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thewishingtable

a delicious map of Paris & more or a cultural/culinary travel-concierge

Month

March 2017

Beautiful Marseille

I love Marseille! Yes, it´s true, no matter what other say about Marseille, I find it stunning beautiful and exciting! Many French will give you surprised look and some might start joking about the city they claim to be so dangerous while most likely they never visited! Absolutely go and visit Marseille! One great things is that it features easy access to nature thus if you love hiking it´s a perfect place. If you love beaches, again it´s a perfect spot cause they are city beaches in Marseille as well as more hidden beaches a long the coast. And the calanques, a must see! (See picture above) Even if you just have one day for Marseille consider taking the bus 21 from subway station Prado to Luminy. Get of at the terminal station of the university and you will find yourself at the entrance to the natural reserve on the top of the cliffs. Calculate about 3-4h for a nice walk. The best thing about Marseille are of course the people. They are so welcoming and  charming. Just to illustrate how nice they are I am going to share a little experience from my first trip. I took the boat to go to the island and when I arrived back after a long and fantastic hike I decided to have a bite cause I still had to wait an hour for the boat to go back. So, I sit down in this little restaurant and order some fresh fish and there is group of women in their 50ties sitting there having a bottle of rosé and smoking. They look at me and say: “Hey girl, why are you alone here? Come sit with us. You know women have to stick together!” We talked about life till I had to take the boat back. We had some good laughs, a few glasses and a great time. The people of Marseille are also super children-friendly. We went with our baby in January, most places where closed for the annual vacations thus we end up having lunch in a pretty fancy  fish restaurant. Of course that´s when I need to do a diaper change, in the middle of lunch. I go to the counter and ask where I can change her diaper and he says talk to the tall one. I go to the tall waiter and ask him and  he says: “Just right here! Wait a second.” He takes of decoration and cutlery of one of the tables and says: “Here you go.” I am a bit ashamed and tell him: “I think she pooped, this is a serious diaper change!” He laughes out loud and says: “But it´s my little princess, look at this beauty. Don´t worry. Just change her. This table the most comfortable option.” Well, alright.  There were a lot of old, posh looking people having their expensive lunch but they all just smiled at us and continued having lunch! One old lady waved and said: “Coucou bébé!” Once her diaper was changed, the tall guy came back, gave the baby a kiss and said: “Ah ma beauté!” (My beauty)! So that´s a new level of child-friendly! You just have to love the people here with their loud laughter and big hearts!

Here a little list of my favourite places in town!

  • Jazz bar with balcony to watch the sunset at Vieux Port :  La Caravelle Hôtel Bellevue, 34 Quai du Port, 13002 Marseille
  • Lunch: Le Cafe des Epices, delicious lunch set menu, no traffic – hidden terrace, 4 Rue du Lacydon, 13002 Marseille
  • Tea Salon: At a Cup of Tea you can enjoy the afternoon sun and delicious homemade cakes. It´s a mix of a litte library and a tea salon. Of course they serve coffee too.  1 Rue Caisserie, 13002
  • Cheese: Fromagerie Kalou – an excellent selection of quality cheese, great service, fair pricing. 24 Avenue de Mazargues, 13008 Marseille
  •  Hiking/ Calanques: Take bus 21 to  Luminy (last stop is the university for architecture which is at the entrance to the natural reserve). It takes abt 20 min from Marseille Metro Prado to go there. You can go for a beautiful walk on the Calanque from here. There are several loops possible. The main one is easy to walk and even possible with a push chair and little kids. Take water and food with you!!!
  •  Anonter option is to take bus 19 from Metro Prado, the bus goes along the coast to the outskirts of Marseille. At the last stop you can change into a minibus taking you to the cap to enjoy a sundowner at terrace of the bar Le 20.000 Lieux  (12 Boulevard Alexandre Delabre, 13008 Marseille). In summer time you can hike to the end of the cap and eat at restaurant there but as you can see on the picture on the left it´s a really narrow walk and no way you can take a stroller with you. 
  • If you follow the street of the village to the end you arrive at another access to go hiking in the calques. We did´t manage to get far with the push chair but I hear there is a restaurant somewhere up there in the forest.
  •  Think bus 56 goes from Vieux port straight up to La Bonne Mère (church). Amazing view over the city and sea. And a lovely church with a very maritime vibe.
  •  Take a boat for a day trip to the island, you will feel a little like on the end of world especially if you are not going in high season.
  •  Lovely art museum just downtown next to the harbour, first choice for a rainy day: Musée Regards de Provence, Avenue Vaudoyer, 13002 Marseille
  •  If you are looking for a quick access to go hiking and you wann be close to the beach, this airbnb is great https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10098467?eluid=1&euid=8dceee41-92c3-233e-8279-ae3c1d87c022   but it´s 35 min away from Viuex Port (downtown) So those who rather enjoy restaurants, culture life etc. might wanna check for a place closer to Vieux Port. (anywhere , just NOT next to the central station, that´s really a crappy hood) . I have stayed at the hostel Vertigo Vieux Port which is perfectly located and I know that they have family rooms. But still expect a young crowd hanging out there.
  • My favourite time to go is in February-April and in September/October. It´s just 3h from Paris Gare de Lyon with the TGV and in February it´s often warm enough to have breakfast on a terrace. Fresh baguette, a coffee and sun in your face- heaven! And in September the masses have left but the water is still warm enough to go for a swim. Once, it was a sunny November, I had forgotten my swim suit cause I am sure one could still have gone for a swim.

Enjoy your trip to the South, soak in the sun and eat lot´s of pizza! This is a great getaway from Paris! 

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Best coffee in Paris

So, yes France has to offer so many delicious things and we all praise the French for their good taste in food and fashion but when it comes to coffee, the palate of rest of the world and the French do differ utterly! Most of the time it just tastes burnt, sometimes acid. And leaves you wondering how after such a sublime meal someone can serve you this brown juice?! The moment you wish you would be in London, Berlin, Bangkok, Rom, Sidney or New York is when you get your coffee after your meal. But the last years here and there some coffee shops are popping up trying to change the French palate. Thanks to the baristas of all over the world good coffee is finally arriving in the City of Light too.

On this list, I just put those coffee shops I can remember even a year later for being so good. There are many nice coffee shops with good cakes and a coffee you can´t say anything against but that would be a different map.

For those of you who need good coffee at their breakfast at home, I highly recommend checking out my favourite coffee roaster Guiraud Pascale (Metro Dugommier or Daumesnil). (Also if you are looking for a coffee grinder this is the place to look and ask- and buy! On another note: Don´t just ask for advice in order to buy it online- it´s so sad to see all these little shops close down because people come and ask for advice but buy it online for 2€ less- seriously?!) Personally, we love our  Aidodo Burr Coffee Grinder- it´s a like morning meditation to grind coffee and if it´s too much you can keep the lower part in the fridge. Perfect.

The list:

Nanashi We did not only have a fantastic healthy lunch here but the coffee after was was so good, we ordered a second one! Nice to know, there is a little kids corner.

Café Chilango This little Mexican coffee shop is serving tacos and a really good coffee! Very chillaxed!

IMG_6846

Delirio The coffee was really good, I had a cortado and it was how it´s supposed to be and even well presented. They have a big choice on coffee styles, they also do empanadas, lunch and cakes. In the basement they have this huge wallpaper of a forest that makes it pretty chill and many little rocking chairs. (Perfect with children) Apparently they also do offer workshops and  you can buy some coffee beans (Columbian Arabica) there too. Pricing is normal for quartier when it comes to coffee. The only drop of bitterness was that we had asked for a little bit of extra milk foam for the baby and we got billed 4€ which is surprising and was a real downer. Usually in Paris it´s free or sometimes they charge you 50Cent or 1€, but 4€?!? I should have ordered one of their fancy passion fruit smoothies instead. 😉  (Picture above)

The beans on Fire This is one of these new hip cafe/coffee roaster places. It´s very upscale, don´t go if you are on a budget but the coffee is really good and there is a little parc just opposite the street. Hello sunshine! (If you ar looking a a piece of cake to go with it I´d rather recommend the bakery Broken Biscuits or the café Chez moi ou chez toi , it´s kind of next door.)

Cafe CC also called Coffee is the new black: It´s a cute ,little coffee shop, nothing fancy but nice. They are serving the coffee from the roaster “Belleville Brulerie” and it´s really good.

Cafe Spoune This little street has been changing a lot of the last years and is now occupied with many good eateries, libraries, wine shops etc. Cafe Spoune is one of the coffee shops serving good coffee and cookies. The backroom is nice and space with a little library-bring a book – take a book. Or just bring books. (Btw enough space for a stroller.) Another cozy cafe down the street is Folks and Sparrows.

Les Carottes sont cuites is a cute, warm tea salon serving homemade delicious cakes and lunch. Decent coffee and books for kids.

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Chambelland is a gluten free bakery with a nice sunny terrace- perfect for a good coffee and a delicious, low-sugar  moelleux au chocolate. (Picture above)

Coffee roasters:

Guiraud Pascale This is my coffee roaster of trust! It´s not one of these hipster places that are popping up all over Paris the last 12 months. No, Mr. Guiraud and his wife have been there for decades providing the most delicious coffee beans from all over the world. And teas and jams, honey and rare finds like tonca beans. You need to bring some time cause a chat about good food and coffee is obligaorty. PS: For pregnant or breastfeeding Mums: the decaf is delicious here, has nothing to do with the acid tasting and full of sulphite coffee from the supermarkets!

Terres de Café Tiny shop (no seating) serving coffee and selling coffee. When you are shopping on the farmers market and you need a quick good coffee to get going this is perfect.

 

Recommended by Gesine:

Bears and Racoons is serving gluten free food and good coffee.

Mokonuts  Cafe und bakery with delicious cookies, cakes, coffee and lemonade. Warm, welcoming place. Only open during the week though.

Le Poutch : Espressso latte, filter coffee, homemade pastries and juices- all you need for breakfast. For lunch they serves quiches, salad and soups. Typical cool coffeeshop in a hip area/street.

Kind of next door: Hollybelly around since 2013 known for their pancake breakfast they do serve too coffee from “Belleville Brulerie”. The menu is changing monthly.

Lomi – have a coffee or start a training as a barista!

 

 

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