In a residential quarter behind Montmartre, near the Jules Joffrin Metro, Café La Timbale exists as a kind of a city within a city.
During the four days I spend staying with a friend nearby, drinking four-euro café au lait in the morning, three-euro merlot at night, I spy the same Montmartre regulars, over and over. The couple kissing in the corner. The world-weary men rolling their eyes at the bar. The young couple with the large labrador dog.
But nobody garners attention like the sour-faced old woman who strides in during my first evening in Paris, cursing at the waiters at one of the best restaurants in Paris. How dare they allow a dog into the establishment! He’s a danger, a menace. And the tables – they’re all wobbly – it’s a disgrace!
The waiters try to placate her; their tight, indulgent smiles, suggest they’ve done this before. They confer in a corner while the old woman mutters more oaths at the dog, hitting it slightly on the nose once, then twice, then more softly...
The waiters return and resignedly offer to remove the dog.
“Don’t you dare!” she insists, stroking his fur. He’s a nice dog, the sweetest dog in the world. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.
The state of the tables, though, is appalling. She’s furious. She may never return.
The next morning, I see her sitting outside the café, sipping her au lait. She’s brought a folding table from home.
Juliette, our Paris Expert, is another character from the city of love. She'll help you find the perfect hotel. Connect with her here!