A weekend in Paris.
and a walk through Le Marais.
As always, a weekend get-away is a nice break from our busy daily lives. And what better destination than the city of love! Paris is one of Europe’s largest cities with a cultural heritage big enough to keep you busy for many weekends. Of course you know Paris as the home of the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, the haute couture, etc. If it’s your first time in Paris, you’re bound to see those amazing landmarks and do some window shopping until yours eyes fall out. Not to mention, to feast upon the macarons of La Durée… We can’t blame you, we’ve all been there. And if you haven’t, you should! For some reason, everything seems more elegant, classy and romantic in Paris.
After you got the taste of it and you want to visit Paris in a another way, we have something else for you. How about exploring the Marais? It’s the old Jewish part of the city which used to be the place for the aristocracy before the Revolution. After WWI Chinese workers who came to Paris resided in the neighbourhood. More recently it’s become the place to be for the LGBT community. Talk about a mixture of influences!
Now, where to find ‘Le Marais’?
It’s basically the 3rd and 4th district. It’s where you find the city hall, Place des Vosges, the Picasso museum,… Neighbouring the Marais are the islands in the river Seine and Centre Pompidou. The latter is a very peculiar architectural structure from the late seventies. With all the main infrastructure on the outside, it’s in great contrast with the surrounding classicist houses. Like great artwork, you either hate it or you love it but you’re never without an opinion. The same goes for the collection of modern and contemporary art it hosts. Worth a visit, time and time again.
All this reading makes you crave a good cup of coffee or tea, doesn’t it?
And believe it or not, we know the perfect spots for that!
Le Loustic is a petit coffee bar with some strong blends, tasty banana bread and yummy cookies. The colours and styles combined in the retro inspired interior are reflected in the aromatic brews you get presented: bold, full of flavour and perfectly in balance.
Another little treasure close to the Centre Pompidou is Terres de Café. It gives the word small a new meaning. But, where it lacks in space it makes up in quality and finesse. Oh my… You have never tasted something so divinely prepared, and with a smile. Each day they serve another blend and they’re all excellent. Just pass by and grab your cup while strolling around. It’s worth a detour and it’s a hidden gem, for now…
If you still have an appetite for modern art, the Picasso museum is a must see as well. However if you were thinking about food, Breizh Café offers eclectic pancakes or better yet, crepes. A French classic dish with a Japanese twist. And talking about Japanese, the Marais accommodates many sushi restaurants as well as other Asian cuisines.
Café des Arts et Métiers is a typical Parisian corner with a large terrace and plates that evoke oohs and aahs. It’s a stylish yet humoursome place. Paris at it’s most French.
Tea lovers will be glad to hear that there ares also places for them. One of our favourites is Le Loir dans La Théière, located deeper in the Marais. It’s known far and wide already and reservation is recommended. For a pot of tea, you’ll say. Well, yes. And for the best homemade pies, the cosy look and feel, the real Parisien mix of nonchalance and high quality.
On the way to this tasty eatery, you might walk through the shopping streets of the Marais. Rue du Temple, Rue des Archives, Rue vieille du Temple and Rue des Rosiers are just a few of the streets inviting you to stroll and discover the typical Parisian styles. As often happens with many hip and hipster spots, the big brands are slowly taking over. Somehow, some shops seem to defy them and are becoming a household name in the neighbourhood. Fleux for example. That’s what we’re talking about! Everything in that shop breathes design and trendiness. If you’re looking for a small decorative souvenir, Fleux is the place to be. Books, plants, lamps, pottery, shelves, stools, sofas, jewellery… A vast variety.
Everyone who’s fascinated by art will also be pleasantly surprised to find many galleries around and at Place des Vosges. It takes the mind away from the more mondain aspects of life and helps us dream of a colourful world. It’s also a nice contrast to see, the very classicist buildings and the modern art.
If you need some time to contemplate about what to buy or do next, let us advise you to do so over a cup of tea, at T’ Cup. An English menu in a French setting. So very Marais! The afternoon teas are simply delightful. And as many other cafes in Paris, this one also serves brunch. An English one, in an exquisite setting.
Brunch on Sundays is a serious business in Paris, up to 2 pm you won’t find a spot to sit down for just a cup of coffee or tea. Apparently you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You’ll sit down and enjoy it. Just make sure you reserve your seat because you will be queuing. They’ve become so popular, and with good reason! It’s a time to relax and catch up.
When you’ll get hungry again in the late afternoon, you can do as the Parisians do and get yourself a falafel on the go. And don’t forget to pass by L’éclair De Génie. The New hype in desserts in sweets, éclairs. They come in all colours and flavoured combinations. Looking at them makes you drool and want to dig in. Go for it! They are worth every cent. Savour it with each mouthful…
Can we give you one last tip? Most people tend to want to make the most of their money’s worth and therefore usually arrive on a morning. However, Paris is one of those places you best hit town at night. The golden city lights and the grand view will get you in the right atmosphere. Certainly when you see them from a rooftop bar like bar La Vue, located on the 34th floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Paris Etoile. A fabulous, and expensive, but really, fabulous cocktail in this fancy environment will make you feel like royalty. We love this bar, because it’s right next to the bus station for transport from and to the airport and other countries.
We cannot guarantee that you will have the best trip ever, but we will promise that you’ll fall in love…