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Les Deux Magots

2012-02-24

titul.jpgCoffee-restaurant place „Les Deux Magots“ can be an interesting stop in your Parisian stralls because of several reasons. The first reason of its attractiveness is that it is located directly in front of the old church Saint-Germain. The second reason is that it is one of the oldest Parisian coffee places with a rich litterary history. The third reason is that its corner terrasse is just perfectly located for observing the life on the Saint-Germain boulevard and the square in front of the church. And the next reason are the delicious meals from fresh good quality ingredients and the best hot chocolate in Paris. 

„Deux Magots“ are two statues of Chinese Mandarins, giving the impression they have all the tables in the restaurant under their control.Initially, in 1812 "Les Deux Magots" was a name of the shop with the silk products, located in the street rue de Buci and the statues of two Mandarins were there from its very beginning. The shop was moved to the Saint-Germain square in 1873 and in the year 1885 it was changed to a coffee place with the sale of liquers.
 
Sitting in the restaurant, eating the fresh salad with thin slices of "fois gras" (duck2.jpg liver) you get this feeling of awe, that on the same chairs, at the same place discussed, worked, thought, contemplated or relaxed personnalities such as Picasso, Prévert, Hemingway, James Joyce, Berthold Brecht, Stefan Zweig, Boris Vian, Albert Camus, Sartre, or his lover Simone de Beauvoir. You imagine how Verlaine, Rimbaud and Mallarmé were drinking the absinth on the terrasse, how Jim Harrison was drinking here his glass of red wine during his visits of Paris, how Guillaume Appollinaire was writing his poems or letters to his fiancée. Ernest Hemingway in his book "Paris is a Moveable Feast" writes: "One day I met Joyce, as he was walking on the Sait-Germain boulevard. He invited me for a drink and so we went to Les Deux Magots and ordered two dry sherries". It is a also a place of Parisian rendez-vous of the writer Umberto Eco.
 
The coffee place is "chic", "classe", it is one of the places where you go to see and to be seen. Although the people around you are unknown, you are completely anonymous, everything is curious, an older man with a beard in elegant costume drinking his coffee and co3.jpgmmenting to the waitor the strikes of the Turks, elderly woman with beautiful face features, being alone but after a while starting to talk to the man sitting at the neighbouring table, the man in his long coat and a bright red scarf or a young Japanese woman with big dreaming eyes, violet tights and a cardigan of all colours. And in all of this, my friend and I with our worries scattered with the burst of laughs.
 
Besides the history itself, several details confirm that it is really one of the oldest coffee places in Paris. Waiters, in their classical black and white clothes, are polite, but neither really very funny nor smiling. At some moments you hear the nervously polite "attention, attention" of the waiter running with several plates among the tables. The service is also original sticking to the traditions. Wine, champagne, or hard alcohol are served from the bottle4.jpgs in front of the customers, a waitress walks among the tables with a wide plate filled with various desserts, the customers choose with their eyes the most attractive dessert and then it is brought on a special plate.
 
"Les Deux Magots" coffee place has the reputation of having the best hot chocolate in Paris. Although I am still quite far away from a correct benchmarking of hot chocolates in Paris, the chocolate based on the traditional recipe from the melted pieces of chocolate and milk in "Les Deux Magots" is so far a total winner. And almost dangerously competing with the Belgian hot chocolate in my native Slovak town Piestany’s coffee place Monsalvy.
 
Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep