What’s more satisfying than a cup of “chocolat chaud” on a cold winter day?

In Paris and other French locales north of the Loire, the “sempiternelle grisaille” (endless grey skies) can get to you and set the tone for an entire day (if you’ll let it) on your way to the office early in the morning.

Fortunately, there’s always “le goûter,” that special break late afternoon favored by kids and adults alike.

The French don’t snack and stick to three meals a day, they say.

“Ce n’est pas vrai.” Wrong.

Le “goûter” is not quite “l’apéro” yet. Just a pause in the day involving a small snack and/or hot beverage meant to bring some “réconfort” (comfort.)

No alcoholic beverage involved, at least where I grew up.

On a cold, damp December afternoon at an unusually quiet Saint Régis (a favorite spot on l’Ile Saint Louis) I took the time to regroup with “un chocolat chaud” surrounded by early diners and visitors enjoying a slice of Parisian life.

The creamy hot chocolate tasted just right and took away the chill from my bones before I headed out again to run an impromptu virtual tour from l’Ile Saint Louis to l’Hôtel de Ville.
I felt grateful for this short break in a peaceful spot at the tail-end of a busy tourist season in the French capital.

Another “petit bonheur” (small joy) captured, savored and fondly remembered.

My French life.

Véronique - France with Véro
Véronique of France with Véro

Véronique of France with Véro

Vero shares her homeland weekly on social media with virtual tours, photo essays, live events and other publications at France with Vero. Learn more.

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  1. Richard on November 22, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    I stumbled on this post almost a year after you had published it after my (Parisienne) wife and I decided to amble from Chatelet to Notre Dame to see what little we could behind the hoardings, scaffolding and cranes of the cathedral rising from its near-destruction .

    We also decided to visit the very moving Deportation Memorial on the very tip of the island.

    After squeezing through the small corridors and stark chambers within, it was a welcome relief to cross to Île St Louis and the St Régis where I looked like a hero as I promised to buy my wife a chocolat chaud.

    It’s not a ‘cheap’ café (find one on the Île !) but the happiness it gave and the opportunity to ‘people watch’ was worth it.

    • Véro on November 26, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      Most locals (and visitors) seem to agree with you Richard.

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