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6th Arrondisement

St. Germain

The 6th arrondissement is, above all things, inspiring. Saint Germain has been the muse of scholars, artists, existentialists, bohemians, and politicians. Its shaded avenues and quiet side streets centrifuge into the spinning café scene on the Boulevard Saint‐Germain. Intellectuals and the glitterati preen and mingle with scruffy expat writers at the Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

You cannot avoid the siren’s song of Saint‐Germain‐des‐Près. Submit to her charms. Welcome to the land of the lotus‐eaters.

While many tours of Saint‐Germain start from landmarks Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots, why not try something different? Begin off the main drag of Boulevard Saint‐Germain at the Bar du Marché at 75 Rue du Seine. To get there, take the metro to Odéon (4). Exit the station and follow Boulevard Saint‐Germain in the opposite direction of traffic. Turn right on Rue de Seine. The Bar du Marché is at the intersection of Rue de Buci and Rue de Seine.

Swing by Taschen bookstore next door on Rue de Buci. Get lost among the publisher’s enormous catalog of art, design, and architecture “coffee table books”.

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Irresistible shopping is due west along the Boulevard Saint Germain. Notable indie boutiques are the through‐the‐looking‐glass jeweler Servane Gaxotte (55 Rue des Saints Pères), Mona (17 Rue Bonaparte) where you can drop a month’s rent on Pierre Hardy and Lanvin, and the must‐see Arty Dandy (1 Place Furstemburg) situated on picturesque Place Furstemburg.

«Dandyism is the last spark of heroism amid decadence,» said Baudelaire. This poetic nugget sums up the mischievous concept shop‐slash‐art gallery to a “T”. Rhinestone‐encrusted Karl Lagerfeld bobble head dolls, home accessories from your crazy aunt’s house, and off the wall jewelry are Arty Dandy’s calling cards.

Also on the Place Furstemburg is the Musée National Eugène Delacroix. The museum is a testament to the artist’s legacy in France. Delacroix devotees can appreciate the permanent collection and studio while non‐believers can explore the romantic garden.

The nearby café La Palette is tucked away on the Rue de Seine. Sip an espresso amidst the movers and shakers of the Saint‐Germain art and gallery scene.

Technically, the Luxembourg Gardens are the front yard of the French Senate. Built by the Medicis the garden is the largest public space in the 6th arrondissement. A reflecting pond, pony rides, and secret grottos keep old and young entertained for hours.

To the west of the Luxembourg gardens, the area around the Eglise Saint‐ Sulpice is known far and wide for its gourmet pâtisseries, candy shops, and posh department store Le Bon Marché.

Find the Rue de Vaugirard (the Three Musketeers, anyone?) and walk west toward the Boulevard Raspail. Take a detour up the Rue du Cherche Midi to the adorable candy shop, salon de thé, and collectibles shop Mamie Gâteaux. The owners are Japanese and the aesthetic is nostalgic francophilia a go‐go.

Head towards the Seine and Quai Voltaire. There is nothing like a stroll along the quais. Spring, summer, or fall, the scene is breathtaking. Explore the wooden footbridge the Pont des Arts and its stellar 360° view of the river.

On the subject of dining, Saint‐Germain should be embarrassed – by its riches, that is!

L’Avant Comptoir is highly recommended pre‐dinner. If Chef Yves Camdeborde is the pope of “bistronomy”, and Le Comptoir is his temple, then L’Avant Comptoir is his Saint Chappelle. The tiny standing‐room‐only wine bar pours excellent wines by the glass, and proffers Camdeborde’s favorites – croquettes with Iberian ham, tubs of Bordier butter, and seasonal bar food make L’Avant Comptoir the Clark Kent of wine‐bars.

