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.
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.
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.
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.