Sunday, June 5th – After a late rising, we had breakfast at the Hotel Saint Germain des Pres and took off to have a look at the Seine, some two blocks from the hotel. Wow! It is at the highest level since 1982 – I’ve never seen it this high, so high that tour boats are not able to navigate the river because they cannot get under the arches of the bridges! In fact, the top decks of the tour boats are well above street level, an incredible sight!
We had a late lunch at one of our favorite places – what used to be the Café Atlas now the Brasserie Atlas after buying out the florist next door, taking over the space and expanding their presence on the rue de Buci. Hard-boiled eggs mayonnaise, a few fresh shrimp and some Belon oysters, an avocado vinaigrette paired with a demi-pichet of Sancerre set us up perfectly for an afternoon nap. Well-done.
About 7:30pm we got a taxi to take us to Fanny & Gwénolé Le Goudeveze’s home for a “light” dinner. The treat for us, apart from enjoying their company, is to spend a little time with their two adorable daughters, Faustine and Enora. They are always entertaining (their parents, too!) and we were treated to a delightful (if not “light”) dinner. We so enjoy being with Fanny & Gwénolé, it is always a treat for us when in Paris.
Easy journey back to the hotel by taxi & so to bed.
Monday, June 6th – OMG! Our last day in France! We have to do things that make us happy. We get up a little late, walk down the street to Le Bonaparte for a quick breakfast before meeting with our banker, Fredéric Aubin. In the meantime, a couple from our hotel also show up at the Bonaparte and we invite them to join us. Melody and Chris are from Marlowe, England and we immediately identify with them as they know many of the places we do. Lovely couple whom we hope to see in the future.
After our meeting at Credit Agricole, which takes longer than anticipated, we walk back to our neighborhood and rest for a while before going to lunch. Eventually we make it back to the rue de Buci and Brasserie Atlas. Moules (mussels) marinieres is the order of the day for me while Phyllis has a salad and the oeufs dur mayonnaise and a salad. More Sancerre and more interaction with our favorite waiter Pascal. A little shopping at the Gien shop and then back to our hotel.
Dinner at 8pm at one of our favorite places in Paris, Aux Charpentiers in the rue Mabillon. Caviar d’Aubergines for Phyllis and white asparagus for me to get us started. We both order the sole meunière and enjoy every morsel. At the end of the meal the owner comes to our table (she remembers us from many years past) and tells us they have sold the restaurant and it will close in September. We are heart-broken to hear this news although we are happy for her and her husband as they have owned the restaurant for over forty years. They have two daughters who are both lawyers in Paris and have three grandchildren. The next time we come to Paris the loss of this memorable restaurant will weigh heavy on us. No other place have we enjoyed so much.
Okay, time to sign off for this trip. We have a taxi to the airport at 7am to get our flight back to Houston. It’s been a great trip even with the labor unrest and the so-so weather. We were able to see some but not all of our friends and had a wonderful time together, Phyllis & me. We are so lucky!