Local Heart, Global Soul

April 21, 2014

If This Is not As old style Parisian As It Gets, I Don’t Know What Is…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

French friends, especially fellow Foodie ones who are from Paris are understandably fussy when it comes to recommending a place in the city to eat.

I asked several of my French friends for advice on which establishments would be worth squeezing into our short and busy schedule and one name popped up more than once,  so after meeting up with my American friends at Place de l’Opéra I started dragging them through Parisian traffic towards where we were now going to have lunch: ” the Bouillon Chartier”.

I had been warned by my French friends that getting a table at Chartier could be tricky, trying to go there in the evening would probably involve standing in a queue in the street, so with this in mind I thought it best to try and go there for lunch.

It turned out that my American friends  had a little trouble finding  our meeting place of Place de l’Opéra, so were running late, which turned out to be fortuitous because we ended up missing the lunchtime rush at Chartier  and got a table easily.

The Bouillon Chartier is rather literally an “old style” Parisian eatery, it was established over one hundred years ago in 1896 and the style of the food and service is little changed.

Our waiter was an older gentlemen dressed in the legendary black “uniform” with the white apron on top,  my American friends asked him questions in English and were immediately rebuffed in French, so it was left to me to stretch my French skills when trying to translate the menu.

With a multitude of specific expressions that stumped me and a lot of  detective guesswork,  he either took pity on us or couldn’t bear me torturing the French language any longer and with a withering glance of frustration in my direction  he switched to English and explained the bits of the menu I hadn’t managed.

For some reason my camera just couldn’t deal with the low light inside, maybe I had it on the wrong settings (or more realistically probably just plain ineptitude)  but seriously my photographs really let this place down. Do click on the restaurant’s website link at the bottom of my post to see the amazing interior, it really is stunning.

Once our waiter started speaking to us in English I did grab the opportunity to ask a question that I was really curious about. It came about because I noticed rows of little boxes at various intervals and I was curious as to what they were there for. The reply surprised us: these were the little boxes where regular patrons of the restaurant kept their own personalised and monogrammed serviettes. Many of the boxes ran in families and even through multiple generations. If that’s not as old style Parisian as it gets, I don’t know what is.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.bouillon-chartier.com/en/

2 Comments »

  1. What a wonderful place this looks! Next time I’m in Paris I’ll seek it out.

    Comment by Animalcouriers — April 21, 2014 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  2. Oh, all that old wood makes me swoon! Beautiful. 🙂

    Comment by Luddy's Lens — April 29, 2014 @ 11:40 pm | Reply


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