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Your perfect weekend in Paris

February 12-14

Le Camion qui Fume © ZT

This is our critics’ run-down of the 15 absolute best events and venues worth checking out in Paris this weekend renewed every week with the latest reviews from our team. See below for the very best in film, music, art, restaurants, bars and shopping the capital has to offer.

Art • Arlene Gottfried, l'insouciance d'une époque

Arlene Gottfried's warm and cheerful photographs of ’70s and ’80s New York are suffused with nostalgia for those easy-going decades. She shows the Big Apple at its most diverse and colourful, a true social mosaic in which communities mix happily on Riis Park Beach, bodybuilders sitting next to Orthodox Jews or grandmothers next to hunky young men in their underpants (‘Angel and Woman on Boardwalk’). Very much at ease with themselves, most of Gottfried’s posed subjects stare fixedly into the lens, as in the image of two androgynous brothers walking along Coney Island...

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Until Saturday March 5 2016

Restaurants • Fric Frac

‘Fric Frac’ is the sound a knife makes as it slices through toasted bread and scrapes butter over the surface. Such onomatopoeic phrases are scattered all over the walls here, giving the restaurant the air of a page in a comic book. And they all refer to the star of the show: the croque-monsieur. Joining the ranks of the popular trend for restaurants serving only one dish, Fric Frac know they have to get it right. Everything is fresh and home-made, naturally, while the bread comes from the ovens of Frédéric Lalos, a winner of the prestigious ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ award...

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10th arrondissement

Event • La Fête du Graphisme 2016

Sometimes labelled a ‘museum city’ by its detractors, Paris will be celebrating the start of a new year with a funky six week makeover (from January 6-February 17) as part of the third edition of the Fête du Graphisme. Inviting forty or so cutting-edge poster designers to showcase their latest creations in various public spaces – from the Hôtel de Ville to the Cité Internationale des Arts – the festival this year aims to celebrate the brilliance of Parisian urban life, while also tackling social, political and environmental issues...

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By: Huw Oliver

Restaurants • Mian Guan

Despite its fairly uninspiring décor (the usual plastic orchids, fake leather chairs and wooden tables), Mian Guan definitely impresses when it comes to what’s on your plate. At the back of the restaurant, chefs are hard at work, hand-pulling fresh noodles and slicing them up for dishes like the soup with spicy ground pork or the perfectly textured beef sauté. With sizable portions, and everything under €8, it’s no surprise that this is a favourite spot in the Belleville neighbourhood...

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Theatre • Traces

One of the world’s most renowned circus troupes, Les 7 Doigts de La Main, returns to Paris with ‘Traces’, which has already been seen by more than one million spectators and performed in over 200 towns in 25 countries. A true phenomenon, the seven-person piece plunges the spectator into  a scene where a makeshift shelter made of tarpaulin and gaffer tape appears to be on the brink of collapse. The performers’ remedy to the impending disaster lies simply in expressing themselves though art (be it dance, music, acrobatics or even skateboarding), in a routine that’s equal parts funny and poetic...

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Until Saturday April 23 2016

Art • Les Actrices (1900-1918)

To tie in with its concurrent ‘Femmes Force Irrésistible’ series of screenings, the Fondation Jérôme Pathé-Seydoux has put together a small exhibit that shines a light on the pioneering female actors of the early 20th century. Comprising fifteen or so original posters from its in-house collection, visitors see how the likes of Mistinguett, Polaire, Jane Renouardt and the dancer Napierkowska were glorified and overwhelmingly depicted as ‘divas’ in their initial roles...

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Fondation Seydoux-Pathé Until Saturday February 20 2016

Restaurants • Le Camion qui Fume (restaurant)

On Rue Montmartre, Parisians wait in line outside the grand Camion qui Fume restaurant with its sky-blue interiors and servers flipping burgers at the counter. It’s fast food alright, but with an upgrade. Kristin Fredericks’ famous food truck roamed the streets of Paris for several years before finally finding a permanent home in the 2nd arrondissement. We tried the Bleu burger (beef, Fourme d'Ambert cheese, caramelised onions, port sauce and mayonnaise) and every bite was a treat, from the brioche bun and tender meat to the peppy sauce...

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2nd arrondissement

Shopping • Ina Luk

If you’re in Montreuil, you can’t miss this bright and colourful design store near the metro station Croix de Chavaux, one-of-a-kind in the neighbourhood. The owner Christine opened the shop five years ago and filled it with trinkets, toys and other treats for both kids and adults, including Donna Wilson’s quirky make-your-own monster kits, cheery furniture from Hartô, and postcards to suit every taste. The store also features many of Christine’s local finds, such as pretty notebooks from Montreuil-based stationery brand Season Paper (€6.50) and ethically-produced leather wallets by Inaden (€70)...

