Café des Deux MoulinsPosted: 08/07/2013
On our last day in Paris, Dolph, Pickles, and I still had about half the day to explore, since our train out of Gare du Nord wasn’t until 6pm or so. We decided to spend the day roaming around Montmartre, which was just a few Metro stations away from our apartment. Our first stop was the Basilica de Sacré Coeur, a majestic white cathedral sitting on top of the hill of Montmartre, from which you can look down onto the city. We somehow missed the tram from the Metro station up to the basilica and walked up a series of very steep steps, but the view was worth it. I also liked seeing the inside of the cathedral and comparing its simpler, somewhat sweeter appearance to the imposing nature of the Notre Dame, which we’d visited on our first full day in the city. It seemed bittersweet but also significant to start and end our Paris stay with trips to cathedrals, with more frivolous sightseeing sandwiched in between.
After admiring this stunning view of the city, we walked down the hill, which was considerably easier than our upwards hike. Our next destination was Moulin Rouge, which is also located in Montmartre, which has historically been known as the bohemian district of Paris. As such, it is filled with sex shops and other, well, interesting businesses to this day. I liked the contrast it provided with the classier tourist stops I’d visited during my stay in Paris: Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and whatnot.
Moulin Rouge itself wasn’t particularly exciting, to be honest. We just stood outside the building and snapped photos like the other tourists who’d managed to find the same spot. At least I finally learned that “moulin” means “mill”. I wasn’t a big fan of the movie, so I guess that’s why Moulin Rouge didn’t resonate with me as much. I was more excited about our lunch spot, which, funnily enough, was also featured in a movie…
Our lunch spot was just up the hill from Moulin Rouge, and named Café des Deux Moulins because of its location near two moulins, the other being Moulin de la Galette, which was the subject of a famous painting by Renoir currently housed at the Orsay. Anyway, this cafe is also somewhat of a tourist hotspot in its own right, as it was featured in the movie Amélie as the protagonist’s workplace. Amélie is just one of those quirky, strange, feel-good movies that I love, and it was such a fun experience to see where the movie had been filmed. Of course, they happened to have the movie poster hanging near our table, autographed by the director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Hanging by the entrance was an autographed photo of Audrey Tautou, the actress who portrayed Amélie in the movie. To be honest, this was like any other cafe we visited while in France, and the food wasn’t spectacularly good or bad, but clearly if you’re a fan of the movie, it’s definitely worth paying a visit! The place is very tourist friendly, and has both English and French menus available.
The three of us all opted for the same breakfast, which included a hot beverage, glass of orange juice, toasted baguette, a croissant/pain au chocolat, and an omelette/three fried eggs for €12. I chose the Café au Lait for my hot drink, and it was simple but nice. There was a substantial layer of foam covering slightly bitter coffee. It was comforting to have both a hot drink and OJ to look forward to. The juice was very fresh and pulpy.
We’d been hoping for pains au chocolat, which we’d fallen in love with during our short stay in Paris. Since they were out, we settled for these Croissants, which to their credit were buttery, flaky, light, and airy. The croissants were quite yummy, but then again, I love croissants as long as they’re freshly baked, which these were. The baguettes were quite chewy but hard, as expected, and served with packets of strawberry jam.
The last part of my breakfast was the Omelette, which was served alongside a slice of tomato. I liked the addition of the tomato, which was refreshing. The omelette itself was thin and eggy, without any other ingredients, and to be honest, I found it very bland. A pinch of salt would have helped. I suppose this is a North American mindset, but in hindsight, I would have loved some ketchup, which I’m sure would have been available if I’d asked.
Our breakfast/lunch at Café des Deux Moulins wasn’t spectacular, but we still enjoyed our time here, especially because of the Amelie aspect. All things considering, though, the food here is still tasty, and a nice place to stop by if you’re spending a day in Montmartre. This is my last post about Paris, funnily enough (I really didn’t eat out very much). Onwards to Dublin!
Café des Deux Moulins
15 Rue Lepic
75018 Paris, France