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Café de Flore, Paris

2013-02-13

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On one of the most expensive, longest, most famous streets in Paris, on the Saint-Germain boulevard, two coffee places – restaurants compete in their reputation. Both of them "Les Deux Magots" and "Café de Flore" belong to the history of Paris. In the heart of Paris, on Saint-Germain, boulevard which is a prototype of the Paris charm, its richness, nicely designed and arranged shop windows, cinemas, bars, restaurants and coffee places, Café de Flore remembers the "Belle Epoque" and afterwar years.

The name of Café de Flore comes from the statue of the Roman mythology godess Flora which can be noticed on the other side of the boulevard. It is a favourite place ocafe-de-flore-b.jpgf the pick of the Parisian society, curious tourists, Parisians living in the neighbourhood, of all those who want to see and to be seen. For over hundred years the Flore does not empty, daily the champagne is poured and the coffee and hot chocolate are being served. The terasse of Café de Flore being at the corner of the streets Saint-Germain and St.Benoit is ideally located for observing the Parisian life directly on the pavement. In winter it is heated and protected against the wind by a plastic film, in summer it enables you to catch up the pieces of the discussions of the passers-by and get a whiff of their perfumes.

History of Café de Flore began during the IIIrd Republic in 1887. During World War II, the coffe place was a kind of an Ivory Tower which was not touched by the occupation; the Germans did not come here. Jean-Paul Sartre commented the ambiance of the coffee place as follows: "We got completely settled here: from 9 a.m. till noon we worked here, then we went for a lunch and at 2 p.m. were coming back and talked with friends till 8 in the evening. After the dinner we arranged meetings with friends here. It can seem strange but we are at home acafe-de-flore-c.jpgt Café de Flore". Four years during the occupation were for Sartre in the Flore fours years of the path to the freedom. Apollinaire, Zadkine, Picasso, Jacques Prévert, after the war Juliette Gréco, Boris Vian, Ernest Hemingway, Trumane Capote, later Roman Polonski, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Belmondo, Yves Saint Laurent, famous models, the list of the well known clients is endless. Sharon Stone likes to sip her champagne here, Robert de Niro spends here long morning hours looking at the passers-by, Francis Ford Coppola said that he would like to live in the St-Germain des Prés quarter so that he can take his breakfast in the Flore. Juliette Gréco mentioned "In Flore people are less ugly than anywhere else".

In front of the coffee place entrance the seller of the hot chestnuts tries to attract you with the commercial joke that the hot chestnuts make pretty children.

The opinions of the quality and service of Café de Flore vary. Many say that it is too expensive, however everybody agrees with an exceptional reputation and delicious hot chocolate. You have to realize that together with the white ceramic jar of the dense hot chocolate, brought on the silver plate, or white ceramic teapot with the good quality tea, little jug of the milk, tiny madeleine biscuit, you pacafe-de-flore-1.jpgy also for the reputation of this place, for the fact that on the same red bench was sitting Simone de Beauvoir or Jean-Paul Sartre, or for the fact that it can easily happen that at the neighbouring table you will notice Karl Lagerfeld, David Lynch or the singer Benjamin Biolay, that you are surrounded by rich tourists, known or less known writers, gallerists or painters.

If you decide to experience this moment of Parisian charm, come here in the for your morning coffee or breakfast. You will find here in the silence of the morning intellectuals in their routine, with the newspapers in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. You will find here Paris in its elegance, snobism, mannerism, you will witness its "savoir-vivre". 

Address: Café de Flore, 172, Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris. Metro: St-Germain des Prés
 
Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep

Source of information on the history of Café de Flore: http://www.cafedeflore.fr/accueil/histoire/

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