Katherine received a tip that the Marais district was a good spot for good coffee, and interesting shops, so for our next Parisian jaunt, it’s there we go. We get off the train at the Gare de Lyon station, this time, rather than emerging into the middle of a shopping centre, and find ourselves an exit a little more easily. There’s a dedicated path for bikes, and the riding’s much more relaxed.
We make our way along little narrow lanes, and leave our bikes on a main street, alongside a thousand others (who’d have thought it’d be tricky to find a park for a bike!).
Katherine’s heard tell in our Lonely Planet guide of a place that do fish and chips (it’s been a while!), but when we arrive, we’re disappointed to hear she’s been led astray. A waiter tells us there’s an English pub on the other side of town that have fish and chips, though, so we take a note and wander on.
We stop for lunch at a bustling felafel restaurant, all appalling bright-green plastic decor (usually a good sign that the food’s going to be great), and a wall-sized picture of what we could only assume was Tel Aviv; I’m presented with a felafel pita, stuffed full of crunchy, tasty felafel balls, tart humous and tabouli, served with hot green and red harissa on the side, and just about the tastiest thing I’ve ever eaten (he writes, trying not to drool on the keyboard).
After a bit more street-pounding, we jump back on our bikes (loving the easily and enjoyable mobility they provide!) and head towards a big art supplies shop Katherine had found. She spies an enticing little jewellery shop, everything handmade by the owners, and ends up buying a necklace. I nurse an espresso sitting at a table on the street outside a nearby pub/café, watching the world go by and reading a book while Katherine raids the art supplies store.
Finally, we drop by a delightful little café called Le Loir dans la Théiére (“The Dormouse in the Teapot”), decorated with vintage toys and with Alice in Wonderland scenes painted on the walls, and order a big piece of tasty apple crumble — the other thing we’d been missing, apart from the fish and chips! — and some coffee.