My Favorite Place in Paris

My Favorite Place in Paris

I told Mimi that I was saving the information on this place for people who tell me I am wonderfully witty. So if you are reading this, and you have not yet told me I am wonderfully witty, you need to stop and go post a comment to the effect of my wittiness right now. Before you read any further. If you do not and you read about this place without telling me I am wonderfully witty, you will have cheated. And I don’t know for sure, but I think it is highly likely that bad karma would follow such a cheater for all of their days.

Maybe we should do a scientific study. Maybe everyone who cheats and reads this without posting praise of my wittiness and everyone who plays fair and showers me with compliments can keep a record of their karma for the next ten years, and then, in January 2017, everyone can rendez-vous here to compare their decade of karma and see.

I am a little hesitant. I feel maybe I should wait for the wittiness praises before posting, that otherwise it’s a bit like the cow/barn door thing. But then I saw that Mimi has another blog, and that this one is called FRENCH CHOCOLATE KITCHEN. And she has been making truffles! And I am hoping I can lure her into sending truffles to ME, as opposed to me sending them to other people for committing murder or not committing murder, which, I would like to point out, I have NEVER promised to do, even though the rumor seems to be persisting. (Although in this latest persistence of it, I must say homicide sounds justifiable.)

So…keeping my fingers crossed that this works…my favorite place in Paris…is…:

La Charlotte de l’Isle. I love La Charlotte de l’Isle the way you love a magic ring you find in the forest that whispers it will take you away into whatever dream you choose. I love it because it has the best hot chocolate I’ve had anywhere, outside maybe a couple of places in Madrid and one other place in Paris that has since closed. I love it because sometimes when you go there, they have a giant chocolate seahorse hanging so low over the display case that people hit their head on it when they get too close to the tempting homey-looking chocolate tartes on display. I love it because sometimes the window is full of a Black Forest of dark chocolate trees through which swoop dark chocolate witches riding broomsticks of dark chocolate and orange peel. I love it because of the antique silver bowl containing crystallized mint, with an antique silver spoon dipped in it just so, with just the right carelessness, as if a witch was using crystallized mint in her next potion and she had her supplies strewn all around her. I love the pointed hats that fill its back room, witch hats and medieval princess hats and New Year’s hats and birthday hats, but they’re all conical. Every single one. I love the cuckoo clock out of which a witch pops instead of a bird, like Hansel and Gretel’s house. I love this place. It is like magic that is real. It is like Paris at its very best, it is the type of place that is the heart of Paris and the reason why–beyond the bridges and the museums and the Eiffel Tower and the black and white photos of kissing couples–so many people love this city. It’s on l’Ile St. Louis, not too far from Notre-Dame.

Go to Paris, go have some hot chocolate there and see how it’s served, study the menus and the backs of the menus and see all the hundreds of tiny details I haven’t told you about. If there’s a spot to see in Paris, this is it.

  • You are so fantastically witty, you make me swoon. I should have said so before, back when I wrote the comment about how you should just wear a tiara whenever you want, like to the grocery store. In fact, I probably did! But then I deleted the comment because I was afraid it would sound stupid, but that’s not my point! My point is that you are wonderful! And witty! And I looked for your book in Munich today but they didn’t have it, so I will request that they get it because I really want to read it.

    And now I’m going to go read the post about your favorite place in Paris, and then I will go to that place as soon as I can! You want me to pick up something for you while I’m there?

    January 19, 2007 at 5:35 pm
  • amy

    You are wonderfully witty. I must say, though, that given I’m not about to get to Paris any time in the near future*, that this seems a bit forced. Even though I DO think you’re witty.
    * As far as vacations go…we never did take enough of them (any) before having kids, and now, well, “vacation” is a word best to be used loosely. We’d hoped to get to Austin this spring, finally, because we’d wanted to go. But we are settling for Boston. Which sounds somewhat the same, but is well within driving distance (like, 2 hours) and thus much cheaper, although not as warm and certainly not any place I’ve never seen before. Still. With the kids and all. It’ll be fun.
    Sorry for the OT rambling….
    Do you have a favorite place in Boston? Hmm, probably not….

