I’m trying a new idea out. In order to spice up not only my life but the content of my blog I have decided to recommend at least one place in each arrondissement whether it is a bar, a restaurant, or a museum. I shall endeavor to share my favourite places to go whilst avoiding come clichés and telling you some local secrets.
For those who don’t know, Paris is organized in a spiral. The districts or arrondissement start in the very centre with the 1st and work there way all the way to the 20th on the outer reaches of the city. It is a wonderfully logical system by French standards but of course it does mimic one of their favourite foodstuffs – les escargots. So let’s start at the beginning…
Many moons ago when I first moved to Paris I received an unusual message from my Mum to say that I needed to go to a certain address at a designated time in order to collect a little present she had arranged for me. Loving the new spontaneity in my life I was excited about the adventure. My destination was a branch of internationally renowned Pierre Herme’s patisserie empire where a bag of baked goods was waiting for me. From croissants to macarons, you can purchase a plethora of French delicacies. Head to 4 Rue Cambon to sample their culinary delights after a bit of culture in the Louvre.
As I was compiling the list of places I want to include in this guide to Paris I couldn’t stop writing down names of places that were in this particular arrondissement so I have thus decided that it must be my favourite of all the areas of the city. Firstly I would love to recommend Sapporo or any of the other Japanese restaurants of Rue Sainte-Anne. You can always tell a place is going to be good when it is absolutely packed full of locals and they all are. When deciding where to go and have some ramen you are spoilt for choice on this bustling little street because everywhere is fit to burst. The food is glorious and the atmosphere is one of satisfied delight, but it is worth a trip to the one supermarket on the street. K-Mart is my number one place to get dumplings and sticky rice for those nights were only some Asian comfort food will do.
If delicious food wasn’t enough for you then Rue Saint-Sauveur in the same arrondissement has some of the best bars in France. Experimental Cocktail Club has to be one of my favourite drinking spots. It is expensive but it is worth it. The décor is partway between a rustic French barn and a Pigalle brothel which adds to the charm of the ever helpful bar staff.
As if that wasn’t enough it is worth a trip to the taxidermy shop on Rue d’Aboukir where they have incredible displays of animals from across the globe.
A bit of light relief might be needed after all of that eating and boozing and what better way to unwind than a bit of shopping? Merci has an eclectic mix of items. From clothing to homeware you can get pretty much anything at this store. Browse the stationary whilst being shocked at some of the price tags before settling down in either of the two cafes before making an impulse purchase at the till.
So there we have it, my brief guide to the first three arrondissements in Paris. Now it’s time for me to go and explore the next few!