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Time Out Paris

Free Guide Directeur Artistique 1997 - 2004

Magazine gratuit trimestriel avec un tirage de 250,000 exemplaires, le

Time Out Paris’ foolproof guide to going Gallic Follow the dotted lines and go from faux-pas to ooh-la-la!

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A fresh look at painting Paris Until 23 Oct Jean-Michel Basquiat Musée Maillol – Fondation Dina Vierny, 61 rue de Grenelle, 7th ( Mº Rue du Bac. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. Admission €7. Basquiat’s paintings are urgent, angry, direct and dripping with colour. The impressive El Gran Espectaculo traces black history; lighter works refer to Basquiat’s love of jazz. The son of a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father, Warhol’s Factory prodigy was born in Brooklyn in 1960; he died aged 28 of a drugs overdose.

Rococo & Co

Rococo & Co

2 Oct-19 Jan Gauguin – Tahiti Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais (see p10).

Diffusion : 250.000 exemplaires Pagination : 52 pages quadri Format : 210mm x 273mm

1 Oct-22 Feb Botticelli Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 6th ( Mº St-Sulpice/RER Luxembourg. Open Mon, Fri-Sun 11am-10.30pm; Tue-Thur 11am7pm. Admission €9. In a remarkable gathering of paintings and drawings from the Uffizi and other collections, Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli is reinterpreted as a political creature whose compositions never forgot their audience at the Florentine court.

5 Nov- 22 Feb Aux origines de l’abstraction (1800-1914) Musée d’Orsay, quai AnatoleFrance, 7th ( Mº Solférino/RER Musée d’Orsay. Open Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm; Thur 10am9.45pm; Sun 9am-6pm. Admission €8.50.

16 Oct-21 Dec François Boucher et l’art rocaille/Rococo & Co


palette Botticelli

Ensb-a, 13 quai Malaquais, 6th ( Mº St-Germain-des-Prés. Open Tue-Sun 1-7pm. Admission €4. Boucher’s voluptuous rococo drawings, seen alongside drawings by his master Watteau and by his successors, form the inspiration for a project by students at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

25 Sept-4 June Edouard Vuillard Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais (see p13).

27 Sept-18 Jan Frédéric Bazille Musée Marmottan–Claude Monet, 2 rue Louis-Boilly, 16th ( Mº La Muette. Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Admission €6.50. First substantial gathering for 50 years of paintings by the friend and financier of the Impressionists.

14 Oct-30 Jan Nicolas de Largillière

This autumn’s sell-out shows embrace painting, from Botticellii to Basquiat. Here are the dates not to miss.

Aux origines de l’abstraction

Nicolas de Largillière

Musée JacquemartAndré, 158 bd Haussmann, 8th ( Mº Miromesnil. Open daily 10am-6pm. Admission €8. Painting in the grand style by this flamboyant artist who renewed the genre of portraiture at the end of the 17th century.

7 Nov-15 Mar Fernando Botero

Arguing that abstraction was the fruit of progressive developments throughout the 19th century, from Turner to Delaunay, this exhibition explores the influence of optical science and musical models on the representation of the real.

Musée Maillol – Fondation Dina Vierny, 61 rue de Grenelle, 7th ( Mº Rue du Bac. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. Admission €7. Botero’s plump women and festive scenes are the paint equivalent of Latin American magic realism. Darker, recent works show a new treatment of the violence in Colombia.

7 Oct-18 Jan De Delacroix à Renoir, l’Algérie des peintres Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés-StBernard, 5th ( Mº Jussieu. Open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat, Sun 10am-7pm. Admission €9. The renewal in French Orientalism between Delacroix’s and Renoir’s visits to Algiers. Over 100 canvases are on view, most of which were painted in the Maghreb itself.

24 Sept-2 Nov Gérard Garouste Chapelle St-Louis de la Salpêtrière (see p15).

Until 26 Nov Voir en peinture Le Plateau (see p14).

Until 30 Nov Paris, capitale de l’Amérique

14 Oct-7 Dec Zao Wou-Ki Jeu de Paume, pl de la Concorde, 1st ( Mº Concorde. Open Tue noon9.30pm; Wed-Fri noon-7pm; Sat, Sun 10am-7pm. Admission €6. Expressive abstract transcriptions of places situate the Chinese artist, long resident in Paris, at the crossroads between Chinese tradition and the contemporary.

D.A./Maq./Ill. : Richard Joy Phot. : Tom Craig, Adam Eastland, Jon Perugia, Ollie North, Photothèques

Paris, capitale de l’Amérique

Musée d’Art Américain, 99 rue Claude Monet, 27630 Giverny ( Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (from 1 Nov Thur-Sun 10am-6pm). Admission €5.50. Transatlantic relations between the wars, as American artists continued to settle in Paris during the last wave of French influence on US art: the influence of Léger on Demuth and Davis, the birth of geometric abstraction around Calder and Mondrian, and the early days of Surrealism.

Time Out Paris Free Guide 9

Free Guide

Free Guide SUMMER 2004

Autumn 2003


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Time Out Paris Visitors’ Guide Directeur Artistique 1997 - 2009


Erogenous zones

Everybody knows that romance is spelt P.A.R.I.S., and it’s with hearts a-throb that Paul Hines

How far?




Why here?


Pont des Arts

Nearest Métro: Pont Neuf. Best position: Forearms on the rails (not too far over, now) or perched on a bench. Best time: early morning; no snoopers. Simply a honey of a location. Sashay across this bridge for a nifty vista up and down the river. Fab for turning the mood rude...

... and calm. The bridge effect suggests the coming together of hearts, minds and lips. The anonymity of passers-by emphasises your solipsistic togetherness, unless they’re Alf and Doris from your linedancing class.

The benches are handy for a proposal and her skirt or his kilt might be lifted by a gust of wind.

Rapt in mid-smooch ecstasy, you’re likely to be interrupted by someone asking you to take their photo. Guys: tap-dancing Astaire-style on the benches to impress your belle can easily result in a moment of pure slapstick and grazed knees. Resist.

Fine for a snogathon. Rolling around on the slats would be hazardous and you might get grabbed by the fuzz.

6 Time Out Paris Visitors’ Guide

Jardins des Tuileries

Nearest Métro: Tuileries. Best position: by the duck pond, or walking towards a distant Arc de Triomphe. Best time: Pre-dinner stroll.

Square du Vert Galant

Restaurant Georges

and Dora Whitaker present a lovers’ guide to the city’s most luscious locations. Place des Vosges

Nearest Métro: Pont-Neuf. Best position: Right at the tip or at the side, legs dangling over the water. Best time: Really late or really early.

Nearest Métro: Rambuteau. Best position: Dining on the terrace. Best time: When sunset gives way to the fire in your belly.

Nearest Métro: Bastille. Best position: Sitting in the garden, or under a slinky café arch. Best time: about 5pm.

Cobble stones and lapping water are confirmed ingredients for love-pie. Malraux called nearby place Dauphine ‘le sexe de Paris’, so by our geographic reckoning this would have to be the love button.

Simply because its location atop the Pompidou Centre gives you the sexiest view of the city.

Like Danny in Grease, you’ll be bowled over by this ravishing square. In this oasis of balm you can calm down and look windswept and interesting.

Oldsters reading papers and kids chasing pigeons lend a Sundaywith-gran feel, so it’s great for that smug phase before you realise your relationship is in hell.

Intoxicating, relaxing and peaceful, this spot inspires intimate conversation. Tell her about your bruising childhood angst; tell him about your toenail fungus.

Hot-damn! Like a libidinous sparkplug, ever ything here seems to have one explosive intention: longstemmed roses, steely decor and Portishead pulse in the background. Even the steak has a suggestively raw phwoar.

This is the antithesis of seedy; you may feel like reciting poetry, or at least belting out the theme tune to Home and Away. The feeling you’re feeling is the lurvemic imprint left from bygone lovers’ trysts. That, or the Internet Viagra’s kicking in.

Ducks provide a conversation topic for the tongue-tied. The profusion of other couples stops you feeling selfconscious.

Free musicians add a soundtrack to your moment. Soak up extra Venus vibes from being right at the heart of ‘Love-city-central’. Waving girlishly at passing bateaux for her: mooning at them for him.

It’s long enough to really get things off your chest, their chest and then back on and off again. Chest per fect.

This is a tourist’s thoroughfare and, take heed: fat male Parisian joggers wear ver y tight shorts.

We would say arms around the shoulders or holding hands. It’s too public for the full Kama Sutra or a chorus of ‘The Cock o’ The North’ but no-one’s saying you can’t skip and giggle. Please don’t do anything that might frighten the ducks.

You are unlikely to be alone, and the lovers’ habitué aspect does lend a contrived feel. Plus, you may find yourself kissing rhythmically to those nearby bongo players, which is awkward when they do The Flight of the Bumblebee.

Take the lead from other couples snuggling on the slabs. Just don’t get too excited and forget how close to the edge you are.

The candle-lit elegant surroundings would give a chimpanzee that Noël Coward edge. You soak up lashings of suave insouciance by osmosis. You feel sexy, therefore you are sexy.

Chit-chat could save you from being in speechless rapture. But, more crucially, unless you’ve a tandem parachute up your jumper, you’ll have to confront the bill without cr ying.

An occasion for lascivious glances, glass-stem stroking and dropping your napkin under the table.

Cafés and art galleries justify prolonged bliss. There is even a warden to safeguard Cupid’s choreography from the pr ying eyes of per vs. Mmm: stateprotected loving. That’s civilisation.

It’s just too beautiful to unleash any redhot sleaze. Shame, that.

Not ideal for crazy monkey sex, but OK for cuddling and kissing, and it’s possible to fit in a furtive fondle in the shadows of the archways. You could show the object of your affections your etchings here around the time when evening shadows fall.

Musée Rodin

Nearest Métro: Varenne. Best position: On a bench in the garden. Best time: Any time of day, especially in the spring when the blossom is out. An innocent proposal: a museum trip raises no ‘what’s your game?’ eyebrows. Indoors, get primed by The Kiss, then step out among the roses and the stones and mar vel at what can be achieved by a decent set of chisels.

Artistic reflection shifts to romantic rumination, aided by the spirit of classical lovers and utter peace. That, and wafts of animal lust inspired by those rippling torsos. Explain to your partner that it’s pronounced ‘Roe-dan’, not ‘rod in’.


Nearest Métro: Anvers or Abbesses. Best position: Slap bang in the middle of the steps. The higher you climb, the better. Best time: Sunset or sunrise. Like Everest, or the ‘Hand and Racquet’ on Southend pier, because it’s there. The view is worth aching hams.

Père Lachaise

Nearest Métro: Père Lachaise. Best position: Among the tombs. Best time: Any time that’s not Jim Morrison’s birthday (3rd July). That’s when the faithful pay homage. You can pour forth on eros/thanatos, but do not make the mistake at Oscar’s tomb of pointing out what a talented family the Wildes are, what with Kim and Marty.

The main attraction unites the crowd in a bubble of communal warmth and boys strumming out Van Morrison act like a pair of bellows. The hippy blissout vibe makes it well worth tr ying to cop a feel, or even feel a cop. Don’t tr y it, kids.

Excellent for conjuring that Br yan Ferr y sombre mood, and if your loved-one’s a goth, nip them round Jimbo’s plot; the fat hippies will make your own ragged body look Schwarzeneggerian by comparison.

Share a ‘special’ moment on the steps, watching the light change hue, just like your feelings.

Cemeteries equal death; death equals life’s too short; life’s too short equals carpe diem. The carpe diem realisation can make staid types do things they other wise wouldn’t. Do we need to draw a diagram?

A casual mythological quer y could reveal some dodgy border-countr y in the kingdom of your knowledge. Comments upon the figures such as, ‘That looks like a gypsy’s dog – all ribs and bollocks’ are tempting but really should be avoided if possible.

Love is all around you. And the climb could make you stiff in all the wrong places.

As the hundreds of tombs are arranged in avenues, it’s easy to get lost. There are geeks who can’t read maps and there are geeks who can’t read cemeter y maps.

Get naked in the bushes. Get lacquered up with bronze shoe polish and a knob of butter: let life mimic art for a change.

Kissin’ and a-huggin’. If you can corrugate your bodies to the steps, lying down is a definite possibility, as is coming down with a bang.

Unless you’re necrophiliac, sex in bone yards is rarely erotic; we’d suggest holding hands, top whack.

Benches offer clinch points in the garden. There is also a tea-room for ruminations on the essential beauty of the naked body, not that Rodin did much cellulite.

