For various reasons, we have to move today as we were only able to secure this place until now, although it should be fun sussing out a new ‘hood even for a few weeks.
It’s a holiday today, the end of WWII in 1945, so some things are closed, but not as many as last week. Even the gym doesn’t open until 9.
Having been ribbed by the Prince about my talking about the weather, I was thinking about why it matters more here than at home. It’s mainly because we aren’t going to and from an office everyday but are rather considering walks, musuems, an terrasse at a café and that sort of thing. Not only that but there is no doubt that we are outside here more than in Toronto, even in the summers. That said, it’s supposed to rain for the next week although the weather daily is ridiculously changeable. Sandy’s teacher told their class that in April and May, a woman should always have a shawl when going out ’cause you never know…’
The move was pretty easy and we are now in a more populated, less residential area, on the rue de L’Eperon, between Blvd. St. Germain and the very busy (many crépes places) rue St. André des Arts, sort of above the once-acclaimed restaurant André Allard. Funnily enough, about a year or two ago, we had a pleasant lunch there, their famous roast chicken and wild mushrooms if I recall correctly. At our place on rue de Vaugirard, we had the Catholic Institute across the street; here we’ve got Lycée Fenelon.
Incidentally, our old owners, a San Francisco couple, have a website that they update periodically, replete with longing to be back in Paris: www.39vaugirard.com.
We sussed out our new neighbourhood, especially the newsagent (although I’ll stick with the old one, near the gym) and supermarché, together with the open markets on rue de Seine.
Anyway, I’ve attached some photos of our new digs. We would certainly try to take this place, even if coming for a week or ten days. Very bright and modern.
Our friends Maura and Bill from New York arrived, staying just across the street at Le Relais St. Germain, so, naturally, we had dinner (again) at Le Comptoir du Relais. Sometimes places are victims of their own success and that Le Comptoir may be way past this point. Apart from not honouring Maura’s 8 p.m. reservation (we were seated at 9:45), the service was beyond bad. Nevertheless, an hour later, there was a line-up waiting to get in. That’s the trouble, the food is very good, especially for a bistro, so with people lined-up, why should they care about service? I’m sure that attitude eventually comes back to haunt a place but for now….
One thing is true of Le Comptoir like a number of other restos, namely, if you ask for carafe d’eau instead of a 5 euro bottle of Evian or Badoit or whatever, you have to ask at least 3 times. It became a bad joke last night, we must have asked about 7 or 8 times until Bill finally ordered a bottle of sparkling water and we complained to the manager, at which point carafes kept turning up, but certainly with no apology. (This happened at L’Epi Dupin the other day as well but the waiter apologized when he brought the water at least.)
I don’t think we’re going back there.