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HomeTown Paris blog offers you a selection of articles devoted to the destination Paris, its news, culture, activities and of course, its people
The origin of these mysterious places Hidden behind a launderette, a pizzeria or a small back door, you have surely heard about these bars with a special trend, inspired by prohibition. Indeed, in 1920 in the US, the manufacture and sale of alcohol was banned, which led to the opening of multiple clandestine bars. When buying alcohol, the bartenders asked the customers to "speak easy", speak softly in French, hence the expression in French today. In 2007, this concept is repeated in New York by the Please do not Tell bar. The principle is simple: to get in, you have to call from the phone booth of a small restaurant. The success is immediate and the fashion is launched, reaching Paris in 2011 with the Candelaria in the Marais district. This Parisian speak easy is only accessible by a small door at the bottom of a Mexican restaurant, which also serves excellent nachos ... But not only! Today, this place is known as one of the best European addresses for cocktails on a trend pop music background. The map is original and renewed regularly, the place is hype and the price-quality ratio is excellent; it is certainly the most inescapable address of the Marais, rewarded with a Timeout Award in 2016. Only here, a hidden bar is by definition ... hidden! Here are our best places to experiment during your next stay in Paris! Our favorite addresses The syndicate A discreet facade, some posters on the wall: this contrasts sharply with the cozy and classy interior of this speakeasy so well hidden in rue du Faubourg Saint - Denis, in the 10th arrondissement. The union is a cocktail bar composed of unexpected ingredients, rare French liqueurs and especially a specific mission: to defend the cause of blue-white-red spirits. Regarding the menu, different cocktails are offered based on French whiskey, pear, gentian or calvados. They are all 100% original, worked with delicacy and precision for a mixture of new flavors. With friends or as a couple, this place is perfect to enjoy a drink in the first room with a central bar, or in a softer atmosphere behind the curtain that gives way to the second room. The Moonshiner The term Moonshiner means in English a smuggler of alcohol, which you will have understood was in charge of supplying the underground bars at the time of the prohibition. This speakeasy is aptly named, and it is really well hidden. At the address 5 rue Sedaine, in the 11th arrondissement, you will find the pizzeria Da Vito which you will have to cross the cold room to finally find yourself in the subdued atmosphere of a bar of the 30s, golden patterns painted with stencil on walls and some blues notes accompanying the bartenders. The whiskey is the flagship drink of this surprising place, in a variation of several cocktails revisited. The secret of this place (secret) is the safe in the smoking room: find the combination of the code and win the bottles there. Of course, if you feel like it, do not hesitate to stop first in the pizzeria Da Vito's room which will satisfy your taste buds with delicious pizzas, burratas or other homemade salads for a guaranteed taste pleasure! The Speakeasy This gourmet piano bar is by far a place not to be missed during a stay in Paris. Opened in 2011, it is located in a discreet street of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Its owner is an art dealer and has made this place a magical place, a real step back in the 20s. In this cozy atmosphere, come and enjoy the signature cocktail Speakeasy based on cognac, licorice liqueur, lime and ginger ale or the alcohol-free Caribbean, a mixture of mango juice, orange, passion and banana. On the menu side, you are spoiled for choice: truffle pizza, tender cuts of beef or salmon fillet, the dishes are refined and delicious. In the background, artists from around the world come to perform on piano and saxophone, reminiscent of the atmosphere of the cabarets of Harlem and Broadway. Here, no DJ sets, just live and authenticity in an artistic and bohemian atmosphere of the most exciting. The most recent The Lavomatic The new speakeasy of the capital is the Lavomatic, concealed on the 1st floor of a laundromat of the 10th district (rue René Boulanger). Once in the laundromat, look for the camouflaged button and access the Lavomatic! Here, the pop, colorful and original decoration soothes and gives a friendly atmosphere. Sit comfortably on cushions and take a look at the menu which offers a multitude of fruity and colorful surprises. Basil Instinct is based on fresh basil, cucumber, lime juice, cordial elderflower; the DetoxOmatic will be suitable for the more