Time Out Paris Visitors’ Guide 7


Grrrls will

to defend the emblems of the Republic. They too can dress up in the red, white and blue garb, wear a rosette and even hold a coq gaulois. And what a potently cocky gesture it is to doff the traditional headgear of the Republic, just as the country’s politicians and talk-shows are locked in debate over whether Muslim girls should be forbidden to wear headscarves in schools because this violates ‘Republican’ principles. These latter-day Mariannes are pictured speaking their mind. ‘For too many French people Marianne no longer represents a great deal. We have to keep reminding ourselves: we need to defend secularism, justice and

The symbol of French Republican values, Marianne, has been appropriated by some take-no-crap babes who’ve collectivised into a movement named ‘Ni Putes Ni Soumises’. Dora Whitaker lifts the bonnet on their unabashedly ballsy campaign. rashing with more national symbols than a Quatorze Juillet parade, last summer’s ‘Mariannes d’Aujourd’hui’ brought a whole new spin to the ideals of the land that gave us Voltaire and revolutionary va-va-voom. 14 huge portraits were pinned to the pillars of the Assemblée Nationale. The columns were draped in a giant tricolour ribbon and the women were all dressed as the figure of Marianne: ancient symbol for all that’s fiery, feisty (and not just female) about France. The twist was that these Mariannes were the young women, many of Arabic and African origin, from poor housing estates represented by the noholds-barred activist group ‘Ni Putes Ni Soumises.’ This Marianne lass is one of those all-encompassing national


Guide Annuel.

emblems that pops up everywhere: Delacroix painted her in 1830; she’s got the wind in her hair on French postage stamps. Of piecemeal origin, Marianne is many things: she’s a wise Athena-style warrior, but she’s a pacifist and provider too. That pointy ‘bonnet Phrygien’ was what emancipated RomanEmpire slaves wore to keep their rollers in, thus she stands for freedom. And the name? In a cute twist, it was opponents of the 1789 revolution who first used the plebeian name ‘Marie-Anne’ as a pejorative label for the Republic. Over the years, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and lingerie model Laetitia Casta have been elected by French mayors to lend their bone structures to Marianne in statues that adorn town halls throughout the country.

be grrrls years running the group has organised debates and demos highlighting the injustices of life in the cités. On 8 March 2003, 30,000 people marched through the streets of Paris in support of ‘Women of the cité, for equality and against the ghetto’. On 6 March 2004, once again the beanie-hat wearing boys and the hooped-earringed girls hula-hula-ed their haunches behind banners reading ‘Secularism, equality, harmony between the sexes’. They walked from Place de la République to Place de la Nation: even the route was symbolic. Ni Putes Ni Soumises is targeting a very specific and real problem: a growing sexism that

‘We have to keep reminding ourselves: we need to defend secularism, justice and equal rights’ Come 2003, however, and someone finally decided it was high time she got not only a facelift, but a whole make-over– and that this time Marianne was going to speak out. Ni Putes Ni Soumises (‘Neither sluts not slaves’) campaigns against violence towards women in France’s deprived, high-immigration city suburbs. Some of the women photographed are activists for the group, and all of them came from

the miserable housing compounds known as ‘cités’. These dilapidated dumps have become marked by delinquency, gang-crime and, increasingly, an oppressive and violent male control over women. On one powerful level, the exhibition was a great Benettonstyle recognition for ethnic diversity. The visual statement being that French citizens of Arabic, Turkish and African descent are entitled to claim and

equal rights,’ says Safia, from Clermont-Ferrand. Fighting talk. The exhibition raised an ever more widely held view: that there is a need to revive the French Republic’s ideals as, according to some, in certain strata of French society they are being attacked or, worse, simply ignored. ‘Marianne is a determined woman who wants to thrive in the place where she lives,’ says Awa from Châtillon-Montrouge. For two

tries to imprison girls in strict codes of behaviour and dress – the pressure to cover up their bodies, keep quiet or be punished. Spokeswoman Fadela Amara describes, in the book she named after the movement, how 20 years ago it was normal for girls to wear short skirts or tight jeans in the cité. ‘Today femininity is seen by boys as a provocation, as something to be condemned’. Survival means dressing in unisex

baggy clothing or simply taking no part in the life of the cité at all’. Amara, a practising Muslim, also believes the use of the Islamic veil is, for some, a reaction to male aggression which is all too often justified in the name of cultural or religious traditions. (Soumises literally means ‘submissive’.) Most girls, she says, are resistant to this rise in sexism and continue, despite daily abuse, to live by the values of modern France. They affirm their femininity in defiantly tight clothing, and, as Amara says ‘make-up has become a war-paint, a sign of resistance’. Facing the battle head-on, then, these girls are putting themselves in line for overt male aggression, the potential consequences of which are terrifying: physical abuse, sexual harassment, and rape are the most violent manifestations. The movement is not anti-men and blames social problems such as unemployment and racial discrimination for the change in male behaviour. Men are suffering too, but it is the women who are the immediate victims of social injustice and, according to the group, a state of emergency has been reached. In October 2002 reports hit the headlines of the murder of Sohane Benziane, an 18year-old girl who was burnt alive

in the cellar of a high rise block by a boy she knew. A few months earlier Samira Bellil, who has been one of Ni Putes Ni Soumises’ most visible members, published a book entitled Dans l’Enfer des tournantes (‘In Gang-Rape Hell’), recounting her experiences of twice being subjected to gangrape. The book was a call to arms to stop suffering in silence. At the end of the 2004 march, Ni Putes Ni Soumises presented the French Prime Minister JeanPierre Raffarin with five proposals to combat the problems in the cités. Two of these are already in action: emergency housing for victims of violence and a guide which aims to foster respect, distributed in schools and other educational establishments. ‘For me, Marianne is defiant, she shows us the way forward. She is someone who is not afraid to express herself, even in times of danger. It is this rebel side that attracts me to her,’ declares Samira from St-Denis. One wonders what Laetitia Casta would have to say about that. Find out more at Fadela Amara’s Ni Putes ni soumises is published by Cahiers libres, and Dans l’Enfer des tournantes by Samira Bellil is published by Gallimard.

Diffusion : 60.000 exemplaires Pagination : 132 pages quadri Format : 210mm x 273mm D.A./Maq./Ill. : Richard Joy Phot. : Archives Time Out, Photothèques

10 Time Out Paris Visitors’ Guide

Time Out Paris Visitors’ Guide 11

Guide annuel du meilleur et de l’inconnu à Paris pour les anglo-saxons...

Time Out Paris Eating & Drinking Guide Directeur Artistique 1997 - 2009




Average €50. Lunch menu €30.50 (MonFri). Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Owned by TV presenter Jean-Luc Delarue, this slick new restaurant is pulling in trendy punters like clockwork – Orange, that is, since it’s named after the bar in the Anthony Burgess novel. The decor by architect-designer Christian Biecher recalls The Avengers and ’60s-vintage airport lounges with white plastic pod chairs and dramatic lighting, and the Gucci and Prada clad crowd is earnestly see-and-beseen. Service is rather friendlier than at most fashion restaurants, and the food is actually pretty good, though the most talked-about dish, the chicken roasted with Coca-Cola, is definitely best avoided, as is the pear and Parmesan pizza. Start with ceviche or the salad of quinoa with a bouillabaisse sauce and langoustines, and then try the salmon with cucumber ribbons and new potatoes, or fish and chips. Desserts, created by star pâtissier Pierre Hermé, are original and delicious, especially pom, pomme, pomme – an apple meringue tart served with an apple parfait made with apple compote, apple ice, chunks of Granny Smith and dried apple wafers. This is not a place where we’d aspire to becoming a regular, but it’s amusing for a one- off meal.

Man Ray Raghunath Manet has made the ancient south Indian dance form bharata natyam his own, using ancient texts to resurrect the male tradition which had been all but lost. He also plays the veena, the oldest and most venerated south Indian instrument, and has recorded a fusion album, Omkara (Dreyfus Jazz), with famed jazz violinist Didier Lockwood and soprano Caroline Casadesus.

Food has always been very important to me. It’s another art form, the expression of a culture. I’ve always gone back and forth between Pondichery and Paris, so I live in both countries. When I’m in Pondichery, I like to eat typical south Indian food such as dosai. But, wherever I am, I want to eat the food of that culture so I don’t seek out Indian food in Paris, though I love to cook it at home for friends. Wherever I perform, people always reserve an Indian restaurant for me after the show. I have to tell them that I prefer to taste the local food! Indian food in other countries is necessarily adapted to local tastes. One Indian place I like in Paris is Yogi’s. It’s modern with a bit of a trendy feel and, though the cooking is inventive, the spicing reminds me of India. A typically French restaurant that’s one of my favourites is Le Gamin de Paris (49 rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd/, which is near where I live in the Marais. It’s always fun. For vegetarian food I enjoy L’Aquarius (54 rue Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie/, which is also close to home. A place I love is the Barramundi (see p 117, Bars & Pubs), for its new French cuisine and wonderful, relaxing decor. When I go to a café I don’t necessarily want to see other artists – I see them all day! – and that’s why I like La Tartine (24 rue de Rivoli, 4th/ It’s a down-toearth place that serves wine by the glass. Another café I go to often is Le Louis-Philippe Café (see p104, Cafés), which has a historic interior and good food, and is near the Cité des Arts where I rehearse.’

34 rue Marbeuf, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 7.30pm12.30am. Bar daily 6pm-2am. Closed at lunch in Aug. Average €57. Lunch menu €20. Credit AmEx, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Though the service is not in the same league of rudeness as the Buddha Bar (but then, what could be?), the diners have a degree more sophistication and the faux-Asian decor has a certain James Bondish appeal, Man Ray still leaves you feeling curiously empty. It’s not just the effect of spending time in the company of the vacuous ‘jet set’, it is quite literally the food, which might as well have been constructed out of jelly for a film set. After a miserable previous experience, we were willing to give the place a second chance – but nothing has changed. From an extensive menu covering anything from Italian to Thai dishes we chose starters of an utterly flavourless chilled cucumber soup, and a ‘cappuccino of langoustines’ which reminded us of the sweet artificial cream used by downmarket British bakeries. The fish of the day, turbot fried in basil olive oil, was not bad, and a second fish dish of sandre (pikeperch) in a girolle sauce was edible, though the sauce swamped the fish completely. In terms of mediocrity desserts took the biscuit: velouté de pêches surrounding an industrial-tasting sorbet tasted and looked suspiciously like the syrupy nectar drinks you can buy in corner shops. The éclairs appeared to have been frozen and defrosted. Stick to cocktails at the bar or return for the Friday night soirées when DJs spin French Touch. But dinner? Forget it.

Nobu ★

15 rue Marbeuf, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6.30pm-12.30am; Sat, Sun 6.30pm12.30am. Bar daily 6.30pm-2am. Closed 25 Dec. Average €76. Prix fixe €98 (dinner only). Lunch menu €38, €76. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. On the eve of the couture fashion shows, this slick new Japanese fusion restaurant with bare wood floors and tables had clearly struck a chord with the itinerant fashion and media crowd, since it was absolutely packed with Gucci and Prada devotees who didn’t seem to blanch at the idea of running up a bill of €76 or more per person. This is the third Nobu, following the original in New York and one in London, and in Paris, the vibrant flavours and textures of chef Matsuhisa Nobuyuki’s stylish hybrid South American-Japanese cooking are extremely welcome. Nobuyuki does intriguing dishes such as tempura of Florida rock shrimp (rather like a langoustine but from the Gulf of Mexico), a tomato ‘ceviche’ (red, yellow and green tomatoes dressed with red onions and loads of fresh coriander), sublime sushi and sashimi, miso-marinated black cod cooked until it’s more or less lacquered, and wonderful à la carte tempura. Start with an order of endamame beans sprinkled with salt, a popular Japanese snack, and then order the out-

standing ceviche before hitting the sushi and sashimi. The wine list is very pricey, but includes some wonderful bottles such as the South African Neethlingshof sauvignon blanc (€36.59), and service is patient and efficient. Nobu is that rarest of things in Paris – a nonsmoking restaurant – though you can smoke in the lounge downstairs, which is furnished with comfy leather armchairs.

Rue Balzac

and a brilliant and original casserole of cod, aubergine and tomatoes with sesame cream, then sampled wonderful sea bass ceviche and rather mediocre lobster ravioli with anchovy cream sauce. Thai soup with cockles, prawns and squid was splendid, as was tuna fillet with a sautée of mixed vegetables wondrously garnished with garlic flowers. Our grande bouffe continued with spare ribs with sauce diable and potato chips, and a sublime grilled loin of rabbit with its liver and kidneys. We finished up with the best cheesecake in town and chocolate-dipped ice cream, and came away in admiration of the way this place keeps surfing the very best of fusion cuisine. Remarkable wine list, too – if only the help would lighten up a bit and stop being so arch.

3-5 rue Balzac, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt or George V. Open Mon-Thur 12.15-2.15pm, 7.15-11pm; Fri 12.15-2.15pm, 7.15-11.30pm; Sat, Sun 7.1511.30pm. Closed three weeks in Aug. Average €46. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Rue Balzac, Johnny Hallyday’s pad, is a cut above your average celebrity-owned restaurant. For a start, its consultant chef is Michel Rostang, who runs an eponymous haute cuisine restaurant and several bistros. The decoinspired chairs and banquettes were looking a bit grubby despite the low lighting, but we liked the delicate gold chandeliers and tiny blue glass spotlights. The welcome was friendly enough, although it was a slack night for celebrity clients – only a young French radio comedian. The menu offers four options in each category of eggs, starters, pasta and rice, fish and meat, with specials written on a piece of glass. We started with rice-paper-thin slices of aubergine layered with a crab and aubergine filling, enhanced by dribbled lines of soy and peanut vinaigrettes. The terrine de foie gras with wild mushrooms was disappointing, however – served too cold with a cold piece of toast, the foie gras lacked salt or indeed any flavour at all and the dry girolles and radish with a smidgen of cherries did little to help. The sea bass fillet a la plancha with an artichoke and fresh coriander confit was better, the fish virtually perfect, soft and juicy with a herby crust. The other fish dish, light and grease-free squid and langoustines with sesame spring vegetables, came elegantly served on a napkin in a metal basket. A soufflé fondant chaud au cacao amer was richly satisfying and the petits pots de chocolat crème, served in two identical tiny pots with a puff pastry finger, were also good, though definitely the less indulgent choice. Wines are steeply marked-up but we enjoyed our crisp ’99 Sancerre for €29.73.

