If I’m feeling eccentric in the afternoon I’ll head down to Le Comptoir Général in the 10th neighbourhood. It’s a warm and inviting place and arriving around 17:00 there’s space enough to get comfy on one of the beaten-up looking sofas.
I’ve a reservation about the place that’s worth sharing. And that is, although I really buy into the idea of the west-African decorations, the place feels like it’s at the tipping-point of cool meets high-concept idea. It feels in some way deliberately fashioned as if from a flatpack-shabby-impoverished-African aesthetic. But that shouldn’t detract me from sharing my overwhelming curiosity of the place where everyone I meet there is super sociable.
The last time I was there for instance I went allied with my Jazz singer mate Liv. We took up a shared sofa space (resting our Ti-Punch cocktails on our knees). And within minutes struck up a conversation with a couple of guys beside us. They seemed to want to practice their English chitter-chatter.
So on that social level I imagine Le Comptoir Général as a place much like an expat-departures lounge, one typical of the African continent from generation ago. The beauty of the place is that the aesthetic allows relative strangers to relax enough to get chatting to one another.