A Gastronomic Meander in the Marais
I love Paris and enjoy travelling by the Eurostar, and require very little persuasion to decamp to the City of Light for a few days of culture, cuisine and Parisian je ne sais quoi. On a recent trip we managed to book a bijou but well-appointed studio apartment in the chic, but I imagine expensive to dwell in, troisième arrondissement for a welcome city break. The Marais is home to lots of fantastic museums and galleries and has plenty of interesting shops and places to eat and drink. Based on my last visit, here is my itinerary for a fun, largely food-themed day in the neighborhood.
I'd start the day with the traditional coffee and croissant breakfast in La Banquette at 92 rue de Turenne, a convivial corner bar and café where the staff are cheerful and welcoming to locals, tourists and, as far as I could tell, everybody. If I had a bit of free time after that I would enjoy the short walk to the Musée Picasso which is an unprecedented archive of the great man's work much of which was bequeathed in lieu of death duties to his adoptive country. The museum also hosts exhibitions by many other artists of international renown so it is always worth paying it a visit.
For lunch I would head to the buzzing Marché des Enfants Rouge where there are diverse dining options but, based on my very limited experience, I would be happy to get a table at 'jeanphi'. This is a quick-fire diner that dispenses drinks and food with good cheer and alacrity and when we visited we ate the most delicious stuffed pitta breads I have ever encountered. Pippa had a vegetarian option filled with falafels, which was good, but I had a chicken curry and salad serving which raised the bar. We washed those down with Belgian 'Juplier' beer and the bill for lunch was as palatable as the food.
After lunch I would head to Jouannault Père et Fille Fromagerie at 39 rue de Bretagne which is an outstandingly good cheese shop. I put my trust in the fille in question and she furnished me with a small selection of fantastic French cheeses that were very well-received by friends we met for dinner the next day.
Happily, opposite the cheese shop is a commendable caviste, called Le Repaire de Bacchus, which stocks a broad range of, predominantly French, wines and is staffed by a team who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I was able to pick up two bottles of red Côtes du Roussillon: Clos des Fées 2021 made by master-blender Hervé Bizuel that proved a great success with the cheese. Having totted up a reasonable step count, I then returned to my lodgings for a tilleul-menthe tisane and an hour or two of relaxation before heading out to wine bar and restaurant ‘Glou’ at 101 rue de Vieille Temple for an uplifting glass of Alsace Riesling.
We then repaired to Camille restaurant, at 24 rue Francs Bourgeois, for a decent dinner in comfortable surroundings. We ate and drank in as Gallic a manner possible enjoying Chablis with some snails in persillade followed by entrecôte-frites with a blameless Pic Saint-Loup.
There may be better locations for enjoying French food, wine and culture but I can't think of any and I am already planning a return visit.