The area around Metro Sevres Babylone in the 6th arrondissement does not always come up on the radar of a trip to Paris. That is a pity. It is home to good food, a great hotel which has been under renovation for who knows how long (over 2 years actually) and one of the finest if not the finest food hall in Paris located in the historic department store Le Bon Marche. You can plan a walk, a visit to a wine bar after your walk or lunch at a number of good restaurants. Or just go shopping.
On exiting the metro station you will see a non descript park, more of a square. From there walk onto to the intersection of Rue de Sevres and Boulevard Raspail. Looking across the street, you will see the Hotel Lutetia. This famous landmark has been under construction since 2014 and should reopen this year. Now looking the other way down Rue de Sevres, you will see a monument to the world of shopping, Le Bon Marche. Well you won’t exactly see all of it because it too is being renovated.
Le Bon Marche is the world’s first modern department store. It was founded over 100 years ago in 1857 and it too is being completely remodeled to highlight its beautiful stately architecture. The interior is simply stunning.
But we weren’t there for the architecture. As I have often written, eating in Paris is about a lot more than the restaurants. European produce is exceptional in quality and look. It is a cornucopia of this part of the world, French salads and chicories, Spanish asparagus and squash, Belgian endive. And rather than trying to list them, just all look at their beauty and the way they are presented. We can all learn. Lighting please American grocery stores?
This food hall has everything you might need to cook a very very good meal including a full service butcher and fish monger. Or do what we did. We stayed at the Yellow Flat and enjoyed a simple dinner featuring artisan quality Italian pasta and pesto with shaved parmesan, steamed asparagus with Normandy butter and a salad composed of butter lettuce and chicories. For Flo a cold Sancerre for me a dry Chinon. Dessert two pastries from their bakery, a coffee eclair and a strawberry tart. Why go out?
And all of this from a true temple of food.
If you need a little refreshment or lunch after shopping try these local establishments:
For lunch an old favorite, L’Epi Dupin, Address: 11 Rue Dupin, 75006 Paris, France. Phone:+33 1 42 22 64 56. Very tourist friendly without sacrificing food quality.
For a glass of wine Le Sauvignon. You can order light food there as well, 80, Rue des Saints-Pères – 75006. Just past the Lutetia. Phone 01.45.48.49.02. An honest simple establishment.
To reach Le Bon Marche from the Yellow Flat take the line 10 direction Gare D’Austerlitz. Its just 4 stops.
Jules and Flo.