23 rue de Ponthieu, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 8pm-1am; Sat, Sun 8pm-1 am. Closed Aug. Average €45. Prix fixe €53.36. Lunch menu €19.06. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. We were expecting high voltage air kisses and a side of couscous at Tanjia, Les Bains Douches team’s (Cathy and David Guetta and Hubert Boukobza) Moroccan restaurant. After all, Bobby (de Niro) and Jack (Nicholson) and all manner of Hollywouldbes, models and moguls pop in when in Paris. Once past the phalanx of black cling-wrap clad, wired-for-sound staff at the door (we had a reservation), we downed an overpriced, overly small cocktail in the bar downstairs and then settled in to the supersheik restaurant upstairs. The food is better than you’d expect and the staff seem, believe it or not, attitude-free. The assorted starters for two – pricey at €13.72 a head but sufficient to feed a small army – included briouates (turnovers) of gambas, chicken and chèvre, aubergine caviar, and salads (give the sickly sweet carrot salad with orange flower water a miss). Then it’s on to pigeon pastilla (crispy pastry with ground pigeon and almonds, dusted with icing sugar) and generous servings of mild lamb tagine (cooked ten hours with 25 spices) or couscous with organic veggies. Try the fig ice cream and order mint tea – just to see the waiters pour it deftly from a great height. Alas, our cool factor had melted and we couldn’t adjourn to the bar afterwards – private party, they insisted.

Spoon, Food & Wine


14 rue de Marignan, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open Mon-Fri noon-2pm, 7-11pm. Closed last week in July and first three weeks in Aug. Average €74. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. When Alain Ducasse’s world-food bistro opened several years ago, it had the effect of a fire alarm going off in a wax museum. Since then, Paris has changed – and, impressively, so has Spoon. Ducasse plays a sensuous game for assiduous gourmets, but most of the clientele here seem more interested in the brand name than in the food. We began our meal with a sublime mousse d’étrilles (velvet swimming crab)

13 rue du Commandant-Mouchotte, 14th ( Mº MontparnasseBienvenüe. Open Mon-Wed 8am-2am; Thurs-Sat 8am-5am (kitchen open until closing). Average €31. Lunch menu €13.95. Credit MC, V. A rickshaw marks the entrance of this Indian bar-restaurant, strangely located at the entrance of a shopping mall. There’s formal restaurant seating towards the back, but the over-the-top lounge area near the door is much more fun: there aren’t many places in Paris where you can recline on satin sofas and drink cocktails under the wary eye of dragons and

Le Boeuf sur le Toit 34 rue du Colisée, 8th ( Mº St-Philippe du Roule. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-1am. Average €38. Prix fixe €33.54 (dinner only). Lunch menu €21.57, €28.35. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Le Boeuf sur le Toit started out as a lively cabaret in the 1920s, taking its name from the comic ballet of the same era by Milhaud and Cocteau. Taken over by Groupe Flo in the mid1980s, the brasserie was restored and enlarged, but echoes of les années folles remain in the grandiose art deco surroundings complete with gilt mirrors, wood panelling and gigantic geometrical lights. On a weekday night it was bubbling, benefiting from the Champs-Elysées revival and a temptingly priced prix fixe. The huge bank of oysters is one of the highlights here, but there are also some satisfying Mediterranean-style dishes à la carte – a satisfying ‘millefeuille’ of feta cheese and grilled aubergine, and ravioli with ricotta and basil – alongside brasserie classics. Mains include a chunky venison steak with chestnuts or specialities such as the andouillette de Troyes. The wine list offers a good choice and a range of prices, including pichets.

L’Avenue 41 av Montaigne, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open daily 8am1am. Average €57. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Next to Nina Ricci on the swishest shopping street in Paris, this Costes brasserie is the place to rest weary Prada-clad feet when those Dior and Chanel bags start to weigh you down. Filled with dark suits and blonde tresses on our lunchtime visit, L’Avenue felt crowded and clamorous downstairs, but the spacious upstairs rooms were surprisingly peaceful – something about the padded setting makes diners speak in hushed tones. Seated comfortably in purple-velvet chairs, with a view of the Eiffel Tower from the round, cream-painted room, we sipped a festive glass of Champagne (€11) while perusing the stylish menu. A salad of whole lettuce was a popular choice but, craving more substantial fare, we ordered the lasagne with coppa (Italian sausage), spinach and gorgonzola – flavourful but overbaked with a dry crust – and monkfish in Thai curry sauce – cooked to tender perfection in a yellow sauce fragrant with turmeric, kaffir lime, lemongrass and coconut. Feeling hopeful, we ordered dessert, but it was a flop: a mushy mango crumble and a praline millefeuille whose pastry should have crackled but instead was flabby. Stick to unambitious fare and soak up the view – inside and beyond.


Brasserie Lorraine 2-4 place des Ternes, 8th ( Mº Ternes. Open daily 8am-12.30am. Average €46. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. For years, this venerable restaurant had an almost Cocteau-like elegance that set it apart from other Parisian brasseries, and the food was a cut above that served elsewhere – good quality salmon or lamb chops served with delicious frites and side orders of spinach or green beans. All this has disappeared without a trace since being taken over by the Frères Blanc. In fact, all that remains of the former atmosphere is generously spaced tables. Calling for a 9pm booking, we were told to come instead at 8.15pm to avoid a long wait at the bar. So how come the empty tables around us all night long? The only possible explanation for the nudge seems to have been a desire to keep the kitchen busy at an earlier hour. It took forever to get a half-bottle of Sancerre for apéritifs; finally we learned that they were out of half-bottles, and langoustines. Well, then we’d have oysters. Stiffly priced, they had been so carelessly opened that nary a one didn’t have a shard of shell or two. A salad of chicory and green beans with delicious slices of smoked duck proved the better choice. Sole meunière was perfectly cooked, though, and accompanied by two nice waxy potatoes. Less successful was a ‘creative’ dish of cod with pine nuts and piquillo peppers stuffed with salt cod; the fish flaked as though it had been frozen, and the accompaniment seemed pre-made, too.

Alcazar: all things Brit and beautiful

Profiteroles were soggy under a tasteless chocolate sauce. Presented with a large bill for such a mediocre meal, we left this place for the last time.

La Fermette Marbeuf 1900 5 rue Marbeuf, 8th ( Mº Alma-Marceau. Open daily noon-3pm, 7-11.30pm. Average €45. Prix fixe €27.90. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Jean Laurent struck gold when he bought this restaurant in 1978 and discovered that the ’50s panelling hid a stunning art nouveau conservatory created in 1898 for the Langham Hotel. Beautifully restored since, the Fermette now belongs to the Frères Blanc group. The vintage decor is superb but, alas, the food is no match. A main of duck breast with peaches materialised as an over-done lump of meat showered in coriander leaves, accompanied by two lukewarm apricot halves and a bizarre cold, custardy peach flan; the chef was on safer ground with the relatively simple salmon tournedos. Ditto for the starter of Scottish smoked salmon, though the burnt toast was an oversight. The cold melon soup was nothing more than, well, mushy melon topped with coriander (again). Despite a long wait, the apricot tarte Tatin wasn’t caramelised in the least and had a metallic tang. Decor aside, it’s all a bit bland and formulaic (service included). Art lovers, ask for a table in the conservatory.

Le Fouquet’s 99 av des des Champs-Elysées, 8th ( Mº George V. Open daily 8am-2am (last order 11.30pm). Average €76. Prix fixe €50. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. On one of the first warm days of summer, a stroll down the Champs-Elysées seemed a more tempting prospect than usual. Despite regeneration in the surrounding area the number of dining possibilities on the avenue itself remains limited. Leading the field is Fouquet’s; the ‘t’ is sounded in French as a tribute to bygone times when English tea salons were all the rage. As the day was glorious we resisted the velvety interior of this Parisian institution and grabbed a table on the terrace, where a simpler menu is served. Although the entrance is paved with a celebration of the César film awards, we were surrounded by tourists rather than local glitterati. The staff was charming and encouraging to this polyglot crowd and our meal began with foie gras, which was tasty but held telltale veins which should have been removed during the preparation. The plat du jour, roasted tuna, came with a nice buttery sauce which made up for the overcooked fish, accompanied by well-prepared pasta interlaced with shred-

ded vegetables. A fillet steak was a good-sized piece of meltingly tender meat with pommes allumettes, which were high on crunch. Prices reflect the location and the popularity of the place, but the wine list shocks with mindboggling mark-ups and little available under €30 a bottle.

Garnier ★

111 rue St-Lazare, 8th ( Mº St-Lazare. Open daily noon-3pm, 7-11.30pm. Closed Aug. Average €50. Prix fixe €27-€38. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Since it reopened after a very smart renovation last summer, this venerable restaurant in front of the Gare St-Lazare has become one of the two or three best brasseries in Paris. The decor is an attractive mix of past and present, including dark wood floors, glass partitions, pear-wood chairs, feather-shaped 1950s vintage glass lamps and a few art deco touches. A relaxed and very mixed crowd of locals, tourists, theatre-goers, actors and business types makes for an unselfconscious but stylish atmosphere. If you’re accustomed to the clamour and indifferent service of the chain brasseries, this place comes as a delightful surprise: tables are generously spaced and the waiters are friendly profess-ionals. Tuna rillettes and croutons arrive as soon as you’re seated, and whatever you choose, the quality of the produce and cooking are excellent. Garnier has some of the best oysters in Paris – you could make a feast of these alone – or try the sautéed baby squid and delicious, if expensive, tempura of langoustine tails served in a folded white napkin. Outstanding main courses include tuna steak a la plancha, served with tangy carrots and a decorative reduction of balsamic vinegar and pine nuts. Desserts are remarkably good, too, including baba au rhum – spongy cake doused with Martinique rum at the table, or a delicate vanilla millefeuille. The wine list, however, is rather expensive. For loners, the charming circular oyster bar is an ideal spot .

La Maison de l’Aubrac 37 rue Marbeuf, 8th ( Mº Franklin D. Roosevelt. Open daily 24 hours. Closed Aug. Average €38. Credit AmEx, MC, V. On a Thursday night, just off the chic ChampsElysées, we found ourselves hemmed in by scrums of big, beefy men tucking into plates of saucisse aligot (pork sausages with a mix of mashed potatoes, garlic and cheese), giant ribs of beef and juicy steaks. This rustic little Auvergnat corner, complete with wooden booths, paper placemats and glossy photos of man and beast (bulls in particular), is a beacon for rugby lovers and displaced country folk. We started off simply with a millefeuille of vegetables (consisting mainly of mozzarella) with slices of Bayonne ham, and a slab of fine foie gras before the meaty main events. We decided against the ‘three meats platter’ (tartare, sirloin steak and boeuf pressé) and went for slices of leg of lamb from the Lozère region, roasted and served with green beans and crisply fried potato slices – tender if a tad overcooked – and a perfectly grilled entrecôte. The accompanying green salad was fresh but gritty. The excellent wine list is a little pricey with good choices from the south-west, Rhône and Languedoc Roussillon. Service is friendly and efficient and the place, like a rugby line-out, is always jumping.

Restaurant Cap Vernet 82 av Marceau, 8th ( Mº Charles de Gaulle-Etoile. Open Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 7-11pm; Sat 7-11pm. Closed 1 July-31 Aug. Average €43. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Just off the Champs-Elysées, this very good brasserie with a predominantly seafood menu occupies an awkward if reasonably comfortable split-level space decorated in a twee nautical theme of blue walls and parquet floors. In spite of such a strategic location, it pulls an affluent, mostly Parisian crowd, who appreciate the quality produce and reliable cooking of a kitchen under the aegis of chef Guy Savoy. Settling in on the sunny terrace for lunch, we thoroughly enjoyed the smoked salmon tartare, a tidy mound of pleasantly smoky fish spread with avocado purée under a garnish of small spinach leaves, and a sauté of seasonal vegetables – asparagus, courgettes, mangetout, baby carrots – garnished with grilled bacon. A main

course of steamed demi-sel cod with a shellfish sauce and mashed potatoes was excellent; however, a tuna steak, cut too thin to be cooked rare as ordered, arrived over-done. Better was a thick slab of salmon in a pleasant, herby green sauce, also garnished with mashed potatoes. A perfectly ripened st-marcellin went down a treat with the rest of a celebratory bottle of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and rhubarb tart was pleasant. The only drawbacks to this place are the relatively stiff prices and consistently. inefficient and indifferent service – we waited forever for our order to be taken, were not shown the daily specials, were served the wrong wine and were generally ignored by thoroughly bored staff. Still, in season, they offer some of the best oysters in Paris (no shellfish is served on weekends), and if you’re casting about for a Sunday meal, bear this place in mind since it’s vastly better than most of the increasingly soulless and mediocre brasseries elsewhere in town.

