Home from Home in Paris

Well we finally arrived in Paris last Sunday evening to be met with warm sunshine and the most beautiful evening for Alfresco drinking and eating.

After touching down at Charles De Gaulle airport, we took the train to Gare Du Nord and then the metro to Arts et Metiers in Le marais district, which was to be home for the next few days.

We had booked our apartment through OneFineStay, and were met by one of their hosts, with our key to the apartment, a small welcome pack of tea, biscuits and milk (no wine sadly) and two toiletry kits by L’Occitane, ooh la la, tres chic!

The apartment was in a wonderfully characterful building, opposite a bar and Patisserie and practically next to the Metro station, so far so good. Once inside, the well worn stair treads and peeling plaster walls showed the age and history of the building which was a total contrast to the interior of our apartment, which was a shrine to minimalist living and Ikea style. Everything was white, fresh and clean, with hotel standard bedding and bathroom and a fully functional kitchen. In short everything you needed for a comfortable pied a terre.

After freshening up, we made our way to Temple Square, which is in the heart of Le Marais. The remnants of a weekend vintage and antique market were just packing away and the bars were quickly filling up with tired and thirsty street vendors. After a quick look around the last of the stalls we decided to eat at Chez Omar, which was recommended by OneFineStay. They cleverly provide each of their guests with an iphone which is loaded with recommendations and maps of the area.

Le Marais is an area rich with culture and Chez Omar, is an Algerian restaurant specialising in grilled meats, tagines and couscous. The building is decorated in traditional french bistro style and the atmosphere is lively and convivial. This is obviously a favourite haunt of the locals and the food and service although nothing extraordinary is certainly tasty and reasonably cheap for Paris.

Inside Chez Omar

After a meal of roast lamb with casseroled vegetables for me and beef kebabs and couscous for Mr B, followed by Creme Brulee, we walked around the corner and found our new local bar, which we visited every night, on our way home for a nightcap. Manfred is located on a corner and is typical in style, of a french bar, with great music, good bar food and drinks and a perfect spot for people watching and the people in Le Marais are worth watching, all very stylish and fashionable, some on roller blades, others on skate boards and almost all with a small dog in tow. What really attracted me to Manfred was that they sold cider, which is my current drink of choice and not so easy to get in Paris.

I have many more tales of Paris which I will trot out over the next few days. There is so much to see in this large and varied city and much to tell!

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