Canal Saint-Martin

Café Le Cinquante sounds like a wonderful old-world bar (not on the tourist radar) – we have to try the charcuterie and cheese platter and wine.

Read the French review at Le Bonbon. “Bref, un endroit cool et cosy, au bon tissu, table en bois, tableaux et couleurs d’époque. C’est sombre mais chaleureux, et les planches de charcuterie et fromages sont au top. Le vin également, et les petites assiettes à essayer.”

Café Le Cinquante
50 Rue Lancry 75010
01 42 02 36 83
Métro Jacques Bonsergent
Mon-Sun 17h30-2h00


Rue Montorgueuil

Rue Montorgueil market street scene

Rue Montorgueil is a street in the 2nd arrondissement (in the Châtelet-Les Halles district). Lined with famous restaurants, quaint cafés, bakeries (including La Maison Stohrer, the oldest pâtisserie in Paris, opened in 1730 – it was here baba au rhum was invented more than 275 years ago), fish stores, cheese shops, wine shops, produce stands and flower shops, rue Montorgueil is one of the best places for Parisians to socialize while doing their daily shopping. – Wikipedia.

Stohrer – Pâtissier Traiteur
51 rue Montorgueil, 75002
Mon-Sun,  7h30-20h30

“Cafe Marie Stuart on rue Montorgueuil for their crazy delish ‘mac and cheese’ really try it” – Janine

Café Marie Stuart
58 Rue Montorgueil, 75002
Mon-Sun, 15h00-02H00

My favourite pavement in the world.
My favourite pavement in the world.

Flea markets and brocantes

There’s a big vide-grenier (an attic-emptying) with 800 stalls on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11-13 May, 2012) on Rue de Bretagne! Friday 6h-19h Saturday 8h-19h Sunday 8h-19h.

 The most famous flea market in Paris is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, at Porte de Clignancourt. It is the largest antique market in the world, with about 150,000 visitors each weekend. There are a lot of details about the different sections of this flea market at Paris Perfect, and a lot of photos at The Paris Apartment.

Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves is my favourite – it’s smaller, cleaner and more easily accessible.

Here’s an iphone app about the Paris Flea markets.

Sajou: Notions & Haberdashery

Beautiful sewing notions from Sajou like scissors, thread, sewing kits, collectibles, etc.

This is a gallery of Flickr photos from people that own Sajou products.

Their products are available at these shops (Le Bon Marché department store is the best bet):

Tapisserie de France
7, rue des Moulins, 75001
Métro Pyramides (Close to Le Louvre)
01 42 60 65 67

Tapisserie de la Bucherie
2, rue du Haut Pavé, 75005
Métro Saint-Michel (Near Notre-Dame)
01 40 46 87 69

Le Bon Marché
5, rue de Babylone, 75007
Métro Sèvres-Babylone
01 44 39 80 00

Le Comptoir
26, rue Cadet, 75009
Métro Poissoniere
01 42 46 20 72

Les Brodeuses Parisiennes
1, rue François de Neufchâteau, 75011
Métro Voltaire
01 40 24 20 80

Au Bonheur des Dames
17, avenue Daumesnil, 75012
(In one of the shops in the viaduct of La promenade plantée)
Métro Bastille
01 43 42 06 27

Bleu De Chine
9, rue Marsoulan, 75012
Métro Picpus
01 43 43 18 23

Au Fil Des Jours
2, rue Frémicourt, 75015
Métro Avenue Émile Zola
01 45 75 05 19

Lin Et Petits Points
119, avenue Félix Faure, 75015
Métro Balard
01 45 54 78 29

10, rue Saint-Ferdinand, 75017
Métro Argentine, Terne (Near François)
01 45 74 13 19


Going to a hammam?

A trip to Paris would not be complete without a visit to a hammam. A type of steam bath originating in North Africa, it has become very popular in Paris and is a wonderful way to wind down after a week of forced flanerie.