Charlot, Roi des Coquillages ★

81 bd de Clichy, 9th ( Mº Place de Clichy. Open Mon-Wed, Sun noon-3pm, 7pm-midnight; Thur, Fri, Sat 7pm-1am. Average €53. Lunch menu €23.17, €27.90. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Aside from its endearing, campy glamour – you half expect to see Freddie Mercury, Donna Summer or Abba in this time-warp 1970s dining room decorated with apricot velvet banquettes and peculiar laminated lithographs of shellfish – the main reason that this long-running fish-house is so popular is its flawless catch-of-the-day menu. A curious but buzzy mix of tourists, night people, arty locals, heand-she executive couples and good-humoured folks in from the provinces patronise this place and given such an eclectic clientele, staff are to be commended for their outstanding professional service. Depending on the season, the various seafood platters are what the regulars opt for, and even in the middle of the summer – off-season for many shellfish – the prawns, sea urchins and lobster are impeccable. Otherwise, start with the excellent fish soup, followed by a classic such as grilled sea bass with wild fennel stalks, tuna steak with ratatouille or superb aïoli (boiled salt cod and various vegetables served with lashings of garlic mayonnaise). Finish with crêpes Suzette, or the delicious tarte Tatin with cinnamon.

Au Petit Riche 25 rue Le Peletier, 9th ( Mº Le Peletier. Open Mon-Sat noon-2.15pm, 7pm-12.15am. Average €38. Prix fixe €22.10, €28.20 (dinner only). Lunch menu €22.10, €25.15. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. At the turn of the century le tout Paris dined at the long-since-disappeared Café Riche, while lesser mortals, including actors, stage hands and chauffeurs, came to Au Petit Riche. An echo of the grandiose Café Riche survives since this place has beautiful etched glass windows, soaring ceilings, handsome wood panelling and a copper bar; turn-of-the-century framed cartoons and drawings add to the picture. Unfortunately, however, service was bored and awkward, and the food uneven. If first courses of coddled eggs and smoked salmon were decent enough, oysters were served warm and had been carelessly shucked so that they were showered with shell shrapnel. The cheesecapped veal chop, a speciality, was fatty and overcooked, and perch in a drab sauce, ditto. A seeming policy of segregating tourists from locals further dampened our spirits; a table of Americans whose halting but sincere attempts to speak French provoked nasty hilarity among the waiters. The selection of Loire Valley wines is excellent and our 1999 Chinon Losse Loup was delicious, as was a savarin topped with whipped cream. We might come back if in the neighbourhood but only for a light supper of starters and a nice Loire wine.

La Taverne 24 bd des Italiens, 9th ( M° Richelieu-Drouot. Open daily noon-1am. Average €35. Prix fixe €24. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. This non-threatening Grands Boulevards restaurant draws a tourist crowd looking for a reasonably priced shellfish extravaganza, as well as locals treating themselves to a night

Brasserie Flo 7 cour des Petites-Ecuries, 10th ( Mº Château d’Eau. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-1.30am. Average €39. Prix fixe €30.50 (dinner only). Lunch menu €21.50. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Dating from the late 19th century, Brasserie Flo is the foundation of Jean-Paul Bucher’s Flo empire – and one of his least glitzy brasseries. That might have something to do with its location down a fairly remote and seedy alleyway, where it thrives on a post-theatre crowd. One Sunday lunch we found the dining room surprisingly calm and the waiters in good spirits, dodging catapulting children with the

grace of tap dancers. Part Alsatian tavern with its wood panelling, part classic brasserie with its black banquettes, crisp white tablecloths, frosted glass and ceiling mouldings, the room felt so comfortable that we lingered for most of the afternoon, while the waiters indulged the catapults by playing an ancient nickelodeon. Food, too, was better than average for Flo. A generous salmon tartare was flavoured with whole peppercorns, onion, bay leaf, chives and thyme, and served on warm boiled potatoes. Both mains were beyond reproach: tender Scottish salmon with chunks of bacon, baked whole garlic cloves and bright-green spinach, and juicy roast veal with morels, served with a crisp and creamy rice galette. Our final indulgence was the decadent coupe Flo, cherry ice cream drowned in cherry liqueur, and a potent prune and Armagnac vacherin.

Julien 16 rue du Fbg-St-Denis, 10th ( Mº Strasbourg-St-Denis. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-1.30am. Average €38. Prix fixe €21.50 (lunch and after 10pm), €30.50. Credit AmEx, DC, C, V. Thanks in part to Eurostar, Alain Ducasse and Sir Terence Conran, not to mention McDonald’s and Pizza Express, eating out in the British and French capitals is becoming increasingly similar. However, seated in Julien’s beautifully slinky art nouveau decor, with its painted glass panels, white globe lamps and zinc-topped mahogany bar by the artist Majorelle, there is no doubting that you are in Paris. Julien, created in 1902 and revamped in 1975 by the Flo group, is much more intriguing and less hectic than its sister brasseries, partly due to its out-of-the-way location on the border of the red light district of

the rue St-Denis and the merchants of the Faubourg itself. Although its status as a listed monument is sufficient reason to pay a visit, the food is also very good, combining trusted brasserie staples with more innovative dishes. From the carte, we started with creamy and ripe st-marcellin, wrapped in bacon and roasted, served with wild rocket and walnut oil, and excellent fish soup, complete with croutons, gruyère and spicy rouille sauce. Toothsome and perfectly timed partridge came with a delicious cep and potato cake, while saddle of rabbit with fresh tagliatelle was boned, stuffed with pistachios and rolled. With due respect for the spirit of a bygone and more glamorous era, we tucked into vanilla-ice-cream-filled profiteroles, smothered in steaming chocolate sauce.

Terminus Nord 23 rue de Dunkerque, 10th ( Mº Gare du Nord. Open daily 11am-1am. Average €25. Prix fixe €30.50 (dinner only). Lunch menu €21.50. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. There may be nothing particular to love about this brasserie besides its location if you’re catching a train north (it’s across the street from the Gare du Nord), but there certainly is plenty to like. The room is bright and wellappointed with sparkling chandelier, mosaic floors and comfortable leather banquettes; the welcome is warm, and the service is friendly and efficient. The towering shellfish platters – oysters, prawns, mussels, crabs et al – are probably the menu’s safest bets, but the kitchen handles traditional brasserie fare well enough, too. Our plate of salmon with creamed lentils was fresh and well-seasoned, and the smoked fish platter was generous with at least a half-dozen offerings. The jarret de porc (pork knuckle), on the other hand, was thoroughly

Time Out Paris Eating & Drinking 47

Korova: this tribute to Anthony Burgess runs like clockwork The Americas

Hindu gods, while Bollywood posters add an authentic note. The food ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. Our tandoori grill plate included mysterious sausage meats and one scampi with no body, just the inedible head. But the south Indian dishes are spiced just as they should be. Alternatively, order nan bread (the coriander and almond flavours are particularly nice), with some dahl and yoghurt-based raita, and stick to drinks. Don’t be put off by the price of beer; there are some peculiar misprints on the menu, so check with the waiter about what things are likely to cost. 25 rue de la Pompe, 16th ( Mº La Muette. Open daily noon-2.30pm, 8pm-2am. Average €60. Credit AmEx, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Philippe Starck’s first venture as restaurateur has a rather fantastic setting: a sort of cross between Alice Through the Looking Glass (all sorts of coloured, distorted mirrors will do wonders – or not – for your waistline), Nero’s Rome, with draped sofas, decadent candelabras and coupes of bright green apples, and a Heidi-esque wooden chalet. There’s a courtyard with curious metal planters and glass clocks and a boutique section that stocks any-

thing from organic olive oil to nappy-pin jewellery. What was missing, until recently, was food to live up to the surroundings. After a debut that was anything but bon (good), this trendy spot is not only back on track but is on its way to becoming a seriously good restaurant under the auspices of very talented chef Jean-Louis Amat. Amat formerly ran the SaintJames and two other excellent restaurants outside of Bordeaux in Bouliac, and after having been foolishly shown the door by a new owner, he’s brought his vast experience and appetising south-western touch to Paris. Start with that delicious Bordelais combo of fresh oysters accompanied by tiny grilled sausages, and then venture on to other signature dishes such as skewered eel with artichokes or scallops steamed with seaweed. If this serious, regional cooking seems vaguely incongruous in the campy, kitschy dining room, one might hope that this evolution will prove the point that no matter how trend-conscious they may currently be, the French ardently insist on a certain standard of cooking.

Café de la Jatte 60 bd Vital Bouhot, Ile de la Jatte, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine ( Mº Pont de Levallois. Open daily noon-2.30pm, 7.30-

11.30pm. Average €46. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Enter this island from the Pont de Levallois on a lovely summer’s day to breathe in the delicious scent of honey from the beehives hidden in the middle of the parkland – you’ll be glad to have made the expedition. The Café is housed in a vast red brick building that was once Napoleon’s riding school; today, a spectacular dinosaur skeleton strung from the ceiling decorates the main dining room. The menu is determinedly international with dishes such as spiced lamb curry with chutney and salmon sushi maki. We stuck to the more Gallic propositions of sea bream grilled with capers and wild asparagus, and farmer’s duck magret. The result was generous portions of fresh, tender fish and vegetables and very tasty slices of duck. Less agreeable was the closeness of the tables on the vast terrace: cigar smoke billowed over our shoulders, while the amorous couple on our left let slip a little more information than we could digest. As for the waiters, they were so robotic in their efficiency that the customers could have been frogmen for all they cared. The desserts, such as fresh peach suprême with cinnamon syrup, were just as fresh and plentiful as the previous courses, yet it was a relief to flip-flop back to the tree-lined river bank.

Quai Ouest 1200 quai Marcel Dassault, 92210 St-Cloud ( Mº Porte de St-Cloud. Open Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 8pm-midnight; Sun noon-4pm. Average €34. Lunch menu €17.50 (Mon-Fri). Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Looking across the sparkling river to the treelined banks of the Bois de Boulogne, we felt far from the stresses of Paris. The world-weary floorboards had obviously seen a lot of use before this airy warehouse was ever a restaurant. The rust has been left on the frames of the many windows, but the atmosphere is prevented from becoming too rustic by the enthusiastic gas heaters that can keep 400 diners warm and cosy. So cosy, in fact, that you can feel your hair curling if you are unfortunate enough to be placed right under one. Despite its privileged location (and customers: we had to squeeze between a Lotus and a Jaguar E-type to get to the door) the prices are reasonable. We stopped by for the Sunday brunch, complete with clown and face-painting for the kids. Sitting in the adult-only annexe, we took advantage of the bottomless cups of coffee and all-you-can-eat pancakes – cunningly served as dessert, after the generous main brunch plats of salmon, chicken, chips, bacon and fresh fruit.

Anahi 49 rue Volta, 3rd ( M° Arts et Metiers. Open daily 8pm-midnight. Closed 15 Aug, Christmas and New Year. Average €40. Credit MC, V. Anahi is one of those insider addresses. Tucked in an unprepossessing part of the Marais, the only thing that distinguishes it from its neighbours is that Anahi looks like the building most likely to fall down – the exterior isn’t so much distressed as severely traumatised. Members of the in-crowd are greeted cheek to cheek by the owners in the stylishly stark interior. In this former butcher’s shop the white tiling is interrupted by a few black and white photos and bottles of South American liquor, which contrast nicely with the faded art deco ceiling. Based on its appearance you would expect this restaurant to be costly. With prices like these you would hope that the food would be, at the very least, palatable. Sadly the price lived up to expectations and the food didn’t. We started with soupa veiras, a rather thin saffron soup with scallops, and jamón, which was, as described, a very large plate of (unexceptional) ham. The biggest disappointment of all, however, was the Argentine steak. Served on a wooden board with a green side salad, the steak was much thinner than anticipated and was neither tender nor tasty. It was hard to see what the €22.10 was for. The chicken marinated in lemon was tough, the lemon sauce had hardened and the accompanying pineapple chunks looked like escapees from a take-away pizza. Anahi is friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed, and for those with a passion for South American wines it’s almost worth a detour.

Anuhuacalli 30 rue des Bernardins, 5th ( Mº Maubert Mutualité. Open Mon-Sat 7-11pm; Sun noon-2pm. Closed Aug. Average €29. Credit MC, V. Regarded by many as the best Mexican restaurant in the capital, Anuhuacalli doesn’t trumpet its origins with displays of sombreros and fake cacti. Rather, as befits a restaurant that ís

serious about food, the decor is elegant and low-key, putting the interest squarely on the the regional specialities dished up by the kitchen. Start with sopa Azteca, a rich tomato soup with a smoky pork base, chilli, cheese, and a layer of corn chips, or cazuela de huevos, a just-baked egg in a broth of peas, corn, cactus, mushrooms and sour cream. Mains include tamales, burritos and excellent enchiladas verdes, stuffed with chicken (or beef), covered with a spicy green tomatillo sauce and baked with a layer of cheese. Also on offer is the Pueblan classic mole poblano, turkey cooked in a sauce containing 20 or more seasonings, including chocolate. Mexican restaurants stand or fall on their mole and Anuhuacalli’s is top-notch: thick, dark and expertly spiced. Also good is the Yucatan cochinita pibil – marinated pork cooked in banana leaves. For dessert, bypass the crème caramel with cinnamon and try ice creams or sorbets with a punch: lemon and pineapple with lashings of tequila.

