Hidden Paris: Live like a local in 10th arrondissement
Overview… We spend a lot of time in this area. It’s not well known by visitors, but is very popular with people who live here. This arrondissement is slightly rough around the edges and doesn’t have the best reputation. For many years its main role was to get people in and out of Paris as the Gare du Nord and Gare de L’Est are located here. But don’t let its shabby exterior fool you! There are some very cool places to discover, including Canal St Martin and it’s nearby nightlife which is growing in popularity with Paris’ party crowd.
We love…Canal St Martin. It’s a popular gathering place for young people during the summer months. We’ve spent many an evening sitting on the water’s edge chatting the evening away with a bottle of wine, a baguette and some cheese. If you would prefer a chair, Chez Prune is a charming bar next to the Canal where you can have drinks and snacks. You can sit on their terrace, look at the canal, soak up the buzz and feel a part of the cool crowd, all with the added bonus of back support!
Places to go … New Morning Club is world famous for a reason, it’s ‘no frills’ style is a wonderful environment to listen to some really great music. We also love it because it doesn’t break the bank. You may be lucky to see a well known face – the likes of Prince and Spike Lee are known to pop in while in town.
If a club isn’t really what you’re looking for but you would like to see some live music Chez Adele should be right up your alley. This bar is a little out of the way so it gets busy but not so much that you can’t get a table. Watch talented people playing the guitar in what feels more like your friend’s sitting room.
An interesting fact about Paris is that, in the 14th Century, the city was walled. There are few reminders left of this apart from a couple of rather large and exquisite momentos in the 10th : Porte St-Denis and the Porte St-Martin along Boulevard St-Martin are two large arches which were original gates to the city. They are now gates to rather fun filled streets of bars and restaurants.
Off the beaten track… If you are bona fide yogi or just a curious beginner, Mysore Yoga is the place for you. The teachers here speak English and French and are more than keen for you to accomplish all manner of positions and get you feeling zen.
Best pit stop…Du Pain et des Idees is a great place to get a pastry. We love the Escargot au chocolat et pistache (a kind of Danish Pastry not a snail!). For a traditional market based dinner head to Philou – it’s good for game (the food, not scrabble). They have a terrace and a playfully designed interior. Be warned, however, it’s closed on Sunday and Monday.
On Blvd Magenta, at Marché couvert Saint-Quentin (St Quentin covered market) you’ll find macaroons at a bargain price and made by the gentleman selling them. I think they’re the best Macaroons in Paris, and I have conducted some fairly exhaustive research into the matter!