Sunrise in Paris... we do stuff early... mostly eat
28 Novembre 2016
Sunrise in Paris. Don't get too excited. Sunrise isn't like at home at some ungodly hour. This was a more reasonable 8.30AM ish. Why would we get up so early? Food, why else? In this case it was one of Paris' finest boulangerie. We, meaning Michelle, had discovered that some of Paris' best croissants and pastries were to be found at the boulangerie Du Pain et des Idées.
I thought Melbourne had some lovely golden sunsets but a Parisian sunrise is as gold as a golden thing. She is quite lovely when she gets a glow on. Paris isn't just the City of Light at night, she has golden trees on molten golden dawns. Some of the trees still have golden leaves even though it is late in the Autumn and freezing like somewhere there should be a lot of snow. Sub zero or close to zero degrees for the couple of days we had been in Paris. It had to be unseasonably cold? We'd already made one trip to Uni Glo to get cheapish freezing weather gear. I even bought myself a long puffy down jacket. And gloves. And a beanie. I don't really feel the cold that badly, but Paris you broke me. We got extra layers for the kids too - jackets, beanies and gloves. The cool thing about going to a store we were familiar with was the huge range of cold weather gear. We just don't get that sort of range at home. And the prices were the same. This sounds like an ad but I promise it isn't.
Boulangerie Du Pain et des Idées
So we were rugged up and prepared for a stroll. Our first stop, Boulangerie Du Pain et des Idées for Paris' best pastries. We were hoping to get a sit down breakfast there, and there are a couple of outside tables, but inside there is only room to queue to get the delectable pastries and breads. How good were the croissants? Oh my god good. I'm fairly certain that they may have been the best croissants ever. The other pastries like the escargot scrolls were equally as good. We kept going back inside for more. And why wouldn't we? I can't recall the exact price, but around the euro mark each sounds about right. There is a highly regarded croissant shop in Melbourne that charges around 6 bucks for one croissant. We were throwing back half a dozen of the best croissants ever for around the same price we can get one in Melbourne. Melbourne you are nuts. So were the croissants worth getting up early for? Can I get a SHIT YEAH!
First breakfast done it was time for second breakfast. One that comes with coffee. Not far from the boulangerie is Holybelly. I hate to shatter the illusion, but I am writing this some time after we visited so I can say that the Holybelly we went to has closed and they have a new shop down the street. Their website says Holybelly 19 will be re-opening but at the moment Holybelly 5 is the name of the new digs. Okay, now I can go back to pretending I wrote this while sitting in the shop.
Holybelly styles itself as an Aussie style cafe / coffee shop serving all a traditional modern all day style breakfast menu. There's even vegemite available for Aussies - or anyone else brave enough to try it. Hipsters should feel quite at home. Not because they like vegemite but modern cafes remind me of hipsters for some reason. Holybelly is probably quite hipster friendly. It has that vibe. I wonder if hipsters are what used to be the bohemians in the 50s? I don't know why I am banging on about hipsters and bohemians? Maybe because this is Paris and my head is filled with visions of avant garde black turtleneck clad, beret wearing, bohemians sucking on Gauloises while listening to indecipherable jazz. But you won't find that here. What you will find is that they use bread from Du Pain des Idées just up the road. Speaking of traditional Aussie breakfasts, I had a Canadian style brekkie - pancakes with eggs and bacon and maple syrup. Michelle had scrambled eggs with bacon and mushrooms. We had the excellent Du Pain et des Idées bread for toast with vegemite because we are travelling Aussie cliches. All this washed down with a couple of cappuccinos and babycinos. Because when the coffee is good who can stop at one? Don't worry, we do feed the kids too. They generally share ours. We get extras, like bacon and eggs, on the side.
Holybelly can get quite crowded and sometimes, I've heard, you may have to wait. There is a little bit of hype around Holybelly and it is very good, the coffee is excellent, but the coffee was slightly better at Fondation. That said, it deserves some of the hype. Overall it is excellent value if you want something more than a croissant and dishwater flavoured cafe Americano at a traditional Parisian cafe.
So after two breakfasts what could go wrong? Being full doesn't preclude lunch eventually. It's not like we had lunch reservations at an expensive Michelin starred restaurant featuring a multi course degustation menu in an hour two or anything? Ah, maybe I should refer to Michelle's itinerary more often.