Botequim 1 rue Berthollet, 5th ( M° Censier Daubenton. Open Mon-Sat noon-2pm, 8-11.30pm; Sun 8-11:30pm. Average €30. Credit MC, V. In the Carioca slang spoken with pride in Rio de Janeiro, botequim refers to a small, scruffy neighbourhood bar or restaurant serving food in a casual, no-fuss atmosphere. Import such a concept to Paris and it’s bound to get dressed up a bit. The mood is lightened by jovial groups of not-too-young, not-too-old French, leisurely enjoying the excellent food. Follow their lead and start your meal with a caipirinha, a potent cocktail made with fresh lime, lots of sugar and Brazil’s liquid passion, cachaÿa. Mains are huge but if you want a starter, try the panaché, a sampling of well-prepared Brazilian snacks, or the fluffy aipo, a celery mousse topped with a tangy prawn-flavoured dressing. As a main, there really is no avoiding the superb feijoada, Brazil’s national dish made from several cuts of fresh and salted meats stewed with black beans and served up with rice, garlicky sautéed

packets galore) and walls groaning with Americana munchies (cranberry juice, peanut butter and cookies). Stick with perennial favourites: guacamole, nachos and basic burritos (sold out on our visit) rather than fancy fare such as the vegetarian special of poorly heated carrot and cheese, peas, beans and coriander and a watery coconut sauce in a mushy spinach tortilla. For sweet tooths, there are brownies, a sugary pecan pie and ice cream. Help yourself to Mexican beer and Latino wine from the fridge. Low prices, friendly staff and the jumble-shop atmosphere encourage a young, friendly French-American crowd. Munchkin stools and tables skirt the walls and a communal breakfast bar with high chairs takes up centre space.

La Casa del Habano 169 bd Saint Germain, 6th ( Mº St-Germain-des-Prés. Open (restaurant) Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 7.30-11.15pm. Average €38. Prix fixe €22.87. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Throw the keys of your Porsche Carrera 912 or BMW Z3 roadster to one of the parking boys and step into a man’s world. After all, it takes a lot of puff to master a complex, 235mm-long, Monte Cristo A. If you need practise, the easy option is to join the cigar club which meets in a private room on the second floor. The elegant cedar-wood bar on the ground floor, open to everyone, serves racy rum-based cocktails such as the Cuba libre, rum Alexander, mojito and the Ernest Hemingway special; but if you prefer to keep your head while savouring a double Corona, stick to the excellent coffee. The most satisfying moment to light up, though, has to be after an excellent meal, which is why owner Louis-Gérard Biret offers a sleek, air-conditioned dining area beyond the bar. Meat is the big draw: our lush rumsteack d’Uruguay, too big for the plate, resembled a map of the country, while the superbly tender entrecôte poêlée suits less intrepid appetites. Side dishes of potatoes mashed with goose fat, fresh spinach and fat chips, along with a mellowing bottle of St-Emilion left us happily sated on the immaculate leather banquette.

Fajitas ★

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52 Time Out Paris Eating & Drinking

15 rue Dauphine, 6th ( Mº Odéon. Open Tue-Sun noon-11pm; Mon 7-11pm. Average €24. Prix fixe €18.50. Lunch menu €9 (Tue-Fri). Credit AmEx, MC, V. A Mexican/American husband-and-wife team run this colourful new restaurant in St Germain, but there is very little Tex in the Mex; slim, quietly spoken Amy who does the front of house is as far from a brash Texan as you could find. Miguel cooks deliciously fresh northern Mexican dishes with some southern specials among the starters. The ceviche – fish marinated in lime – with sauce caraïbe was no longer available when we ordered, but the cocktail de camerones recommended in its place almost made up for it with its tangy lime sauce and liberal sprinkling of fresh coriander over tiny, firm and tasty prawns. The guacamole got the thumbs-up for its homemade consistency and the addition of small tomato pieces. For mains we chose the signature fajitas with beef and chicken and a chicken burrito, both flavourful and pleasingly light. Miguel is a champion of the fajita’s untapped potential. In an effort to hook the French he has devised the mini-wrap – miniature fajita

Guide Annuelle.

pitcherful (€31.25), either. What we have here is a fun theme restaurant which uses surprisingly fresh ingredients in its plentiful offerings. Standard mains like burritos, tostadas, fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas, flautas and tacos are available (most €10.67), but more unusual fare includes a Mexican ceviche (salmon marinated in lime juice) and the vegetarian galetta, which takes the French-like crêpe further with tomato, cheese, cactus and spicy pico de gallo. Parilladas are grilled meats, and the tacos mole use unsweetened cocoa as the base of a dark sauce to accompany a tender chicken filling. Margarita pie or flan make fine finishers, if you haven’t already overdosed on Mexican wine or beer, not to mention that notyet-empty pitcher. Oh, on your way out, don’t forget to return your hat.

El Paladar 26bis rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th. ( M° République or Goncourt. Open Mon-Sat 8pm-2am. Average €27. Credit MC, V. Grafitti-covered pink and aqua walls and wooden tables set the tone at this four-year-old Cuban outpost (customers are encouraged to add their scribbles). Despite El Paladar being out of Cuban beer and mineral water (the host offered us ‘Château de Paris’ tap water as consolation), the outgoing staff was happy to explain the regularly-changing menu of Cuban food borrowing from the fried and stewed schools of cooking. Yuca con mojo, sautéed manioc with onions and garlic, proved oily but nonetheless delicious, and tostones, batter-fried plantains, were surprisingly light and crispy. Main dishes include pork, chicken, fish and an impressive load of veggies and eggs, the arroz a la cubana. We sampled pavo saltiado – stewed turkey and potatoes seasoned with bay leaves – and a pollo pio-pio, chicken fried in citrus. The pescado guisado fish struck the only false note with its oddly muddy sauce of tomatoes, garlic, onions, potatoes and peppers. Overall the dishes had substance and character. The flan maison, a stupendous sugar-soaked coconut custard, ended the meal on a high note.

Favela Chic ★

18 rue du Fbg-du-Temple, 11th ( Mº République. Open Mon-Sat 8pm-2am. Average €28. Credit MC, V. Wheelchair access. Holy chic, this place is popular. Hidden down an alley that’s home to an array of start-ups, this Brazilian cantina-cum-nightclub has hit a nerve judging by the crowds of people downing cocktails by the bar and feeding elbow-to-elbow on rows of wooden benches and tables. The shabby chic decor comprising bouquets of foliage and flowers, exposed heating/cooling ducts, industrial walls, distressed furniture (and clients to match) might have a throwntogether feel but no doubt careful planning is behind it. A tiled open kitchen means you can check out the cooking action and, like the music, it’s furious. We waited no time at all for caipiroskas (vodka with crushed limes) and tapas of fried manioc chips, cheese puffs and fish fritters with a creamy dip. Pasta de Itacaré, pasta with prawns and cherry tomatoes in a creamy coconut sauce, tasted fine despite an avalanche of parmesan. Liberdade de San Paolo, grilled smoked chicken with grilled mango, onion and ginger confit, puréed pumpkin and peanut rice, also worked well. A dense chocococo fondant finished us off. Though prices seem to have crept up, conversation is nigh impossible, and smoke gets in your eyes and food, the party shows no signs of flagging.

Taco Loco

Diffusion : 35.000 exemplaires Pagination : 132 pages quadri Format : 210mm x 273mm

Past perfect: the art nouveau Julien out. We found our fellow diners more interesting than our food, especially when the house brochettes géantes, gigantic grilled fish, meat and vegetable kebabs, arrived at the neighbouring table. We watched as the daring family tried to coax chunks of salmon onto their plates from the dangling spikes that hung from a central, circular rack like Damocles swords. A blackened Provençal tart with red mullet prompted the assumption that it was crispy and piping hot, when it was in fact ice cold and undercooked in the middle. An unremarkable choucroute and fillet steak with chips and sauce béarnaise followed. Insipid cabbage came studded with a small black pudding, a Montbéliard sausage, a pig’s trotter and a slice of smoked pork. The steak was properly cooked but the portion of chips was stingy. With no hint of tarragon in the Béarnaise, they might as well have brought mayonnaise. We left the hard, over-refrigerated chocolate fondant untouched, and gobbled up the ice cream and chocolate sauce of our profiteroles. Pastry is not one of La Taverne’s strong suits either.

46 Time Out Paris Eating & Drinking

Bon ★

Bon for your health

Vagenende 142 bd St-Germain, 6th ( Mº Odéon. Open daily 10am-2am. Average €35. Prix fixe €23. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Wheelchair access. Vagenende will always be popular for its ravishing belle époque interior and perfect position on the boulevard St-Germain. Fairly competitive pricing and the undeniable glamour of the interior mean that few visitors will be aggressively disappointed, but on our last visit the food never rose above the ordinary. A starter of prion-defying marrowbones served with coarse salt was excellent, but a plate of hot mussels and small scallops was lamely scattered rather than presented. Our main courses included a good piece of foie gras on an aligot base, a solid cheese and potato mound that wouldn’t have passed muster in the Auvergne, a rather tepid chateaubriand with indifferent frites, and a timidly spiced suckling pig, on the desert side of dry. Puddings included a reasonably classic rum baba and a cheesecake, advertised as ‘old fashioned’, but only the first word of this description seemed apt, despite an uplifting berry coulis. The vin du mois, a country red from the Cévennes, was very rough for its €17.98 price tag, and we felt foolish for having fallen for such a simple marketing ploy.

116, rue Amelot, 11th ( Mº Filles du Calvaire. Open Tue-Sat noon4pm, 7pm-midnight; Mon 7pm-midnight. Closed two weeks in Aug. Average €17. Credit MC, V. Wheelchair access. Because we know from long experience that finding tasty, authentic Mexican food in Paris is a challenge, we didn’t expect much. But neither did we expect to be so disappointed by Taco Loco. The guacamole and homemade tortilla chips were decent, but the tostados – crispy corn tortillas topped with a choice of beans, chicken or beef with lettuce, sour cream and tomato – were swimming in a pool of water. This defeated the purpose of the tostado,

D.A./Maq./Ill. : Richard Joy Phot. : Tom Craig, Ollie North, Karl Blackwell

which should be brought to the mouth by hand and explode in a thunderous crunch. The enchiladas verdes were nicely tangy but meagerly filled with boiled chicken. Slopped together on the plate and coated with shredded, packaged emmental, they demonstrated a singular lack of imagination, especially given that better substitutes for Mexican cheese are readily available in France. We fared no better with enchiladas mole. The complex Mexican mole sauce lacked depth and tasted strongly of vinegar. Both plates came with boiled rice, re-fried beans and salad. The house margarita had strong lemon overtones and not much tequila flavor, and the plastic bottle of mineral water served at a restaurant price did not impress. Taco Loco is not meant to be sophisti-

cated, but regrettably it shows scant respect for Mexico’s varied and delicious cuisine.

El Bodegon de Pancho 8 rue Guy-Môquet, 17th ( M° Brochant. Open Tue-Sun noon-2am. Closed 24 Dec-4 Jan. Average €12. Prix fixe €10.70. Credit MC, V. Half-bar, half-restaurant and a meeting place for the neighbourhood’s expanding Colombian population, this place fills early with gregarious young men and a few couples looking to speak Spanish, drink some beer, listen to salsa and ranchera music and play a few rounds of sapo, an impossibly difficult Andean game that involves trying to toss little metal discs into a bronze frog’s mouth. Without gourmet

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n e na ona F ench Cu s ne

On he Town


ndex & Maps



m m m M M M

m M m M


Paris Today

In Context

Paris Today

Marseille & Aix Introduction Marseille Cassis, the Calanques & La Ciotat Aix-en-Provence

A fuming Stéphanie Janicot relates a striking year in Paris: teachers held a strike. So did doctors. Then disaster struck.

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f ever there was an activity, my dear AngloSaxon chums, that requires the application of the old bulldog spirit, the blood, the sweat, the toil and – yes – the tears, it’s giving up smoking in Paris. Location, you see, is all. Last year, my own habit was curtailed (albeit temporarily) while I was on holiday in California. Now, there’s a land that’s devoid of temptation, a land where restaurants, hotels, and city-centre sidewalks can be braved without fear of a soul lighting up. At cocktail parties, luminaries chat charismatically while drinking tall lemonades. For this particular Parisienne, the novelty value of it all was dazzling enough to fill me with hope for a better, cleaner and, mayhap (as I know you Anglophones never say), less wheezy future. One week back in Paris put paid to that, and my hopes for a better life dissolved into whimsy. But, after re-girding my loins, I have decided that this year, even without California, I’m going for it. I’m plunging head-first into terra incognita: I’m quitting smoking in Paris.


