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Nuit Blanche guide: Eiffel-Trocadero

Our guide to the Nuit Blanche festival from the Eiffel tower to the Trocadero covers the major artworks, and recommended bars and restaurants in the area. ...

Our guide to the Nuit Blanche festival from the Eiffel tower to the Trocadero covers the major artworks, and recommended bars and restaurants in the area.

To download our customised map of the bars and restaurants in the area, click here.


The heart of Haussman's Paris is also the final section of the Nuit Blanche route, where the 'Paris à l'Infini' theme reaches its fullest expression. Philosophy is on the menu at the Palais de Tokyo, which hosts events as part of La Nuit des Savoirs, a cycle of conferences and debates throughout the evening (if your French is up to it). Meanwhile, the building's galleries host reams of contemporary artists exploring the realms of imagination through installations, plastic works, videos and photography ('Imaginez l'Imaginaire').

There's good news for cinephiles, too: The Palais de Chaillot will be showing Christian Marclay's famous and much-lauded 'The Clock', a 24-hour-long film put together shots of clocks, watches, alarms and dialogues discussing the passing of time. An excellent way of doing Nuit Blanche without really doing it, couch potato-style in a soft armchair at the Chaillot theatre.

In another vein altogether, satirical latex puppets from the French TV show 'Les Guignols de l'Info' will also be at the Palais de Tokyo to meet the public. At the Musée d'Art Moderne, don't miss the fictional documentary videos of Bertille Bak, whose works explore the world of work through irony and the absurd.

Around the Eiffel Tower, there are lots of architectural installations: see the whole from above on the Bélvedères of the Musées Guimet or Quai Branly, visit the underground passage under the Tuileries covered in photographs by the Lithuanian duo S&P Stanikas and, to top it all off, visit the construction site of the Centre Commerical de Beaugrenelle to experience architecture under construction, enhanced by the lightshows of Julio Parc throughout the night.

Follow the links below to discover our selection of the best places to eat and drink in the area. More information on the Nuit Blanche artworks is available here.

Click here to download our exclusive map of the best bars, cafes and restaurants in the area

Bars

Le Baron

Recommended

This small but supremely exclusive hangout for the international jet set used to be an upmarket brothel, and has the decor to prove it. It only holds 150, most of whom are regulars you'll need to befriend in order to get past the door. But if you manage to get in, you'll be rubbing shoulders with celebrities and super-glossy people.

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Champs Élysées and western Paris

Café Thoumieux

Café Thoumieux is a laid-back destination for cocktails, tapas and big-screen sport. Banquettes snake around the room, and spiky Aztec-pattern lamps light up the faces of the pretty young locals who have made this place their own. The flavoured vodkas are delicious, with unusual flavours including vanilla, caramel and banana; just watch out for the treacherous, extra-high bar stools (the banquettes are definitely the safest option to avoid accidents) and the monstrous, pebble-dashed sink in the toilets - it's real.

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South-west Paris

Restaurants

Les Cocottes

Recommended

Christian Constant has found the perfect recipe for pleasing Parisians at his new bistro: a flexible menu of salads, soups, verrines (light dishes served in jars) and cocottes (served in cast-iron pots), all at bargain prices - for this neighbourhood. Service is swift and the food satisfying, though the vraie salade César Ritz, which contains hard-boiled egg, shouldn't be confused with US-style Caesar salad. Soups such as an iced pea velouté are spot-on, and cocottes range from sea bream with ratatouille to potatoes stuffed with pig's trotter.

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South-west Paris

Schwartz's Deli

A little corner of kosher Brooklyn lost in the Marais, Schwartz’s is all hot dogs, pastrami, pecan pie and onion rings. The area’s locals swap family news with the waiters, and mix easily with hipsters among the old film posters, red leather banquettes and checked tablecloths.A must-try is the pastrami sandwich, a mountain of dried beef wedged between two hunks of bread, served with fries and a little pot of coleslaw for €16.50 (or €19 for the version with veal). Or you could go for one of the numerous burgers (€12-€24), from classic cheeseburger to avocado, or even the Rossini (steak, foie gras, rocket and port sauce) – impressive, if not quite as decadent as its price would suggest. Also a good bet are the milkshakes (€7.50), often with real chunks of Oreos or other biscuits, though you’ll want to save room for dessert: the strawberry cheesecake is one of the best in Paris – and at €7 a slice, it should be.Overall, Schwartz’s wins out with its friendly service and boisterous atmosphere, but feels slightly overpriced. That doesn’t seem to put anyone off, however, as two more branches have opened recently: on Avenue Niel in the 17th, and Avenue d’Elyau in the 16th.

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Areas

Chez L'Ami Jean

Recommended

This long-running Basque address is an ongoing hit thanks to chef Stéphane Jégo. Excellent bread from baker Jean-Luc Poujauran is a perfect nibble when slathered with a tangy, herby fromage blanc - as are starters of sautéed baby squid on a bed of ratatouille. Tender veal shank comes de-boned with a lovely side of baby onions and broad beans with tiny cubes of ham, and house-salted cod is soaked, sautéed and doused with an elegant vinaigrette. There's a great wine list, and some lovely Brana eau de vie should you decide to linger.

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7th arrondissement
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Maison de l'Aubrac

Maison de l'Aubrac

A stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, this late-night restaurant refuels night owls with good pieces of beef, lavish tartares and other bovine specialities from the family farm in the Massif Central. If the bill is a little tough to take, the quality of the meat, the generosity of the dishes and your raging late-night hunger will certainly make up for it.

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