Parisian writer, Haydée Touitou takes your on a relaxing 24h visit through the 5th arrondissement of Paris.
I love spending time in this arrondissement because it’s the perfect neighborhood for Sundays. Perfect for every day really, but on Sundays it’s the best. There is much to do and see and even if the area is full of people, it is still somehow easy not to get overtaken by the Parisian rhythm and still succeed in enjoying Paris at a slow pace. This is the description of a perfect Sunday, but of course all these activities can always be divided and can be easily integrated into weekdays to slow the pace even further along the way.
I first go to read at the café of the Shakespeare & Company bookstore. Everything there is delicious, especially their morning coffee. It is also hard to resist the call of their bagels. If I forget my book at home, I just go next door and buy a new one or a magazine like The Happy Reader. If it’s early enough and that the library is still quite empty, it is very nice to talk with the Shakespeare team who are always excellent advisors for choosing a book, even when if one isn’t necessarily in the habit of reading in English.
It’s often surprising how many hours one can spend there, and if it’s until lunchtime then it is a very good excuse to enjoy what Bob’s kitchen freshly delivers daily to the Shakespeare Café. But if you want a change of location for lunch, just go a few meters further to the Tea Caddy, a place that has probably changed little since its inception in 1928. The list of teas is endless, and their eggs are really awesome.
It is time to move on from the Notre Dame area and head towards the Pantheon and walk through to the Jardin des Plantes and the Natural History Museum, one of my favorite museums in Paris. The skeleton of the whale is truly mesmerizing; I can spend hours admiring it.
If I can’t resist the urge for another coffee, I make my way to the Coutume de l’Institut Finlandais. It is also a lovely place to work if I want to get caught up on my upcoming week. Surrounded by students and PhD folks from the Sorbonne, one is easily inspired by their seriousness. For a dose of a different kind of serious, you can go to the beautiful Rasa Yoga center. They also have a spa where you can get a massage.
Around late afternoon, I love going to the movie theatre for the 6pm screening at Le Grand Action or La Filmothèque du Quartier Latin. They typically feature classic films that are incredible to see on the big screen! This is the biggest luxury in this area, the number of films we can see every day makes it quite a tough choice. But it’s hard to make a bad choice inspite of the variety on offer.
For dinner on a Sunday night, I love to go to the Chinese restaurant called Au Pays du Sourire , it’s one of the two nights of the week where you can enjoy their special ravioli. It is good address for the winter because of the décor which features a series of red and yellow screens and evokes a rather warm shelter, but I like going all year round anyway. Only on Sundays of course.
Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Bûcherie 75005 Paris
The Tea Caddy
14 rue Julien le Pauvre 75005 Paris
Museum d’Histoire naturelle
57 rue Cuvier 75005 Paris
60 rue des écoles 75005 Paris
21 rue Saint Jacques 75005 Paris
Le Grand Action
5 rue des écoles 75005 Paris
La Filmothèque du Quartier latin
9 rue Champollion 75005 Paris
Au pays du sourire
32 rue de Bièvre 75005 Paris