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Features Don’t miss Marseille & Aix Read my lips: Marseille-speak Calanques walk Luminy to Sugiton Student Aix

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Maps Marseille & Aix Marseille Aix-en-Provence

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In the middle of the rentrée littéraire, no less. ‘The literary what?’ you cry, but fear not: I’ll introduce this strange and unfamiliar concept to your virginal Anglo minds. Dig this: in France, two-thirds of all the year’s novels are released in one fell-swoop at the end of August. The crazy thing about this is that the time of the year we French literary types get our knickers most in a twist is September, the time when fewest books are sold in France. Call it charmingly French, or, more accurately, charmingly Parisian, because in the rest of France normal people spend September rushing down to their local supermarket to buy their children’s schoolbooks. But I digress. So, for two weeks in the autumn of 2003, despite the rentrée littéraire (for which I am one of a mere 691 competitors in the 2003 literary market), I had the brilliant idea to quit smoking in Paris. In September the weather’s still summery and the Paris streets are a fire walk of temptation. I shouldn’t really go out, I told

In Context

myself. Terraces heaved with chic caffeinequaffers, taking long drags from their Marlboros. I walked on by. I couldn’t even look. At every bus stop, some hedonist who was fed up with waiting for his number 63 lit up and emitted an orgasmic sigh. Pervert. Sicko. As for setting foot inside a restaurant, forget about it. Once upon a time there was a law in France, and it was called the ‘Loi Evin’ after the genius who invented it. The theory – and stop me if I’m going too fast here – was to create smoking and non-smoking areas in public places. The result, in all Parisian restaurants, was this: smokers on the right, non-smokers on the left, and a 70cm gap (max) separating them. The only thing that could save non-smokers from an orgy of passive inhalation was major nasal congestion. File ‘Evin’ under ‘which planet, exactly?’ As I say, I should really put myself under house arrest. In the streets here, people light up insouciantly, take one puff, toss the cigarette onto the pavement, then light up again. You can follow some people by their trail of cigarette ends. As unsavoury as that might be, it still makes me crave a drag. Each passing moment is a struggle against the urge to dabble. My sufferings have brought forth this observation (that never once crossed my mind in 15 years of heavy-duty smoking): Paris is but an enormous ashtray. It is also a faecal battleground… I remember my childhood neighbourhood (the 6th arrondissement), where the streets were infested with dog excrement. They were even dirtier than they are today: it was before Jacques Chirac had, as Mayor of Paris, brought us the motocrotte, the scooterised shitmobile, astride which butch chaps sucked dog droppings through enlarged vacuum nozzles. The poops were stored in a container for disposal God-knows-where. The suburbs, I’d say. (Bear in mind that, for the Parisian, the mere word ‘banlieue’ evokes images of a mysterious, far-away land: think Central Asian Steppe or downtown Nuneaton.) The result today is that sanitary workers, buffed up and bitchin’ thanks to new laws imposing fines on owners of unruly, unlawful or incontinent canines, have relieved us pedestrians, to an extent, of this particular abomination. But the behavioural cycle has continued: dog droppings were replaced by fag ends. It’s as if Parisians are genetically programmed to leave trash behind. In 2003, this attitude assumed an exponential seriousness that has plunged insanitary Parisian cliché into unpalatable Parisian disgrace. OK, dog crap can be avoided via the dainty and judicious step; fag ends pose little risk once extinguished. But our elderly population… the entire world watched in horror. Witness an e-mail from an American friend: ‘We heard about

Tainted love If you want a handle on how Franco-US relations broke down so dramatically over Iraq in 2003, think A Streetcar Named Desire. America is the virile, brutish Stanley Kowalski; France is deluded, fading beauty, Blanche. The wrath Stanley turns against her at the end of the play is, in real-world terms, George W. Bush’s threat not to invite Chirac to his ranch. Things did get bitchy. Renaming French fries ‘freedom fries’ and blaming axes of weasels was the least of it: France’s ambassador to Washington complained to the White House about an alleged smear campaign. French spectators were booing American cyclists in the Tour de France. And then there was Miami’s now-famous Ken Wagner, who was televised pouring bottles of French wine into the gutter. Something was certainly keeping US visitors away from Paris. Ready for some stats? Over the past decade, Americans have made up 20% of the city’s foreign visitors; in 2003, their numbers fell by 30%, which is very bad news for a country where tourism makes up 12% of the GDP. Needing, as ever, to appeal to the kindness of étrangers and their dollars, Mademoiselle DuBois is offering Stanley the same olive branch she was flapping around so wantonly when things got steamy over Iraq. The French Tourist Office has launched the ‘Let’s Fall In Love Again’ initiative, the flower of which is the video of the same name, featuring Woody Allen, Wynton Marsalis, the late George Plimpton and others rhapsodising over the charms of America’s oldest ally. The angle of this video seems to be one of ‘let’s forgive France’. Will Blanche’s videogram be enough to rekindle Kowalski’s fervour, especially with Tony ‘Stella’ Blair fussing about in the background drawing up guest lists for ranch barbecues? Only the tourist profile for 2004 will tell us, but let’s hope that, in the intervening months, the French Tourist Office is steeped in a profound enough depth of culture to be able to seek comfort in the poetry of Tammy Wynette, poetry that explains how to survive bad times when your man’s having good times, doing things that you just don’t understand. Like invading Iraq.

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Time Out Paris 2 7

Time Out

Penguin Guides

In Context History The South Today Provençal Food Provençal Wine The Creative South The Festive South

Features Enguerrand Quarton and the Provençal Primitives August 1944: Provence liberated Key events Fire! A cook’s tour of Provence Provençal menu lexicon Bathers and odalisques

Directeur Artistique 1997 - 2009 Guide Annuel.

The Islands

The Islands

Avignon & the Vaucluse 78 81 96 101 109 114

Features Don’t miss Avignon & the Vaucluse Avignon Festival RIP? Bike ride The Mont Ventoux challenge Digging for diamonds Going for old

André Malraux, borrowing from Freud no Ile de la Cité doubt, summed up its appeal – ‘the sight of its triangular formation with slightly curved lines, In the 1st and 4th arrondissements. and of the slit which bisects its two wooded Paris began life on the Ile de la Cité around 250 BC when the Parisii, a tribe of Celtic Gauls, spaces. It is, without doubt, the vagina of Paris’. One wonders if he should have got out a little moved into the neighbourhood (see chapter more, perhaps. History). It went on to be a centre of political and religious power right into the Middle Ages. When Victor Hugo wrote Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831, the Ile de la Cité was still a bustling quarter of narrow medieval streets and tall houses: ‘the head, heart and very marrow of Paris’. In that case, then, Baron Haussmann performed a marrow transplant when he supervised the expulsion of 25,000 people from the island, razing tenements and some 20 churches. The lines of the old streets are traced into the parvis in front of Notre-Dame. The people resettled to the east, leaving behind a few large, official buildings – the law courts, Conciergerie, Hôtel-Dieu hospital, the police headquarters the cathedral of Notre-Dame. The capital’s oldest love story unfolded at 9 quai aux Fleurs, where Héloïse lived with her ballbreaking uncle Canon Fulbert, who had her lover Abélard castrated. A medieval feel persists in the few streets untouched by Haussmann northeast of the cathedral, such as rue Chanoinesse and the rue des Chantres. The most charming spot, though, is the western tip, where the Pont-Neuf spans the Seine. Despite its name, it is in fact the oldest remaining bridge in Paris, begun under the reign of Catherine de Médicis and Henri III in 1578 and taking 30 years in all to complete. Down the steps is a leafy triangular garden, the square du Vert-Galant, a perfect spot for summer picnics. Alternatively, take to the water on the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf moored just on the quai (see p75). In the centre of the bridge is an equestrian statue of Henri IV, erected in 1635, destroyed in the Revolution and replaced in 1818 (indecisive, nous?). On the island side of the bridge, the secluded place Dauphine, home to restaurants, wine bars and the ramshackle Hôtel Henri IV, was built in 1607. It was commissioned by Henri IV, who named it in honour of his son, the dauphin Louis, the future King Louis XIII. The red brick and stone houses look out on both quais and square, whose third, eastern side was demolished in the 1870s.

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The Right Bank The Marais

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The primary colours and exposed pipes and air ducts make this one of the most recognisable buildings in Paris. Commissioned in 1968, the centre is the work of the Italo-British duo Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. Their ‘inside-out’, boilerhouse approach put air-conditioning and lifts outside, leaving a freely adaptable space within. When the centre opened in 1977, its success exceeded all expectations. After a two-year revamp the centre reopened in January 2000 with an enlarged museum, renewed performance spaces, vista-rich Georges restaurant and a mission to get back to the stimulating interdisciplinary mix of old (see chapter Museums).

Hôtel de Ville

The impressive multi-purpose Hôtel de Ville is administrative centre, a place to entertain visiting dignitaries and, outside on the forecourt, a people’s palace where events such as the World Cup are projected on a big screen and concert, exhibitions and trade fairs held. Small exhibitions are held in the Salon d’accueil, the rest of the building accessible only by guided tour. Mayor Delanoë himself prefers to live in a dinky, bijou pad in the Marais rather than the lofty apartment here.


Tour St-Jacques pl du Châtelet, 4th. Mº Châtelet. Map p406 J6.

INFO AND GETTING HOME The best way to know what’s going on is through flyers, prime flyer spots being Le Shop, Hokus Pokus and Techno Import – scans them into a day-today agenda. Other useful web sites are, house and for house and techno events. Radio FG 96.2FM and Radio Nova 101.5 FM give regular listings. Getting home between the last (around 12.45am) and first Métro (5.45am) is difficult. Get a taxi.

Posh & posey Le Cab 2 pl du Palais Royal, 1st (01.58.62 .56 .25). Mº Palais-Royal. Open 11.30pm-5am Wed-Sat. Admission free Wed; 15 Thur; Fri; 20 Sat. Drinks 1 3 - 2 0 . Credit AmEx, MC, V. Map p406 H5.

The Marais

La Suite

The Marais, a bewitching area whose narrow streets are dotted with aristocratic hôtels particuliers, art galleries, fashion boutiques and stylish cafés, lies east of Roman rue St-Martin and rue du Renard. Window shop, but take the time to look up at the beautiful carved doorways and the early street signs carved into the stone. The Marais, or ‘marsh’, started life as piece of swampy ground inhabited by a few monasteries, sheep and market gardens. In the 16th century the elegant Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Lamoignon exemplified the area’s phenomenal rise as an aristocratic residential district (see p99 Merry Marais mansions); Henri IV began constructing the place des Vosges in 1605. Nobles followed, building smart townhouses where famous literary ladies such as Mme de Sévigné and Mlle de Scudéry and influential courtesan Ninon de l’Enclos held court. The area fell from fashion a century

40 av George V, 8th (01 53 57 49 49). Mº George V. Open 8pm-4am Tue-Sat (often closed for private parties). Admission free. Drinks 2 0 . Credit AmEx, MC, V. Map p400 D4.

Cathy and David Guetta, who made their name with Les Bains, have launched this new venture with a dance floor and lounge area attracting unusually tall women with smaller-than-average men.

Nirvana 3 av Matignon, 8th ( 91). Mº Franklin D Roosevelt. Open 8am-4am daily. Admission free. Drinks 1 2 - 1 6 . Credit AmEx, MC, V. Map p401 E4.

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Opened by Buddha Bar disc compiler Claude Challe, Nirvana has a vague eastern theme with the music varying from lounge to up-front house. Sunday’s Sunny Day attracts breakdancers who perform to a slightly wary-looking crowd.

Le VIP 78 av des Champs-Elysées, 8th ( Mº George V. Open Tue-Sun midnight-5am. Admission free. Drinks 2 0 . Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Map p400 D4.

Run by personality Jean Roch, this club has become the place for launch parties and celebrity birthdays. The atmosphere resembles a family party straight out of The Sopranos – which is meant, of course, in the most complimentary sense.

The Cabaret has now not only been shortened to ‘Cab’ but has had an interior face-lift by young Le Hammam Franco-Japanese designer Ora Ito, making it look 94 rue d’Amsterdam, 9th ( Mº Place remarkably like the Milk Bar in Kubrick’s Clockwork de Clichy. Open 11.30pm-5am daily. Admission Orange. Sadly, the music remains rather dated with 16 Mon-Thur; 20 Sat, Sun. Drinks 1 3 . Credit MC, V. Map p401 G2. 80s revival nights, R’n’B and commercial house. This Arabian-Nights-inspired venue has a restaurant serving lavish North African cuisine . The Les Bains music volleys between the latest R’n’B and raï, 7 rue du Bourg-l’Abbé, 3rd ( attracting the gilded youth of second and third-genMº Etienne-Marcel. Open 11pm-5am Mon-Sat. eration North Africans, young film stars, fashion Admission 1 6 - 2 0 . Drinks 1 4 . Credit AmEx, designers and TV personalities. MC, V. Map p402 J5.

Where to Stay You don’t want to blow your budget on your billet but you don’t want to hang your hat in a hovel. Stay cool: Paris offers choice and this chapter offers expertise.

Where to Stay

Arts & Entertainment

crowd. For a wider appreciation of your moonwalking grooves (don’t foget to pack your white socks), head to lively Bar Three (3 rue de l’Ancienne-Comédie, 6th/ M° Odéon. Open 9pm-4am, Wed-Sun. Free€2) a few streets away. It is very popular, pulling in international students with €5 pints and cocktails at €6 during happy hour (9pm2am Wed-Thur; 9pm-midnight Fri-Sun). There is always a chance you may fancy your hand at le rock français. If so, get down to the Slow-Club (130 rue de Rivoli, 1st/ M° Châtelet. Open 10pm4am Tue-Sat) for swing, be-bop and rock’n’ roll following the club’s live jazz concerts. The dancefloor talent ranges from 20- to 70year-olds. On the other side of the river is intimate hot-spot Le Club Zed (2 rue des Anglais, 5th/ M° Maubert Mutualité. Open 11pm-5am Thur-Sat. €8€16), which has been rockin’ and rollin’ since 1973. Pictures of Elvis, Brigitte Bardot and Liza Minnelli adorn the walls above the gold glittery tables. Tap your tootsies to happy house, funk, disco, R ‘n’ B and hip-hop at Le Réservoir (16 rue de la Forge Royale, 11th/ M° Faidherbe Chaligny. Open 8pm-2am TuesFri; till 4am Sat. Free-€15), a restaurant which stages weekend concerts before turning into a club. Its friendly vibe and distressed decor are typical of the 11th arrondissement. Next door is Le Casbah (18-20 rue de la Forge Royale, 11th/ M° Faidherbe Chaligny. Open 8pm-2am Tue,Wed; Thur-Sat 8pm-5am. €16), a charming Moroccan restaurant with a club downstairs. Amid mosaic walls and lattice partitions, weave away to funky world music.