“The first step is to relax in a warm room that is heated by a continuous flow of hot dry air allowing you to work up a glow.  Move on to the hot room and finish off with a plunge in a cold pool. Go through the process as many times as you feel like, fit in a gommage along the way, finish off with a massage and flop down in the cooling room with a book and a thé à la menthe.” – Vingt Paris

The hamman at the Mosqué de Paris is probably the oldest and cheapest, but it is reported that you’re not treated very well and the massage is perfunctory. If you don’t go to the hammam, it still is worth having a thé à la menthe in the tea room.

Les Bains de Marais is one of the best and is the closest to our apartment.

O’Kari Hamman is very highly rated and is close to the apartment. It seems a bit expensive – 90€ for 90 minutes, but you do get: access to hammam, exfoliation with savon noir, body scrub, cleansing with an aleppo soap, shampoo with head massage, access to the jacuzzi, hair drying, so it is probably worth it.

Hamman Paris is another hammam in the 2nd – fairly close to us., and is very reasonably priced. There are several others that get good reviews on the web.

La Mosquée de Paris
39 rue Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, 75005
01 43 31 38 20

Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat: 10h-21h
Fri: 14h-21h

Tue: 14h-21h
Sun: 10h-21h

Les Bains du Marais
33 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, 75004
Métro Hôtel de Ville, Rambuteau
01 44 61 02 02

Mon 10h-20h
Tue 10h-23h
Wed 10h-19h

Thu 10h-23h
Fri 10h-20h

Mixed (swimsuit must be worn)
Wed 19h-23h
Sat 10h-20h
Sun 10h-23h
All public holidays falling on Thu or Fri

O’Kari Hammam
22 rue Dussoubs, 75002
01 42 36 94 66

Women only
Mon-Sun 10h-20h

Hammam Boulevard
23 rue des Jeuneurs, 75002
01 48 01 03 05

Looking for enamel house numbers?

N° 88 bis

Plaques et Pots is a shop near Les Halles that is well worth a visit. You can find those famous blue and white enamel house numbers, replica street signs and signs like “toilette”, “chiens méchants”, etc.

Plaques et Pots
12, rue de la Ferronnerie, 75001
Métro Châtelet-Les Halles

UPDATE: According to the France Revisited blog, Plaques et Pots shut down!


N° 5

I have never been to Au Petite Bonheur La Chance, but after reading this short article in the Financial Times – How To Spend It (!), I can’t wait to visit. Wish You Were Here states “If you’re addicted to all things old, domestic and French, this shop on narrow rue St. Paul is the equivalent of mainlining your entire stash.” It’s in the Marais – walking distance from home base.

Au Petite Bonheur La Chance
13, rue Saint Paul, 75004
Métro Saint Paul

On the corner of...

And then there’s BHV. The hardware section, in the basement of the department store Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville, is the best hardware store in the world.

64 Rue de Rivoli,  75004

On the web: Plaque personnalisé

Wine Bars

Le Rubis
10 rue du Marché St Honoré, 75001
01 42 61 03 34
M°: Tuileries

Verjus Bar à Vins
47, rue de Montpensier, 75001
01 42 97 54 40
M° Pyramides
Mon-Fri. 30-40€

The American owners of this new wine and whisky bar ran a successful supperclub in Paris before going legit at the end of last year. Pop in for small plates of milk-fried chicken, celeriac ravioli with dan-dan sauce, and shoestring fries with togarashi and ketchup.

Spring Boutique
6 rue Bailleul, 75001
01 58 62 44 30
M° Louvre-Rivoli

Not a wine bar as such (it closes at 10pm), this little offshoot of Daniel Rose’s gastronomic restaurant, Spring, is a casual space for wine-tasting – try the Spring Drink sampler, €10 – with accompanying hams, cheeses and so on if you’re peckish.

