Saint Germain des Prés

Café Le Flore

The “grand classic” private walking tour in Saint Germain des Prés with Ann Jeanne in Paris

On the left bank, Saint Germain des prés is renowned for its famous cafes, its narrow streets and antique shops.. After World War II, Saint Germain des Pres became synonymous of intellectual life, centered around bars and cafes.

Saint Germain des Prés reached its heyday in the 50s

Philosophers, writers, actors and musicians used to meet and stay in cafes, clubs… : Hemingway, Miller, Picasso, Jim Morrison, Sartre; Beauvoir… Literature, poetry, and Jazz perfumed all the lifestyle in the area.

Among this neighborhood’s regulars (random list) : Hemingway, Picasso, Miller, Sartre, Beauvoir, Ellington, Hampton, Miles Davis, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Delacroix, Gertrude Stein, Boris Vian, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Cocteau, Duras, Prévert, Johnny Depp, F F Coppola, Camus, James Joyce…

The leading figures of the time have now gone, but you still feel the special atmosphere of this quarter of Paris. In Saint Germain des Pres  : lots of restaurants, cinemas, antique shops, galeries… Though today, you’ll find haute-couture, and fashion shops too (Vuitton, Armani, Dior…)

Saint Germain des Prés : the Kingdom of iconic cafés : 

The most famous cafes of the area are : Le cafe de Flore, les Deux Magots, Le Bonaparte, La Palette, the café Procope (the oldest Paris’ café, actually a restaurant nowadays) the Brasserie Lipp

Nice XVIII century buildings, cobblestone streets…And  the Saint Germain des Pres Church which is one of the oldest church of Paris.

Today, a very classic, elegant and trendy area.

My advice : 

  • No specific monuments except Saint Germain des Prés church, but in my opinion a great area to feel what Paris life is. Very liked by Parisians, and great cafés for cafés lovers. A neighborhood to stroll in. In Saint Germain des Prés, everything is a classic. And so much History.
  • Don’t miss “Le Flore” or its sister “Les 2 Magots” nearby the church, two classics. And if you’ve some time left, either carry on to the river Seine (northern Saint Germain des Prés), or to Saint Sulpice church (southern StGermain des Prés) and Pierre Hermé for a gorgeous pastry (nearby Saint Sulpice – Rue Bonaparte).

 

Some addresses :

  • Capture d’écran 2016-05-17 à 03.03.56Laduré (pastry very well know for its macarons) : pastry shop and tea room : rue Jacob (100 meters from Saint Germain church)
  • Pierre Hermé (pastry – maybe the best in France) : rue Bonaparte – Métro Saint Sulpice or Odeon (both line 4)
  • Gerard Mulot (pastry) : 76 rue de Seine (on your way to Saint Sulpice) www.gerardmulot.com
  • Le Flore and Les 2 Magots (iconic Paris cafés)  : boulevard Saint Germain des Prés – Métro Saint Germain des prés (line 4)
  • L’Avant Comptoir : place de l’Odeon – Metro stop Odeon – for a snack, a crêpe or a gaufre. Métro Odéon (line 4)

profil-paris-avec-oiseaux

 

The Saint Germain des Prés private walking tour with Ann Jeanne in Paris. 

l1008109A private  tour in one of the most classic and elegant part of Paris. Saint Germain des Prés is synonymous with chic and Parisian culture. 

Along our way : 

One of oldest church in Paris, Hemingways favorite restaurant, where Sartre used to live, one of the oldest church in Paris, a chocolate shop which opened more than 250 years ago, a strange art gallery which exhibits only one work of art at a time, the favorite café where Fine art students still use to meet, the café where Sartre and Beauvoir used to philosophize and write , you’ll taste among the best macarons in the city of light, and if you choose to, some beautiful cream puffs too from a shop specialized in this pastry. You’ll see (and visit if you’d like to) the studio where Delacroix used to live and paint, the oldest café in Paris, the exact place where the guillotine was first tried, you’ll walk in a charming cobblestone alleywayetc 

A tour with Ann Jeanne in Paris is also a way to meet a Parisian and to know more about Paris culture and everyday life, and to experience Paris as a true Parisian. And I will answer your questions to help you to get the most of your stay in Paris (tips, informations…)

Half day or whole day private tour to experience Paris and Saint Germain des Prés as a true Parisian contact me

Henri Leroux - Saint Germain des Prés

The oldest café in Paris

felix_nadar_1820-1910_portraits_eugene_delacroix_restored

Eugène Delacroix used to live in Saint Germain des Prés

Kiki par Man Ray

You can put some music on, while reading this article (see at the bottom of this page “Charleston” (Midnight in Paris) – Enoch Light Orchestra)

Parisian Café - Le Dôme Paris circa 1920

Cafe Le Dôme in the 20s

Montparnasse  : the spirit of the beginning of the 20th century.

