A great value Italian joint with a wine shop attached.
This ex-Table chef makes palates sing at his Marché des Enfants Rouges restaurant.
A 2nd arrondissement coffee bar serving frappés and hot drinks.
Buddha-Bar’s hidden cocktail establishment.
Japanese curry in a hipster setting.
Belgian craft beers by way of Pigalle.
Fernando de Tomaso is as comfortable in hospitality as Messi is on the football pitch. After Pulperia and Biondi, the ebullient French-Argentinian chef has a new address in his arsenal: Bar de Biondi, right next to the eponymous restaurant. There's stellar seafood tapas: think killer ceviche, tasty oysters and marinated sardines, as well as crunchy croquetas and beef tataki. Drinks-wise, order a French or Argentinian natural wine or a South American cocktail mixed by expert bartender Alexandre (formerly of 1K). The selection includes the excellent olé pisco (pisco, lemon and coriander), mezcal tiki (mezcal, tequila and lemon) and paloma (tequila, grapefruit and raspberry) – all at a wallet-friendly €8-10. There was even a complimentary chicken terrine from the owner. We were bowled over by Bar de Biondi.
The Paris hotel game is competitive. Guest houses, hostels, 5* palaces, Airbnb. This mindfield means you can never really be sure you’re getting the best experience for your buck. You’re done with the hostel life, hotels are too same-same and Airbnbs are often rather different when you turn up… so, what else is there? Well, Paris Boutik has created something that’s bang in between the two. The luxury and originality of a boutique hotel, with the intimacy and freedom of an Airbnb. Plus, these places are about as original as they come. How often do you get to stay in an actual bookshop or vintage food store? La Librairie, in the heart of the Marais (next door to the Marché des Enfants Rouges and Carreau du Temple etc) is a bookworm's paradise. A huge space for two (but with room for 4), you can sleep in amongst 4500 tomes. There’s a small kitchen with the essentials, a Nespresso machine for that all important wake up, plus a microwave, mini-fridge, and utensils to eat meals around the table. A clean and bright bathroom will put those suspect Airbnb showers to shame and the bed promises to be more comfortable than your own. The shelves hold several old and rare books, and there’s unique comic book art decorating the walls. It’s safe to say, Paris Boutik now own the hashtag #bookporn. The suite used to be a former hotel (as the entrance tiles will tell you), and the company have kept the beautiful beams and parquet floor, so it feels that much more Parisian. And like a gen
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