    January 19, 2007 at 5:37 pm
  • Laura, every time I post I will praise your wittiness.

    You are very, very funny. I hope there will be a followup book of some sort.

    And, that is great link and another place I will try to check out in Paris. How much can I fit into two weeks? I may just have to visit the Web site every day just to see the colors.

    You know, I think I remember walking past that place last time.

    January 19, 2007 at 7:04 pm
  • I DO have a favorite place in Boston. And what’s amazing is I haven’t even been there, but I somehow managed to find this place anyway, and I don’t even know how. No one told me about it, I just happened upon it. I think I am like a bloodhound when it comes to chocolate. Like that dog in this country song I heard the other day, “Got a nose that can smell a two day trail/ He’s a four legged tracking machine/ You can consider yourself mighty lucky / To get past the gators and the quicksand beds / But all these years that I’ve been here / Ain’t nobody got past Red.” I’ve been wondering who that reminded me of, and now I know–me! If the “nobody” is really “chocolate”. Anyway, I have only eaten its delicious chocolates, I haven’t seen the place, so if you go, you will have to describe it to me and see if it lives up to its chocolates. It is LA Burdick. It probably isn’t anything close to La Charlotte de l’Isle because La Charlotte de l’Isle is something special, but it has cute mice, and people who live in Boston have since told me it is, indeed, a great place. It’s the source of the chocolate Joshilyn Jackson talks about here:

    And Alala, I like you. Unless you are exaggerating about me being so witty it makes you swoon? For some reason I suspect a smidgen of exaggeration. I LIKE the idea of wearing a tiara to the grocery store, but my problem is that, like you, I teach. And sometimes, when you are wandering around the grocery store in a tiara and you run into one of your students, it can be a strange experience. Sometimes they look at you funny after, in class.

    Did you just start teaching ESL recently? I can’t tell from your blog. It does get easier, though, in answer to one of your blog questions. The first time you teach a course is always the hardest.

    January 19, 2007 at 7:07 pm
  • amy

    I bookmarked their Cambridge page! Handy, since I think we’ll take the kids to the Natural History Museum at Harvard. Isn’t blogging wonderful? Advice on New England attractions from someone in NC. I love it.
    And Alala, I’ve bookmarked you, too, because you are another KNITTER! 🙂

    January 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm
  • Did anyone notice Mimi avoided the whole subject of truffles? But double praises of wittiness certainly deserves something. Mimi, since I saw on your blog you’re trying to keep the meal expenses under 50 euros a day, here is one of our favorite restaurants in Paris. It is one of the cheapest, but it is also really, really good. But it is Vietnamien/Chinois/Thailandais (I think the owners are Vietnamien but covering all the bases of what might draw people in), and I usually have to convince people to try it, since they are determined to only eat at French restaurants while in Paris. But it is SO good. And cheap. And the owners are so sweet. And it is right by Notre-Dame as well, although if you eat here for lunch, you won’t have room for chocolate after. It is L’Etoile d’Orient, 5, rue de Poissy, in the 5th, right off the Seine. (You walk down the Seine on the Left Bank from Notre-Dame, with the Seine on your left, and the rue de Poissy will be a little street on your right.)

    I recommend the bo bunh and the porc caramelisé. They’re both delicious.

    January 20, 2007 at 10:43 am
  • And to answer Alala’s question…yes! Chocolate witches! 🙂

    January 20, 2007 at 10:44 am
  • Of course not. I never exaggerate.

    I do see your point about the tiara. I also run into my students at the grocery store sometimes, and the tiara would probably only confirm what they already suspect about me.

    I’ve been teaching ESL for nearly a year, but that sounds like more experience than I really have. I only have three students (I inherited the class from another teacher), so class is cancelled whenever someone can’t make it. I think we’ve met maybe 12 times so far…

    I’m taking notes on the Paris recommendations. I’ve already floated the idea to Mr. Husband, so it’s in the works. Hah! He will be so surprised at how much I know!

    January 21, 2007 at 6:35 am
  • dee

    See what happens when I have to go to work? I don’t get to play in the comments over here and learn all the secret places to get good chocolates! Just. Not. Fair.

    January 24, 2007 at 12:07 am