I enjoy the café life here in Paris because it’s more relaxed. Parisian cafés aren’t necessarily for just sipping espressos or cappuccinos, but it’s also for happy hours and drinking. It’s as popular as the bars back in the states. What I like about it is that you can sit outside and people watch under the heat lamps, and if you’re inside, you could enjoy endless hours of reading or writing. They don’t mind that you just had one drink and are spending four hours going about your business. Basically they serve you and you’re forgotten, unless needed.
Nick and I have been café hopping a bit. We like going in for a drink or two in between lunch and dinner. So far we have two places we like best: Vin et Tartine in the 4th and Café Contrescarpe in the 5th.
Wendelimus is a newfound beer by Nick at Vin et Tartine. It’s a Belgium-style beer, French made, which is his new favorite here. I always order my organic Bordeau, and it’s served full glass. They also serve peanuts with their beers, which we share and find quite tasty. It’s a treat because we don’t eat peanuts at home. The ambiance here is laid back and friendly, but you’ll have to ask for your check when you’re ready to check out. And if you want another beer you’ll have to flag down the waiter or waitress because that’s just how it is here. We’ve been here multiple times and have sat outside and inside. I think we like sitting inside better because the café is on a busy street on rue Rivoli, which back drafts an unpleasant amount of exhaust as you’re sitting there, and by sitting inside you avoid all of that pollution-intake.
We went back to Café Contrescarpe and sat inside. Although I liked sitting outside under what I believe to be the best heat lamp in the city, I really admired the décor inside. It reminds me of a library – sort of. I like the bookcases and of course the books. I just like the feeling of being in there; it reminds me of reading and writing, which are two things I enjoy tremendously. It’s definitely a place we’ll keep going back to for drinks, people watching, and reading.
In the meantime, we still have more cafés we’d like to explore!