Monday, March 23, 2009

Le Procope

The Menu

Bonjour My Dear Friends!
I have to first thank everybody for their kind words of support and reassurance as well as every body's valuable advice on dealing with my little Prince! Thank you so much! He seems to be feeling a bit better and is doing well. We've had some rough days here but the storm is over and it's Blue skies ahead. I used some advice from my dear blogger friends and he is so much more comfortable. It seems that when they act their worst is when more love and affection is the answer.

The two images above are from the cafe website

I was just reminiscing of my days in Paris (I miss it so) and remembering my old friends that I had to leave there. The hours we would spend in the cafes talking, debating, eating, laughing, and enjoying life! Oh, what I would give to be there for just one day. My favorite place to pick a cafe....St~Germain~Des~Pres. Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore, Brasserie Lipp, and of course the beautiful Le Procope.

Absinthe at the Cafe Procope via Flickr

Le Procope opened in 1686 and is believed to be the world's first coffee house and Paris' oldest restaurant. It is an amazing place to visit and enjoy some great food.

The writing on the wall

This gem is steeped in history and it is closely linked to the revolution as well. After its opening it quickly became a very fashionable place to be seen. The city's literary and political elite as well as the actors from the famous Comedie~Francaise would meet here.

I feel more intellectual just stepping over the threshold!

Napoleons hat, he must have forgotten this one!

It is here that such famous and influential men such as Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, Molière, Diderot, Balzac, Verlaine and Hugo would gather to debate and exchange philosophies. It is here within these walls that revolutionary ideas were born as Robespierre, Danton, and Marat would have meetings here.
Ah, Poor Marie... via Flickr

In this famous restaurant, a young and poor lieutenant named Napoleon Bonaparte would be made to leave his hat as security as he went out searching for money to pay his bill!

The next photos are all cafe website photos

Voltaire's table is still here among the books and paintings reminding us of the 40 cups of chocolate and coffee mixture he drank every day. There is portrait of a woman hanging above a table with a bayonet tear through it, the cut crystal chandeliers everywhere, the rich colors, and mirrors throughout. it all transports you to another time and place. Oh, if these walls could talk!

The area around this fabulous restaurant is just beautiful as well. It sits on the Rue de l'Ancienne~Comedie where the former home of the Comedie~Francaise, the Theatre de l'Odeon is located. It is the first street in Paris to have pavements with gutters and houses some incredible and beautiful homes and shops dating from the 18th century. Not far from here at No 9 is the place that Dr. Guillotin and Dr. Louis perfected their decapitating machine. When it first came to be it was known as a Louisette after Dr Louis and later known as the guillotine after the man who first had the idea.

Alas my friends, I am here and not there but maybe one day we can meet up for coq au vin ivre de Juliénas, Absinthe, and a cafe creme. We can sit and philosophise, debate, and share stories just like the old Masters! Until then...Good night.
~J'ai décidé d'être heureux, c'est excellent pour la santé~ Voltaire
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  1. you know........i am a paris freak !! for years i worked there off and on, and i never have been able to see all the great spots.
    i was working......

    and 'if i could have only one wish' (this is a question i always ask people), it would be, to be a 'time travler.'
    i would specifically return to paris .

    i love all things 'paris .'
    that's why i love love love this blog.

  2. I always learn something when I stop by your blog. I didn't even know this existed. I would love to go there one day! Thanks so much.

  3. Oh My Word how fabulous! I am going to Paris finally and I printed this out. How beautiful.. and your way of describing is beautiful also. Thank you Grace

  4. Thank you for this post! Just seeing those images and reading about the history of the restaurant is truly taking me back. You have such a magical way with words that makes your reader feel as though he or she is being wrapped up in all the wonderful things that is Paris.

    Next time I visit that great city (which I always hope to be soon), I will have a glass of absinthe at Le Procope and think of you! Also think about little young Napoleon frustrated searching for money with no hat on! LoL

  5. Thank you for sharing the information you know about Le Procope. I have never been there, but the next time I visit Paris (which I hope is not too far away) it will be on the top of the list. I love the quote you used at the end of your post. It's true we must decide to be happy with our station in life.

