Monday, 12 September 2011

Non-French Food and Funny French People

My first proper weekend back in Paris was full of funny French people and lovely, non-French food. (Not that French food isn't lovely...)

On Saturday, a visit to a photography exhibition turned into a jug of Pimms at the café next door, because the gallery was closed for Some Reason. Then in the evening we went to Chez Prune on Canal St Martin (metro: Republique). It's a well-known bistro and wine bar that does really, really nice wine. Obviously, we always get the shittest, cheapest rosé but the point is the nice wine is there if you want it. They also do nice cheese boards and meat boards.

Amongst our group there was some Real French People, and after Chez Prune they went and got us a Delicious falafal sandwich from a Lebonese restaurant they always go to. While we waited for our sandwich, we got in the queue for Comptoir Générale. Comptoir is just further up the canal from Chez Prune and it is brilliant, you should go. It is a really 'unique space' shall we say, a bar and restaurant set in what feels like an old hotel (I think its actually an old printing press), decked out like a natural history museum, with a Central American theme.

Unfortunately, by the time our French pals got back with our falafal, we had already gone inside and the slightly arsey bouncers had stopped letting anyone else in. Georgie had to go outside and get the sandwich off them, then sneak it back inside, where we ate it huddled in the corner, passing it around like a joint. There is always a queue outside Comptoir Générale and they stop letting people in at midnight, but don't let that put you off. The reason there is always a queue is because they don't let it get too busy, so there is always somewhere to sit amongst the old medicine cabinets and bell jars.

In the queue to get in, we met a couple who were visiting from Barcelona. The guy was Columbian and the girl was Austrian, and they were with a French couple they had just met on the steet, and they were all so drunk that they had decided to go on a night out together. The Austrian woman told us how the staff at their five star hotel had slapped her across the face because she asked to leave her laptop behind reception, so her Columbian boyfriend had ripped out all the broadband cables in the hotel... They weren't sure what would be waiting for them when they got back.

It was such an unbelievable story, from such an unusual couple, who we had met in such an unexpected way... They were fun though, but we didn't see them inside, so the bouncers must have decided they were too drunk to come in.

It was a Funny night, but not in a Ridiculous way like every night turned out to be last year. We had fun, but nobody ended up in bunk bed with a stranger or found themselves walking through tear gas... Ah, but they were the days!

Sunday night was also Funny. (When I say Funny I don't mean like 'Haha, this will make you laugh' I mean that throughout the night we found lots of things to laugh at.)

Me and Kayt met up with a friend of Mari's from last year who is lovely and has a Real Job in Paris working for a news channel. We met up with her at the Lizard Lounge, a bar in the Marais (metro: Hotel de Ville) where the happy hour cocktails were good and strong. Kayt had the Mojito du jour and I had Sex on the Beach- I know they are tacky but I love them.

After some nice chatting (and discovering some really bizarre mutual friendships) me and Kayt went to meet Georgie and some French People at a bar called Le Soleil (metro: Brochant) It was so French. There was a live band playing which consisted of a man who claimed to have played guitar for Led Zepplin and a girl on a violin. We got talking to one oldish man who, upon finding out we were au pairs, said:

"Watch out for the papas! My advice? If it happens... take the money, then have a shower."

Sinister advice.

After Le Soleil we went across the road to an Ethiopian restaurant. I have never eaten Ethiopian food before and I LOVE IT. You order something to share and it comes on a massive savoury pancake and you all get a smaller pancake to pick up the food with. It was really spicy and wholesome and I LOVE eating with my hands; I've always disliked the metallic taste of cutlery in my mouth. Eating with your hands, or with a bit of naan bread or pancake, makes much more sense when you think about it. The Ethiopian place was called Restaurant Menelik and the food was gorgeous, the staff were lovely and the music they played was brilliant, I wish they had a club as well.

Now I am off to read my friend Claire's play with a cup of tea, I CANNOT wait to read it. Today at work was fine, I finished work three hours early because the granny came round and said she didn't need me... suits me fine!

Yey, I really feel like I am getting back into the Parisien swing of things!


  1. I am an au pair in Paris who has come across your blog. Am having a shitty week (didn't get any school holidays = exhausted/ period pain where I want to rip my uterus out / kids and pets who won't do as they shuld always) but thank you for your truthful, delightful, hilarious writing. I just cried with laughter about the lady who got slapped at the hotel (wtf! that is crazy) so they pulled all the internet cables out. Lord oh lord. Kee up the good work!

    1. Ohhhhh thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm glad I made you laugh, despite having a shitty week. Keep reading, love LBM xx