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Montparnasse is the area around Vavin Metro StopSituation de Montparnasse ds Paris.09

Montparnasse often gets bypassed when visitors come to Paris. At first sight : not a touristic place, no highlight spot, nor renown buildings. But culturally, it is a central neighborhood, rich by its history. And a very Parisian and nice place to live in. 

Surely a neighborhood where to find the spirit from the beginning of the 20th Illustrations Années Follescentury. A wonderful mix of new and old.  An area where you have the feeling of a real neighborhood. And without hesitation, the area where I would choose and love to live if I had to move.

Location : Montparnasse is located on the Left Bank of the river Seine and covers parts of the 5th, 6th,14th and 15th arrondissements. It’s bordered by the Luxembourg garden to its north. 

Some history 

Kiki de Montparnasse. Photo by Man Ray, 1924.

Kiki de Montparnasse. the muse of Montparnasse – Photo by Man Ray, 1924.

Montparnasse reached its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, between WWI and WWII. It was then the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. It’s called “Les Années Folles” (=the Roaring 20s”). Montparnasse became the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris, and Vavin (Metro Stop : Vavin) was the center of the neighborhood.

Many artists came from Montmartre to settle in Montparnasse in search of low rent (lodging and workshops). 

Others from around the world (from Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, central and South America, and Japan) came to stay in Montparnasse, looking for a place they could freely work and create. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of Americans in Paris swelled from 6000 to 30000. 

 

 

robe années 20 Trois jeune femmes à la terrasse d'un café parisien - 1928

Some of the artists in Montparnasse in the 20s

Painters, writers, sculptors, poets, photographers, composers… And most of the Paris artistic community settled in Montparnasse neighborhood. 

Pablo Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Joan Miro, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Tsugouharu FoujitaDiego Rivera, Modigliani, Guillaume Apollinaire, Salvatore Dali, Man Ray, Marc Chagall, Eric Satie, Zadkine, Degas, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Miller, George Braque, Jean Cocteau, Chaim Soutine, Blaise Cendrars, Fernand Léger, André Breton, Giacometti, Dos Passos…

The importance of the cafes

They frequented the cafés along Boulevard Montparnasse, such as La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde (photo above), Le Dôme (photos below), Le Select, La Coupole…

A charming neighborhood 

Kiki de Montparnasse3

Kiki de Montparnasse, the muse of Montparnasse

Kiki de Montparnassethe Montparnasse’s muse. She was the model of many artists : Man Ray, Fujita, Modigliani… She was the lover of Man Ray.

 

Nowadays, young students from around the world, come around the art supplies shops and arts academy of the rue de la Grande Chaumière. 

 

Traditionnaly, Montparnasse is also “home” to Parisians coming from Brittany (Western France), because trains from Montparnasse station travels back and forth to Brittany. Many Breton people came to settle in Paris from the mid 19th century to the 1960s.

More recently, since the 70s, Montparnasse neighborhood has become more upscale and many old ateliers have been converted into upscale housing. Nowadays, still the cafés of the 20s and many others, restaurants, many crêperies (as crêpes are traditionally a Breton meal… !)

 

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Boulevard Montparnasse

Boulevard Montparnasse

My advice :

  • Get out at the Metro Stop Vavin (not Metro Stop : Montparnasse) which is the center of the real Montparnasse neighborhood. 
  • Enjoy a drink at “La Coupole” or at the café “Le Vavin” (rue de Vavin) to let you have a feeling of a real neighborhood. 
  • Rue Vavin (a small and short street), you’ll find one of the best Paris “Chocolatier” (Jean Paul Hevin). Also nice small shops. 
  • After your Montparnasse visit, you can enjoy the Luxembourg garden, just nearby (end of rue de Vavin)
  • You can choose to have a nice meal (pricey) at Le Select, Le Dome (for fish meals), or a nice restaurant in a small street rue Jules Chaplain. 
  • Lots of crêperies rue de Montparnasse for a nice meal (cheaper) and delicious. 
  • PRIVATE WALKING TOUR with a NATIVE PARISIAN in MONTPARNASSE neighborhood ? (Walk in the footsteps of the great artists who first found inspiration there : Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Modigliani, Man Ray…)  Contact me         
    • You only, or you and the person you choose. I’ll show you around in Montparnasse.
    • Duration of the tour : from 3 to 5 hours. It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe in Montmartre neighborhood. Can be included : the visit of an open door market of the neighborhood 

