Fraternité Café

Our first full day and first coffees in Paris ! We got into Paris really late last night due to some cancellations and delays with the EuroStar. When we got into Paris we went straight to the hotel and got some sleep. Due to the way Eurostar costs work, a trip in on Saturday morning was way more expensive than getting in late on Friday night. As I’d already booked the apartment to start of Saturday, we just stayed in a hotel close to Gare du Nord station.

Gare do Nord is probably in the shittiest part of central Paris. It has two major train stations right next to each other, Gare du Nord and Gare du Est (North and East station). Something about major rail stations globally, they always seem to be in seedy locations. Not unlike staying right next to Central in Sydney. There are lots of cheap hotels and hostels here, but the one we had was really nice. We were right on the top floor, basically an attic conversion.

After checking out in the late morning we headed across the road to the nearest Boulangerie to get something for breakfast. It was probably the crappiest bakery in the crappiest are of Paris but the croissants were still excellent. I’ve had way worse coffees here in Paris, at least this one was hand made and not just a button push machinejobbie. I’ll give it a 6/10

My bother and sister in law were in Paris this week and we caught up with them before they had to get their train to Brussels for their flight home to Australia.


Julie and Sharon had a look in Diptyque which is apparently a famous candle shop. I guess selling lumps of nice smelly wax you essentially set on fire for €65 each they would want to be pretty well known and very good. They did have a nice chair for bored husbands to sit on…

Shane and Julie showed us a Boulangerie they discovered which sell the best croissants in Paris, as judged this year. They are only one euro and they are spectacular.


We had a wander through the Pantheon where you can see tombs of some of the French greats such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille and Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas. Quite often not the entire body is kept here. There are urns with hearts and other body parts buried elsewhere. A little odd


We had lunch at a little cafe opposite the Luxembourg gardens. I had one of the most delicious club sandwiches I’d ever had. Emma had a gigantic salad and Sharon had a croque monsieur. Shane and Julie shared a sandwich.


By this time I had to leave to get the keys to the apartment. It’s not the original one we booked, before we arrived a previous guest had an accident, caused a fire and the apartment was gutted. Maybe they bought one of those €65 candles……

This one was found at short notice. It’s Ok but small. At least it has a lift. Our accomodation last time in Paris was just amazing, unfortunately we will always compare to paris stays to that one.


After checking in, I headed back to the hotel we had overnight to pick up our luggage. Even though we decided to travel light the bags seem to have multiplied during the stay in London and navigating the metro with them (plus some of today’s shoe and bag shopping) was going to be difficult so an Uber Van was organised.

Headed out late for dinner, which is where I’m typing up most of this waiting for our meal at a Brasserie on Rue De Rome in the 8th only a few min walk down from our apartment. It’s 9.30pm at night but it’s as light at it in at 6pm in summer at home.


Some more pics from today


Associated Coffee

On the way to the office today I swung by Association coffee to grab the daily fix. On the way was an interesting sculpture, which is actually a cross section from an Airbus jet. Calling it a sculpture in my opinion is a bit of a stretch, I’d call it a cut out cross section personally, but it was interesting none the less. Especially considering its right in the middle of central London.

The coffee from Association was very good. I think the coffee from Secret Frog is still slightly better, however this is of course dependent on the barista of the day who makes it for you. As a bonus, they also do Vegemite on toast, and after not having it for two weeks it was a divine experience.

Association are obviously quite proud of their coffee, they have on display a London Coffee guide, and sure enough they are featured in it. If I’m here next year I’ll be grabbing a copy of this one !

Obligatory Daily Gherkin with Secret Frog Coffee below. I had to pop out to the post office yet again to post another book home, so swung by Secret Frog for one last fix before we head out to Paris tonight.