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Christian Constant is a household name in the culinary world – a celebrated chef in Paris, writer of numerous cook books, and one of the judges of Top Chef France. Rue Saint-Dominique, a street in the 7th arrondissement in Paris, is also known as the “Christian Constant” district since it houses three out of four restaurants founded by Christian Constant. I was fortunate to dine at Cafe Constant, a no reservation Parisian bistro, on my recent trip to Paris. Cafe Constant is immensely popular and the wait for a table could be up to 2 hours. Lucky for me and my dining partner, we arrived at the restaurant at about 6pm, an  hour before they “opened” for dinner. We sat downstairs, had a drink (beer for him, hot chocolate for me – which was very good as a matter of fact) and waited patiently for the clock to strike 7. We were the only ones in the restaurant and it was interesting to see the staff prepare for the dinner service. At about 630pm,  other early diners started streaming in and like us, had an aperitif or two while waiting for the restaurant to open.

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Shakespeare and Company is undoubtedly one of the most famous bookshops in the world. You might have noticed it while watching Before Sunset, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, or even Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. This bookstore was featured in Ernest Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, and was where James Joyce spent his time writing Ulysses. It’s easy to understand why this bookstore is loved and frequented by many. It is quaint, cosy and has books stacked up from the floor right up the ceiling. I was swept away by its charm as well and spent an entire afternoon in the bookstore, browsing, reading and people watching…

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The word ‘wesele’ refers to the celebration after a traditional Polish wedding which consists of family, food, friends, love and of course, Polish vodka. This two-story restaurant is exactly how you would imagine a traditional Polish restaurant to be — warm, rustic and cosy. This popular eatery is one of the seventeen restaurants in Krakow mentioned in the Michelin guide. Thus we were lucky to be able to make a reservation at the restaurant on our first day, for dinner on our last day in the city.

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