Much-loved by the Surrealists, this solitary Flamboyant Gothic bell-tower is the remains of the St-Jacques-La-Boucherie church, built for the powerful Butchers’ Guild in 1523. The statue of Pascal at the base recalls his experiments on atmospheric pressure carried out here in the 17th century. A weather station now crowns the 52-metre-high tower, which can only be admired from outside.

This club has lost its credibility with Paris trendsetters, although it still remains the place for star spotting and model spotting, especially during the Wednesday night Supafly.

Arts & Entertainment

Those among you who think that Paris has such a monopoly of cool that you dare not approach a dancefloor without possessing iron-clad cred on the latest clubbing trends could not be more misguided. Do you ever dream of redonning your hen-night glad rags or your illfitting Travolta suit and shaking your booty like you just don’t care, like you could in fact be the mayor of Funky Town? Everyone knows the best nights are often had when it’s not all about toned calves, hair extensions and syncopated head nodding. Well, you can – shock – have a laugh in Paris. Of course you can, here’s our selection of where to go if you just wanna kick back and push pineapple. A big hit with 30-something crazies is the Thursday night soirée Seven 2 One (161 rue Montmartre, 2nd/ M° Grands Boulevards. 7pm-1am. €8). Based on the concept of ‘le after-work’ (Translation: early-bird special) it has a buzzing atmosphere as young professionals do a bit of crotch-thrusting on the dancefloor before getting the last Métro home. Weaving the old smart-casual magic, Le Globo (8 bd de Strasbourg, 10th/ 01.42.41 55.70. M° Strasbourg St Denis. 11pm-dawn Fri only. €15) knows red velvet curtains are a winner. The dancefloor fills with Friday-night revellers as DJ Philippe Roux mixes house, garage and 80s. At Le Saint (7 rue St-Séverin, 5th/ M° StMichel. Open 11.30pm-dawn Tue-Sat; €15) you can shimmy your blue suedes to hip-hop, house, disco and funk. Jig and giggle at the New Riverside (7 rue Grégoire de Tours, 6th/ M° Odéon. Free for women Mon-Thur and before midnight Fri, Sat. Fellas €12 weekdays, €15 Fri, Sat), where 90s and contemporary hits please a youngish

6) If you’re a model walk right in; if not, find one. 7) Look confident as you enter. 8) Order a bottle of spirits at the door of any posey club; this can mean free entrance, VIP treatment and your own table. Though prices are astronomical it works out the same as a couple of rounds of drinks if you are in a group. 9) Find out the phsyionomiste (door person)’s first name and kiss them hello as you walk in. 10) As you leave say ta-ta and thank you to the bouncers and ‘physio’: they’ll be so surprisied, they might remember who you are next time.

The place you choose to establish as base camp as you explore Paris is, of course, one of the most vital decisions you’ll make as you plan your trip. Skipping around such a beautiful city only to return to a dump resembling a bus shelter can take the edge off one’s joie. One thing you can be sure of is that you’ll be spoilt for choice in Paris, where the accommodation possibilities span the palatial to the, er, functional in that bus-shelter style. There is an official star rating system that operates here. It’s meant to sort out the châteaux from the shit-holes, but we haven’t used it in this guide. The star ratings usually reflect room size and mere presence of a lift, rather than decor, staff or atmosphere, so we do not think that this system is of any great practical value when making your choice. Instead we have divided the hotels into four categories, roughly representing the following price ranges for one night in a double room with shower/bath facilities: Deluxe €300+; Expensive €200-€300; Moderate €100-€200; Budget up to €100. All hotels are assumed to have amenities such as TV in the rooms and lifts and safes within the hotel, though there are some exceptions. All our deluxe hotels offer air conditioning, double glazed windows, bar(s), and restaurant(s) and can arrange baby-sitting; in-room services include modem link, room service plus other extras depending on the hotel. Expensive hotels offer a similar standard of amenities and services. The moderate hotels should have inroom phone and modem link and at the budget hotels you can normally be assured of a TV and in-room phone. Any additional services are listed below each review. Please note that all hotels in France charge an additional room tax (taxe de séjour) of around €1 per person. Hotels are often booked solid during the major trade fairs and it’s difficult to find a quality place to lay your head during fashion weeks (January and early July for couture, March and October for prêt-a-porter). However, in quieter times, including July and August, hotels often offer reasonable special price deals at short notice; phone ahead to find out. Same-day reservations can be made in person (for a small fee) at the Office de Tourisme de Paris (see chapter Directory). 4 4 Time Out Paris

2 9 4 Time Out Paris

Time Out Paris 2 9 5

later; happily, many of the narrow streets were essentially unchanged as mansions were transformed into industrial workshops, schools and tenements. A traditional home to minorities, it’s a place where you’ll see Orthodox Jews shooting the breeze alongside out-and-about gay guys; this is no kind of ghetto; it’s mixed, it’s cool, and, to many, represents Paris at its best. The rue des Francs-Bourgeois, crammed with elegant mansions and unique boutiques, runs right through the Marais, and the tearoom Les Enfants Gâtés (‘spoiled children’) sums up its disposition. Culture buffs seek out two of Paris’ most refined early 18th-century residences: Hôtel d’Albret (No 31) which is the venue for jazz concerts during the Paris quartier d’été festival (see chapter Festivals & Events) and Hôtel de Soubise (No 60), the national archives, where interiors by Boucher and Lemoine can be seen as part of the Musée de l’Histoire de France (see chapter Museums). On the corner of the rue des Francs-Bourgeois and rue Pavée is the austere renaissance Hôtel Lamoignon. Built in 1585 for Diane de France, Henri II’s illegitimate daughter, it now houses the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris (see chapter Directory). The stunning place des Vosges occupies the eastern end of the street. At one corner is the Maison de Victor Hugo (see chapter Museums) and just over the square is the luxuriously pricey Ambroisie restaurant. An archway in the southwest corner leads to the genteel Hôtel de Sully, home to the Patrimoine Photographique since 1994 (see chapter Museums). Workaday rue du Temple, once the road leading to the Templars’ church, is full of surprises. Near rue de Rivoli, the Latina (see chapter Film) specialises in Latin American films and holds tango bals in the room above. At No 41 an archway leads into the former Aigle d’Or coaching inn, now the Café de la Gare café-théâtre, Le Studio Tex-Mex and dance studios. Further north, the Hôtel de St-Aignan at No 71 contains the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (see chapter Museums). The district’s two most important museums are also in sumptuous hôtels. The Musée Carnavalet, dedicated to the history of Paris, runs across the Hôtel Carnavalet, once home to famous letter-writer Mme de Sévigné, and the later Hôtel le Peletier de St-Fargeau. The Hôtel Salé on rue de Thorigny, built in 1656 and nicknamed after its salt tax collector owner, has been finely restored and extended to house the Musée National Picasso.

The Islands Expensive Hôtel du Jeu de Paume 54 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 4th ( fax Mº Pont Marie. Rates single €157-€215; double €215-€285; suite €465; breakfast €14. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V. Map p406 K7.

Set back through a tiny courtyard, this charming hotel boasts original 17th-century beams. It is now filled with a tastefully slung-together array of modern and classical art. The unique timbered breakfast room was once a real tennis court, built under the orders of Louis XIII. Rooms are simple and tasteful with Pierre Frey fabric walls. Hotel services Baby-sitting. Bar. Billiards. Conference services. Fitness room. Internet. Laundry. Sauna.

Moderate Hôtel des Deux-Iles 59 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 4th ( Mº Pont Marie. Rates single €133; double €150; breakfast €10. Credit AmEx, MC, V. Map p406 K7.

This peaceful 17th-century townhouse offers 17 rooms done out in a faintly colonial style. Accessible through the lobby, the tiny courtyard at the centre is more of a quaint feature than any kind of facility with a practical usage (but what are you going to do? Practise your juggling?) The very pleasant Hôtel Lutèce up the road at No 65 ( is under the same management. Hotel services Air con. Baby-sitting. Laundry. Room services Double glazing. Modem link. Radio.

Hôtel St Louis 75 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 4th ( Mº Pont Marie. Rates single €130; double €145-€210; breakfast €9. Credit MC, V. Map p406 K7.

The 1970s tiled floor and mish-mash of furniture in the lobby of this hotel contrast with the exposed stone walls and wooden beams, and make a drunken return after a night’s fun quite a sensory/balance challenge. Rooms are simple and bathrooms clean. But the only really special features here are the two suites on the top floor, which offer great views, and some nice-sized rooms. Hotel services Air con. Room services Double glazing. Modem link..

Hôtel Costes. See p47.


Salon d’accueil 2 rue de Rivoli, 4th ( Mº Hôtel de Ville. Open 10am-7pm Mon-Sat; 2-7pm Sun. Free guided tour once a week. Map p406 K6.

Ain’t no doubt, we are here to party

columns, is nestled amid the nearby law courts. Surrounding the chapel, the Palais de Justice evolved alongside the Conciergerie. After passing through security, visit the Salle des Pas Perdus, busy with plaintiffs and barristers, and sit in on cases in the civil and criminal courts. The Palais is still the centre of the French legal system, although it has long been rumoured that the law courts will be moved out to the 13th or 15th arrondissement. Caged birds are on sale on Sundays at the Marché aux Fleurs behind the tribunal du Commerce at place Louis Lepine. During the rest of the week it’s a flower market. The legal theme continues to the south with the

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78 90 104 113 112

Maps Avignon & the Vaucluse Avignon

The towers of the Conciergerie dominate the island’s north bank. Along with the Palais de Justice, it was originally part of the Palais de la Cité, residential and administration complex of the Capetian kings. It occupies the site of an earlier Merovingian fortress and, before that, the Roman governor’s house. Etienne Marcel’s uprising prompted Charles V to move the royal retinue to the Louvre in 1358, and the Conciergerie was assigned a more sinister role as a prison where hapless souls awaited execution. The interior is worth a visit with its prison cells and Gothic vaulted halls. Sainte-Chapelle, Pierre de Montreuil’s masterpiece of stained glass and slender Gothic



Quasimodo was île suited; so too, Baudelaire. Even Marie-Antoinette made a pre-chop pitstop. So why not join them in the medieval heart of Paris?

Introduction Avignon Orange & Châteauneuf-du-Pape Carpentras & Mont Ventoux The Drôme Provençale The Luberon

6 16 19 27 30 34

9 10 14 18 22 24 31

Eurostar Londres Directeur Artistique 1999 - 2002

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Un million de guides en français pour


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Metropolitenhügel★ ● > B1 Dealul Mitropoliei.

Vom Stadtzentrum zum Bellu-Friedhof Helena und Konstantin) und am 27. Oktober (Hl. Dimitrie der Neue aus Bessarabien, dessen Reliquien hier aufbewahrt werden) finden beeindruckende Festlichkeiten statt.



