I just sent off my personal and very well worn copy of Peter Mayle’s book French Lessons to <<ma chère amie>>. Once again Peter Mayle has inspired another post. In his chapter titled “The Guided Stomach”, within one single paragraph he refers to the Bon Marché Grande Epicerie **and** Guide Michelin. My own stomach started feeling the need for some Guidance, so I began doing my customary on-line research in preparation for my customary in person eating research.
I was confused by Mayle’s reference to the Bon Marché Grande Epicerie’s location as being on Rue du Bac. Huh? I distinctly remembered Bon Marché as being located on Rue Sèvres and couldn’t imagine that it had somehow moved (the establishment is enormous). So, I consulted 20th century maps (printed on paper) and 21st century maps (available on the internet) to help me figure out where things were and are. Indeed La Grande Epicerie is located on Rue du Bac. The other part of Bon Marché is (still) located across the street on Rue de Sèvres.
This coming July I’ll be able to shop for (and store) many good things from Le Bon Marché La Grand Epicerie in my small but adequate kitchen. I wanted to pre-plan my grocery excursion. I figured I’d start from my French class location Boulevard Raspail to Bon Marché and then back to my studio. This excursion should be a piece of cake (<<gâteau>>), n’est pas? Well, I’ve just spent 1/2 an hour trying to make what I think should work, work. RATP indicates that I can walk from my French class to Bon Marché in 9 minutes and that their best bus route would takes 7 minutes, 4 of which would be spent walking (sigh). So I’m ready to settle for a walk, immediately followed by little lunch at one of several L’Epicerie’s offerings before plunging into my “grocery” shopping.
The bus route from Bon Marché back to my studio is slam-dunk easy and I won’t have to suffer the way Ann Mah did as quoted in my Bread to Pig’s Feet post (“…plastic sacks cut into my hands as we walked several block to the métro, up and down flights of stairs, onto one train and then…”). Once again I’ll be taking the bus, not the subway/métro. I’ll be above ground, and I’ll have enough energy to carry my delightfully heavily laden sacs upstairs to <<chez moi>> including perhaps a few bottles of wine …