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More details :

  • Close access to major centers (a few minutes walks to Luxembourg garden, 15-20 minutes walk to Saint Germain des Prés and the Latin Quarter, 15 minutes by subway to the Eiffel Tower, lots of restaurants, an open market 3 days per week, many cafés (La Rotonde, Le Select, Le Dome, La Coupole…)
  • The renown cemetery Montparnasse (the second largest burial ground in Paris) : graves of many of the neighborhood’s most illustrious residents (Baudelaire, Beckett, Bartholdi – (who designed the Statue of Liberty), Maupassant, Man Ray, Samuel Beckett, Sartre, Beauvoir, Jean Seberg, Ionesco, Saint Saëns, Satie, Soutine, Zadkine, – Entrance on Bd Edgar Quinet – Paris 14 – Metro Stop : Edgar Quinet
  • La Closerie des Lilas : a Left Bank institution – A chic Piano Bar with a bronze plaque with Hemingway’s name. a Brasserie and a restaurant (pricey).  An article about Closerie des Lilas coming up soon. – 171 boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 6 – Metro Stop : Port Royal or Bus n°38 – Vavin (5 minutes walk)
  • Edgar Quinet Market : An excellent street Market every Wednesday and Saturday (fresh food and clothes). A crafts market on Sundays. – Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Paris 14
  • Bourdelle Museum :  a heaven of peace for lovers of art, sculpting. museum dedicated to the life and works of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. – Metro Stop : Montparnasse
  • La Fondation Cartier for exhibitions of contemporary art (a building designed by Jean Nouvel)
  • Numerous crêperies in the neighborhood (Metro stop : Vavin or Montparnasse) : a nice and affordable break (salted wheat flour crêpes and sweet crêpes). Crêpes = thin pancakes. An article coming up soon. 

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Charleston – Midnight in Paris : 

Maybe you’d feel like meeting the soul of the Lost Generation in Paris …

Nearby Notre Dame

YOUR Private walk, with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Paris off the beaten path ?
    You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle 

WELCOME !

CONTACT me for a private walking tour and EXPERIENCE PARIS as a local

  • You only, or you and the person you choose.
  • Duration of the tour : from 2 hours. It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe
  • The tour can be customized according to your preferences and interests 

For more details : The tours – Booking and Pricing

Don’t hesitate to contact me

Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur

Montmartre, a Paris neighborhood,

but still a village atmosphère.   

On of the most visited Paris neighborhood – One of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Montmartre is a hill. On its summit : the Sacré Coeur (=Holy Heart). For some Parisians, its nickname is “Paris’ beauty spot

Sacre Coeur – Édouard Leon Cortès (1882–1969)

A village until 1860 and the feeling still nowadays that you’re not totally in Paris.

Cobblestones narrow and winding streets, quaint houses, vineyards (yes : still nowadays ! A Harvest Festival every 1st weekend of October), 2 windmills, romantic alleyways and long stairways, restaurants and cafés that could be located in Provence, quiet squares. The feeling that you’re far from a big city…

And it’s where Amelie, (the movie) was shot.              

       

And from the Sacré Coeur terrace : a beautiful view over Paris.

Montmartre : the highlight of artistic life 

From the end of the 19th century ,  Montmartre is the center of artistic life in Paris, the model of a free , bohemian existence.  Composers, writers, painters, poets are gathering, lived and worked in Montmartre

Impressionist painters :Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissaro, Utrillo, Cezanne, Sysley…

Other painters : Modigliani, Picasso (he painted “Les demoiselles d’Avignon” in Montmartre), Van Gogh, Dali, Braque, Toulouse Lautrec, Seurat, Léger…

Writers, singers, poets, musicians : Appolinaire, , Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Stravinsky, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Proust, Edith Piaf, Boris Vian, Jean Cocteau, Truffaut,  ,, the Surrealists…etc lived  there too.

To enjoy Paris as a local : take a walk in Montmartre with “Ann Jeanne in Paris”

More photos :

My advice :

I’m a bit sad to see visitors going straight up to the top of Montmartre hill, stay for a while near the Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre, then get back to the Metro stop Abbesses or Anvers. Yes, they’re missing a lot of what makes Montmartre a charming and quiet place, a village with its narrow cobblestone streets, its quaint houses…etc They’re probably missing the most important.

  • Visit Montmartre in the morning so to avoid too much crowd and if possible, plan to stay at least 3 or 4 hours in the neighborhood, the best would be the day with a break in a nice and quite restaurant or café not too close from the most touristic spots.
  • Why not start your walk from the Metro Stop Lamarck Caulaincourt (north of the Sacré Coeur) or from the Metro Blanche ? (see the Metro Map – Menu : Useful informations) – Metro Pigalle or Anvers possible too

Plan de Montmartre

How to get to Montmartre ?

