If you come from a big city, you are well acquainted with the sticky summer mid-day death-walk aka sweat-walk aka a girl’s attempt at getting across town on foot, under a cloudless beautifully bright blue, sun-lit sky. Granted, I know it totally sounds like it should be charming, when in fact it’s anything but, and this due in large part to the exhaust fumes blowing in your face, the dust settling on your skin, and the sweat droplets making their way down your nape… all this while you’re attempting a ladylike strut down the street.
For those not yet in the know, this much too frequent summer-in-the-city occurrence is a pretty crank-inducing activity. Especially when one ventures into a sweat-walk accidentally. Like I did, today.
So there I was, out of the house early on this glorious OFFICIAL SUMMER DAY (!!!Happy Summer solstice (late) guys!!!) I was having a perfect hair day, I was overjoyed to have my shiny new Macbook pro comfortably nestled in this kick ass new faux-fur purse I’d been gifted and I was feeling good. Confident. Like I was getting sh*t done. You know how it is when the universe seems to conspire in your favor?
But of course that never last long, and in my over-confident state I didn’t pay attention to the street signs and I did what I’ve done so many times since having moved to Paris: I turned down the wrong street.
Now, Paris is a city that has a snail-like street structure and while for the most part I’ve adjusted to living in a non-grid city, I still occasionally get turned around. This is usually remedied by a quick peak at Google Maps, but my 3G chose today to stop working (of course). And so I walked on. 30 minutes later (and once my 3G kicked back in) I arrived at my destination. I was sticky, sweaty, thirsty …and cranky.
On my long walk to the cafe, I prayed a silent prayer that it would all be worth it. That I’d arrive and be blown away by the space, the ambiance, the coffee, the food…
I can honestly say that my arrival at Cafe Loustic may very well be the closest that I’ve come to having a transcendental spiritual moment, since arriving in Paris. Granted, the sweaty spell I was experiencing may have played a part, but there’s just something about being greeted by two smiley British men, and enough 70’s/morocco themed ceramic tiling to cover a mosque, that lifted my spirits right back to pre-sweat-walk status.
Cafe Loustic is a charming pretend hole in the wall located at 40 rue Chapon in the 3rd arrondissement. At first glance the cafe houses a single row of tables, but if you venture to the back of the establishment, a grey cement wall conceals more couches, tables, chairs, and 70’s themed earth-toned wallpaper walls. I never really pinned myself as a 70’s aesthetic kind of gal, but it turns out I quite enjoy the patterns and hues of the era.
As far as coffee goes, it’s among the best I’ve had ❤ It was perfectly iced (I’m a stickler when it comes to the ice:milk ratio) and the coffee wasn’t too strong but still kicked me out of my sweaty stupor.
Food-wise, I decided to try their ‘lunch-deal’ which consists of a coffee/tea/beverage of your choice, a small salad, a sandwich and a desert. While you can get a drink+sandwich+desert deal at any old bakery, Cafe Loustic is probably the only place you’ll get the yummy caramelized almond chunks, refreshing papaya and super light (but very tasty) oil dressing that came with my small salad.
They also offer a choice of vegetarian or meat sandwich, and you get your pick of any dessert in the place, (which is kind of a huge deal in Paris since most bakeries only let you pick their cheaper cakes and cookies as your dessert option.) I chose the bagel sandwich with marinated vegetables, olives and feta in lieu of its meatier counterpart, and for dessert I opted for a delicious red berry panna cotta.
All that goodness for a solid 15 EUR, with the added touch of the owners’ killer flair for pattern-infused styling – I’m still sticky, I’m still sweaty, but I’m definitely not cranky anymore.
A jolt of inspiration
• I’ve always been fairly enamored with patterns (as you might have guessed by my love affair with Café Loustic’s deco…) and Swiss Artist Pe Lang’s most recent project ‘Polarizations – n°1‘ serves up quite an enchanting dose.
• Don’t think you can draw? Think again.
• Blame it summer and the promise of picnics, but I’ve found myself overwhelmingly inspired by food lately. Case in point, this perfect summer salad. Simple ingredients (chickpeas, tomatoes, corn and onions,) & bright colors are what summer eats are all about.
• Have you seen the new & Kilter Pinterest boards? I’ve been going nuts pinning fashion and food inspiration for the summer season that is now officially upon us. Take a peak! Let me know what you think.
• My favorite Norwegian artist just dropped his new EP, titled ‘I Love You’ – but don’t think for a second that this EP is about sappy love ballads. His beats will keep you bopping your head the whole way through. Stream it here.