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Montreuil

Art • George Shiras: L'Intérieur de la Nuit

The idea of Paris’s eccentric hunting museum might not be to everyone’s taste, but the impressive Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is well worth the visit. Not only is the museum home to a striking collection of stuffed lions and bears, but it is also often plays host to impressive temporary exhibitions. Take L’Intérieur de la Nuit (‘Inside the Night’), showcasing the work of American photographer George Shiras (1859-1942). A hunter who swapped his gun for a camera, Shiras spent four decades capturing his former prey on film at night, racking up an impressive 2,400 shots at no detriment to the wildlife concerned...

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Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature , The Marais Until Sunday February 14 2016

Bars & pubs • Le HasBeen

For the perfect neighbourhood cafe, look no further than the pretty HasBeen bar at the intersection of Rue Saint-Maur and Rue Claude Vellefaux in the 10th arrondissement. The owners Hasan and Benjamin are warm and friendly and welcome you with a range of affordable beers (€3.50 for a pint of Pelforth and €4.50 for a pint of Delirium during happy hour). Drink up as you play board games, hang out with friends, and snack on charcuterie and cheese (€8 for individual plates/€15 for shared platters), all while curled up in one of the venue’s cosy armchairs...

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10th arrondissement

Art • Lego by Samsofy

At the age of 30, the Lyonnais artist Samsofy (real name Sofiane Samlal) is still young at heart. The proof: he’s still playing with Lego, arranging the little yellow figurines in whimsical scenes filled with poetry and humour. With his photographs of a little Indiana Jones trying to solve the ‘mystery of the missing chocolate’ and a petite painter producing a masterpiece out of a pat of butter, Samsofy invites you into a fantastical and original world. Every little scene mixes photographic and street art techniques to tell an authentic, if comically absurd, story, one that takes you back to the fun parts of childhood...

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Until Monday February 29 2016

Event • Valentine’s Day in Paris

You’ve checked out Paris’s myriad romantic shops, one of its top-notch restaurants, and maybe even watched a classic lovey-dovey film. Now all that’s needed is something to really make this February 14 in Paris one to remember, like an apocalyptic zombie escape game, getting massaged on a swing, or perhaps a be-bop and lindy hop lesson. Check out some of the most original Valentine’s Day events and activities on offer in Paris this year...

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By: Elsa Pereira

Restaurants • Yoom (17th arrondissement)

It’s hard to miss the latest outpost of this popular Chinese dim sum restaurant on Rue des Dames, the fifth to open up in five years. Peek through the giant window and you’ll spot neo-vintage décor and bright colours all around, and this modern approach blends into the menu as well with dim sum stuffed with Charolais beef or chicken pad thai. Everything is freshly-made in-house every day and it shows: the dim sumare delicious, particularly the vegetarian version, which is packed with flavour...

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17th arrondissement

Exhibition • Renzo Piano - La Méthode Piano

The Renzo Piano Workshop – which now boasts over 130 staff and has worked on hundreds of international projects – is the fascinating subject of this exhibit at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. Curated by Piano himself, this panoramic overview of the architect’s career since 1977 – when he first made his name collaborating with Richard Rogers on the Centre Pompidou – takes in all his boldest and most ambitious works, from the Palais de Justice in Paris to London’s the Shard...

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Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine , Champs Élysées and western Paris Until Monday February 29 2016

Restaurants • Pierre Sang on Gambey

The only thing that’s certain at Pierre Sang on Gambey is the number of dishes you’ll consume – two, three, four or six courses, priced between €20 and €48 at lunchtime and €49 to €88 in the evening. Once you’ve chosen, the wait staff bring your dishes, but don’t tell you what was in in them until you’ve finished. This sort of conceit makes the experience one big mystery, and means that every plate invites careful tasting and discussion...

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11th arrondissement

Comments

3 comments
Michaela G
Michaela G

Best tour I ever took was tip only. It was so good I took several more by the same company (some free, some paid for). In Morocco and Mexico I've been guided by enterprising locals who spare the time for a small fee. Consider what experience you're after before deciding to spend or not on a tour.

mary B
mary B

Oh Please Lauren Harris, free walking tours only tip supported are not professional! Don't let people telling you stories ...  Don't trust a tour guide you don't  pay for ! I'm a licensed guide of Rome and since I know I much I studied I'll never work for free! People doing this things in Rome are unprofessional guide, with no license and nothing to lose!

Lauren Harris
Lauren Harris

For short stay in Paris I personally advise you to join a walking tour. They allow you to see the most important landmarks ..The one i joined last time I was in paris had another advantage : it was with a native guide, no reservation needed and only tip-supported! he knew so many secret stories about Paris , but also hidden places where only parisians go I warmly recommend it to you : www.discoverwalks.com