La REcyclerie The right side of the tracks

Disused railways of Paris are a favourite for explorers, but there are few spots where adventurers can enjoy a Ti Punch and a home-cooked lunch while chilling on a station platform. Enter La REcyclerie. Once the Ornano train station, the 19th century space has been ingeniously transformed by the team behind Le Comptoir Général into a temple to all things upcycled—retro chairs, walls made of old doors, the whole nine yards. There’s usually something going on here thanks to an eclectic programme of events, taking in everything from fix-your-bike workshops to craft fairs and gigs—theirs is a mailing list worth being on. If you feel torn between the extremely Instagrammable interior and the collection of picnic tables on the station platform below, it’s best to stay for two drinks and do both. Outside at the foot of a metal staircase you’ll find graffiti-clad walls, a sprawling garden and a sense of complete urban escape. La REcyclerie, we salute you.

Café Craft Digital nomads

Until recently, the Paris café scene had relatively little to offer the growing number of Mac-toting freelancers. Instead, self-employed creatives could be found drinking bad coffee in their pyjamas while confined to the wardrobe dimensions of their flats. But no longer. Steadily catching on to the needs of the office-less population, Paris is now home to some cracking co-working spots. Take Café Craft, the immaculately monochrome co-working space on the Canal Saint-Martin. The coffee here is reason enough to visit, with beans that are locally roasted at Café Lomi, one of Paris’ temples to good java. When the work gets too much and a bit of wall-staring is in order, rotating art exhibitions provide perfect fodder for daydreaming. And that’s not all, there are plugs galore, lockers for stuff-stashing and absurdly good caramel cookies to balance out the wholesome lunches of freshly baked quiche and pasta salad. Emerge, ye freelancers, and step blinking into the light.

Pâtisserie des Martyrs Gaudard's house

Seldom has there been such a commotion surrounding a pâtisserie as the one that engulfs this one. Such furore is owed chiefly to the name that sits emboldened above its awnings: Sebastien Gaudard. Dubbed the ‘little prince of pastry’ after his exploits in Bon Marché’s Délicabar, Gaudard has skyrocketed to full-on celebrity-style prominence in the Parisian pastry-making scene (no mean feat, of course). All the hype should be starting to make sense right about now however.

Does Pâtisserie des Martyrs live up to it? Hell yes it does. The pale-blue hued interior, presided over by hanging glass lamps, is chock-full of display cabinets. And that’s where your eyes should be wandering, because they’re holding a sweet payload of pastry. From filled-to-bursting eclairs through mille-feuille and fruit-topped cakes to classic tarte citron, the quality of everything on offer is exceptional. For those not in the market for something so full-on, there’s also a selection of chocolates and boiled sweets (all produced on-site) that afford a smaller taste of the action.

The Beef Club Carnivore HQ featured

Paris used to be bona-fide brasserie territory, but not anymore. The international food trends have found a way in, and they’re forcing the city’s food scene to change its ways. Exemplifying the shift in the established culinary order is The Beef Club —a new-school gourmet burger and steak joint masterminded by the entrepreneurial souls at the Experimental Cocktail Club.

Make no mistake, that name is as literal as literal gets. The menu in this place reads like a carnivore’s wet-dream—sirloin, rib-eye, tenderloin and rump steaks (all served charred on the outside, pink on the inside), and big burgers garnished with bacon, pickles, grilled onion, Red Leicester cheese and whiskey sauce.

The surrounds suit the red meat eats as well. Like the ECC’s international array of speakeasy-style haunts, The Beef Club is warmly but lowly-lit, creating shadowed nooks in around the white-bricked, tile-ceilinged and floor-boarded space. And the similarities extend into the cocktail list as well. Inventive concoctions such as a sherry, Peychaud’s bitters, cognac, grapefruit juice, and house-made almond syrup combo can be enjoyed at your table or ensconsed in the special subterranean cocktail quarters of the Ballroom du Beef Club.

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.

The Broken Arm Fashion is life featured

There’s a new generation of boutique storekeepers in town and their credo is simple: Fashion is life. And The Broken Arm is where they’re preaching from. The physical manifestation of website De Jeunes Gens Moderne, this multi-brand, male-and-female-friendly synagogue of style boasts stock from a host of young and exciting designers—Aurélie Bidermann and Christophe Lemaire amongst. And the buck doesn’t stop there though, far from it. With a swish cafe out back and collaborations with creatives across the city with similar sensibilities as the founders (architects Marine Delaloy and Mathias Gervais De Lafond for example), The Broken Arm is establishing itself as the future of fashion shopping in the world’s fashion capital.

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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