Folies Parisiennes: The architecture in the 18th century

pavillon-vendome-folies-parisiennesUntil July 17th 2016, the Pavillon de l’Ermitage invites us to discover Paris’s History as well as its architecture.

These are twelve buildings dedicated to 18th century country-style pleasures. At that time, numerous crazy things appeared in princely parks, testimonies of the splendour and whims at excessive cost from certain wealthy owners. This exhibition reveals the history and secrets of Bagatelle at the Bois de Boulogne, those of the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin in the 20th arrondissement or the Petit Trianon de l’Hôtel Matignon’s in the 7th. Little known, these buildings are however architectural treasures. Some of them can be visited but most are today in a precarious state. In addition to the historical part, this retrospective shows the decorative choices made by Parisian or Ile-de-France people, at the root of these constructions.




Exhibition “Folies Parisiennes”, from March 10th to July 17th 2016.

Open from Thursday to Sunday from 2pm to 5:30pm.
Full rate: 3 euros / Reduced rate: 2 euros.

Pavillon de l’Ermitage (in French)
148, rue de Bagnolet
75020 PARIS
Tél. : +33 (0)1 40 25 15 95
Metro: Porte de Bagnolet (line 3).


Crédit photo : Folies Parisiennes – Pavillon de l’Ermitage - Pavillon Vendôme’s ceiling - Photo credit: Amis de l’Ermitage

Gus Van Sant retrospective at the Cinémathèque française


Nonconformist director become a cult thanks to his films with so particular universes, Gus Van Sant is the subject of an exhibition at the Cinémathèque française.

It’s in 1989 that the French public discovered him with “Drugstore Cowboy”. Since this time, the filmmaker knew how to win his audience over, with his 16 full-length feature films which combine sexual, political and intellectual claims. The reason? His films always arouse astonishment and drag us every time into out of the ordinary or strange worlds. This retrospective displays his works, such as “To Die For” with Nicole Kidman and shot in 1995 or “Gerry” with Matt Damon in 2002 but also his different artistic collaborations. Therefore, we discover his plastic creations (photographs, music, etc.) or his works with David Bowie or William Eggleston. It’s one of the inescapable exhibitions of this spring, to better figure out one of the most gifted directors of his generation.






Exhibition “Gus Van Sant”, from April 13th to July 31st 2016.
Open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7pm.
Nocturnal on Thursdays until 10pm.
Closed on Tuesdays and on May 1st 2016.
Full rate: 11 euros / Reduced rate: 8.50 euros / Under the age of 18: 5.50 euros. 

La Cinémathèque française (in French)
51, rue de Bercy
75012 PARIS
Tél. : +33 (0)1 71 19 33 33
Metro: Bercy (lines 6 and 14).

Crédit photo :Gus Van Sant – Cinémathèque française - Nicole Kidman in To Die For from Gus Van Sant (1995) © Mission Distribution

Le Grand défi du labyrinthe in Thoiry

labyrinte-scarabeeThis summer, Thoiry is proposing its young visitors to discover amazing animals, on the occasion of the Grand défi du labyrinthe. 

The Parc de Thoiry is well-known for its big 1.4 mile labyrinth plant, liven up with bridges offering aerial views on the site. It’s within this unique area that a game consisted of riddles to solve is organised for the younger ones. Helped with two fictional characters, Noé and Foufou, they will have to find again the real animals and the wrong ones, fabricated entirely by a young mad scientist. They will be meeting a tarantula, a winged horse, a dragon, a unicorn or a giraffe. The aim of this event is to raise awareness among visitors, both young people and adults, on the beauty and fragility of nature. Thus, Thoiry keeps being involved in the protection of endangered animal species.





Le Grand défi du labyrinthe, from April 6th to September 30th 2016.
All the hours 
Adult: 30 euros / Senior citizen (over 60 years old): 28 euros / Child (3-14): 24 euros / Free under 3.

Parc et Château de Thoiry (in French)
Rue du Pavillon de Montreuil
78770 Thoiry
Tél. : +33 (0)1 34 87 40 67


Crédit photo : Grand défi du labyrinthe – Parc et Château de Thoiry - © Arthus Boutin/Parc et Château de Thoiry

Eiffel Tower transforms 1st floor into public garden

square-parisien-tour-eifelFrom April 15th to May 31st 2016, the Eiffel Tower’s first floor is taking on Parisian public garden spirit.

