One rainy day before lunchtime, we had a rendezvous with a nice French lady at ELLE CAFÉ. Wanting to make the occasion a bit more special, we made use of the café’s unique VIP room.
The room for six to eight people, with a mirrored wall, small tables and a round sofa is Parisian in feel. It’s decorated with French-ethnic-style cushions and other delightful interior items that you can purchase at the counter. Available by the hour, it can be used for a meeting with someone special, a birthday party, or a business meeting.
As soft sunlight creeping in through the white interior of the café made us forget the dull weather, our guest appeared: Louisa Babaci, the deputy-director of the French Institute in Fukuoka. Louisa studied international relations and Japanese at university in Paris and worked for educational organizations and photo agencies in international cities like Paris, New York, and Tokyo. She was assigned by the French foreign affairs to her current position in 2006. She is in charge of the language school, university cooperation and works on various cultural projects including cultural events, art exhibitions, lectures, conferences, and reception parties.
When she was in France, she had several favorite cafés near her home and used them in turn according to the weather, her mood, and situation. In French culture, a café is basically a place to meet someone but can also be used to read, rest and unwind. “I usually order coffee or latte, but when I meet my friends after work, I choose wine.”
We ordered cakes salés along with a glass of white wine. Cake salés means “salt cake” in French and is more an appetizer with an apéritif. The recipe differs seasonally, regionally and from family to family. “We have it with some drinks with friends before we go out for dinner.”
Cakes salés: ¥1,176 (with soup and salad)
Glass wine: ¥777
Cafe au lait ¥693
ELLE CAFÉ Fukuoka Hakata
4F Hakata Hankyu, 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 10:00 ~ 21:00