Le Petit Matieu Small is beautiful

The small plates revolution is definitely taking hold in Paris, with a slew of diminutive wine bars and bare-brick hideaways sporting the talents of some of the city’s hippest young chefs. Le Petit Matieu is no exception, with its handful of banquette tables, vintage wallpaper prints and old school chairs marking the home of Matieu Gontier, whose menu of mini plates ranges from the burger de pot-au-feu to caramelised pork tacos, with some cheese plates thrown in for good measure. The DJ-mixed playlists and Canal Saint-Martin crowd make for a trendy local-hangout vibe, with passers-by stopping in for an impromptu apéro and a chat at the bar before heading home. The evening menu may be a touch prohibitive for those on a tight budget (and a bit light for those who skipped lunch…) but a daytime visit is rewarded with a daily-changing formule—a steal at three courses for €18.

Le Comptoir Général Exotic slices of bohemia featured

Le Comptoir Général is impossible to pigeonhole. That should give you some indication as to how special this cross-cultural maverick is. Part gallery, part concert hall, part café, part you just don’t know – it’s billed by their humble selves as a ‘ghetto museum’ that celebrates marginalized Francophone-African cultures. But that doesn’t come close to describing the bohemian jungle found within. The tumble-down walls and plant-ridden rooms are abuzz with activity from weekend brunches to cinema screenings. And if you don’t feel like leaving this whacked-out wonderland, you’re in luck—the beautiful vintage bar stays open late so you can sup on some African brews and slowly watch the night unfold.

Electric A forest of creative connections featured

Drawing Paris’ culturally clued-up crowd to the outlands of the 15th arrondissement is no easy feat, but Electric—the city’s new, futuristic focal-point of bohemia—has got them flocking south-west in their droves. Billing itself as an ‘alternative cultural center’ (part geographical jape perhap?), the venue plays host to a variety of bespoke cross-disciplinary events—ranging from fashion trade fairs to late-night party blowouts. It’s the space itself though that’s been sending shocks through the Parisian landscape. The 1000m2 main room, with its gnarled fibreglass tree centrepiece, affords stunning panoramic views over the city that a trip up the Eiffel Tower would have trouble bettering. Add to that a 400m2 adjoining balcony, a gargantuan 22,000m2 outdoor esplanade and a lighting system based entirely around video projection (the first of its kind in the world), and it’s not hard to see why Electric has the scope to indulge the wildest of ambitions that other more centrally located venues couldn’t indulge in their wildest of dreams.

Concrete Hard like Sunday morning featured

Parisian parties took a serious nosedive somewhere in the noughties. Everything was all becoming a bit samey until Concrete blew a massive boat-sized hole in the city’s nightlife. So much so that it isn’t even at night any more. With a game-changing Seine-side locale, they can max out their Funktion One speakers for one filthy 19-hour mashup, and there’s not a peep out of the neighbors, simply ‘cos there aren’t any. Thoughts of this being some dark ’n loud after-hour gurn-fest, should be (at least partly) erased from your mind however. Lots of light reaches into the venue and in the summer, well, it’s all feet on deck! The techno-house soundtrack is marshalled by some real international ringers—no space to drop names here though, the word count won’t allow it. And everything takes place on the sleepiest of family days, so get your Sunday dinner excuse in early.

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