5 Rue Villedo. It’s just around the corner from Le Palais-Royal, which I know well by now. I have walked there, or passed it, almost every day for the last 10 days. Still, I needed a little help from GPS.
The street is awfully quiet. It’s a chilly day, something like 2 degrees Celsius. A yellow bicycle is parked right outside Télescope. The café is a petite outfit — cosy, friendly, unpretentious. The owner, Nicolas, is making coffee. Il semble contente. Simultaneously, he is engaged in cheerful conversation with a trio of customers as if he is entertaining friends at home, among them a Japanese couple who speak fluent French. I attempt to order in my own French — the embarrassing version.
Je voudrais… un café crème… et, er,
un croissant… et… un Egg-presso… (I’ll admit, I love a pun, even more when it brings more than a chuckle or an eye roll. This morning, an egg pun boils down to a simple and comforting dish of steamed egg served in a mason jar with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. There’s something very nostalgic about it.)
Nicolas listens and nods patiently, encouragingly, waiting for me to finish (he doesn’t know I was also trying to decide if he resembles Zidane or Steve Jobs more). He replies, in French. Alas, he loses me. He smiles kindly and switches to English. Really good English. Ten minutes later, he serves me a really good breakfast. We chat briefly. But the eggs must not get cold. He excuses himself so I may enjoy his recipe. But I stand up as discreetly as I can for a picture, comforted by the thought that at least the Japanese won’t judge. Peut être.
Last morning in Paris. It’s perfect. I’m perfectly happy in this moment. 🥐🥐🥐
Télescope 5 Rue Villedo, 75001 Paris Metro: Pyramides What to order: Eggs-presso Croissant (comes with confiture) Coffee, how you like it