Unless you're dying to purchase some second-hand books, there isn't much in the Saint-Michel area to detain you – with the exception of the unjustly overlooked Rue de l'Hirondelle. The street had its heyday in the heady interwar years of art and absinthe, when the likes of Baudelaire and Rimbaud would flock to La Venus Noire (then named Le Caveau de la Bolée) to drink themselves paralytic. Today, the bar has lost its literary cachet but none of its charming intimacy. The local gay crowd mixes with students and affluent twentysomethings – though the vibe improves once the younger punters have cleared off post-happy hour (6-9pm). Cheese and meat platters (€15) complement a drinks menu of beers and Chartreuse cocktails, natch.
La Venus Noire
|Venue name:||La Venus Noire||Contact:|
25 rue de l'hirondelle
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 6pm–1am, Fri–Sat 6pm–2am|
|Transport:||Métro : Saint-Michel|