Badaboum Dancefloor TNT

A club for the Fifth Element geeks amongst you. Rock out your best Leeloo impression and get that “Big Badaboum!” out of your system and then we can move on. All done? Super. From the guys behind Panic Room, Badaboum takes the same live-act ethos, then throws in a cocktail bar, a ‘secret’ bachelor pad and a few tapas for good measure. The ground floor bar is a familiar sight—all stripped concrete, industrial lamps and vintage touches—but what’s smart about Badaboum is the 350-capacity concert and club space. With a stage almost level with the crowd, there’s an immediacy to nights here that’s a real treat, and the top-notch sound system doesn’t hurt either. It’s a heady blend of spaces wherein you can do the Friday after-work cocktail thing, share some small plates, chill on a Chesterfield, and then join the fray in the club—until 7am on the weekend. You see? Big Badaboum.

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.

Holybelly Aussie rules coffee featured

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.

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.

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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