Fresh, luscious oysters are king at Huîterie Regis. Searching for something more adventurous? L’Epigramme is known for snout‐to‐tail cuisine mixed with contemporary French bistro fare. The exposed limestone walls add a romantic touch to the elegant décor. On the Rue du Cherche-Midi, find traditional Josephine Chez Dumonet, where you can enjoy old-school French favourites in classic surrounds.

Your sweet tooth will be satisfied by chocolates from the man in cocoa – Patrick Roger on the Boulevard Saint‐Germain. Pierre Hermé’s tiny pâtisserie by Saint Sulpice church has a permanent queue for his blue ribbon croissants and desserts that are too pretty to eat.

As for nightlife, le freak c’est chic. Get down at Jane Club or Théâtre Saint-Germain. Much of the magic happens at the bustling late‐night cafés along the Rue de Buci. Grab a front‐row table for a fashion show unlike any other, and join the Parisians checking out the passers by. Pheromones intensify with every cigarette smoked and soon the street pulses with revelers.

The ever‐fashionable Saint‐Germain is impossible to resist. Abandon yourself to the spell of the 6th arrondissement ‐ profitez!

RESTAURANTS

Bar du Marché
75 rue de Seine
Ph. 01 43 26 55 15
Hours 7/7 8.00am‐2am
Metro: Odéon (4)

Josephine Chez Dumonet
117 Rue du Cherche‐Midi
Ph. 01 45 48 52 40
Hours M‐F Lunch and dinner
Metro: Duroc (10,13)

Huîterie Regis
3 Rue Montfaucon
Ph. 01 44 41 10 07
Hours T‐Sun 12‐2.30pm, 6:30‐10.30pm
Metro: Mabillon, St. Germain (10,4)

Oysters, more oysters, and then some. This huîterie is one of the city’s best.

L’Avant Comptoir
3 Carrefour de l’Odéon
Ph. 01 44 27 07 50
Hours 7/7 9am‐12am
Metro: Odéon (10,4)

If Chef Yves Camdeborde is the pope of “bistronomy”, and Le Comptoir is his temple, then L’Avant Comptoir is his Saint Chappelle. The tiny standing‐room‐only wine bar pours excellent selections by the glass, and proffers Camdeborde’s favorites – croquettes with Iberian ham, tubs of Bordier butter, and seasonal bar food make L’Avant Comptoir the Clark Kent of wine‐bars.

L’Epigramme
9 Rue de l’Eperon
Ph. 01 44 41 00 09
Hours T‐Sat 12pm‐2:30pm, 7pm‐11:30pm
Metro: Saint Michel (4)

Snout‐to‐tail cuisine mixed with contemporary French bistro fare. The exposed limestone walls add a romantic touch to the elegant décor.

La Palette
43 Rue de Seine
Ph. 01 43 26 68 15
Hours 7/7 8am‐2am
Metro: St. Germain (4)

Excellent café for lounging on the weekend.

SHOPPING

Arty Dandy
1 Rue de Furstemberg
Ph. 01 43 54 00 36
Hours M‐Fri 10.30am‐7pm, Sat 10.30am-7.30pm
Metro: Mabillon (10)

«Dandyism is the last spark of heroism amid decadence,» said Baudelaire. This poetic nugget sums up the tongue in cheek concept shop slashart gallery to a T. Rhinestone‐encrusted Karl Lagerfeld bobblehead dolls, home accessories from your crazy aunt’s house, and off the wall jewelry are Arty Dandy’s calling cards.

