Life Swaps Timberland trendsetters exchange lives for a weekend featured

Life Swaps

Timberland trendsetters exchange lives for a weekend

Modern citizens of the world are no longer beholden to a physical place anymore. We can now work (and play) from anywhere in the world, and at anytime – as long as an internet connection isn’t too far away. Starting with this as a premise, Timberland has created a new project called Life Swaps whereby young…

Holybelly Aussie rules coffee

Inspired by the café culture of Melbourne’s sunny streets, Holybelly brings its own rays of sunshine to rue Lucien Sampaix, just off the Canal Saint-Martin. In great company alongside Bob’s Juice Bar, Holybelly takes care of the early-risers with expert flat whites from 7am, complete with one of those leafy designs on top that mean it must be good. If ze man isn’t demanding you at your desk quick-snap in the morning, why not take one of the two-person booths, stow your belongings in the box under your seat, and tuck into some fluffy pancakes with maple syrup or a hefty plate of hashbrowns, eggs and fried mushrooms. Ingredients are fresh from the market every day, the pinball machine awaits challengers to its high score, and the coffee beans come from a local Belleville roastery. Bonus feature? Holybelly’s staff are as friendly as they are hip—and yes, that really is saying something.

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.

L'Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon Let's push things forward

The Paris base of the gastronomical God made flesh Joël Robuchon, L’Atelier Saint-Germain reflects the Michelin mastery of a chef with more stars than any other. Raising a few eyebrows when it opened back in 2003, this red and black lacquered new breed is a stark departure from the white-tableclothed world of the classic restaurant Français—boldly pushing the boundaries of modern haute cuisine in the same way it boldly pushes the accepted notions of restaurant decor. Set up more like a tapas bar with high stools round a U-shaped bar, L’Atelier packs an oft-changing menu filled with traditional Robuchon specialties as well as more nouveau creations (caramelized quail stuffed with foie gras par example). It’s all so good that you’ll be pushing some limits of your own—that of acceptable behaviour, as you lick the last drops off your plate.

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.

Le Meurice Distinct whiff of power

Maharajas, power-broker politicians and Jay-Z and Kanye West (to record ‘Niggas in Paris’ no less) have flocked to the 1815-established Le Meurice Paris for its ostentatious luxury, blockbuster 1st arrondissement location and its mastery of discretion. Beyond the gilded glass door lies a palatial hotel opulently decked out in rich mosaics, ancient mirrors and exquisite tufted fabrics. It’s regal and whimsical à la Louis-XVI, but it’s also a truly modern refuge, one major multi-million renovation later. Make sure you devote an evening to dine at their highly acclaimed restaurant for some delectable food and a refined French atmosphere. Le Maurice is a refuge of the world élite for a reason.

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