A Quest for Cafe’s

The weather here has been glorious. Our street is very narrow (tres etroit) and we are on the ground floor, so we wake up in the morning and look straight up – through the impossibly 10 ft tall windows – right at the top – to see the colour of the sky. It is blue and cloudless, and another great day for wandering slowly around the city, chatting with shop clerks, finding cafe’s, buying cheese and bread, and sitting in the sun eating a glace or a crepe, and drinking coffee or iced lemonade. Sometimes, this is the version that comes in a bottle, like Sprite. Sometimes, it is a slice of lemon in tap water. I often choose lemon in eau petillant (sparkling), because it is a sparkling kind of place.

Glace is not the same as ice cream. In principle it is, but it isn’t. A single small scoop is the perfect amount because the flavours are intense and must be savoured. I have decided that I did not get enough glace on previous trips, so this time I am trying one new flavour every day – as long as the sun is shining. Wednesday was salted caramel. Thursday was cassis (black currant) while Jessica had lychee (fruit). Friday was coffee on a chocolate crepe. Today…today might be liquorice, but it might be lemon sorbeto or passion fruit…

I am also having a little game of finding a new sunny square for our cafe every day. Wednesday was Place Wilson, with its beautiful carousel. Thursday (of course) was Place du Capitole. The tragedy of this majestic centre square is that the cafes are all shaded from the afternoon sun, so we ate our cornets (horns, or cones) from the majestic Cafe Florida on the banquettes (benches) opposite. Then we found a second place for beer and lemonade – Place de la Trinite with its fountain, where Joelle and I shared an early spring lunch with Jessica and Maella on an earlier visit. Friday was Place St George, with its beautiful trees, and a tiny playground. Today will be La Dourade, next to the Garonne.

Toulouse is a city to be savoured, a place where it is easy to slow down and enjoy life and the people around you.

We had dinner with friends last night, and realized that Maella, who is now 10, was only 2 the first time we came, and Jessica, who is now 18, was 10. We are all three girls here now (Rebecca arrived at midnight) with no men in the family party. It is our first time together “les trois filles a Toulouse” and we have three beautiful days to enjoy.

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