Friday, February 03, 2023

Du coq à l'âne


Everyday on the French news I hear the word ‘grisaille

There is still one grisaille/Paris when it drizzles left in my shop in case you’re feeling the wintry-Paris greys.

Yesterday I met with A. for breakfast at Berthillon.
Bet you didn’t know you could get other things besides ice cream in their tea salon (opens at 10:00am). 
They make their own confiture. *Note the signature lavender label.There were WHOLE apricots in that jam. One of my 5 daily fruit & veg covered.
We got first view of their new gateau au chocolat fondant pour trois personnes!👏👍🤸🏾‍♀️I can say without reservation they have one of the best BROWNIES on the planet.
Photo by David Monniaux
Berthillon originally opened as a tea salon before becoming Paris’ most famous ice cream maker. 
Berthillon became famous in 1961 when a French restaurant guide Gault Millau wrote about "this astonishing ice cream shop hidden in a bistro on the Ile Saint-Louis."

A. is from NYC and visiting Paris for a month to study French. She said she hadn’t taken any trips out of town and had only one week to go. Where should she go?
I asked did she have a Metro card? 
“No. I like to walk”
I asked if she’d been to Fontainebleau, Versailles or Vaux le Vicomte 
Too many visitors come for longer stays, but do not get a Metro card. One couple, here for 3 months, said they did not want to pay for the required passport photos(8€) 😳 
You may think you hate the Metro, but it is the fastest, easiest way to get across Paris. It is clean, efficient and relatively safe.
It offers free train rides to anywhere in the Île-de-France. This is invaluable. You don’t even need a ticket. 
Speaking of tickets, those cute, little carnet de ticket you’ve been saving since your last trip in 2006 = NO GOOD. Useless, terminé, fini, kaput.
I was delighted by your comments on the last post. I know jump around from subject to subject. At home I was called, ‘scatterbrained’. A French friend told me I was 
Du coq à l'âne 
The French expression literally means jumping between rooster and donkey and figuratively, jumping from subject to subject without obvious connection -- i.e. a racing, intelligent mind. Ha.
Speaking of animals, if you are in Paris from 25 Fevrier, please visit the fabulous Salon du l’Agriculture at Porte de Versailles (in Paris on for 10 days).
Yesterday I discovered I have been buying only 10 eggs, not the usual dozen! Shock and surprise. We have been tricked😵‍💫 
I thought briefly about buying my own chicken (10€ a pop). This one from the salon may be a rooster (my neighbors would not approve). You probably need several hens for company (my proprietor/landlord would not approve). He has said I could have a cat, (who probably wouldn’t mind if had chickens 🐓).
Which reminds me, Easter and all those chocolate hens is not so far off - 9 Avril. 
Back to that beautiful book, DU COQ À L’ÂNE, there are no leopards in it, which is triste 😢 
Since my next Paris map is NOT going to be on ethnic musée but on leopard prints in Paris. Ah…the ever jumping 🤸🏾‍♀️ mind
Do Browse in my Etsy shop  Pretend you’re in Paris ☕️ 🥐 
Crossing Pont Marie at dusk on Île Saint Louis 🙏🤸🏾‍♀️🎉


  1. Linda Carswell2:51 AM

    Thank you for this encouragement to use the Paris metro. During the three years I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve been using the wonderful bus system or walking, but I have never used the metro. I guess I worry about getting totally lost! So my new goal is to learn how to use the Metro. 🤞

    1. Anonymous3:47 AM

      Bravo Linda 👏 The bus is fun and scenic but when you need to get some place quickly nothing beats the Metro (most of the time).
      It happens to everyone. Part of the not-too-steep learning curve.
      You will find out What’s On in Paris (the posters) faster than riding the bus.
      A new adventure awaits 👍

  2. That Berthillon breaky looks good! Thanks for the tip. I always catch the metro in Paris, so brilliant compared to Australian public transport. Didn’t realise the carnet tickets were fini! I think you’re just sharing in a normal way, I don’t think it’s all over the place - I’d say it’s comprehensive!

    1. Anonymous5:49 AM

      ❤️❤️❤️ Thanks Kirra 👏

  3. I can’t imagine not taking advantage of the METRO when in Paris. I still find tickets in the pockets of the coats worn to Paris…think of them as good luck in hopes of a return trip. On the flip side, I have never ridden on the bus. Keep that mind jumping, I love it! ❤️🗼

  4. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Hi Carol, I love all of your posts! Have you considered adding Christmas cards to your Etsy store?

  5. Bonnie L8:16 AM

    The Navigo pass is good for 10 years. Ours finally expired last trip. The fellow at the Metro station gave us a new pass wrapped in cellophane. We went home, cut our photos out of the old passes, put them in the new passes, et voila! It’s also very easy to recharge as soon as you arrive at any train/metro station.

    We have had this ‘discussion’ many times but, I prefer the busses to the Metro. Great people watching, No multiple flights of stairs to stress my old knees. You get to watch the scenery. And, I’m on vacation…I’m not in a hurry to arrive anywhere.

    Love Berthillon for breakfast, it’s a very elegant room. Love seeing your eclectic days, Carol.

