24 Nov 2014
The secret for enjoying a long holiday, is taking a day off. A day enjoying simply hanging around the hotel and immediate area, with no plans. A day spent in pyjamas, reading in bed. A day spent in a local cafe watching the world pass by. Today was one of these delicious days.
After a late breakfast together we went separate ways and met for lunch. I spent the morning in the hotel: a long hot soak in a bubble bath, reading my book in bed, and writing in the lobby lounge. Dave popped out to mooch about the local shops, including the bookstore, and then came back to the hotel to pick me up for lunch.
He’d found a great looking restaurant that was mentioned in the Lonely Planet, La Petit Pontoise. Boy. Talk about a stand out meal!
Tucked down a narrow side street of Boulevard Saint Germain, called Rue du Pontoise. It’s a little place with timber tables squashed in together, like most French bistros. The dining room is hidden from the street behind lace curtains on brass rods. The walls are lined with blackboards announcing the extensive wine selections, specials and desserts.
There was only one waitress, friendly and efficient, she showed us to a quiet table. The chef here has a Michelin Star, we discovered later, which explains just how amazing our meals were.
I started with a beetroot and apple stack with goats cheese and pesto; and David started with baked ravioli in a deliciously creamy cheese sauce. Baked sea bass with a creamy vanilla bean sauce on a bed of green vegetables pour moi, and seared scallops with seasonal vegetables pour homme. And a bottle of Bordeaux. Excellent food and wine.
Hand in hand we strolled home to lounge in the lounge and post a post.
That night we popped back out to pick up some supplies from our local grocery store. Inside it was cramped and overcrowded with commuters picking up supplies on their way home.
We had selected a few things for a light supper and were about to join the queue when David said “Go and wait outside.” There was something in his voice. “I’ll pay. You go and wait outside.” He repeated. Obediently I turned and left. I don’t know what it was, but something about the way he spoke made me do what he asked, without question.
I instinctively moved away from the front doors, wondering what he’d seen, or if I was reading too much into it. After a minute I turned and looked back into the store and saw a group of young men at the counter looking like trouble. Suddenly I heard shouting and looked again to see the guy behind the counter and one of the men start to grab at each other. I moved away and stood near a couple of French ladies outside an elegant homeweare store, and hoped that if the store was being robbed that Dave would leave the basket and come outside.
Three men came outside and looked ready for a fight, soon the fourth man joined them and after a bit more shouting they left. Later David emerged and told me that the men had tried to scam more change saying they’d paid with a €50 rather than with a €5.
Anyway a man in front of David in the queue, defused the situation by holding his phone out and saying he was going to call the police.
So, a little street drama for the evening.