One Night in Paris – Paris

On October 22, 2012 by Paris_Stilton

There are some words in French that I really like, for example the word ‘hebdomadaire’ (weekly) which rolls off the tongue with an authoritative ring, and then there is the almost onomatopoeic ‘piquant’ (spicy) which sounds like you are squealing a little from the heat when you say it.  But my favourite is definitely ‘grignoter’ (to nibble) which just sounds plain cute.  Unfortunately for my waistline it appears that I like doing the latter as much I like saying it; in fact grignoter has now become my new favourite Parisian pass time.  If I am not cooking, I am eating, or writing about eating, or thinking about eating, or eating what I am cooking; indeed sometimes I have the impression I am entirely made up of food.  Like Aiken Drum soon even my hat will be made of good cream cheese. 

So after a summer spent eating my way through Italy and with a sunny sejour planned for November, it is now time to start a liquid diet.

Luckily I know all the right places to go:

Chez Jeanette 

This über trendy bar in the boho 10th arrondissement is what the people who frequent it would like to call a modern day guinguette - a popular watering hole of the 30’s and 40’s where the French would go to eat, drink and dance.  The slightly tired looking interior makes a charming contrast to the fresh-faced, fashion-forward clientele that crowd into this Paris institution.

Charming, inexpensive, unpretentious, and, on Saturday nights, utterly packed.

Chez Jeannette 
47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
75010 Paris
Metro: Chateau D’Eau 
Tel: +33 1 47 70 30 89

La Belle Hortense

A literary bar anywhere else in the world would probably just mean a bar with books in the background – which is what I had imagined when I walked into La Belle Hortense literary bar in the Marais for the first time.  That is until I noticed the girl at the end of the bar – red wine in hand, nose buried in an old Proust novel, whilst across the way a young jet-set couple were being recited Baudelaire by a man who looked like Balzac.

I, on the other hand, spent the night getting reprimanded by a flamboyant dandy with a silk neck tie for having brought along with me six young muscular Australian men who were, much to his displeasure, all straight.

A bottle of Pommery, a plate of charcuterie, and a first edition copy of Existentialism is a Humanism…only in Paris.

La Belle Hortense 
31 Rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris
Metro: Hotel de Ville or Saint-Paul
Tel: +33 1 48 04 71 60

Chez Eva Pritsky

Decorated with its mismatched upholstered seventies couches, trompe l’oeil’d ceiling and relics from a bygone era, this brocante store by day, bar by night, run by stalwart Eva Pritsky is a true Paris gem. Watching as her dedicated patrons saunter through the bright turquoise panelled door, showering Eva with hugs and kisses, it is clear she has been a fixture of Menilmontant for a very long time.

The last time I went to Eva’s, a young rastafarian was having an indepth conversation with an 80 year old whisky drinking gentleman in a three piece suit, while a man who could only have been Salvador Dali reincarnated stood next to me with his twirly moustache, slicked back black hair and smoking jacket, and in a thick Spanish accent ordered a glass of wine.

As Eva slowly shuffles around her tiny make-shift kitchen, cigarette constantly hanging out of her mouth, and fetches your €2.50 beer or glass of cask wine with obligatory peanuts, you have the impression that you are in the company of an old friend in an old magical world that you never want to leave.

Chez Eva Pritsky
5, rue d’Eupatoria
75020 Paris
Métro: Ménilmontant
Tel: +33 1 44 62 20 69 


Tucked away behind a tiny, trendy taco bar in ‘haut‘ Marais, this little hidden cave bar oozes understated cool. After a greeting from the jolly giant decked out in his oversized plaid coat and oversized geek chic glasses at the front door, you elbow your way through the heaving mass of red lipsticked, high waisted jean wearing, balayaged bohemian locals cluttering the utterly divine smelling corridor, through a non-descript white door and emerge into a dark candle lit cocktail cave, where chipotle’d magaritas are being shaken to some eclectic underground French beat.

Incidentally, the tacos are totally yummy (it would have been rude not to try them).

52 Rue de Saintonge
75003 Paris
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Tel: +33 1 42 74 41 28

Yep, this is definitely what they meant by la vie en rosé.


Paris Stilton

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