It isn’t all rosy living overseas sometimes you get really fed up, not so much homesick, but just fed up and think what is all this B-S about. Those are the times when I want a good bitch – the kind of session that is chased by a couple bottles of wine and then drinks turns into dinner. That is when I miss London and friends. You can make new friends when you go overseas but it’s “your people” back home – the ones who saw you when life wasn’t glamorous (ha!), the long nights of crying over undesirable men, watching the same programme on tv whilst on the phone to each other and the exchange of looks that let you know you are both thinking the same thing – are the ones you crave the most. Even the fantastic newer friends you make and meet can’t ever truly replace “your people”. I was feeling particularly in need to some good old fashioned raise me up and I wanted to do it somewhere where they truly spoke my language – English. Tucked away on the Rive Gauche was a place I had heard of brimming with Southern hospitality (I do love reading Southern Living and Garden and Gun magazines) and a welcome to blast away the darkest of clouds hanging over one’s head. What is this paradise called I hear you say well 13-a baker’s dozen owned and run by Laurel!
13-a baker’s dozen is tucked away at the back of a courtyard on the left bank and it truly feels like a hidden gem. I stepped off the narrow street and what felt like an oasis from the greyness of Paris into the sunshine of the South – the American South. I thought maybe I had found a time portal that lead me to Georgia and someone’s porch. Laurel I later discovered is from Charleston. Pushing back the door I was welcomed by the smell of home baked pies and biscuits (savoury scones). There is a warmth to the place helped by good lighting and an open kitchen. There is also a toilet – a lovely clean toilet. You make think why am I banging on about this – in France the joke goes a toilet is called les toilettes as you need to look at a few to find a clean one. Also not every establishment has a toilet – quite! I have developed a good constitution but I clearly have engraved in my mind where the good clean toilets are in Paris and this one has been added to the list!
I had had a pretty awful day for a variety of reasons mostly work related but Laurel’s welcome blasted that black mood back to hell where it belonged. If you feel like a stranger in a foreign land or just want to talk in English then this is the place to come as everyone is welcome y’all. I was told to to sit anywhere I wanted and chose to tuck myself away in the back away from the counter. I ordered coffee and just sat back and soaked in the warmth and the charm of it all:
Here you can order coffee, freshly made juices and even lunch including gluten free delights. There is also an excellent brunch that has to be booked on the weekend including biscuits with bacon jam (the latter you must try). I wasn’t in the mood for anything but coffee. This place is on my list of hidden gem coffee places as the coffee is smooth without any of the acrid aftertaste and there is a proper amount, none of the that dinky French serving size nonsense.
As I sat and nursed my coffee, I was drawn into the conversation that Laurel was having with her friend, Kajsa, and well what might have been a 45 mins coffee turned into a few hours of bonding, biscuit and bacon jam( I need that recipe) chased by the tangiest lemon cakes eating and laughter. I left having made two new friends here in Paris!
How? Line 4 (St Germain) or Line 12 (Rue de Bac) + 10 min walk
Where? 16 rue des Saints Pères
Open when? Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm