The scene is set like a table: Sturdy chairs, small wooden tables, plain round wine glasses, ironstone plates, waiters in black pants, white aprons with their shirt sleeves rolled perfectly and most likely a black bow tie.
Some things never change, is that true?
The menu: Simple straightforward home cooked style, unless you aren't French, then the menu seems so French, romantic, classic words pop like a champagne cork: Coq au vin, Crepe Suzette, Quiche Lorraine, Soupe du jour, Escargots, Gratin, Poulet, Creme Brulee...
After you order, the waiter takes the chalk board menu away, and the life of the bistro plays before you: The zinc bar with the locals gathered around, kiss-kiss, a couple leaning towards one another with glasses in hand, a newspaper on a chair, a trail of cigarette smoke comes inside, and in the distant you are sure you hear Edith Piaff singing.
One of my favorite brocante dealers had a table full of thick small liquor glasses. He teased, "Do you know the name of these type of glasses? Do you know why they are thick, with a trompe l'oeil effect?"
A shook my head no, but added, "Bistro glasses?!" But I knew if he had asked, there was a reason. A French culture lesson coming. Another story to unfold before me... and with that the desire to covet them. I could hear the siren singing, "Take me home with you."
I am such a sucker for old French things. I never knew I was a Francophile: I drink Orangina.
The brocante dealer's table:
French bistro glasses,
Hand blown, with bubbles caught in the glass.
Small in size.
My brocante dealer loves glass, His stand is full of various sizes, shapes and purposes. Who knew that there was a jar for everything: Olive, wine, champagne, vinegar, water, eau de vie...
In his stand he had a blue glass, light blue glass demi-john. I had never seen one like that before.
Fragile must be his middle name. I know it is true his eyes are tender. His love affair with old French things is never far from his lips. He reminds me on a wind up doll, his stories go on until someone says, "I really gotta go..."
Then those eyes, his eyes, like glass see through to the heart, seem to say, "Oh! Okay. See you, sorry I carried on for so long..."
"Do you know the name of these type of glasses? Do you know why they are thick, with a trompe l'oeil effect?"
An eighteen century wine glass.
Large fine base.
I found this one years ago. In a small run down antique shop, on the top shelf. The dealer didn't know that it was as old as it was. I bought it for one Euro. What excitement. Oh the pleasure of finding something for seemingly nothing. The hunt is a big part of brocanting.
Thought I would throw is a surprise photo. One of the Parisian department stores' Christmas window display. Prada for dinner. Glasses and the tabletop covered in crystal snow. Serving a hot pink shoe.
Let me know what you think the name and purpose of this type of glass.
The first one to guess the name and purpose of the glass correctly will win a small apertif glass. The most creative winner will win the same too.