Hats off to the Regent’s Garden Hotel because they supply tea and coffee making facilities. Replace the hats because their cups are ridiculous.
First of all, note the size. In order to have a normal cup of tea or coffee, you need at least three of these. Secondly, note the spiral form. This means you can’t fill the cup properly because it will overflow. And, finally, note the handle. It’s almost impossible to pick it up without tilting the cup and spilling everything because the handle is a continuation of the spiral bowl.
Though, to be fair, the cups are the only complaint I have with this hotel. It’s fantastic and, in my opinion, the best accommodation we’ve experienced on all of our Paris trips.
But, from the best of Paris to, possibly, the worst.
Mirinda was very keen to experience the flea market. Apparently this had been a childhood dream. So, today we visited the flea market at St Ouen. We won’t be doing that again.
First up, as you leave the Metro station and set off down the road, it’s like you’ve emerged into some post apocalyptic world where the inhabitants eye you suspiciously while singing “Green! Green! La la la la.”
It was not what you’d call appealing unless you find poverty and wanton litter appealing. (Why is it that the poor seen to litter more than the not poor?)
Actually the nicest part of the place was the church. Big surprise there.
As you delve deeper down Rue des Rosiers despair seems to open up to you. Crumbling walls, artistic yet futile graffiti screams out in silent desperation.
We first headed into the market called Paul Bert. Along a few streets are stalls selling everything old. As the stalls spill out onto the street it’s almost as if the antiquities are trying to escape the awful world they’ve found themselves in.
Mirinda wasn’t keen so, after visiting the toilet, we headed further down the street to the more salubrious, market Dauphine.
We had a jolly good wander but Mirinda managed to find nothing to buy. While there were quite a few things of interest, they weren’t strong enough to open the purse strings.
Of most interest was this odd little house, the Futuro.
These houses were designed by Finnish designer Matti Suuronen in the 1960-1970’s. There were only about 100 made and this is one of them. How or why it ended up in the flea market is anyone’s guess. It wasn’t for sale so it won’t turn up in our back garden any time soon.
The only place that looked good enough for food was decorated in boats and associated ephemera so that’s where we had lunch. And while the place may not have looked that great, the grilled sardines were very nice.
Most peculiar though was the complimentary tea bags that came with the coffee. Very, very peculiar. They came in tiny cardboard pyramids and were probably handed over because the waitress didn’t know what else to do with them.
Before too long thankfully it was time to leave the flea market and head back to the Champs Elysees where we repeated last year’s agreeable walk through a bit of the Christmas markets followed by the big stores that lead to the Arc de Triomph.
Cartiers, it would seem, has Christmas all wrapped up…
After our usual rest in our room we headed out for dinner. We decided to visit a place we’ve passed virtually every day as it’s on the corner up from the hotel. It’s called au petit Marguery and is lovely.
I’d have to say that it was the most enjoyable meal I’ve had this visit. And I learned a new ice cream flavour I’d previously been unaware of. It’s called plombiere and delicious.
After our meal we had a lovely wander around the area before retiring for the night.
One of the things that is typically Parisian is the fact that people will park virtually anywhere, as if road signs are merely a thought and only to be adhered to if you feel like it. Here is an example:
But, enough of that…we have an early start tomorrow. And so, to bed.