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)

The bassin de la Villette
  • 24
  • Mar
  • 2013

The bassin used to be just a disused canal basi, frequented by ducks, drug addicts and the occasional daring jogger.

Now its historic raisable bridge is newly renovated, its industrial buildings have been spruced up, and it’s one of Paris’s hippest meeting places :

1/ Antipode , face au 55 quai de la Seine, 785019 Paris

This is one of three big barges moored in a line along the western bank, all offering similar fare – drinks and light meals on deck, a show down below. They’re great places to sit and watch the evening promenaders, an there are concerts and cabaret, including shows for kids, at 5-7 Euro a ticket.

2/ MK2 Cinemas, 14 quai de la Seine & 7 quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris

This twin neon-lit cinemas, one either side of the canal, were pioneers, opening in 1996 when the “quartier” was more like something out of Scorsese than Truffaut. The glass-and-iron buildings programme a healthy mix of arthouse movies and blockbusgters, and if the film you want to see is on the other bvank, just hop on the little shuttle boat.

3/ Bar Ourcq, 68 quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris

This cafe is the cool de la cool on the canalside, its turquoise facade a beacon for bobos young and old. It offers free bar snacks and also lends pétanque sets to anyone willing to risk getting their toes squelched by flying cannonballs.

4/ La Rotonde, 6-8 place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 75019 Paris

This 18th century former tollhouse for canal traffic was abandoned for years. It has finally been renovated and now houses a hip but affordable restaurant and bar with chic brasserie foor indoors and a huge terrace on the square. In summertime it’s great to have drink there on sunday afternoons.

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

Le “Dodo Manège” aux Jardin des Plantes
  • 30
  • Jun
  • 2012

“Where else but Paris can a kid ride on an extinct beast? On the “Dodo Manège” carousel in Paris’ Jardin des Plantes they can ride on not only a dodo or a triceratops, but also a horned turtle (tortue à cornes), a glyptodon, a thylacine, or a sivatherium. There are also a few non-extinct animals (panda, elephant, ostrich, gorilla) on this carousel concerned with the evolution of species.

The carousel is beautifully painted with a jungle scene and 12 individual vignettes (around its top) showing some fascinating animals like lemurs, pangolins, and armadillos, as well as scenes from the Jardin des Plantes itself.”(from

Twenty years ago Jean-Jacques Harel made this carousel for his 2 year old son. He is a photographer specialised in animals and worked for the Museum of Natural History, but he is also an expert on extincted animals.

The Jardin des Plantes,  57 rue Cuvier, 2 rue Buffon, 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, place Valhubert 75005 Paris.

Place Furstenberg and Musée Delacroix
  • 15
  • May
  • 2012

One of Paris’s smallest, yet most charming, public squares. All around, you can find many prestigious stores of design (Flamand), materials , decorations and antiques.

Many artists have painted this romantic place and you can visit the intimate Musée Delacroix. This is the house where the artist lived and worked from 1857 till his death. The museum is a heaven of silence. You can admire some of his watercolor paintings and some selfportraits, befor heading to the nearby church of St. Sulpice where you painted some murals.

Musée Delacroix, 6, place Furstenberg, 75006 Paris