adventurous with beet, blackcurrant, artichoke liqueur, gin, lemon and grapefruit. A multitude of other 100% original cocktails await you. You can accompany them with small dishes made with quality ingredients, adapted to the seasons: filet mignon caramelized with pomegranate, ginger ceviche ginger cucumber, cantaloupe organic farm ham ... Do not wait to discover and enjoy this unusual place! Baranaan For Indian food lovers, this naan bar is the perfect place. No name is written on the front and at first, it feels more like approaching an Indian-style tea room. To get to the real heart of the place, go see a waiter and ask him "Where is the train? ". You will then embark on a real journey, accompanied by a delicious smell of incense. Opened in 2015, this charming place offers Indian cocktails but also some culinary specialties such as naan and kebabs. The room is designed like a vintage train car, in length, decorated with leather seats and "windows", or rather screens placed on which scroll landscapes. Our choice of the day is the Tajma, a mix of 4 rums and pineapple juice served in a fresh coconut.Read more
Paris is a world capital in many ways. The city has seen the meeting of peoples, the mingling of various traditions, and it keeps the imprints of these influences from the five continents. Going around the world without leaving Paris is an adventure accessible at the price of a metro ticket or a few steps away. Architectures and gardens of foreign inspiration, flavors and perfumes from elsewhere, the city of light offers a multitude of spots to connect to the four corners of the globe without losing sight of the Eiffel Tower. These places are so numerous that we will not list them all, but a handful of them hold our attention especially ... fasten your seat belts, take off immediately! Cults from here and elsewhere "Paris is worth a Mass," said the sovereign Henry IV. To celebrate it, Paris has Notre Dame, but not only. Since 1861, the French capital is the seat of the Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, with the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The Byzantine-Moscow style church bears witness to the Russian presence in France since the end of the 18th century. Its characteristic apses are surmounted by arrows adorned with golden bulbs, themselves capped with the eight-pointed Russian cross. Here no gargoyles, yet you are in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. More famous perhaps, the minaret 33 meters high of the Great Mosque of Paris was erected in 1922 according to models of buildings in North Africa. Parisians know they will find in the shadow of his Hispano-Moorish architecture the best mint tea in the capital. After having accompanied your beverage with some oriental pastries in the famous tea room, why not enjoy the hammam, the visitor can glimpse the prayer rooms, then visit the patio, before strolling in an Andalusian-inspired garden. White marbles, multicolored columns and zelli ges, oriental palms and carpets: past the cedar doors of Lebanon, the change of scenery in the heart of the 5th arrondissement is guaranteed. For even more distant spiritual journeys, one can also discover the Great Pagoda of Vincennes and its Buddhist temple Kagyu Dzong. This Zen refuge is home to the largest gold-covered Buddha in Europe, donated by Thailand. On the other side of Paris, it is the Hinduism which is in the spotlight, near the La Chapelle metro station: welcome to the neighborhood nicknamed "Little Jaffna" where reign Indian and Sri Lankan cultures. It is between the saris shops and the Tamil grocery stores, that is located Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple dedicated to Ganesh. The elephant-headed deity, son of Shiva, is celebrated here in September, during a grand and colorful parade. Oasis of exotic greenery Among the few lush greenery in the great metropolis of Paris, there are a handful of gardens out of the ordinary. The largest of these is the Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale, in the Bois de Vincennes. This green space inaugurated for the colonial exhibition of 1907 reopened its doors to the public in 2006. It allows to observe what remains of the pavilions of African or Asian inspirations, in the heart of a vegetation dotted with some tropical plants. Preferable is the park of the Albert Kahn Museum. The former property of the traveling philanthropist groups English, French and Japanese gardens around the museum. An island between two decks of red wood, cherry blossoms, bamboo and pebbles, even the carp are not lacking: it's like being in the land of the rising sun. The Heidelbach Hotel garden at the National Museum of Asian Arts - Guimet, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, also reflects the art of the