With the Eurostar departing central London and arriving in central Paris in under 2.5hrs It makes visiting the beautiful city of Paris very convenient and appealing for a quick weekend getaway.
Having visited the city numerous times before it was time to hit the food scene rather than the tourist sites. With a foodie hit list a mile long and limited time, we were keen to get moving and to check out the café scene doing what the Parisiennes do best – people watching. This time ‘round we stayed in Les Marais, the historic district of Paris which has since turned into a very trendy part of town.
First stop, a spot of lunch with baggage in hand at the highly recommended Chez Janou! We didn’t have time to waste on a bad meal in Paris and with hunger levels at an all time high, it was time to eat! Tucked away down a quiet little street on the far end of Les Marais, Chez Janou is a charming little French bistro with beautiful green and white awnings and friendly staff. We shared some Tuna Tartare, Mr T had the steak which he said was tender and flavoursome and I had the Tuna steak served with ratatouille. Chez Janou was the perfect way to kick off our Parisienne trip. Don’t expect an English menu but expect the freshest of ingredients and tastiest of dishes. Oh and if you are after some thing sweet, don’t look past the chocolate mousse!
After lunch we walked up the road (literally just up the road) to a tiny yet extremely busy coffee shop – Fragments coffee which we subsequently visited on numerous occasions for our daily dose of caffeine – each time crowded! Fragments coffee is a small coffee shop with slightly higher prices but it is certainly worth it if you love your coffee as much as I do – they even do milk alternatives! With a large print of Bruce Lee and a sign that says “Welcome to Fragments coffee where the magic happens” youknow you’re in for a treat at this hip yet cozy café!
Now you’ve had your coffee hit, go for a walk toPlace des Vosges (the oldest planned square in Paris) which is surrounded by art galleries and beautiful 17thcentury town buildings. Go for a wander all the way down Rue Des Frances Bourgeois which is one of the most interesting streets to walk down in the Marais area, full of boutique shops and restaurants.
I have eaten at Derrier on two separate Paris trips and absolutely loved it both times as the ambience was magnificent. Step away from the busy streets and into the most picturesque courtyard, filled with foliage and eclectic décor. Make sure you book a table in advance in the courtyard, this place is lively and quirky and better yet the food is excellent.
If you are staying in Le Marais then I would definitely recommend eating breakfast at Neighbours. It is a pleasant little café with excellent coffee and bilingual staff. The corn fritters and sourdough crumpets certainly hit the spot and will set you up for a morning of walking the streets of Paris.
I would also recommend Aussie owned café, Holy Belly for breakfast – It really won’t disappoint especially If you are after a little more than a French patisserie. Holy Belly has the best vibe, up-beat music, outstanding coffee and the breakfast is to die for. Maybe not what you would expect in Paris, but this place is popular for a reason! Expect a small line out the front that moves fast if you’re not there first thing.
Other places worth mentioning are:
- Boot Café
- Wild and the moon
- Café Berry
- Pain Pain Bakery
- Café Oberkampf
- Abbatoir VEgetale
- Au Pere Louis – (for a French Bistro)
- Pink Flamingo
- Lou Lous