Wanna make a bet? If I say one word I can guarantee that hundreds of clichéd images will instantly cloud your head. That word is Paris. Et voilà you’re thinking of: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Coeur, its status as a global fashion capital, Amélie, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Moulin Rouge, cafés with terraces full of people sitting and enjoying a glass of wine while watching pedestrians pass by, and of course all the brasseries. If you are planning a trip to the French capital anytime soon, you absolutely must enjoy a nice lunch in one. They are the perfect place to enjoy a French dish in a fantastic setting at a great price, with varied menus offered and many house specialities. It’s a terribly kept secret that the food is pretty much as good as in restaurants. So many brasseries, too little time? Have a quick look at La Fourchette or the English-language version, The Fork, an excellent tool in deciding which Parisian brasserie(s!) to pick.
One of our favourites is Café Rey, it’s an excellent place to stop by and discover famous Parisian specialities. Having been recently renovated, it offers a cosy setting in an ideal location close to Place de la Bastille. This beautifully decorated bar serves a plat du jour with fresh products, varied and delicious menus topped off with friendly service. As it can get very busy at lunchtime, be sure to reserve your table beforehand so you don’t miss out on the steak tartare or the entrecote. Enjoy a glass of Pinot noir with your meal and one of the many beautiful and generously-sized mixed salads on the menu but don’t forget to leave room to eat one a mouth-watering traditional desserts such as a Paris Brest or a Baba au Rhum. But most importantly of all, don’t be shy to show off your French skills during your trip – even if it’s a few phrases you learnt back in your school days. Parisians have come a long way in adapting more tourist-friendly attitudes. Today, locals would be pleased to see you asking your direction to l’Opéra and waiters would be happy to see you ordering a steak-frites in French and asking for “l’addition s’il vous plait” at the end of your meal.
The historical Place de la Bastille, close to the rue du Faubourg St Antoine, has become a trendy place since the opening of the Opéra Bastille, full of fashionable cafés, restaurants, and galleries. This area is home to several famous monuments such as The Cirque d’hiver, located at 110 rue Amelot, which has been a prominent venue for circuses, music concerts and other events. Profit from your time in the ville lumière to wander through the streets of this neighbourhood until you reach the Canal Saint-Martin where you can admire the barges in the marina. If you have time, extend your stroll to the Marché de la Bastille located in Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, one of the most famous markets in Paris. This animated market offers seasonal and regional fresh products and takes place every Thursday and Sunday morning. If you are interested by this nice area, have a look at the Sextant Properties website where you can find a great selection of properties in this trendy part of Paris.