Simply Sam Trading - Antiques.Brocante.Gifts

We stock a variety of vintage, antique and hand-crafted items. Available on our web store or select antiques and beautiful 'proudly South African' hand-made Gift items on sale or to view at VinLee Art Gallery Hilton College Road, Natal Midlands. Hilton off-ramp, N3, Kwazulu Natal

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another day in Paris

In the street below our apartment a Madame is serenading the patrons at the street cafes, with the lilt that is so very French, to the applause of the Parisians.

We're sitting with all the windows open, with temperatures soaring. It's been a stunning, 'summers' day and it seems everyone is outside at street cafes & restaurants. When we arrived in Paris everyone was still dressed in Winter apparel and it seems over night the next season is upon us. Jasmine is in the air and the mood is exhilarating.

So what to russle up for supper when your ingredients consist of pesto, olives, creme fraiche, rice and tomatoes? Pesto Rissotto with creamy tomato & olive sauce. Perfectly accompanied by chicory salad, grated Compote cheese, fresh baguette (which I stupidly bought and carried for an hour, then passed at least a zillion Boulangeries on the way), and a good glass of red - but of course.

Another stunning day with perfect weather and a whole range of Ateliers with wares to blow your mind. I hope the photos I've taken will give you some idea. Paris is so full of creativity and customary skills that have been pasted down through families. To give you an idea, we went to see a leather book binder, a restorer of vintage maps & posters, a maker of musical trinket boxes (some of which take one year to complete and 3000 Euros to purchase), a Milliner with hats that would put the Queen Mother's to shame, hand-made Ostrich lamp shades etc etc. All wonderfully inspiring and amazing.

Many of the Brocante shops we visited late afternoon as some only open after lunch and close after seven. Very convenient for a bit of late night shopping. I came across more lovely linen, beautiful vintage clothing and bags, but very little furniture.

We still didn't get to the Musee D'orsay or the Catacombs, but we'll try tomorrow in between the Brocantes. There is just so much to see and I want to take in as much as possible before we leave and all the best Brocante are at the weekend.

The only thing I would have liked on this trip, which seems like its not yet available, is a Google Map App, that allows you to plot multiple places which would send out a reminder as you walk. I had to revert to the old method of paging through a map and brochure which means, more often than not, putting your feet up at a street cafe, and at five Euros a beer or cafe creme, can be lovely, but all adds up. In fact as we sat sipping our little Espresso today a couple of Gypsy children put a piece of dirty old newspaper right over my breakfast to try and take the 50 Euros I'd put down to pay the bill. One just has to be vigilant as the poverty is quite horrendous.

I'm sure the App will be available soon, but try as we may, we found nothing that worked.

The 15 Euros we spent on an 'un-limited' data card was money well spent, as this allowed us to switch on Google Maps, once we knew where we wanted to go, and to 'whatsapp' our children as we went. We could even send them pics as as when they were taken, all for free.

Eating has been mainly 'on the go' at Bolangeries and Patisseries, and fresh fruit from the local grocer. Its 'Printemps' and the strawberries are irrestistible. Tomorrow we'll try 'Restaurant chez Chartier' just down the road from Rue Montmartre, where we are staying. It is, we're told, an unpretentious French Brasserie dating from 1890 ( just my kinda place) and has reputedly only had four owners since 1896.

It's 10pm, just getting dark, and the night is still young, but my poor feet can't walk another step. So until tomorrow Bonne Nuit ...

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