  6. Hello Judith -
    I walked by 'Le Procope' so many times and never went in due to everyone saying 'Oh it's such a tourist trap." And recently I saw it on tv and almost kicked myself. I should always listen to my intuition!Love the pictures!

  7. I've often walked past 'Le Procope' and have never been in as everyone I know thinks of it as a "tourist trap"...
    Next week, when I'm in Paris, I'll be popping by...
    Thanks :)

  8. What a magical blog you have created. I love your writing and photos. Yes, Paris is so lovely. Wish I were there again as well. Maybe someday. Until then, I'll keep visiting your blog and remembering fondly.

  9. I have oft eaten near to Le Procope, but always think that those places are not for the likes of me, and that I would be ejected promptly! Your chosen pics and words make it seem more welcoming, more intimate. Thank you.

    Glad Le Petit Prince is over the worst of his teething - It is une cauchemar.

    Voltaire just has 'IT' does he not, with that fabulous quote? Love this posting!

  10. Ma belle Judith, you took me down memory lane! Ahh, how I wish I could have been amongst those greats. The place is filled with history...and just knowing that Nappy was in there makes it even more special. could you imagine us sipping on our coffee and chatting away? Merci for another wonderful post:)

  11. Hi Judith!

    I’m also so glad to hear your little guy is doing better.

    Lovely post! I learn so much from you and YES, one day I would love to meet you and our fellow francophiles in Paris for some coq au vin ivre de Juliénas, Absinthe, or a café. Where we can sit and share stories or debate or PHILOSPHIZE! What FUN!!!

  12. Wow Judith, you're so lucky to have lived there! I am so envious that you met Gwen btw..LOL!


  13. I think I saw this place on a travel special on the Travel Channel or A&E.

    Seems like an amazing place. When I get to Paris Ill defintely stop in.

    Thanks for posting.

  14. Like others , I have walked past this place many times but I have read such bad reports about the food there that I have never bothered to dine at the place. Mmm, I should have stopped by just for a drink !!! Rats!!!

  15. Judith, great review! I have not been to this special place so I will add it to the list for our next trip.
    I am glad to hear your little man is feeling a bit better.
    Bon Weekend!

  16. I've been there... it is FAB! I will use part of this post if you don't mind... and I will show some of my photos inside as well. I had never heard about this place ans we were walking and decided to pop in for a BEVERAGE... little did I know until we went that I was seeing history... and feeling ghosts!
    Glad things are better with your little one... life with children is like a roller coaster... hold on to your seat and ENJOY the ride!

  17. You know... I like that saying I made up... I think I need to copyright it!
    "life with children is like a roller coaster hold on to your seat and enjoy the ride!"
    by Fifi Flowers 2009
    LOL... I looked it up and apparently no one has coined that phrase... LOL

  18. Hi Judith!

    What a great post! I cannot wait to revisit Paris and stop in Le Procope. I can definitely relate to some of the comments about locals deterring their friends from tourist spots. Mine are the same way. However, I've learned to make exceptions for historical sites. After all, the Versailles is a tourist favorite as well.
    Anyway, thanks for the kind words. I've been crazy busy but trying to still squeeze time in for blog. I've learned so much from this forum and don't want to be left behind. Try to imagine me washing dishes with the left hand, doing laundry with the right while typing a blog with my feet. At least that's how I feel. Glad to hear you and baby are doing well. xoxo

  19. I'll meet you in an hour at Le Procope for a cafe! Thanks for sharing this and I will for sure go visit on my next trip to Paris! Thanks for stopping by to see me :)

  20. Great entry! When Napoleon went to dine here he actually forgot his checkbook so he left his hat as collateral that he would come back and pay. BUT! He never did and thus his hat is still there...

  21. im so obsessed with this blog! how do you find these amazing pictures? amazing entry (as are all of them!)

  22. I just LOVE coming to this place and loved looking at your photos. Thanks for sharing!


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