La Place Dauphine

La Place Dauphine: Peace & Fairy Tales

I’m a Rive Droite kind of girl. I like the chaos and dirty-ness you find north of the river Seine, it gives the city a rough edge, makes it more real. Mixed with the beauty and details of the Parisian buildings and streets, it creates this atmosphere that I find to be unique for Paris. It’s like wandering through a fairy tale, but with the risk of being brought back to reality at any given moment; I love it.

Having said that, I do like to venture below the river Seine sometimes, on the Rive Gauche, as the Parisians say. Occasionally I even find myself strolling around the islands at the heart of Paris: Île de la Cité & Île Saint-Louis, probably two of the most touristy spots in town. It’s on one of those rare ‘island days’ that I first discovered this pretty square called La Place Dauphine – on the Île de la Cité in the first district.

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La Place Dauphine

If you’ve seen the film ‘Me Before You‘ you might recognise this square from the final scene. But in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, I won’t say anything else. Anyhow, back to La Place Dauphine. Although it was on a Sunday during the summer when I was here, it wasn’t as crowded as you would expect from a square on the Île de la Cité. In fact, I found it rather peaceful. There are plenty of those typical Parisian benches to sit on and read a book or a paper, and enough terraces to go for a coffee if you like. The buildings surrounding the square are stunning, as is to be expected from a location like this.

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Some of the surrounding buildings

Being the food lover – or food obsessed person, as some would say – that I am, I obviously went for a drink and a bite when I was at La Place Dauphine. There was four of us that Sunday in July, and we ended up on the small terrace in front of Ma Salle à Manger overlooking the gorgeous square. The funny thing about Ma Salle à Manger – which basically means ‘my local canteen’ – is that you wouldn’t expect a cozy little bistrot like this in a rather posh area such as the first district. Or I wouldn’t anyway. It’s one of the reasons I like this place so much. That and the food they serve. Speaking of which, the food is very appetizing and doesn’t get more French than this; think escargots, boeuf bourguignon & confit de canard to name a few of the dishes. I also remember their rosé wine being particularly good on that Sunday afternoon, but so is their house red.

Place Dauphine
On the terrace of Ma Salle à Manger

I’ve already been back a couple of times since that first Sunday at La Place Dauphine. It’s such a pleasant spot to hang out and relax. I’m still a Rive Droite girl at heart of course, but sometimes it’s just nice to stay in a fairy tale world without the rough edge.

La Place Dauphine, 75001, Paris.


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