Perched at 187 feet high, it gives a panoramic view on the capital and its monuments, from the Invalides to the Centre Pompidou via the Arc de Triomphe. This space has all the characteristics of a true public garden: fountain, public benches to relax and a nine-seat merry-go-round, to fall back into childhood with wooden horses. Children will also be able to enjoy a play area for free, with a hopscotch and a huge rickshaw. A bar has also been set up to offer tourists candy flosses, waffles or Eiffel Tower-shaped lollipops that will thrill children. To try too: granitas, strawberry or tropical tastes, which are a sign that summer is coming.



The Eiffel Tower’s first floor, from April 15th to May 31st 2016.
Open every day from 9:30am to 11pm.
Adult rates: from 7 to 17 euros the ticket / 12-24: from 5 to 14.50 euros / Reduced rate (4-11): 3 to 8 euros / Free under 4.

La tour Eiffel
5, avenue Anatole France-Champ de Mars
75007 PARIS
Tél. : + 33 (0)8 92 70 12 39
Metro: Bir-Hakeim (line 6), Trocadéro (line 9), or RER C - Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.


Crédit photo : Public garden – Tour Eiffel 1st floor - © SETE -E. Livinec

Best places

The best restaurants of the Puces de Saint-Ouen


Whether they are inside the Puces de Saint-Ouen or just alongside, these three restaurants are worth the detour, to give yourself a gourmet break before or after bargain-hunting! Let’s go to Ma Cocotte, Une Affaire de Famille or La Puce.



Crédit photo :Best restaurants - Puces de Saint-Ouen - Ma Cocotte © Francis Amiand

Ma Cocotte

Located at the entrance of the Serpette and Paul Bert markets, this trendy restaurant owes its reputation to the decoration, thought by Philippe Starck, and also its comforting bistro-style cuisine.

Here, bricks meet zinc, wood, concrete and stones, in a joyous mixture with industrial and baroque spirit. A la carte, we fall for one of the signature dishes of the place, like the Challans spit roasted free range chicken, the Portobello Fish and Chips or the bread pudding with caramel salted butter ice cream. Otherwise, there still are leeks with vinaigrette or the floating island!

Open every day, from noon to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
On Mondays and Tuesdays until 10:30pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 9:30pm.
Lunch and dinner menus: 26 and 31 euros.
Valet parking.

Ma Cocotte (in French)
106, rue des Rosiers
93400 Saint-Ouen
Tél. : +33 (0)1 49 51 70 00
Metro: Garibaldi (line 13) or Porte de Clignancourt (line 4).

La Puce

Ce bistrot Recommended by the 2016 Michelin Guide, this bistro is located not far from the Puces de Saint-Ouen, in a little quiet street.

We enjoy a traditional cuisine in a warm industrial decor, consisted of red bricks walls, seats and dark wood furniture. Dish are cooked with products from small producers: foie gras ravioli, white port cream twin-lens, rum baba, etc. La Puce also has a very wide wine list, with a foreign selection for connoisseurs.

Open from Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 2pm, and from 7:30pm to 10pm.
A la carte: 18 to 36 euros.

La Puce (in French)
17, rue Ernest Renan
93400 Saint-Ouen
Tél. : +33 (0)1 40 12 63 75
Metro: Mairie de Saint-Ouen or Garibaldi (line 13).

Une Affaire de Famille

This bistro is one of the flagship addresses of the Puces de Saint-Ouen, run by a mother and her two daughters.

Here, they receive antique hunters, stall-holders as well as strollers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The recipe for their success? A large and coloured French traditional cuisine, like the cod with lobster bisque and seafood sauce or supreme of chicken with rosemary and celery purée. The black blood crumble and the crème caramel are too irresistible.

Open every day from 8am to 5pm.
A la carte: from 16 to 35 euros.

Une Affaire de Famille (in French)

59, rue des Rosiers
93400 Saint-Ouen
Tél. : +33 (0)1 49 48 09 69
Metro: Garibaldi (line 13).

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