Thursday, 26 February 2009

Curiosity shop you musn't miss

I've just written a r-e-a-l-l-y long (but obviously rather good) article for the Paris Newsblog about amazing, eerie, unique Parisian curiosity shop Deyrolle on the left Bank. Part posh gardening shop (hosted by the Gardener Prince himself) part "little shop of horrors" filled with stuffed beasts, part educational eco-friendly wake-up call, the place was devastated by a major fire just over a year ago and is only just getting back up to speed (two rooms are still closed). Definitely worth a visit, and absolutely free to boot!

You can read the article, see the photos, watch the mini-film and get the address here.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Great new cake shop near us. Not French.

OK, I love a greasy croissant or cardboard pain au chocolat as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just need something different, y'know? Unsurprisingly, I was pretty darn excited to hear about Berko.

Berko's speciality is cupcakes, not something you see in Paris very often. They have about fifteen different varieties in either I-could-eat-ten-of-those size or mind-melting-sugar-rush size, all with bright icing and original flavours like caramel and salted butter (our current favourite). Their shop at 23 rue Rambuteau (3 minutes from the apartment) and showcases not only their extensive selection of other cakes but also their great range of savoury tarts and soups. As far as I know there's nowhere else like it in the city.

We suggest you check out our extensive Flickr gallery to grasp the chronic weight problem delicious meal that awaits you. And don't bother getting there early; they open at 10.30am and take a couple of hours to lay everything out, but the wait is worth it!

Although their site ( isn't currently up and running, feel free to join their Facebook group if you've tasted and loved.

Agrandir le plan

Friday, 13 February 2009

Welcome Netherlanderers.
You are extremely late.

Metro Holland finally got round to telling the people about how to spend a wonderful Valentine's Day in Paris. Now they have a whole 36 hours to get it organised! Good luck with that...

To put a positive spin on things, I suppose you could say that every day of the year in Paris can be a smoochy Valentine's Day lovefest. Obviously we're happy to accept the Dutch, Portuguese, Canadians, Americans and most any other nationalities all year round, space permitting. Try booking if you don't believe me ;-)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Portugalia, all your base are belong to us

More press coming in. Metro Lisbon mentioned us and Metro Porto spread the same article over a whole page without a single ad! Makes a nice change...

Looking forward to greeting Portuguese visitors sometime soon.

Friday, 6 February 2009

On Beaubourg, bonnets and boobs

Going to/from/past the apartment over numerous months, it's struck me how many Bonneteries there are in the area. The one above is on rue Saint Martin just down from the apartment, and looks like it's been closed for a while, as has this one on rue de Montmorency (love that funky typeface)...

There are quite a few more within 1 minute of us. Many have closed, others are still thriving.

In my English-speaking naïveté, I just imagined that a Bonneterie was a hat shop (selling bonnets). It's not. It's... er, how can I say this? Oh, it's awfully embarrassing.. um... LADIES' UNDERWEAR! ESPECIALLY BRAS!

It turns out the 'bonnet' is actually 'cup', as in C cup, D, cup, etc. For some reason, our part of the Marais has (or had) a very high concentration of shops selling women's undergarments. Indeed it turns out that there were many workshops manufacturing them, although most if not all have now disappeared. The surviving shops have been there for donkey's years, reminding me of when I used to come to Paris in the late 80s (and they probably looked dated then). I think they probably cater to the ageing population of the area, as they're not really at the cutting edge of fashion (but hey, what do I know about knickers?).

Anyway, our female guests will probably be reassured that if they snap their elastic or the wire comes out of their push-up, the nearest boobmonger is just down the road.

Full marks to Maison Niego for the cool typeface and colour scheme on their shopfront (I'm less convinced by the window display)...

And here's my personal favourite, a shop sign from down rue de Monmorency. I think the place has now been transformed into a loft, but the sign gets my imagination racing...

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Welcome, people of Canadia

I'm not sure I've ever met a Canadian (actually, there was one, but I never got his name). Perhaps I'll be meeting some properly soon? Metro has been spreading the Great Apartment Paris news all across the majestic land of Canadia, and that explains why the number of Canadians visiting our site has gone through the roof! (top marks to the Torotonians).

The article can also be read on the Metro site. Cooool.

So welcome Canadians, and hope to see you in Paris soon! And I promise not to say Canadia ever again!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Our intercom and an amazing sunrise

Had to get up at nonsense o'clock today to meet the guy who was coming to fix our intercom. When we bought the apartment, the intercom was about the only thing in it that didn't date from before 1975. Ironically, it didn't work.

When French workers say that they will come "sometime after 8am", that usually means that they will either be there at 7.30am and go off again complaining that nobody was there to let them in, or near midday, meaning that you've wasted half of your day. However - as if to prove that I'm just a clichéd cynic - a very nice man arrived promptly and fixed everything pretty quickly. From now on when people buzz the apartment you can hear them, and they can hear you. So modern!

During the small amount of time I spent waiting, I marvelled that my window box is far from dead, despite the cold weather...

...and took a few photos of the sun rising over the end of rue de Montmorency. There's something magical about being out on the Paris streets early, and this scene made my day.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

More Atget chasing

Did you see our origianl article about Atget? Here's another shot of his from rue de Montmorency next to the same view today. What used to be a beautiful shop selling stairs (!) at n° 35 is now... well, nothing much at all. And it looks like n° 37 was knocked down and replaced. Shame...