Le Café Marly
If you try to find the Café Marly using a map, you will walk up and down the length of the Louvre just across from Rue de Rivoli, swearing to yourself that you’re not blind. As soon as someone tells you that it’s the Café that overlooks the glass pyramid on the interior courtyard of the Louvre, and you’ll say to yourself, Ahh! Oui! But of course…
This is one of those Paris places that if you catch it on the wrong day, you might just brush up against a bit of that legendary Parisian snob. During Fashion Week, when all the shows are taking place nearby, the Café is not only busy, it is overrun with demanding guests and you very likely will see Russian demi-mondes and Saudi Princesses dining and sipping alongside the tourist straggler fresh from the Louvre who simply doesn’t know any better.
On a recent afternoon when I stopped in at the suggestion of a friend who names the place as one of her favorites, it happened to be raining. This meant that the tables and chairs set out in the courtyard, on the same level as the Glass Pyramid, would be wet and cold. So, of course we opted for the covered chairs on the indoor Terrace. Until our waiter realized that my friend was Parisienne, he was ready to throw us out for not ordering lunch, even though it was 2:30 and officially past the lunch hour.
Nonetheless, the hostess was accommodating when we requested a change of station and even offered to move us to the cosy indoors where the velvet upholstered dining chairs lend that exquisite elegance to what is a classic Café housed in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre.
Honestly though, when I go back, I will go for lunch and not accept a café meeting there. It’s a bit too formal for just ordering a glass of wine or water and you risk being told to order food…or leave. I can say, however, that their Club Sandwich, 14 Euros, is decent as is their hot chocolate which comes in a pot so you get a lot of from it.
Remember, though, don’t try to find Café Marly using a map. Just go to the Louvre, find the glass pyramid, and look around for the people sitting at the only Café. That’s Café Marly. A walk in the Tuileries before or after is highly suggested. Or, of course, shopping along the nearby rue Faubourg St. Honoré.
93, r. de Rivoli Paris 75001 Richelieu Wing, Louvre Museum 8am – 10pm
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