The Weekly Getaway: Paris is always a good idea
One year after the merciless attacks on Paris, the City of Light begins to recover from its mourning. It’s definitely time for us to come back to the timeless French capital and celebrate the new little things.
Paris has the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame and is full of magical clichés but it is also so much more! Of course once in a while we still enjoy eating a baguette in Saint-Germain-des-Près wearing a beret. But here is an insight for those who wish to discover the vibrant, contemporary and hottest Paris.
1 - Paris’ new culinary scene:
Among all the “bistrots” and famous Michelin-starred restaurants, the Parisian culinary scene has become an aristocracy ruled by three “families” of food lovers. The immediate successes of those new places come from a combination of lovely atmosphere, cool deco, friendly service and really (REALLY) good food.
- Septime Team rue de Charonne - Owner-chef Bertrand Grebaut and his team have colonized this 11th district’s neighborhood with three “eat-lists” restaurants:
- Septime - opened three years ago this modern-bistro has immediately earned a spot on the World’s 50 Best restaurants list. If you opt for a “carte blanche” tasting menu, the sommelier will advise to create a perfect balance between your wine and dishes. From savors to service, Septime is remodeling the French cuisine.
- Clamato - a seafood-focused neo-bistro just next-door. You can taste the sea through elegant and creative dishes: Utah Beach oysters, mackerel rillettes, scallops in herb butter or octopus Carpaccio…
- Septime La Cave - a wine bar down the street where you are smartly sent to wait and drink before your table is ready.
- Big Mamma clan: three neighbourhoods, three Italian trattorie led by the Neapolitan chef Ciro Cristiano, a prodigy of 27 years old. He is importing all his produce from Italy - from the prosciutto to the wood-burning pizza oven. One rule: no reservation.
- East Mamma – Bastille: this restaurant offers amazing pizzas made with great Italian produce. The space had been designed by London interior-architect Martin Brudnizki (Jamie Oliver’s preferred designer).
- Ober Mamma – Oberkampf: a modern trattoria and aperitivo cocktail bar. Beautifully designed, truffle pastas must eat, huge pizzas and crazy Spritz cocktails. Ober Mamma is THE place to be in the Oberkamp’s district.
- Mamma Primi – Batignolles: the latest addition to the Mamma family. The menu is 100% authentic as for the waiters who are all Italians. Really nice atmosphere with an open kitchen.
- Opening soon: BigLove Café in Le Marais.
- Alexandre Giesbert and Julien Ross’ restaurants: two entrepreneurs who are behind the successful eateries, Roco Pizzeria, Rococo kebabs, Roca bistro and the new venture: Daroco. Set in the former Jean-Paul Gaultier boutique of La Galerie Vivienne, this lofty restaurant offers fresh pastas, wood-fired oven made pizzas and made in-house ice creams.
2 - The best place to Instagram in Paris:
- Rue Crémieux - the cutest street of Paris is hidden in the 12th district.
- Les Passages couverts (Galerie Vero-Dodat, Passage du Grand Cerf, Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne, Passage des Princes, Passage Jouffroy, etc) - theses passages are real architectural gems. If it’s raining or if you are looking for a vintage bookshop, this is the place for you.
- Chez Merci - a trendy Concept Store in Le Marais where you can grab a cup of tea after buying all Isabel Marant’s new collection.
- Les Puces de Saint-Ouen - a real institution considered as the largest antiques market in the world. Do not forget to stop by Ma Cocotte, a great restaurant designed by Philippe Starck.
- La Coulée Verte / Viaduc des Arts - a quiet and peaceful place to do your jogging.
- La Place des Vosges - my favorite and most beloved square in Paris. The best place to have a picnic during summer or just enjoying a hot chocolate at Carette Café during winter.
3 - To do list:
- Voyageurs du Monde’s bookstore - an elegant and cozy bookshop in the 2nd district. From impressive selection of maps or unusual suitcases to specialized books, this place is the traveler’s heaven.
- Fondation Louis Vuitton - LVMH’s Museum and cultural center designed by Frank Gehry.
- Versailles: great place to enjoy some Ladurée macarons during the summer.
- Hôtel de Sully - secret garden in Le Marais.
- Le Grand Palais - always has a great selection of exhibits.
- Maison Européenne de la photographie - beautiful collection of contemporary photographers.
- La Grande Mosquée: a secret heaven in the center of the left bank where you can eat loukoum pastries pretending you are in Marrakech.
- La Galerie Perrotin - from Murakami to street artist JR, the finest contemporary art in a lovely hotel particulier.
- La Monnaie de Paris- eccentric exhibit of Maurizio Cattelan right now.
- The new Astier de Villate shop in the 6th district - delicate ceramics, candles and notebooks
- Hôtel Particulier - located in a secret and secluded street of Montmartre, this hotel is a true heaven surrounded by lush green gardens. Also a great place to take your date.
- Hôtel Amour - one of Paris’ best boutique hotels. The place is located in Pigalle and designed by graffiti artist Andre Saraiva (founder of Le Baron in London and Paris, as well as Cafe Henrie in New York. You can also see his graffitis at Paul’s Baby Grand Cocktail Lounge in NYC.)
- Hôtel Providence - a luxury lifestyle hotel located in the trendy 10th district. The rooms are superbly decorated with luxurious velvet and unique objets d’art.
- Le Ritz - after three years of renovations, the mythical hotel still got it.
- Coq Hôtel - one of Paris’ new addresses. Very tasteful brunch.
- Melt - the new place to be of the 11th district. This is the very first Texas BBQ restaurant in Paris
- L’Acajou - owner-chef Jean Imbert won the 2012 Topchef edition. Excellent and minimalist food.
- Marché des Enfants Rouges - a market in Le Marais where you can enjoy an amazing couscous
- Café de Flore - no matter what you HAVE to go to Le Café de Flore where Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir used to spend their days.
- Le Perchoir - beautiful rooftop offering an amazing view over Paris.
- Holybelly - best brunch in town near Le Canal Saint-Martin
- Boot Café - American waffles, donuts and cookies located rue Pont aux Choux
- Sébastien Gaudard - best pasties in Montmartre.
- Le Montana - chic late-night spot in Saint-Germain-des-Près
- Le Carmen - a beautiful rococo and hip bar in Pigalle with a great selection of Gin cocktails.
- La Mano - small and cute bobo nightclub hosting hot electro salsa latino nights.
- Le Silencio - David Lynch’s semi-private club for artists and performers inspired by Mulholland Drive.
Images: Faustine Poidevin ©