post-Covid shopping in the Marais district

It was wonderful to walk the streets and pop into shops again (like we used to.)  We’re not 100% out of the tunnel, but the light suggests that our terrible three-month ordeal is nearing its end. Hallelujah. God, it was awful.

Yesterday, my friend and I met up at W.H. Smith bookstore on the rue de Rivoli. It was a beautiful warm and breezy early-summer day, perfect for strolling. The streets and shops were near-empty, not because of Covid, but because this is a long 4-day weekend and many Parisians have left town. Thursday was Ascension Day, a statutory holiday in this country.

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It’s obligatory to wear a mask on public transport. From W.H. Smith, we walked leisurely to the Marais, popping into shops along the way. The rue des Francs Bourgeois is one of the main shopping streets in the Marais district.

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There’s a huge EATALY, opened exactly one year ago, located at number 37 rue Sainte Croix la Bretonnerie. Pre-Covid, you could barely get into the place. Yesterday we strolled in and it was near-empty. I purchased a bag of sun-dried cherry tomatoes, Lavazza espresso capsules (biodegradable) and a jar of tomato sauce with wild fennel.

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We strolled some more and ended up at Mariage Frères, the temple of tea located at number 30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg.

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This is a must-visit place, if only for the mingled scents of exotic teas. I purchased 100 grams of perfumed jasmine tea. My friend bought Earl Grey French Blue and some other blends. In each shop, masks are obligatory as well as the squirting of antiseptic gel onto hands at the entrance. I swear, by the end of the morning I had the cleanest, most sanitized hands in all of Paris.

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This Mexican place below used to be a French bistro, called Le Coude Fou, a favorite of mine for decades. Here’s what I wrote about it a few years ago –

Another cozy, authentic place that calls itself a true Parisian bistro. Located at number 12 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 4th arrondissement. Because it’s small, reservations are essential. Lots of wood: wooden bar, small wooden tables, tiled floor. Excellent wine list.

It’s sad when your favorite places disappear. A lick of paint, a change of name, and it’s gone. Le Coude Fou means, literally, The Crazy Elbow. I can only imagine that this refers to standing at the bar, elbow bent, with a glass of wine in your hand.

2 thoughts on “post-Covid shopping in the Marais district

  1. This makes me homesick for our second “home”…btw, time spent in Place des Vosges is essential anytime we visit The Marais..

    • Yes, I can well imagine. I’ll be returning to the Marais next week and will make a point of walking further along to the Place des Vosges. Restaurants are still closed here, but some of them are partially opened for take-out.

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