2022 Paris Trip: From the Middle Ages to Rabelais on Day 4
After spending a late night out at Le Syndicat on Monday, Tuesday morning got started off a bit later than normal. I decided to pop over to La Coupe d’Or, ordered a croque madame and a mimosa and made plans while I ate. I decided to do a little self-care and go for a ninety-minute foot massage at Ban Thai in the 6th Arrondissement. Ban Thai is a mini chain of Thai Spas with three locations in Paris, one in Nice, and one in Bordeaux. The Odeon location is on Rue Dauphine very close to the Seine in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris to wander in.
After my massage, I walked over to the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Bonaparte (across from Les Deux Magots) to tour the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.The Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was originally the church of a Benedictine abbey founded by Childebert I, son of Clovis, the first king of the Franks, in the 6th century.The abbey was renamed in the 8th century for Saint Germain and is considered the oldest existing church in Paris.
Front of Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Prés
While I was in Paris, on this Tuesday at 3 PM (visit the website here for the latest information on tours), there was a free tour of the church (meet under the organ) which covered the history and the ongoing restoration works. The tour also allowed me to climb to the upper levels, which is something most people do not get to experience. Fair warning, the tour was in French, and I only comprehended about half of what the guide was discussing. What I did understand was incredibly interesting, especially the discussions early in the tour about the history of the abbey itself and the remnants that remain in the church today.
Fully restored choir of the church.
Restored nave of the church looking towards the alter and choir.
Chapel of Saint Symphorien, built in approximately 1020, is one of the oldest places in the church.
One of the disambulatory chapels in the church.
The organ of the church.
Restored nave of the church from the choir, looking towards the organ.
View of the nave from the upper level of the church.
On leaving the church, I headed down Rue de l’Abbaye to the Cour des Ecuries at Rue de Furstemberg. The square is so named as it used to lead directly to the stables at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des- Prés. On one side of this little square is the Musée Eugène Delacroix, which is housed in his former apartment and studio. Across the square is a very beautiful spice shop called Compagnie Française des Poivres et des Epices. Inside, they have a variety of spices and herb mixes, but they are known for their peppers. I was here to grab some piment d’espelette, which comes from the Basque region and is the only French pepper to have obtained an AOP.
Left side of church from across Square Laurent Prache.
Back of church along Rue de l'Abbaye.
View at the end of Rue de l'Abbaye.
Cour des Ecuries at Rue de Furstemberg.
Musée Eugène Delacroix
After picking up my spices, I did some browsing in various boutiques along the Rue de Seine. I popped into an optician on Rue de Buci as I had broken my sunglasses, and I needed them to be repaired. They were able to fix them, and I bought another pair of sunglasses by French designer John Dalia while there as well. I then popped into Maison Sauvage for a nice, cold glass of rose and a quick video chat with my mom. Once I finished my glass of rose, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, which that night was at Pantagruel.
A refreshing glass of Rosé at Mauson Sauvage.
Pantagruel, named after the Rabelais work Gargantua and Pantagruel, opened in 2020, was awarded a Michelin star in 2021, and is chef Jason Gouzy’s first restaurant. The restaurant is in the 2nd Arrondissement in Paris on Rue du Sentier, one of the best-preserved areas of Paris from the Louis XIV and XV eras. In fact, Madame de Pompodour lived at 33 Rue du Sentier. See my separate review of Pantagruel here.
Entrance of Pantagruel on Rue Sentier.
After dinner at Patagruel, I walked down Rue du Sentier to Rue Réaumur past the Bourse de Commerce, formerly the old commodities exchange in Paris and now the home of the Pinault Collection, and onto Rue Vivienne. My destination was Danico, a cocktail bar currently ranked 85th in the world with an entrance either in the Galerie Vivienne, one of Paris’ covered passages, or through Daroco, an Italian restaurant on Rue Vivienne. I took the second entrance and wound my way to the back where Danico is located. Danico, housed in the former Jean Paul Gaultier flagship store, is the brainchild of Nico de Soto, owner of New York City’s Mace, and has a menu of very interesting cocktails. I had a hard time choosing my first cocktail. I was torn between Spritz like a Pornstar (Vanilla Aperol & Aquavit, Sorrel, Passionfruit, Lemon, and Champagne) and the Bee(Oncé) (Rose Petal Gin, Raspberry, Lychee, Lemon, Spices, Coconut Water, Whey, and Lychee Mead). I ended up with the Spritz as I cannot turn down a drink with passionfruit in it. It was light and refreshing, in other words, a perfect spritz.
Bee(Oncé) at Danico.
Spritz like a Pornstar at Danico.
My Spritz like a Pornstar at Danico.
After the first drink, I was offered a shot of Calvados infused with tonka beans. I normally do not drink Calvados, but the flavor and smoothness of this liquor surprised me. I was such a fan that I ordered the drink that was made with it, the La Tournée du Patron (Calvados, Tonka Bean, Celeriac, Green Apple, and Lavender Aquafaba). I absolutely adored this cocktail, which was inventive and full of flavor. I wanted to stay longer, but unfortunately, it was getting very, very late. I called it a night after my second drink and enjoyed a pleasant, but brief stroll back to my hotel.
La Tournée du Patron at Danico.
My La Tournée du Patron at Danico.
Danico is open every day from 6 pm to 2 AM.