Now that the last of the snow is melting away, I can in good conscience tell you of the occurrences of the last weeks (with pictures promised to follow). The café we had been frequenting (“La Renaissance” on the Place de Martroi) has shut down for renovations until mid April (awful, isn't it?). Fortunately, we have found a number of good places around town and we are enjoying them all. One is a patisserie/salon de thé called “Aux Palets d'Or,” and they make the best hot chocolate that either of us have ever tried. (For my monolingual friends, a “salon de thé” is nothing like a hair salon. It's more like a café, except with more variety. A café is generally an establishment that sells exclusively coffee, or in the case of a combination shop, coffee is included. A salon is a business that sells tea, coffee, and/or hot chocolate along with pastries.)
We also got a LOT of snow in the last few weeks. On Sunday, we went out and about and took a lot of pictures. For lunch, we stopped at a place that we have been wanting to try, but had avoided because it looked like a rather expensive place called “Le Grand Martroi,” also on the Place de Martroi. It was actually rather affordable for the quality and quantity of food that we got. I ordered a faux-filet (sirloin) with beurre maitre d'hôtel (slice of heaven [rough translation]) along with tartines de chèvre on a salad for an appetizer and a flan de legumes as a side dish. Everything was delicious. Anna got a huge chunk of pork by mistake (which prompted a thorough scouring of the Internet for all words in French that mean or even relate to pork), but she said that even though she dislikes pork, she could eat it. She ordered dessert, which was a café gourmand (a coffee with three small desserts) and it included a cherry mousse, a brownie, and applesauce. It was a very good trio, and she found a recipe for the cherry mousse that she might try someday.
Friday nights in Orléans are the best. There is always an open air market on the Place de Martroi (weather permitting, otherwise it's held on the Place de Gaulle) and for the last few weeks there has been an accordion player who sits on the Rue Royal that you can hear all around the Place de Martroi while you do your shopping. The shops also usually stay open later (yay for law-mandated sales!) and the city is bustling with activity (though not buzzing, like Paris). Our Friday nights usually end with coffee.
Ok, most nights end with coffee.
In any case, that's mostly what we've been doing for the last few weeks. There have been other stories to be told, but I will save them for a later post.