Le Perchoir Up on the roof featured

Rooftop bars are the holy grail in any city. But a 4,000 square foot rooftop with Sacre Coeur views and zero pretension? No amount of unmarked door-age was going to keep this urban Eden a secret. Whisked up to the sixth floor from the courtyard below, it’s hard not to lose your cool when the doors swoosh open to reveal nothing but sky above and rooftops below. The building below is made up entirely of art studios, as well as Le Perchoir’s own restaurant, and the subsequent buzz of creative conversation here is infectious, with groups occupying cushion-strewn benches, sharing bottles of wine, and generally looking like an advert for life success. At €8 for a beer it’s best to arrive with the phrase “splashing out” in mind, but in all honesty, it’s worth every penny. Doors open at 4pm and queues can form early, so be canny and arrive before 7pm for a seat.

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.

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.

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.

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