    1. Anonymous10:54 AM

      It is kind of funny when they do it…like playing cutouts with the scissors & paste etc

  6. Marcia8:18 AM

    I got lost on the Metro my first time. I called my Parisian friend and she guided me through it. I learned it quickly, and won't forget how to use it again lol. BTW, I've been to Bremen to see that donkey/dog/cat/rooster statue.

    1. Anonymous10:47 AM

      How nice 😊👍 I should like to go to Bremen too. I bet they have tons of souvenirs with that statue on it - T-shirts, charms etc.

  7. your friend should take the rer out to vaux le vicomte

    1. Anonymous10:48 AM

      Thanks I forgot Vaux le Vicomte - a shuttle bus away from Melun at Gare de Lyon

  8. I had a metro card when we were just there for a few days and it was well worth it. I suspect I'll have to get a new one when I return. I'll definitely hit Berthillon!

    1. Anonymous10:49 AM

      You can always refill it in the machines Jeanie

  9. Anonymous10:00 AM

    A word to the wise! If you buy a paper ticket rather than a plastic card, make sure to write your name and expiry date on it, even though there is no signage ANYWHERE to indicate that you need to do it. I got bushwhacked at 10:00 pm at Bastille as I was changing lines by a cadre of obnoxious young officials demanding 45 Euros b/c I had not inscribed my info on the billet. I had to show ID and fork over money. What an end to 5 pleasant weeks in Paris. How is a tourist supposed to know this?

    1. Anonymous10:52 AM

      What an unfortunate experience. I’m sorry to hear. I guess like traffic cops in NY some have quotas to meet, though its never happened to me and paper is OUT.
      They have replaced those with blue plastic cards good for 10 rides.
      No writing required.

  10. Anonymous12:27 PM

    We love the Metro and find it much easier to figure out than busses. Never get lost but sometimes feel like a troglodyte walking blocks underground for connections! Found the loading the Navigo card with 10-20 tickets at a time easy and most efficient for us. The photo booth to get the id photo for the monthly pass says 5E but figured out after I put the 5E in id photo is 8E and didn’t have the extra 3E. So how to get to ticket booth and ask for change ( would they even do it? Will the person understand my request?). And monthly pass is only calendar month, not 30 days from any day you choose. Sometimes things that seem easy as a resident are just too much hassle as a tourist!

    1. Anonymous12:37 AM

      Very good point. The card is NOT for 30 days but only for the current month.
      The changeover in the photo booths is recent. There should be a refund option.
      When you have the month card, you are more likely to use it a lot. You don’t have to keep track of rides.

  11. Vicki Hofstetter2:11 PM

    Before Covid, I traveled to Paris anywhere from twice to five times per year since the 80's. For YEARS, I used the Metro and NEVER-ever got lost. It is the easiest mode of transportation for sure. Also, the fastest unless you have to transfer 2 or 3 times. However, my greatest feat was to learn the busses! Admittedly it is a difficult system to figure out, but once you are proficient, there is nothing like it. Every journey is like a "free" sightseeing" tour. Surprisingly, the busses don't take any longer than the metro, with all the walking up and down stairs and long tunnels to the various lines. Spending time in a station like Opera, Etoille or Chatelet is a nightmare and a waste of valuable Paris time!!! As a "native" I am sure that you know real Parisians would rather spend 20 min plotting a bus trip than use the Metro. Using busses is what taught me ALL about Paris and took me out of the tourist category. If you are just going to tourist destinations you really don't need either busses or the Metro. It is fast and easy to walk in Paris. In my opinion it is the best walking city in the world. Sadly, now I can not use either mode of transportation as I have become handicapped. However, I have the best car & Driver in the world who has become "family" to me. Most people would consider that a luxury but I STILL long for bus transportion. The funny thing is that in a car you cannot see things as well as on the bus. One really learns the most about Paris from traveling on the bus. It is worth the effort. Viva Paris!!! XXOOVV

    1. Anonymous12:42 AM

      Th bus is more SCENIC for sure and more leisurely. And they run frequently. Plus the human contact with the driver is very nice vs. the impersonal metro.
      Yesterday I was running to catch the Metro and a young women inside got up and opened the door for me. And then offered me her seat! We smiled 😊

  12. Last night there was a chicken on my front porch- wondered if she would lay eggs if I captured her (we've been paying $9 a dozen recently) and we have a neighborhood black bunny rabbit. I always found the metro easy to use. Never change your jumpin mind - it's part of what makes your posts so entertaining.

    1. Anonymous12:44 AM

      A Missed opportunity Suki? 🐓🐓🐓
      Thanks for encouraging my jumping tendencies 🤸🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♀️

    2. Anonymous12:45 AM

      PS the high-end price is 6€
      But that may be for just 10 eggs 🥚 😳

  13. Anonymous12:51 AM

    That croissant and jam looks so yummy! Anabel

  14. Croissant and coffee, so yummy;)

  15. I will never buy a metro ticket again in Paris nor get on one LOL.Truth.
    Love your egg box!

    1. Anonymous4:39 AM

      I forget what US egg boxes look like, but in France, whenever they can, the French like to add an animal to the packaging.
      A reminder where the product came from = The FARM! 🐄 🐑 🐓 🐖


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