Saturday, February 10, 2007

Don't Steal the Ashtrays

Cafe de Flore, Cafe de Flore. We just can't get enough of it. It has possibly surpassed its neighbor Les Deux Magots as the enduring Left-Bank icon of literary/philosphical cafe celebrity. But please, don't steal the ashtrays.

Anyway, there is no need to. Just around the corner from the cafe (it would be decidedly un-hip and impractical to do otherwise) there is a nifty little shop selling vintage and replica Cafe de Flore EVERYTHING, bearing the Flore logo. Ashtrays, bien sur. But smoking is sooo last year, n'est-ce pas? So how about some authentic little white cups for your cafe serre, tea pots, wine glasses, or any of dozens of other items that one might have actually used there. Plus aprons, tea cosies, dishtowels, and more and more.

Bernard Felix, the very friendly owner, explained that they ship all over the world. He also confided that Cafe de Flore has opened branches in Japan, which have met with huge success. (Hmmm, I am thinking, if an august French institution like Cafe de Flore can open succursales around the world, what's the big stink about the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi?)

Americans have discovered M. Felix's boutique and are happy customers. "Today I'm shipping a table and two chairs -- the same ones that you would sit at on the terrasse -- to a gentleman in San Francisco," he announced proudly.

Moral of the story: if you want to be sure of having a table at the bustling Cafe de Flore, maybe it's better to purchase one. Cafe de Flore -- to go!

Cafe de Flore Boutique
26, rue Saint-Benoit
75006 Paris
01 45 44 33 09

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