Our favourite area to stay in Paris is Le Marais. If we were buying here we might venture further out to less fashionable and cheaper areas but for short stays this suits us well. We like the galleries, shops and the public transport system offers many options to plan the most efficient way to any location in Paris.
Our latest apartment is in a building we have stayed in before so it does feel like coming home as we return to the same shops and cafes that we know so well, there is the very handy Monoprix, a small inexpensive department store with a supermarket. The only drawback shopping here is how we have to buy toiletries and cleaning products on the ground level past the clothing area and then go to the opposite side of the store to its supermarket in the basement level. Last year we discovered we should have just collected our goods on the ground floor and carried them down to the supermarket so we could pay for everything at the one cashier.
But let me tell you about our apartment. It is on the 3rd floor with the smallest lift known to transport any human. But having said that, it does hold two people, you enter the lift, the first person shuffles sideways to the left and the other person – that being John has his nose up to the controls, you cannot turn around. We just crack up each time we come back with some groceries, negotiating where to put the carry bags. Then there is the apartment kitchen that even a well seasoned flight attendant would find challenging. The owner has managed to pack in a slim dishwasher and a full size front loader washing machine but to save more space there is a micro/convection oven. Amazingly there are 4 hot plates. It puts a new spin on Masterchef challenges, not to cook something that tastes and looks good but to cook anything at all in such confinement.
We are here for two weeks and I plan to look more seriously at ready-made food products – we are told this is what the busy French working person has to work with these days but now I get it, saving time is not the issue, they just don’t have our lovely big kitchens – unless they are very wealthy and if so they probably eat out, or have a cook and a roomy kitchen is a status symbol.
So whilst the amenities are basic we are graced with a very important piece of French art in our apartment. Taking up valuable space in a corner is a Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière’s bronze sculpture. The larger original version of a youth holding a fighting cock is in the Musee D’orsay. I quickly looked him up.
Falguière was born in Toulouse. A pupil of the École des Beaux-Arts, he won the Prix de Rome in 1859; he was awarded the medal of honor at the Paris Salon in 1868 and was appointed officer of the Légion d’honneurin 1878.
There is also an impressive French clock and I am sitting at a writing table that whilst elegant with a secret compartment in a drawer, it was and still is best suited to someone shorter than moi, of which there was no shortage a few centuries ago, before the majority had opportunities to eat more nourishing food. My petit point covered chair is similarly low so at least they are compatible.
The clock cabinet is so empty…maybe the acoustics work this way when the clock strikes. Clock photos are for our friend Mal who reads my blog and happens to be a seriously mad clock collector.
The owner has acquired a collection of biscuit and sweet containers that are displayed stylishly in a tall glass cabinet, but alarmingly in the bedroom.
In the ceiling of the cabinet three 12 volt downlights illuminate the cabinet in a very professional presentation but John is not impressed with this on his side of the bed.
All available spaces throughout the apartment are used to great advantage and a fondness for pewter plates means the owner has created a shelf to display them, once again in our bedroom. However I am fond of the little bronze Scottie dog guarding the door in the living room. Next post the fabulous new Hermes department store.