Mamie Gâteaux
66 Rue du Cherche‐Midi
Ph. 01 42 22 32 15
Hours T‐Sat 11.30am‐6pm
Metro: Saint-Placide (4)

Mona
17 Rue Bonaparte
Ph. 01 44 07 07 27
Hours M 2.30‐7pm, Tues-Sat 11am-7pm
Metro: Saint Germain des Prés (4)

Pierre Hermé
72 Rue Bonaparte
Ph. 01 43 54 47 77
Hours 7/7 10am‐7pm (Thu-Fri 7:30pm, Sat 8pm)
Metro: Saint‐Sulpice (4)

Servane Gaxotte
55 Rue des Saints Pères
Ph. 01 42 84 39 93
Hours M‐Sat 11am‐7pm
Metro: St. Germain (4)

Taschen
2 Rue de Buci
Ph. 01 40 51 79 22
Hours M‐Th 11am‐8pm, F‐Sat 11am‐12am
Metro: Odéon (4)

Patrick Roger
108 Boulevard Saint‐Germain
Ph. 09 63 64 50 21
Hours M‐Sun 10:30am‐7:30pm
Metro: Saint Michel (4)

Eglise Saint Germain-des-Prés
3 Place Saint Germain-des-Prés
Ph. 01 55 42 81 10
Hours 7/7 Seasonal – see website
Metro: Saint‐Germain‐des‐Prés (4)

Eglise Saint-Sulpice
Place Saint‐Sulpice
Ph. 01 42 34 59 98
Hours 7/7 8am‐7pm
Metro: Saint‐Sulpice (4)

Théâtre Saint-Germain
2‐4 Rue du Sabot
Ph. 01 44 76 82 35
Metro: Saint Germain (4)

Musée National Eugène Delacroix
6 Rue de Furstemberg
Ph. 01 44 41 86 50
Hours W‐M 9:30am‐5pm
Metro: Saint Germain (4)

Musée Zadkine
100 bis Rue d’Assas
Ph. 01 55 42 77 20
Hours T‐Sun 10am‐6pm
Metro: Notre Dame des Champs, Vavin

Jane Club
62 Rue Mazarine
Ph. 01 55 42 22 01
Hours See website for club night details
Metro: Odéon (4)

Save

Librairie Fischbacher

Posted on August 3, 2007 by Susie Hollands

There is a great selection of hard-to-find art books and the best place for anything on “arts premiers” – ancient and indigenous art from around the world. Librarie Fischbacher 33 Rue… Read more

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Posted on July 28, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Tiny (about 30m²) bookstore packed to the rafters with the most amazing selection of rare treasures: comics, magazines,  erotic literature and graphic novels – and all this a stone’s throw from… Read more

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Posted on July 28, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Image: Stephen Coles Diptyque was created in 1961 by three friends who were linked by their love of fine arts and fine décor;  Desmond Knox-Leet, Christiana Gautrot and Yves Coueslant.  Their… Read more

Le Café de la Mairie

Posted on July 15, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Played a key role in Christian Vincent’s film La Discrète. More reasonably priced than Café Flore and in a more discreet neighbourhood, this is a very typique Parisian restaurant that appears to… Read more

Patrick Roger- Chocolatier

Posted on July 3, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Patrick Roger flavours his ganaches with lime, basil, jasmin, quince and Szechuan pepper corns – amongst other things. A mix of classic and innovative, there is something for all tastes here.… Read more

Bouillon Racine

Posted on July 1, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Most beautiful art-nouveau decor and a great lunch time prix-fixe. Bouillon is ancient term for brasserie – this one was built in 1906. A tribute to the history of fine dining in… Read more

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Posted on June 30, 2007 by Susie Hollands

Old favourite, popular with Ecole des Beaux-Arts students and the local Galeristes. Bit of fun on the left bank, with lots of chinos and pink sweaters. It is a ‘site classé,’… Read more

Jean-Paul Hevin – Chocolatier

Posted on June 15, 2007 by Susie Hollands

One of Paris’ top chocolatiers, JP Hevin’s signature store on the rue Saint Honoré, also has a sophisticated Salon de Thé, which is great for a lunch entre copînes, it’s not too… Read more

Moda – designer shoes and bag outlet

Posted on June 14, 2007 by Susie Hollands

You have a passion for shoes and handbags. What, really? Well you’re not the only one in this town. MODA is a clandestine chausseure operation. The exterior windows are stacked high with… Read more

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