Frenchie Bar à Vins
5 rue du Nil, 75002
01 40 39 96 19
M° Sentier

Good luck getting a table at Gregory Marchand’s tiny néo-bistrot Frenchie – it’s more or less hopeless. His new wine bar over the road is a good, supremely relaxed place to console yourself with a glass of low-intervention wine and a plate of excellent terroirs-y food.

Caves Legrand
4 rue des Petits Champs (Galerie Vivienne), 75002
01 42 60 07 12
M°: Bourse

3, rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 75004
01 42 74 71 52
M° Hotel-de-ville/St. Paul
Mon-Sun. 40€

La Tartine
24 rue de Rivoli, 75004
01 42 72 76 85
M°: St. Paul

Le Porte-Pot
14 Rue Boutebrie, 75005
01 43 25 24 24
M° Cluny-Sorbonne

Les Papillions
139 rue Mouffetard, 75005
01 43 31 66 50
M°: Censier-Daubenton

La Palette
43 rue de Seine, 75006
01 43 26 68 15
M°: St-Germain-des-Pres

La Quincave
17 Rue Brea, 75006
M° Vavin

La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
7, rue Lobineau, 75006
09 54 90 20 20
M° Odeon
Mon-Sun. 20-30€

Part-owned by one of Paris’s biggest Bordeaux dealers, this is no place to try modish vins naturs – rather dip into an interesting global selection by the glass. Great atmosphere, attractive loungey decor, so-so food (stick with the pata negra ham).

Le Boudoir
25, rue du Colisée, 75008
01 43 59 25 29
M° Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mon-Sat. 40-50€

80, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, 75010
01 42 46 02 44
M° Poissonniere
Tue-Sat. 35-40€

42 rue Leon Frot, 75011
01 43 70 59 27
M°: Charonne

Le Baron Bouge
1 rue Théophile Roussel, 75012
01 43 43 14 32
M°: Ledru-Rollin

Piston Pelican
15 rue de Bagnolet, 75020
01 43 71 15 76
M°: Alexandre Dumas

The EditorThe GuardianParis By MouthLe Figaro

Château de Versailles

The Château de Versailles is a must, and it must be Saturday or Sunday, as the “Musical Fountains Show” is on – 11:00-12:00 and 15:30-17:00. Therefore, the best days for us are Saturday 12 May, Sunday 13 May or Saturday 19 May.

Tous les samedis et dimanches du 31 mars au 28 octobre 2012 ainsi que certains jours fériés (8 mai, 17 mai et 15 août 2012) Entrée payante de 9h à 18h30. Mise en musique de 10h à 18h30. Mise en eau de 11h à 12h et de 15h30 à 17h. (+Mise en eau du Bassin du Miroir toutes les 10 minutes, de 10h à 18h30). (+ Mise en eau exceptionnelle de 17h20 à 17h30 du Bassin de Neptune)

Le Louvre – Cour de Marly

"Panoramosaic" by edlimphoto on Flickr

A beautiful glass covered courtyard with sculpture…

The monumental statuary displayed here was carved for the park of the Château de Marly. Most of the works were commissioned by Louis XIV at the end of his reign. However, the courtyard is dominated by Guillaume Coustou’s celebrated Horses of Marly, completed in 1745 under Louis XV. —

Richelieu wing – Ground floor.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouge

Le Marche? des Enfants-Rouges
It is the oldest market in Paris. Le Petit Marché was created in 1615 to serve Le Marais. It was renamed in remembrance of an orphanage near by. Along with neighbouring Rue de Bretagne, it is now one of the hippest markets in the Haut Marais. There are 20 stalls and restaurants in the market and there is a great photography ephemera shop as well. The adjacent street, Rue de Bretagne is worth a visit – a beer at Café Charlot is a must.

Here is a link to my Flickr set.

Marché des Enfants-Rouges
39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003
M° Temple

Horaires d’ouverture
Mardi, mercredi, jeudi : de 8h30 à 13h et de 16h à 19h30
Vendredi, samedi : de 8h30 à 13h et de 16h à 20h
Dimanche : de 8h30 à 14h