffed ravioli with cream sauce), the Frileux (chopped
steak with cheese sauce and scalloped potatoes), and for vegetarians
there's the Jardin (a large plate of steamed vegetables). Main
dishes run from 48 to 109 francs and they leave room for dessert--cheesecake,
chocolate tart, fruit crumble, or ice cream (not just any ice
cream, but the famous Berthillon brand--well worth the calories!).
Walk down rue St-Jacques...
Le Thť des Brumes, 340, rue Saint-Jacques,
far enough south on the rue Saint-Jacques (this is the historic pilgrimage
route that once led all the way to Spain) and you'll find Le
Thť des Brumes, a cozy one-room establishment with flickering
candles on every table. Lunch is served all afternoon till 6:00 p.m.
If it's a cold day you'll appreciate a gratin, a hot fish, meat or
vegetable casserole topped with cheese and breadcrumbs. Or there are
salads, quiche, or ravioli. Prices are lower here (36 to 58 francs),
perhaps reflecting the out-of-the-way neighbourhood. The desserts
are worth the walk, though. All are made by the owner from recipes
contributed by her mother and friends.
Near Notre Dame...
The Tea Caddy 14, rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre,
walls, beamed ceilings, brick fireplace, mullioned windows -- The
Tea Caddy hasn't changed since it was founded in 1928 by
a Miss Kinkelin, English governess to the CitroŽn family. When she
retired, the CitroŽns gave her this small house near Notre Dame where
she lived on the upper floors and turned the ground level into an
English-style tearoom. This is where you should go when you're homesick
for scrambled eggs and bacon, cinnamon toast, or apple pie. Of course,
you are still in Paris, so you can also get poached eggs with spinach
and mornay sauce, salad niÁoise, and croque monsieur sandwiches. Prices
range from 25 francs for a sandwich to 55 francs for a salmon, spinach
and mushroom quiche. Sit by a window and you can look out onto the
Square Viviani, a lovely small park where the oldest tree in Paris