Secret Urban Suppers
inspired by Le Marais, Paris
Discover the creative story of Le Marais, Paris, where a certain "je ne sais quoi" makes you wonder what used to happen in this lively and artist-filled "arrondissement".
"Le Marais is a historic district in Paris, France. Long the aristocratic district of Paris, it hosts many outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance.
The Marais is now one of Paris' main localities for art galleries. Following its rehabilitation, the Marais has become a fashionable district, home to many trendy restaurants, fashion houses, and hip galleries."
- The Green Fairy -
Jade 1901 Absinthe, St Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, prosecco
"Even though it originally came out of Switzerland in the late 18th century, the infamous green beverage rose to popularity in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th century. Doctor Pierre Ordinaire created the green drink for medicinal purposes in 1792. This drink has since been a favorite of Parisians, particularly among artists and writers (who, during the Belle Epoque, opted for cheap absinthe over wine). Some of the most famous people associated with this drink are Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Auguste Renoir, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire, Pablo Picasso, and Oscar Wilde. Absinthe production became forbidden in France in 1915, so as to fight against alcoholism. It took until 2011 for the French government to lay this terrible history to rest, and lift the absinthe bans. The psychoactive properties of the drink have been deeply exaggerated and it is now produced in a dozen countries, one of which is, of course, France."
- Rue des Rosiers -
Jewish pastry with caraway seeds, Hisbiscus salt and Hawaiian black lava salt
"Part of the Marais is also known for being the Jewish Paris. The rue des Rosiers is the most famous Jewish street of the Marais. You will find here a synagogue, specialized Hebraic bookstores, or famous places, like the delicious restaurant Chez Marianne. Here you can see Jews with their traditional clothes and kippas. It’s also a historic street because of the several commemorative plaques for the victims of the Shoah and the anti-Semitic attack that happened in 1982 against a restaurant."
- Artists at Heart -
Natural coloured ravioli (turmeric, kale, beetroot) filled with ricotta and harissa
"After the Second World War ended, the main Hôtels particuliers were restored and turned into museums: the Hôtel Salé hosts the Picasso Museum, the Hôtel Carnavalet hosts the Paris Historical Museum, the Hôtel Donon hosts the Cognacq-Jay Museum, the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan hosts the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme. The site of Beaubourg, the western part of le Marais, was chosen for the Centre Georges Pompidou, France's national Museum of Modern Art and one of the world's most important cultural institutions. The building was completed in 1977 with revolutionary architecture by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers."
- L'As du Falafel -
Handmade falafel in pita bread, hummus, tahini, organic sprouts, cucumber and tomato salad served in streetfood baskets
(unfortunately we didn't manage to get photos for this one!)
"Walk down rue des Rosiers any day of the week, and you will easily spot L’As du Fallafel thanks to the long queue in front of its green facade, with staff running up and down scribbling orders for the take-away window. 'Often imitated, never equalled' is the slogan here, and few who have tried other falafel joints along this street would dare to argue.
Eating in the dining room is only a marginally less casual experience than munching this messy sandwich on the street, but it’s worth paying a little extra for the plastic plate and unique atmosphere. One one side, cooks work at lightning speed, dipping the chick pea balls in the fryer and filling pita breads to bursting. On the other, diners of all nationalities carry on animated conversations while juggling their sandwiches, creating a vibe more reminiscent of New York than Paris."
- L'Antiquaire -
Genoise cake with coffee syrup, covered with coffee icing, served in vintage teasets
"Village St-Paul is the repair of the antique dealers. These hidden squares are forming a little village in the heart of the Marais. It’s also considered to be one of the best streets in the Marais. It is the perfect place to find an art piece or an antique. Here, more than 200 antique dealers are opening every day, even on Sundays! You will find here every style you want, from the Middle Age to the seventies, and also brand new style with the recent installation of modern designers.
The café culture in France goes back centuries, cafes have always been a gathering place for intellectuals to meet and debate philosophical issues; for the Avant Guarde set to display their works; for artists to compare and exchange ideas and for writers to drown their sorrows over their artistic anguish or melancholy. Even the freedom fighters of the French Revolution and later the French Resistance would meet in cafes to plot their course."
- Les Oiseaux de la Nuit -
Charcoal almond blanc manger with dried edible flower mix (blue cornflower, marigold, rose)
"When the bars and restaurants start close, the party is far from over in the Marais. This is perhaps the pride of the Paris LGBTQ community with its diverse offerings ranging from subdued cafe culture to late night debauchery on a crowded dancefloor. In the Marais nightlife reluctantly crawls back into bed when the sun has fully risen. But for now it’s time to lace up those dance shoes and brush off your best moves."