Monday, April 22, 2013

Le Grenier de Notre Dame

Paris has so many restaurants that I usually just find one in whatever quartier that I am visiting. But not today! I wrote a short French essay and practised my phrases until 11:00am and then I set out across Le Jardin du Luxembourg where the tulips are now blooming and headed for la rue de la Bûcherie to have lunch at Paris' oldest vegetarian restaurant, Le Grenier de Notre Dame.

I don't know how I missed this restaurant last year as it is steps away from the language laboratory on rue Fouarre. Rue Fouarre gets its name from the bales of straw that students sat on to listen their teachers in the Middle ages. This was the earliest classroom of the Latin Quarter.

The restaurant is located on rue de la Bûcherie which is named for being near "le port aux bûches",
where the logs were floated on the river not for its other role as the street of "boucheries".  My classes with Isabelle are paying off. If like me, you enjoy reading, Shakespeare and Company, the famous English language bookstore is nearby. I notice that there is a free lecture on Samuel Beckett Thursday evening.

The restaurant is small and very quiet so I was able to read Dreaming in French as I sipped my organic red wine while waiting for my vegetarian cassoulet. I am not vegetarian but I like to enjoy some low-fat options from time to time. Honestly, the cassoulet was more like a bean and vegetable stew with a topping of seitan. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and felt energetic after my lunch so I wandered through the small streets of the Latin Quarter.

Another nearby shop that you might like to visit isTapisseries de la Bûcherie, a needlepoint shop that has beautiful kits and where you can also buy the finished product. I bought 3 small kits to make a Paris triptych for my bedroom but so far I have not finished them.

Some of the winding streets of the Rive Gauche are not crowded with tourists and you can appreciate that this is where the centre of learning was in the twelfth century. Rue Dante, rue Galande... This is also an area for attending concerts: St. Julien-le-Pauvre and St. Ephrem on rue des Carmes have regular concerts that cost about 27 euros.
My favourite spot behind St. Julien-le-pauvre

I wend my way back to St Germain to pick up some batteries at FNAC and to price a new camera. My pictures are very blurry and I may need a new camera for my Danube trip. I have never bought a camera before so this would be a new undertaking. I pretty much need a point and shoot right now.

I have been promising myself a fine French pastry so I stop on rue de Seine at Gérard Mulot.  I choose an "amaryllis" composed of a macaron of dried fruit, vanilla creme and framboises. I will have it with Kusmi tea after I talk to maman. So much for low fat. Non, je ne regrette rien.

2 comments:

  1. It's really lovely to read about your experience of Paris. I used to live in Paris years ago, and worked at the English language bookshop Shakespeare & Co by Notre Dame, do you know it?

    Popping by as a fellow Visible Monday blogger, do pop by my post and let me know what you think!

    Emalina
    www.kikiandthegypsy.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Dear Madame ... I always have mixed emotions when I read your posts. Glad that you're giving us these wonderful travel tales, sad that I've always wanted to do just what you're doing, and have not yet made the opportunity! Glad always wins, though! Thank you, and travel safely.

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