In the third instalment of my recommendations for how to experience Paris in the most native way possible I tackle three neighbourhoods that are not my usual destinations for a cracking night out but they have some hidden gems that are well worth trying out.
In my first year in Paris I lived half in the 15th and half in the 7th so I know the area pretty well indeed. It can be seen as quite a quiet area trust me it has more to do than just going up the Eiffel Tower. Da Rocco is an Italian deli that is a stone’s throw from uni which makes lunches of escalope Milanese or Bresaola and artichoke ciabattas far too tempting. This family run establishment at 119 Rue de Grenelle caters to the crowd that flock in for their working lunches from the embassies that surround it. But if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite not too far away at 47 Rue de Babylone is Coutume, which has to be in the top 5 coffee shops in Paris. It may be slightly hipster with conical flasks instead of water jugs on the tables and its medical diagrams on the walls but they serve one of the best Chai Lattes I have ever consumed.
You can hardly get away from the constant bombardment of Christmas related paraphernalia around this time of year. Unfortunately, I’m just going to add to that! The Christmas markets that open up annually on the Champs-Elysees are some of the best you can go to. From ice-skating to drinking mulled wine, you can do it all. This year they are even having the actor, Jean Dujardin coming to switch on the lights.
Paris is the fashion capital of the world so it is about time that I recommend a department store to you all. Printemps on Boulevard Haussmann is one of the best. The sublime window displays and the gorgeous clothes inside make this place a delightful location to wander around and gaze at lots of pretty things. The magpie in me certainly comes out when I walk through the jewellery counters which luckily are so out of my price range they are no danger to my student loan. Also in the neighbourhood you can find one of the most entertaining bars in the city. Dirty Dick has already featured on my blog but I can’t help but mention it again. This ex-brothel has been transformed into a tiki bar in every hipster’s favourite area – South Pigalle. So get yourselves along to Rue Frochot and drown your sorrows in something that is on fire and very alcoholic.