As I write this, I realize that this Havana-themed bar is Havana-themed no more. Apparently we went on the second to last day that it was decorated like this, and they would be changing the decorations the very next. No matter, we’ll be back anyway.
One of the things I appreciate most about the lack of ‘urban sprawl’ is that soon after leaving the city, you’re in the country. Leaving New York City takes a day and a half, several highways, insane traffic, and at least one bridge or tunnel. Here you can simply hop on the train for a few minutes and it’s hard to imagine you’re anywhere near a city. For my whole life I’ve been obsessed with living in the heart of it all, and now I’ve grown tired of such and would like to live next to the heart of it all. I’m interested in all the commotion and wonderful chaos that cities have to offer, but I’m approaching an age that I’d like to decide for myself when I want to experience it. Not in the middle of the night in the form of a never-ending stream of traffic, nor all day, every day when the woman below me forgets to turn her alarm off.
Today I spent some time in Levallois, just outside of Paris, it’s all the happenings of the city, but much smaller, quieter, and with a more relaxed energy. Paris is many wonderful things, but it is also loud and dirty. But that’s neither here nor there. I was talking about a bar. Speaking of an escape, this bar can offer it, right in the middle of Paris.
Our experience started much earlier in the day, and quite far from Paris. Six of us were coming back from a trip out to the countryside to go swimming, eat glorious French home cooking a la my boyfriend’s uncle, and to float around while drinking copious amounts of ice cold Lambrusco. It was a hard day, so when we arrived back into Paris at Gare de L’Est in the 10th arrondissement, we needed to take the edge off with a drink… or two.
It’s outdoors, but completely closed off. You can’t see or hear the city outside the walls, and inside all you’ll find is string lights, relaxing lawn chairs, and three different courtyard areas in which to lounge. There are little huts all around too, it feels like you’re at the beach or something. There’s a massive indoors as well, and a notably scrumptious food menu. Drink prices are very reasonable, and food includes your usual charcuterie, cheese, plus some unexpected choices too. All in all, a solid choice in a variety of situations.
Where: 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, Paris 10 | Metro: Gare de L’Est