Colunching at Coutume Café

27 September 2011

Coutume Café Cappuccino

Perhaps the most daunting aspect of moving abroad is the inevitability of starting over. Even if you’re fortunate enough to know a few people in your adopted city or town, it probably won’t be enough to constitute a solid network. That’s exactly what my parents were concerned about when I made the move to Paris – that I would struggle to form connections other than those facilitated by entering into my husband’s network (but as I mention in this interview, I didn’t win over his friends immediately).

Coutume Café

It wasn’t until I went to grad school in Paris that I developed an extremely tight group of friends, some of whom eventually left to return to their home countries. While those are people who will forever be in my life, regardless of their home base, I attribute my social wings to blogging and heavy social media use. Whereas it was once unacceptable to meet strangers online (let alone admit it), it has become the fastest way to integrate and make friends in Paris. Fortunately for those without blogs, Twitter accounts and only mild internet addiction, there exists a fun, free, social service to facilitate meeting locals.

Coutume Café

Colunching is a communal dining social network that brings together intimate groups of people around great food; an opportunity to meet new faces over a meal, whether brunch, lunch or dinner. Launched in Paris over a year ago, Colunching has expanded exponentially since then with events organized weekly in cities all over the world, including one coming up in my hometown of Philadelphia organized by my friend Susan (Fleurishing).

Colunching at Coutume Café

Colunching with my real-life friends Anne and Bryan

Sunday marked my 3rd Colunching event and was held over brunch at the coffee-focused and much lauded Coutume Café in the 7th arrondissement, just a few blocks from Le Bon Marché. Erica took me to Coutume to try their famous cappuccino over the summer and introduced me to the charming Australian co-owner, Tom, who can talk at length about their in-house torrefaction, imported coffee and stellar sweets.

Coutume Café brunch
Coutume Café breakfast burrito

Coutume welcomed 23 of us for the international-themed Co-brunch where a few of my friends and I (Anne and Bryan above) got to know Parisians of all ages itching to practice their English. Most people ordered the full brunch but as soon as I spotted a breakfast burrito on the menu, my choice was made.

The weather was picture-perfect, the company enthusiastic and the food hearty and delicious. If you’re coming to Paris and are in search of a fun way to meet locals all while testing out some of the cities best eats, sign up for Colunching – you might just find me at your table!

Coutume Café
47 rue de Babylone
75007 Paris
Métro: Sèvres-Babylone (10) or Saint-François-Xavier (13)

{More Coutume Café photos HERE}

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