Le Poussette Café
  • 30
  • Apr
  • 2013

Maybe it’s coincidence, but since 2008 when the smoking ban took effect in France, cafes and restaurants seem to have more children in them. It is now fairly common to see couples sharing a drink with friends with a baby in tow, of digging into steak frites with a toddler in their lap.

The poussette Café is a safe haven for parents who want to get out of the house with babies and small children without worrying about them fussing, crying or needing to be breastfed. The founder has thought of everything. There is plenty of space between tables for strollers, shelves of toys and designer childrens’ cloting available for purchase, and a changing table is set up in the toilet.

Toddlers can be let loose in the little play corner guarded by a big stuffed crocodile, and on one will bat an eyelid if your baby decides to demonstrate his best screaming voice.

As for parents, they get tot take prenatal singing or infant massage classes, or simply sit and swap child-rearing tips with other customers.

It’s open all day Tuesday to Sunday, serving colourful salads and soups, tarts and cakes, delivered fresh by a local caterer, and of course, age-appropriate dishes for the small fry.

Le Poussette Café, 6, Rue Pierre Sémard, 75009 Paris, tel +33 1 78 10 49 00

Les Mille et une nuits
  • 24
  • Apr
  • 2013

After a 5mEuro revamp, the galleries of the Institut du Monde Araba are ready to host the longest, strangest story ever told The Arabian Nights.

This exhibition traces the influence of the 1001 tales fo Scheherazade in cinema, fashion, theatre and of course literature.

Institut du Monde Arabe, 75005 Paris

Le Bal
  • 14
  • Apr
  • 2013

Located down the tiny Impasse de la Defense off the bustling Avenue de Clichy in the 18tharrondissement, the building at number 6, Le Bal, currently serves as a multi-purpose venue for the arts. Le Bal focuses specifically on the “document-image,” encompassing photography, video, film and new media as a means of representing reality. But you can also get a drink or a light meal at Le Bal Café.

The Building

In the roaring twenties, a popular dance hall called Chez Isis stood in this spot. After the dancing subsided, it lived on as France’s top betting center until 1992. After years of abandonment, the building was bought by the city of Paris in 2006 and plans for the current Le Bal venue went into action.

A young team of talented architects created a modern, functional space with exhibits flowing naturally into one another. The café and the bookstore open out onto the cobblestone path with a colorful children’s playground behind it.

The Café

The space has a very modern black and white décor with low hanging lights. Small rectangular shelves filled with glasses, wine bottles, and teapots line the wall behind the bar.The menu is seasonal and has a British twist, thanks to former Rose Bakery chefs Alice Quillet and Anna Trattles.

Le Bal, 6 Impasse de la Défense, 75018 Paris, M° Place de Clichy



The bassin the la Villette (2)
  • 02
  • Apr
  • 2013

5/ Bar 61, 3 Rue de l’Oise, 75019 Paris

A friendly bobo cafe with a permanent photo exhibition depicting bars around the world. The terrace, opposite a specatular graffiti wall, is the perfect suntrap at lunchtimes. It has a discerning wine selection and probably the best tartines grillées (toasted open sandwiches) in Paris.

6/ Ô77, 77 quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris

This former bicyle repair shop is now a restaurant run by a welcoming Lebanese family team of uncle and niece, who mix their own and traditional French food in a trendy lounge atmosphere. Friendly service, big salads, an a good selection of organic French beers, including one that contains a (legal) dose of hemp.

7/ AICV Location vélos, 38 bis quai de la Marne, 75019 Paris

If you can’t be bothered with the red tape involved in Paris’s Vélib’ rentabike scheme, this is a traditional cycle-hire palce. Get a two-wheeler for three hours for 6-8 Euro and either pedal down the canal path to Bastille, or head northwards through vast parc de la Villette, and out into the suburb of Pantin.

8/ Dépôt Flandre, 63 quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris

This quirky bric-à-brac warehouse is open seven days a week and purveys everything from Pernod water jugs to bistro tables.

(out of the Metropolitan Nov 2012, written by Stephen Clarke)