Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment – Part 2

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2**

Today’s our last full day in Paris, and, I have to admit, it’s a little bittersweet. Being here has been an experience beyond anything we imagined, and we’ve certainly fallen in love with this amazing, beautiful and complex city.

It feels like we’ve only scratched the surface in experiencing life in Paris, and yet, we’re super excited to spend several more days with our family in London before heading home to North Carolina. And speaking of home, our home-away-from-home, a little flat (650 square feet) we rented in the heart of Latin District of Paris has become quite endearing to us. 

Over the past week, we’ve found our way all over Paris; on foot, via the Metro, by taxi, and Uber cars. We’ve have experienced some of the big sights like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapel, Luxembourg Gardens, etc., but have also loved just living the Parisian life; strolling along the Seine, enjoying the parks, dining at quaint little bistros and restaurants, nibbling on gelato and chocolate, exploring grocery stores, department stores, flea markets, farmer’s markets and street markets.

The best part of each day though, has been coming home to our delightful apartment. It’s quiet, comfy and infinitely nicer than living in a hotel. We shared Part 1 of Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment a few days ago, so I thought I’d finish it up today and give you a tour of the rest of our little nest.

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My favorite part of the flat (if I had to choose one), is probably the kitchen. It’s the most compact, yet very workable kitchen I’ve ever experienced. There’s a little built in dining table for two that overlooks the courtyard. It’s perfect for lunch and clean up is super easy. I haven’t had the time to cook a lot since we’ve been here, though I did make a pot of French Onion soup and we’ve enjoyed lots of simple meals consisting of a baguettes (notice I mention that first?), cheese, sometimes a bit of sausage and French olives. With all the gorgeous greens that are so readily available, I’ve also loved serving simple salads with a classic French vinaigrette that I learned to make here in Paris (recipe to come).

Although the kitchen has all the modern appliances a casual cook might need, everything is in miniature; the sink, dishwasher, stovetop and refrigerator. My favorite thing is the microwave/oven/broiler, which, surprisingly works fantastic in every mode!

Since pictures speak much more clearly than words, I’ll let Scott’s photography tell most of the story. Hope you enjoy Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment – Part 2.

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
So, welcome to my little Paris kitchen! We might have to take turns washing dishes, cooking or loading the dishwasher. If Scott and I are both in this little space, it’s a little tight, but after 40 years, we really don’t mind that. By the way, don’t be fooled by Scott’s wide angle lens. The distance from doorway to counter and table to counter is about 4 feet!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2 (5)
The built in kitchen table is the perfect place for a little Parisian snack!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2 (3)
I simply cannot resist the beautiful Parisian greens and there are farmer’s markets all over Paris to tempt me.

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
Like my cute little pitcher? I found it at a Parisian flea market. Scott said I got fairly good at haggling with the vendors for a better price. I don’t really like doing it, but I do like to save a Euro or two. I feel like I got some good bargains, but you know how that goes – the last laugh was probably on me! The pitcher’s perfect for a classic French vinaigrette and you’ll probably see it on future posts too.

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2 (15)
One of the first things I did upon arrival was to check out the cabinets. Everything we needed, even basic condiments!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
The stovetop is small, but definitely works great. You’ll never believe what I was inspired to make one evening when we ate in – a delicious pot of  (surprise, surprise) French onion soup!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
A tiny refrigerator, by U.S. standards, but perfect to hold cheese, yogurt, milk, orange juice, etc. We’ve saved a lot of money by not having to eat every meal out.

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
This is the coolest thing ever!  It just looks like a regular microwave right? Nope! It’s also a convection oven and a broiler. I was a bit doubtful as to how this little machine could do all that, but it works perfect. I used the convection oven to crisp the bread for my French onion soup, then switched to broil to melt and caramelize the cheese. Quite amazing! Scott downloaded the instruction manual before we left for Paris so we could study it a bit. That’s my guy!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
All it takes it a push of a button and a turn of the knob to switch from microwave to convection oven to broiler. Leave it to the Europeans. I truly wish I could pack this up in my suitcase and take it home with me!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2
If you’ve been following The Café for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a “prop junkie”. I love pretty dishes, linens and accessories. Scott calls it “playing house”. They even have some pretty little dishes and accessories here for me to “play” with!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment
The bathroom was one of the things that really attracted me when I was looking for an apartment. It’s simple and fresh and was obviously recently remodeled. Photo from Paris for Rent

 

The bathroom has a little closet that holds a washer and dryer. All in one little machine! I've never seen anything like it before: first it washes the clothes, then spins them like crazy before it goes into the drying cycle. It works quite well except you do have to plan in advance if you need clean clothes. The process takes about 5 hours, from start to finish!
The bathroom has a little closet that holds a washer and dryer. All in one little machine! I’ve never seen anything like it before: first it washes the clothes, then spins them like crazy before it goes into the drying cycle. It works quite well except you do have to plan in advance if you need clean clothes. The double process takes about 5 hours, from start to finish!

 

Our Little (very little) Paris Apartment
This is where we collapse at the end of each busy day. After walking 6-8 miles our feet, legs and backs (we’ve always found something to carry home) are bone-tired and the memory foam mattress soothes us to sleep before we have time to count any sheep. Photo from Paris for Rent

 

So that's it, My Little (very little) Paris Apartment - Part 2. We bought a beautiful bouquet of tea roses the first day, shortly after we arrived. They were so fresh and vibrant and just seemed to shout "Paris". They graced our table and living room all through our wonderful week but look at them now! Either they're sad that we'll be leaving soon or perhaps they're bidding us "au revoir, time to move on". I'm not sure which, but we certainly loved the cheerful way they've brightened our little space.
We bought a beautiful bouquet of tea roses shortly after we arrived. They were so vibrant and just seemed to shout “Paris”. The lovely flowers graced our table all week long – but look at them now! Either they’re sad that we’ll be leaving soon or perhaps they’re bidding us “Au revoir, time to move on”. I’m not sure which, but we certainly loved the cheerful way they’ve brightened our little space.

 

We’ve had lots of inquires regarding how we went about securing our flat in Paris. While we were planning the trip, we checked out several of the major rental companies and decided to go with Paris For Rent. They were recommended by Rick Steves and have been wonderful to work with. They helped us through each step of the process and were great at responding to any questions or concerns that came up along the way.

When we arrived in Paris, their sweet greeter, Eleanor, oriented us to the apartment and made us feel at home. On the table we found a welcome bottle of wine, chocolates and a map to help us navigate the streets of Paris. The place was super clean, and had everything we needed including an ironing board, umbrellas and, what I call, a schlepper (a wheeled shopping cart to carry groceries, etc. home from the market). There is also a nice television that’s set up for lots of English-speaking channels, though to be honest, we never even flipped it on once. We did take advantage of the phone which allowed us free calls to the U.S.

We would, in a heartbeat, spend another week (or two) in this charming little Parisian flat, but until we return, we created lots of wonderful memories and took a boatload of photos to be able to reminisce over. Oh, and speaking of photos, stayed tuned. Scott is putting together a post with some of our favorites; the famous sites, from his perspective, and lots of fun, unique, amazing shots of the city he captured through his lens.

Au revoir!! Merci for joining us on our travels!

P.S. Although I have affectionately called this flat “little” in my posts, it’s not really little in terms of European standards, or even large U.S. cities like New York, where apartments are often much smaller and very cramped.

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