When I visit Paris, I always stay near rue Cler. Tucked away between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides Area, rue Cler is the type of street I have encountered in small towns throughout France. It is easy to feel at home in this friendly neighborhood.
My perfect Paris morning along rue Cler begins with coffee and croissant at the Café du Marche. I take an outdoor table and check out the daily specials written on a chalkboard (only in French). This perfectly Parisian café is the best spot to watch the street come alive. The aroma of fresh bread and pastries wafts across the street from the boulangerie as I map out my sight-seeing plan for the day. With a Paris Metro station only a few hundred yards away, I can hop on the subway for a quick trip to any Paris destination. In the evening, I enjoy taking the short walk to the Eiffel Tower. While it is spectacular during the day, I find it even more dazzling in the evening when the tower sparkles with light.
A walk along the avenue takes me past all the decadent treats that I indulge in when I visit France. The fromagerie tempts with all shapes, sizes, textures, and smells of endless varieties of cheese. The gourmet chocolate shop lures me in to sample a few of their treats. Strolling only a few blocks along the pedestrian-friendly street, I journey through the center of local Parisian life. I can find shops offering colorful displays of flowers, heaps of fresh produce, and, of course, French wine. Locals buy their meat at the butcher shop and check out the catch of the day at the fish market.
With a variety of restaurants, the area offers whatever dinner experience fits my mood. The Café du Marche has good food and a lively atmosphere. I always make it a point to have a meal at La Varangue. Owner and chef, Phillipe, serves a small menu of traditional French dishes. The friendly atmosphere in the small dining room makes me feel at home as I savor one of Phillipe’s wonderful meals.
My favorite of the several hotels in the area is the Hotel du Champ de Mars. This small, basic, hotel is located only a few steps from the center of the neighborhood action.
There is so much to see that a visit to Paris can be an overwhelming experience. The rue Cler area offers a quiet respite from the commotion. With easy access to all the best sights, it makes a handy temporary home.
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