Japanese-style garden in an idealized natural way. The best time to visit is spring, when traditional tea ceremonies take place in a dedicated pavilion built by master carpenter Yamamoto Takaaki. Unusual architectures Of these unusual places that dress Paris with a touch of exoticism, we will not forget to mention the Cité Universitaire Internationale. We already hear all the languages of the world leaving the station RER Cité Universitaire, since this campus welcomes 12000 students from 140 countries. They are fortunate enough to be housed in some forty buildings designed by big names in world architecture (Lucio Costa, Le Corbusier, or Claude Parent). Here all the national styles are mixed with the Houses of Iran, Korea, Japan, Argentina, or the College of Spain. Isolated in the 8th district, and all the more spectacular, Maison Loo surprises the onlooker with its red walls. The Chinese-inspired pagoda, former private mansion of an art dealer nostalgic of his country, M.Loo, is now a private museum, which offers exhibitions and salons abled to be privatize. The opportunity to discover an interior decoration as exotic as the surprising facade. Flavors from far away Of course, restaurants are not lacking in the world capital of gastronomy. But when you want to change flavors for your taste buds, where to dine in Paris? Of course, to enjoy fine Asian dishes and discover that there is not only spring rolls and sushi in life, Parisians are familiar with the Rue Sainte Anne in the Opera district for the best Japanese restaurants, or the Avenue de Choisy in the XIIIth district "China Town" for the most authentic Chinese cuisine. Falafel lovers will go to look for food in the Marais. Want to taste a real Malian mafé? The district of La Goutte d'Or, metro Château Rouge, is full of grocery stores specialized in African products. On the lookout for perfumes from India? It's Passage Brady where you’ll find them. This "Little India" hides behind its colorful frontages the most spicy spices. Off the beaten track and those neighborhoods where you will be spoiled for choice, Paris also has many tables that blend almost incognito into the Haussmann landscape: Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Argentinian or Peruvian cuisine all found their place not far from the Seine. Among these good addresses of exotic restaurants in Paris, we have tested for you a reference in Indonesian gastronomy: the well named Indonesia, located near the Luxembourg Garden. Behind an almost secret entrance, one discovers a bamboo decoration adorned with puppets and masks evocative of the cultures of the volcanic archipelago. The national dishes that are served here such as nasi goreng (fried rice) or sate ayam (chicken skewers with peanut sauce) will transport your senses to Yogyakarta or Ubud, to the sound of a traditional gamelan ... we believe it!Read more
Five barges where to have a drink at night in Paris Paris is a party! ... Yes, but you have toured all the rooftops of the capital. It's time to come and refresh your ideas at the edge of the water! Strolling along the Seine is one of Parisians favorite sports. Since the banks of the Seine have been open to pedestrians, this hobby that lends itself perfectly to long summer evenings, has become more enjoyable than ever. The 10 hectares of the Rives de Seine Park have seen many bars along the Parisian quays where you can enjoy a drink, terraces where you can dine, barges where to dance, floating dancefloors where to party. Trendy places or bucolic refreshments, the Parisian barges now offer a wide choice to satisfy all tastes: here is our "Top 5", and it is closer to the river that it happens. Chill with a view at Rosa Bonheur The Rosa Bonheur sur Seine is the third establishment in a group of other places popular with the inhabitants of the French capital. At the foot of the gilding Pont Alexandre III since 2014, the Rosa Bonheur is already a classic Parisian evenings. In the heart of a site where Paris is imperial, opulent, the friendly barge adorned with flamingos offers a haven of relaxation to strollers along the Seine. In the respect of the frame, classified with the World inheritance of UNESCO, one sips a rosé while tasting tapas or famous pizzas with the fire of wood, one profits from its dance floor to the rhythm of the waves on the occasion of a ball, or we wiggle to the sound of a pop-rock concert, between two foosball games. Stick to the ropes, the sunset is to fall backwards, and it is known (plan not to be alone ...). Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine - Port of the Invalides, 75007 Paris Opening hours : Barge: Sunday from 11:30 to 22:30; Monday and Tuesday from noon to 10.30 pm; Wednesday from noon to 0H30; Thursday to Saturday: noon to 1:30 Terrace: Every day from noon to midnight (depending on the weather) Pizza: Wednesday to Sunday lunch and dinner Seaside atmosphere at the Mackerel Cast off ! Another bank, another atmosphere, floating bar-restaurant Les Maquereaux has reopened its terrace on May 1, to carry us in a maritime atmosphere until October. Overlooking Ile Saint Louis, a musical atmosphere provided by the house with invited DJs every week, the high tables and sofas of the Maquereaux offer their guests a subtle mix of modernity and good-natured authenticity. You can savor fresh oysters from Brittany, shellfish or smoked fish from the Ile d'Yeu: in a word, spend an evening on this beautiful barge under the plane trees, it's a bit going on vacation. After tasting the seafood, tasting the cocktails, it is possible to enjoy the boat until the end of the night as the houseboat becomes a club, making the dancers sail until 2am. Les Maquereaux - Quai de l'hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 17h to 2h; Saturday from 12h30 to 2h; Sunday from 12h30 to 21h Large culture mix at the Petit Bain Let’s cheat a little, including among our favorites a boat that cannot really be called "barge" ... but worth the detour to bask on the Seine without tanning at wild. Designed by the Encore Heureux architects' collective, moored in an urban environment, the Petit Bain barge is defined as a "floating cultural facility". An entire program for this small ship (which had never sailed), born in 2011 from an initiative of the creators of the association La Guinguette Pirate. The association is one of the first cultural actors who took possession of the banks of the Seine in 1995, rehabilitating heritage boats in concert halls (the Pirate Guinguette and the Batofar). The Petit Bain retains the original idea of bringing together the social, the cultural, the economic ... and the pleasure of enjoying the banks of the river. This place is, so to speak, an off-road space where you can enjoy a good meal or a drink at the foot of the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, listen to music, admire an exhibition. True cultural center of the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, the Petit Bain can accommodate 450 people for concerts of emerging artists, and has a restaurant with 70 seats where to discover its seasonal cuisine with varied influences. Other charming assets of this welcoming place: the rooftop terrace and the aquatic garden offer an ideal setting to enjoy the Parisian summer under the colorful lanterns. The Petit Bain - 7 Port de la Gare, 75013 Paris Opening hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 18h to midnight; Thursday to Saturday from 16h to 2h; Sunday from 4pm to midnight. Everyone says « I love you » aboard Marcounet Back on the right bank of historical Paris, at the foot of the Pont Marie, between the Town Hall and the Île Saint Louis. Built in 1925, the houseboat Marcounet immerses its guests in the Paris by night of Woody Allen or Hollywood movies of the 50s. Indeed everything is there: the Seine and its islands, the ball of red, the concerts of bop or blues. A little wine bar, a little jazz club, not bad bobo, the perfect cocktail of the Parisian place where it is good to play with the image of Epinal of the French capital. When its beautiful terrace, which can accommodate up to 190 people, is complete, the Marcounet "overflows" and floods the wharves of wooden pallets transformed into tables. The more muted atmosphere of the bridge reserved for concerts contrasts with the festive outbursts of the summer aperitif that then settles on the pavement of Paris. Outside as in, the spirit is warm, we feel at home quickly ... to the point of returning for Sunday brunch, why not? Marcounet barge - Port des Célestins, at the foot of Pont Marie, 75004 Paris Opening hours: From 10am to midnight Capture the soul of Paris with La Balle au Bond Have a drink in Paris admiring the sunset facing the Louvre, what does the people want? This is what the barge of La Balle au Bond offers, near the legendary Pont des Arts. As at the Petit Bain, the public come to relax in the evening on the banks of the Seine can vary the pleasures by enjoying the rich programming of the place in concerts, exhibitions, or other literary meetings. As for the culinary festivities, one can taste from its large terrace in the open air or its interior living room, a fusion and seasonal cuisine entirely composed of fresh products. Particularly well located, the large white boat can radiate on some of the most emblematic districts of Paris: the Tuileries, the Louvre Museum, the Latin Quarter, or a little further Notre Dame de Paris. The Ball at the Bond - Port des Saints-Pères (opposite 3 Malaquais wharf), 75006 Paris Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:30 to 19:00Read more