It’s well known that the French are great dog lovers, and that your pooch is welcome to enter almost any shop or restaurant that you are when you find yourself traveling with Fido in Paris. But cats? In a cafe in the tony 3rd arrondissement? Cat lovers rejoice! If your family is missing its feline member during your travels, there’s a place in France…
Le Café des Chats now has two locations in the center of Paris. The original one–which opened in 2013 in the Marais, a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou — proved so popular (reservations are recommended generally, and on weekends, essential) that its owners opened a second kitty emporium last autumn nearby in the 11th arrondissement, near the Place de la Bastille. Marie-Claire of the Café des Chats told me that the second neighborhood “is very different and attracts yet a wider range of cat lovers.”
The lucky cats are all rescues that are being given another chance at life in an enviable situation. While the cafe is not itself in the cat adoption business, a portion of its profits go to rescue activities. “We wanted to show how a cat from a shelter is deserving and capable of affection,” says M-C.
Les chats have pretty much free run of the place, although lunch guests are prohibited from feeding them table scraps, tempting though it may be. The cafe calls itself “un salon de thé et un restaurant,” and happily the food from its full-service kitchen is not an afterthought to the gimmick, but is absolutely delicious in a traditional Parisian way, and the management seeks out organic produce. Both restaurant locations are open for lunch and dinner, and they also serve a yummy weekend brunch. Our daughter had a croque monsieur, and her parents enjoyed a veggie-and-chevre quiche with a salad. And a bowl of cream.
Is this proof that Parisians treat their pets better than they do their children? Peut-etre. Meeooooow…
The HYÈRES FESTIVAL is a competition that takes place each spring in the south of France at the Villa Noailles. The very selective and prestigious competition has two categories: fashion and photography. Young designers and photographers proffer to the public their work, which is then examined by a highly-esteemed jury.
This year that jury is a veritable roster of fashion’s most notable names. In the designer category: London-based wunderkind Christopher Kane, Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez & Jack McCollough and Tim Blanks of Style.com. In the photography category: Tom Watt of Artreview and Jason Evans and Magdalene Keaney of Fashion Space. Intimidated yet?
This is a fantastic opportunity to shine if you think you have the talent. Not sure? I’ve devised an easy litmus test:
a. Have the gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus appeared to you in visions and donned your new collection?
b. Have you awoke from sleepwalking hanging off the edge of a building clutching your Canon 60D in a divinely inspired attempt to photograph the brilliant light of dawn against a crumbling facade?
If you answered yes to either you should apply.
This is how Viktor & Rolf got their big break, after all, among other terrifically notable designers and photographers. Applications are due December 5th, so start your sketching and snapping ASAP.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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