I spent a long weekend in Paris recently, and having not been there since I was 14, I asked friends who'd been there more recently for suggestions of where to eat. A very good friend of mine, Hugo, said that I should go to Cafe Hugo, on Place des Vosges. I wasn't sure how much this had to do with it being a good place to eat, or with it sharing his name. Anyhow, we ended up here on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I'm so glad we did! In fact, it turns out that when I was in Paris with my family all those years ago, we stayed about 300m away from Cafe Hugo.

We got there at about 2.30pm and the place was heaving. We got a table though, outside on the pavement, covered with a see-through marquee. It was such a (naughty) treat to be able to sit at my table, in the warmth, and smoke a cigarette!!

But the best thing about Cafe Hugo was the food. Bowls of onion soup, smelling sweet and thick with melted cheese, were carried past us to many of the other diners. I couldn't manage the onion soup and a main course (after a long weekend of many meals) so opted for just a main course - a beautiful rib of beef I shared with my boyfriend. It was cooked to perfection - 'a pointe' as they call it there. And on point it was. Served with a rustic looking dauphinoise, a few grilled spring onions and half a Parmesan crusted baked tomato - not quite the seasonal vegetables I'd imagined from the description of the dish, but all the same, it was really tasty. After 4 days in Paris, eating in amazing restaurants, I had by now learnt that fresh, simple vegetables simply don't exist as part of main courses!

The service at Cafe Hugo was brilliant. We were very well attended to, and felt relaxed and really comfortable, despite the fact there must've been at least 100 people seated for food there. After conquering our main courses and some good red wine, a quick espresso got me on my feet for a stroll around the stunning square that is Place de Vosges, before heading to the station and back to London.  

A perfect way to spend our last sunny afternoon of a wonderful weekend in Paris.


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