July 20 is Marina Day.
In France, every day of the year has a saint's name associated with it. If you share the name of one of the saints, that is your name day. Every year since I started studying French and learned that this was a thing, I have treated July 20 (the fête of Sainte Marina) as a mini-birthday party, a gala of 'treat yo self', a celebration of my delightful self.
This year was slightly different. I have a thesis due like yesterday and I was feeling slightly under the weather, so I decided to just repeat Marina Day 2013 and hop over to the Maison du Chou, by Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
In this tiny pastry shop, delicate puff pastries are injected with sweet creams in front of you. The only choice you have to make is with what flavor of filling you want them to fluff your puff.
The summer flavors this year are chocolate, nature (fromage blanc), praline and basil lime. I just about died as I bit into this last flavor; it was perfectly refreshing on a hot July day.
Even though it was a million degrees out, I still ordered a small pot of litchi tea. I sat in the sleek and homey boutique, with a view out to the square on rue de Furstenberg, and I sipped and nibbled and enjoyed a slight breeze.
It is definitely worth checking out to see it you have an official name day. If not, declare your own.
A basically made-up holiday? Perhaps. But it is nice to have the excuse once a year to remember to take a breather and celebrate the hard work you are doing to get through your days well.
La Maison du Chou
Address: 7 rue de Furstenberg 75006 Paris ∣ Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (line 4) or Mabillon (line 10) ∣ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm
The gardens of the Delacroix Museum are right across the square from the Maison du Chou and definitely worth a visit.