Meet the Marais

As I’ve mentioned before, most places in Paris are closed on Sunday for religious reasons. The Marais, however, is always heaving; tourists and locals alike flock there for brunch and shopping while the rest of Paris sleeps. We live just on the West side of the Marais, and have been using the weekends to explore the neighbourhood a bit more.

I posted a few photos last weekend of a few of my favourite Marais spots, but my photos from this weekend are not very good so I’ll put these back in again to jolly things up a bit:

The Place des Vosges

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Breitz Café on Rue Vieille du Temple

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I Love My Blender bookshop on Rue de Temple

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Merci boutique

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Street art in the Marais

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Although we have been in Paris for 6 weeks now (!!!), the universities still haven’t gone back yet, so the Erasmus students are only just starting to trickle in. We met up on Friday night for drinks and dinner with some Queen’s friends, who conveniently wanted to see a bit more of the Marais. We found an amazing French brasserie just off Rue Saint Martin, where we had an absolutely delicious meal. I had been expecting to eat in tiny little Parisian restaurants like this one more often, but there are so many places we want to try here (and Sophia and I are incredibly indecisive), so we usually end up planning our itinerary before we head out onto the streets. This was a great find though, and I wish I’d jotted down the name or at least the street! Afterwards, we went for cheap cocktails on Boulevard Sebastopol before heading out to a house party in the 9th (which is nowhere near as nice a neighbourhood as ours!). One of the guys with us has lived in Paris quite a lot, so we got loads of great restaurants tips on the Maris/ Montorgeuil area. Even more places to try!

On Saturday night we decided to try out the other Perchoir bar, which is on the rooftop of the BHV shopping centre, very near to where we live. The views were amazing, especially the sight of the sparkling Eiffel Tower at 1am. However, I think Sophia and I both prefered the Oberkampf location. The drinks menu was exactly the same, and their special Dark and Stormy cocktails tasted even better the second time around, but the BHV definitely had a different feel to it. There is only capacity for 80 people, which meant that we had to queue for an hour and that there was less of a buzz in the bar. Definitely worth the wait, though! (I tried to take some photos of the amazing views, but they didn’t come out very well, sorry!)

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Post-Perchoir Pavement Posing

Sunday was a proper Marais day like no other. After a long lie in, we braced ourselves and headed into the crowded lanes of the central Marais. Our destination: Rue des Roisiers, the street with the popular Jewish restaurants and every tourist in Paris crammed onto it. After 6 weeks, we could not wait any longer to visit the famous L’As du Falafel. I went when I was in Paris two summers ago, but everyone has been going on about it since we moved out here and we just had to see if it still lives up to its reputation. We were expecting to have to wait a while, but we were not prepared for the two enormous queues stretching completely down both ends of the street. Fortunately, I remembered from last time that it’s much easier to get a table than a take-away, and so we only had to wait 5 minutes before being seated. Although the classic choice is the falafel pitta, we both opted for the Assiette de Falafel, an enormous plate of the stuff which comes with various dips and salads. It was absolutely delicious, but completely defeated us.

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Although we will definitely go back before we leave, neither of us are falafel experts and so we may try out one of the other shops on Rue des Roisiers before heading straight back to L’As. Chez Marianne, the pretty restaurant with all the wall plants, is apparently even better, just less well-known by the tourists.

Love the Marais

Love the Marais

Weighed down by all the falafel, we pushed our way through the hoards of tourists and headed to Rue de la Verrerie for a gentle afternoon of Vintage shopping. Here you can find many of the best vintage shop chains in Pairs, such as Free ‘P’ Star and Kilo Shop, the shop where you pay by weight rather than item.

We topped this off with a spot of sunbathing in the Place des Vosges, before the crowds starting to really bug us and we headed back into the quieter Beaubourg area, still complaining about feeling full.

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Love you, Paris!

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