slice of real life in everyday Paris
travel article by Pierre Mainguené, Circa Tours
total immersion in the local Parisian culture, Rue Cler is one of my favorite
places. Located in the quiet 7th district, between The Hotel des Invalides (Napoleon's
tomb) and the Champs de Mars, it is an easy stroll to the Eiffel Tower. This typical
neighborhood street is full of shops and restaurants where local Parisians do
their shopping and eat out. It is traffic-free and offers a succession of tiny
stores where you can find everything for your daily sustenance.
"boulangerie" (bakery): Racks full of "baguettes," "petit
pains," all sorts of crusty golden breads, tarts, pastries and other tasty
the corner of Rue du Champ de Mars, a small neighborhood grocery store with everything
you need: meat, wine, fruit, you name it... its name is Leader Price (not very
French-sounding, I agree).
"fromagerie" (cheese shop). A long, narrow canopied cheese table set
up outside the shop brings the inside into the street. Cheeses of all sizes are
on display and are waiting to be taken away to your dinner table: round ones,
moldy ones, wedges, balls, others the shape of hockey pucks or stubby little cylinders.
Fermented milk heaven!
Repaire de Bacchus", a wine shop with the finest France has to offer... Good
wines and good prices! and, next door, "la Maison du jambon" which sells
appetizing prepared dishes, delicious hams and other deli meats to go, with a
different "plat du jour" every day.
et Nature," a specialty store selling honey and natural foods and, across
the street, "Les Halles Bosquet," with fresh fruit and vegetables delivered
every day from Paris' huge wholesale market in Rungis.
of course, people sitting outside the many cafes, brasseries and restaurants,
either chatting the day away, reading the paper, or drinking "biere pression"
or "cafe espresso."
all of the above, add a flower shop, a fresh fish and seafood stand, a kitchen
utensil store, a pharmacy, a phone store, a bank, and a post office at one end
of the street.
notice the lady pulling a little trolley cart in one of the pictures. This is
her shopping bag. How convenient! (Parisians shop for food most every day.)
Cler and the surrounding area is replete with quaint, charming hotels. The central
location is absolutely ideal and the neighborhood is friendly and welcoming. It
is a vibrant slice of Parisian life. If you are looking for authenticity, this
is the place.
careful, though, you might never want to leave!
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