Ion Mincu und der rumänische Stil Mitte des 19. Jh.s studierten die meisten rumänischen Künstler in Frankreich oder Deutschland. Gleichzeitig erwachte das Nationalgefühl, das durch die Bildung des rumänischen Staates konkretisiert wurde. In der Kunst standen die Werte des rumänischen Volkes im Vordergrund. Viele Architekten wie Ion Mincu versuchten, die rumänischen Traditionen mit ihren in Europa gesammelten Ideen in Einklang zu bringen. Nach seinem Studium in Frankreich entwickelte Ion Mincu in Bukarest einen modernen Stil, der in vielen Aspekten der traditionellen Baukunst verbunden blieb. Obwohl sein Werk zuerst von klassischem Akademismus geprägt war, wandte er sich jedoch mit der Zeit immer stärker der walachischen Architektur und dem Stil Brâncoveanus (S. 102) zu. Kielbögen und mit Säulen gestützte Vorbauten zeugen von dieser Vorliebe. Ion Mincu hatte eine starke Neigung zur Übertreibung, dennoch ist das Ergebnis originell. Bukarest verdankt ihm einige sehr interessante Bauwerke wie das Casa Lahovary (str. Ion Movila 5-7) und das herrliche Bufet Kişeleff, heute Casa Doina (şos. Kişeleff 4). Er war auch in der Calea Victoriei tätig – Casa Monteoru (Nr. 115, S. 68) und Casa Lenş-Vernescu (Nr. 133, S. 68) – und im Bellu-Friedhof. Seine Schüler (Petre Antonescu, Nicolae Ghika-Budesti und Cristofi Cerchez) schmückten die Stadt mit Bauten im rumänischen Stil. ●

Von der Patriar● chenkirche zum Bellu-Friedhof★ Wenn Sie gern zu Fuß gehen, kommen Sie in knapp einer Stunde vom Metropolitenhügel durch den Park Carol I. zum wohl beeindruckendsten Bukarester Friedhof. ● AB2/3 Park Carol I . ★ (parcul Carol I). Immer geöffnet, Eintritt frei. Die Str. Patriarhiei verläuft an der Südwestseite des Hügel hinunter. An der Ecke zum Bd. Regina Maria biegen Sie rechts in die Str. 11 Iunie ein, die zum Park Carol I. führt, eine der angenehmsten Grünanlagen der Hauptstadt. Durchqueren Sie den Park von Norden nach Süden. Der Ausgang befindet sich in der Calea Şerban Vodă. ● B3 ♥ Bellu-Friedhof★★ (cimitirul Bellu). U-Bahn Eroii Revoluţiei (M2). Mo-So 8.00-18.00 Uhr, Eintritt frei. Besichtigung: ca. 1 Std. Überqueren Sie nun die Calea Şerban Vodă und gehen Sie weiter in Richtung Süden, bis Sie zum Piaţa Eroii

Revoluţiei gelangen, wo sich der Eingang zum Friedhof befindet. Der Friedhof wurde 1858 angelegt und erfreute sich bei der Bukarester Gesellschaft bald großer Beliebtheit. Lassen Sie sich von den originellen Ideen und der exotischen Grabarchitektur überraschen. Die besten Künstler wirkten an den kolossalen Mausoleen, bewegenden Grabsteinen und humorvollen Andenken

mit. Ein Architekt sticht hervor: Ion Mincu (Kasten oben), der besonders ideenreiche Gruften gestaltete wie die der Familien Gheorghieff, Lahovary und Stătescu sowie ein schreckenerregendes Krematorium. Er selbst ist ebenfalls hier bestattet. Der malerische Friedhof wurde in den letzten Jahren leider von Vandalen heimgesucht. Wertvolle Plastiken sind spurlos verschwunden. ●

© Pierre Soissons

Der Name des Hügels hat sich nicht geändert, obwohl das rumänische Patriarchat ¯ 1925 mit der walachischen Metropole ¯ (die noch immer existiert) zusammengelegt wurde. Am besten gehen Sie den Metropolitenhügel, der der Bauwut des rumänischen Diktators entgangen ist, vom Piaţa Unirii aus an. Im Südwesten führt eine Allee zu einer ausgewogenen Gebäudegruppe und zum Turm der Patriarchenkirche, einem Überbleibsel der Einfriedung. ● B2 Biserica Patriarhiei ★ . Str. Mitropoliei 1. Mo-So 8.00-18.00Uhr, Eintritt frei. Besichtigung: ca. 15 Min. Die Kirche wurde von Constantin Şerban Basarab, dem walachischen Woiwoden ¯ gestiftet und von 1656 bis 1658 erbaut. Sie wurde 1668 Metropolitankirche und 1925 Patriarchenkirche. Innen herrscht eine angenehme byzantinische Stimmung, die den Gottesdiensten des Patriarchen eine besondere Tiefe verleiht. Doch erinnert nicht nur das Ambiente an Konstantinopel. Die Kirche selbst ist Helena und Konstantin geweiht. Scharen von Gläubigen nehmen an der Ostermesse teil. Um Mitternacht gehen sie mit brennenden Kerzen dreimal um die Kirche. Auch am 21. Mai (Sankt

Directeur Artistique Freelance 2003 - 2008


Nur das Pentagon in Washington soll noch größer sein als das Bukarester Parlament.

In brief... ● Position: South-east Europe, north of the Balkans. ● Neighbouring

countries: Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldava. zone: GMT + 2 in summer, GMT + 3 in winter. ● Surface area: 238,391 km2 ● Climate: continental (hot summers, cold winters). ● Capital: Bucharest, population 2,016,131. ● Language: the official language is Romanian. ● Currency: the leu (‘lion’); plural, lei. ● Religion: 86.8 % Orthodox; 5.1 % Catholic; 1 % Uniate; 3.5 % Protestant. ● ● Time

Guide Roumanie versions Anglais & Allemand. Diffusion : 60,000 exemplaires Pagination : 512 pages quadri Format : 135mm x 210mm Maq./Ill. : Richard Joy Majestic nature

The land is split into three roughly equal parts: mountainous regions, rolling foothills, and lowland plains. These three geographically distinct regions in fact form a series of concentric circles. In the centre lie the rolling hills of the Transylvanian Previous page: on the foothills of the Carpathians, some families have been farming the vast pastures for centuries. Above: village huts basking in the sun on the cheerful slopes of the Apuseni Mountains.

With such an amazing variety of landscapes, an ancient rural tradition of hospitality, and

numerous places to stay, Romania is ideal for hikers. But to explore the country in depth, you will need a guide. Hiking trails are only signposted in the

mountains near larger towns. Elsewhere, signposts may be unreliable or even absent altogether. Maps are rarely very detailed. Although better maps are beginning to appear on the market, they can be hard to get hold of. Finding your way around alone can be hard going, but well-trained guides can be easily be hired, even in the more inaccessible regions, which are often the most interesting. Some little-known mountains and ranges to tackle might include Apuseni, Mehedinti, Maramureş, Bucovina, Bârgaeu, Neamţ and Ceahlău or Vrancea (see regional address books and p. 307) . ●

© Pierre Soissons © Pierre Soissons

© Bernard Houliat

Saxon house

In Bucovina

© Pierre Soissons

Although traditional rural architecture is a major tourist draw in Romania, there are no laws in place to protect it. Traditional homes are still plentiful in more isolated regions such Moldavia, Maramureş, parts of Oltenia and the Apuseni Mountains, the far reaches of the Danube delta, and Bucovina. Unfortunately, there is nothing to prevent you from buying a house in Maramureş or Bucovina, dismantling it, and rebuilding it as a charming little chalet in your own garden.

Saxon towns

A number of open-air museums in various parts of the country now offer exhibitions of traditional housebuilding styles. The bestknown of these is the Bucharest village museum (p. 80), but there are similar exhibitions close to Sibiu (p. 157), Sighetu Marmaţiei (p. 202), Curtişoara (p. 104), and Cluj-Napoca (p. 190).

The walls are made of stone or brick and given a lime wash in delicate pastel colours, while brightly coloured window frames add a fresh touch. The gables are often ornamented with stuccowork motifs, while the roofs are covered in rows of flat tiles. The beds, benches and wardrobes will often be decorated with beautifully intricate floral motifs (p. 50).



Characterised by the ingenious use of space and impressively sophisticated architecture, the traditional Maramureş home is made of round or square beams piled horizontally and dovetailed on the outside. The door and window frames are decorated with plant motifs. The main building material is wood, of which there are abundant local supplies.

Here you will see limewashed houses, with white walls enhanced by brightly coloured doorways and windows, which are often also elaborately carved.

Moldavian houses

© Pierre Soissons

Forestry remains a vital, but sadly overexploited, resource. Agriculture has yet to reach its full potential despite recent progress. Lush and fertile, the farmlands of Wallachia and the Banat are among the richest in Europe. ●

Traditional homes

© Bernard Houliat

The country is the world’s 15th largest gas producer and the 11th biggest producer of lignite. Industry centres on specialised sectors such as metallurgy, mechanical construction, and petrochemicals.

Mountains: the snowy peaks of the Carpathians

More than half of the Carpathian mountain range (p. 91) belongs to Romania. The range stretches from beyond the northern border in the Maramureş region, crossing the lands of Bucovina. The range then turns sharply to the south. The part of the chain to the north of Bucharest is known as the Moldavian Carpathians. There, the chain curves to the west and its peaks con-

Oltenian house

Apuseni farm buildings

Saxon facade © Pierre Soissons

A backpacker’s paradise

Gateway to a farm in Maramureş

Bucovina The majestic houses with roofs with four sloping sides are still common. In Bucovina, even the most mundane homes show a flair for decoration. The striking use of colour, the superbly detailed wood carvings, and the widespread use of traditional motifs show that local folk customs are still well respected.

Apuseni Mountains Here you will find some of the most basic and plain homes in the whole country. Their high thatched roofs bring to mind the astrakhan caps worn by their owners.

Danube Delta

In Maramureş

Homes in the delta are made of earth with reed roofs. Their ornamentation is very basic, with just the doors and windows being painted blue. ●

© Pierre Soissons

Geography: the rule of three

plateau. The mountainous peaks of the Carpathians ring the plateau, flanked on one side by the Moldavian and Wallachian foothills. The plains of the Banat and Crişana stretch to the horizon in the west, while the vast expanses of Wallachia and Dobrogea are the gateway to the Balkans and Asia.

A generous land Romania is extremely rich in natural resources. It is the second largest producer of oil in Europe, although its reserves are limited. It also has vast amounts of non-ferrous minerals, including rare and precious resources such as silver, lead, and gold. These metals have been mines since Dacian and Roman times.

© Bernard Houliat

he Carpathians and the Danube have shaped the geography and history of Romania, crowning and carving the landscape. The country boasts a wealth of landscapes home to species now extinct in the rest of Europe, dotted with charming villages where time has stood still for centuries.



© Pierre Soissons

© Bernard Houliat

A natural amphitheatre of hills

Transylvania is a smiling land of gently sloping valleys. Protected by the sheltering Carpathian ramparts, the region has played a key role in forging Romania’s historical and cultural identity and has also left its mark on traditional Magyar mythology and German folk culture. Also known as Ţara românească (the Romanian county), Wallachia is the name of the land that lies between Muntenia in the east and Oltenia in the west. The Carpathian foothills are a tangle of aromatic valleys dotted with meadows, orchards,


© Bernard Houliat

Majestic nature


© Pierre Soissons

tinue to climb. The highest summit is Mount Moldoveanu at 2,544 metres. The Danube (Dunărea) carves a deep swathe through the range, forming a truly stunning spectacle. In the west of the country lie the Apuseni Mountains. This region offers a remarkable variety of flora and fauna and is home to many traditional villages. The Apuseni range is sometimes steep and craggy, but more often the summits are gently rounded and covered in thick forest, cleared in part for vast tracts of lush pastureland.

© Bernard Houliat


Moldavian house

House in the Danube delta

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Curriculum Vitae . . Richard Joy Directeur Artistique 20 ans d’Experience

Né le 10 Mars 1970 Nationalité Anglaise Bilingue anglais/français En France: 2 Lieu dit Horte d'Avall, Espira de l'Agly, 66600 Téléphone: Portable: Mail: En Angleterre: Paradise Press, Hebden, Skipton, BD23 5DL Téléphone: 00.44.1 756.752.370 Mail: Logiciels maîtrisés: Xpress, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat...

Expérience Professionelle 1993 - 2010

Directeur Artistique Freelance Réalisation des projets de presse pour des divers clients (Eurostar, France Soir, France Télécom, Hachette Livres...), créations d’identités visuelles (Cafe Oz, GSys, Oldways Maîtrise des logiciels classiques (Photoshop, Xpress, Illustrator...) et moins classiques (Sketchup, Freeway...) pour un travail de polyvalence en gardant toujours le principe ‘la forme découle de la fonction’.

Déc. 2004 - Déc. 2005

Directeur Artistique, The France Soir Conception et création du “numéro 0” de The France Soir : journal national hebdomadaire en anglais lancé par France Soir. Choix des polices, création des gabarits et feuilles de style... toute la charte graphique d’un journal tabloid de 64 pages fait en six mois, ainsi que le mise en route d’une photothèque et réseaux satellite avec Agence France Press.

Sept. 1997 - Sept 2004

Directeur Artistique, Time Out Dirigeant du style visuel du Groupe de Presse anglais en Europe. Conception et production des guides mensuels, gérant un réseau de photographes freelance. Responsable et contrôle du flashage/photogravage et de l'imprimerie. Création et maintenance d’un réseau informatique local et des liens entre France, Angleterre et Etats-unis.

Nov. 1994 - Juin 1997

Rédacteur Graphiste, 01 Réseaux Magazine. Maquettiste pigiste chez C.E.P Communications, premiere groupe de presse informatique français. Responsable de la mise en page et production des magazines 01 Informatique et 01 Reseaux, ainsi que de la conception et création d'une revue bi-annuelle. Responsable et contrôle du flashage.

Déc. 1993 - Août. 1994

Directeur Artistique, Paris City Magazine Conception et production d'un magazine bi-hebdomadaire, de la mise en page jusqu’à l'imprimerie. Commande de toutes photographies/illustrations puis mise en page sur Macintosh avec tout photogravage/montage réalisés in-house. Collaboration avec service commercial pour la réalisation des maquettes publicitaires. Maintenance du système informatique et réseaux internes.

Sept. 1993 - Déc. 1993

Directeur Artistique, Mediatime France Suivi de la mise en page et de la production pour le compte d'une société d'édition des magazines bi-mensuels, guides, cartes e.t.c. Commande des images en liaison avec les agences de presse. Responsable de la maquette, flashage et de l'imprimerie. Supervision des assistants et freelancers.

Formation Oct. 1987 - Juin 1989

Manchester University, England Théorie & Pratique du Design (équivalent du License).

Sept. 1982 - Juin 1987

Sedbergh Public School, England A-Levels en Anglais, l’Histoire, et l’Art (équivalent du baccalauriat).

Presentation Book  

A synopsis of 20 years print design.

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