Our boutique hotel, Saint-Germaine, offers such warm hospitality that I'd recommend it to anybody who wanted a break from the hustle of the city. We wake up to colorful and plentiful breakfast, with a lovely fresh fruit compote and various yogurts, in addition to boiled eggs and cheeses. We can sit there anywhere between 7 and 11 a.m., sipping coffee au lait, watching our neighbors and fellow travelers wander in and out of the lobby, plan our daily itineraries and get the latest news from the concierge. The desk clerks warn us of police/"yellow jacket" protests and inclement weather, as well as providing first-hand information on the nearby restaurants. They know the area well, and are solidly reliable.
On my way to the CIC automated teller, I took in how Parisian bistros invite patrons to sit outside, despite the cold. What could be more Parisian hospitality, I thought, than how Le Flores, on the corner of Rue du Bac and Rue du Grenelle, provides warm ruby red lap robes for those who want their meal outdoors. We elected to dine inside the other evening, on onion soup and a shrimp and avocado salad. Not only had there been rain, there'd also been snowflakes.
Arrived a week ago, right after the shopkeepers began putting up their Christmas decorations. Look how inviting our neighborhood windows are. My youngest granddaughter has outgown the teddy bear stage, at ten, but nonetheless I lingered to think about how delighted I would have been 75 years ago to find one of these sweet animals parked under my childhood's Christmas trees.
I'd passed the next-door pharmacy several times, stopping to gaze at the toiletries. A few days ago, I had entered and tested the Fleur d'Oranger sampler. This morning I surrendered and treated myself to a holiday present. I saved myself a trip across the Seine to the Galeries Lafayette, shopping right in the neighborhood.
Not all the displays promoted holiday shopping, though. This mannequin is parked right next to a small cafe, and I concluded it advertised a lingerie shop...but who knows, this is Paris, ooh-la-la.