Lamarck Caulaincourt  or Abbesses (line 12)

Blanche, Anvers (line 2)

Buses : 30, 54, 67 or Montmartrobus.

 

Some addresses :

  1. Le tracteur rouge – 41 rue Caulaincourt – Paris 18 : for a lovely lunch, brunch, or dinner in a charming and very welcoming place. Metro Lamark Caulaincourt (at the bottom of Montmartre hill)
  2. L’Hôtel Particulier – Charming hotel in the middle of Montmartre
  3. L’été en Pente douce – a nice colored tarrace – a quiet village atmosphere – a very pleasant place for a lunch, a drink, a break
  4. Le café des 2 moulins (the café of Amelie (movie)) – 15 rue Lepic – Paris 18 – Rue Lepic : where much of the movie Amelie was shot)
  5. Grenat et Taffetas –  Beautiful vintage jewels – 25 rue Houdon – Paris 18 nearby the Place des Abbesses – Metro Stop : Abesses
    75018 Paris –  0142592249      –   Tuesday to Saturday : 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday : 12 am to 6 pm
  6. Bakery Boris Lumé – 48 rue Caulaincourt – Paris 18

Here is a video shot a rainy winter day in Montmartre

Visit Montmartre, with “Ann Jeanne in Paris”, native Parisian : 

(cobblestones winding streets,  romantic alleyways, long stairways, vineyards, windmills, authentic cafes …)

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Montmartre off the beaten path and get a real feel of an authentic Paris ?
  • You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle and Parisians ?    Feel free to contact me

Anne à Montsouris - Format original-2637

WELCOME !

  • I’d be delighted to welcome you and show you “my” Paris. And Paris will become “your” city too 🙂
  • The tour is private (with you only or you and the person you choose), at your pace. Duration : Half a day
  • For more details : The tours – Booking and Pricing
  • Feel free to contact me

 Ann Jeanne in Paris’ Private walking tours

La Closerie nowadays

“La Closerie des Lilas” means “Small enclosed lilac garden”. It’s a place, with an enormous charm, calm and elegant, which makes Paris magic. It’s one of the mythical brasseries of Montparnasse neighborhood.  The ambiance of old-world Paris.

WHERE ?

La Closerie des Lilas

“La Closerie des Lilas” is located in Montparnasse neighborhood which was, between WWI and WWII, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life (after Montmartre and before Saint Germain des Prés heydays). On the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Saint Michel. A bit off the beaten path. Most regulars are Parisians.

A ONE MINUTE VIDEO FILMED ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON :

A bit of History : 

You can’t forget the richness of its past… La Closerie des Lilas is over 100 years old. It has entertained visitors from all over the world. And many writers and artists met up at the Closerie des Lilas.

Here, you can feel the presence of Hemingway

The only decent café in our neighborhood was La Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafes in Paris. It was warm in the winter and the terrace was lovely in the spring and fall,” Hemingway – A Moveable feast

Also the hang-out for : Verlaine, Apollinaire, Beckett, Man Ray, Sartre, Baudelaire, Cezanne, Modigliani, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, André Gide to name a few.

A revered haunt for the Lost generation writers  : Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway who used to come here to write. La Closerie des Lilas was one of Hemingway’s favorite cafés, where he wrote parts of “The sun also rises here”, and where Scott Fitzgerald showed him “Gatsby” for the first time. Behind the bar, one can find a picture of young Hemingway in an army uniform form WWI.

THE SETTING

A warm and cosy ambiance.

A restaurant with a pleasant terrace, a quaint little tree-enclosed patio, a brasserie, and a bar.

The bar : a gorgeous setting, low-lighted, with furniture made in polished mahogany, red-leather confortable banquettes, A brass and chrome bar. There are one-by-three-inch brass nameplates on the corner of the tables with engraved names of literary figures who supposedly sat there. The bartenders are dressed in white jacket. They will serve you a customized cocktail. Live music most evenings and the sunday afternoon too make the place even more special…. and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris  … and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris.                                                        

Practical details :

  • La Closerie des Lilas – 171 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris 6 –  Hours: 12 noon – 1:00 a.m.  Web site : www.closeriedeslilas.fr    Tel. : + 33(0)1 40 51 34 50
  • Metro : Vavin (line 4) or Raspail (line 4 and 6) (Both metro stop at about 7 min walk) RER : Port Royal (just beside the Closerie des Lilas), Bus : 38 (a bus stop just nearby)

My advice :

  • a must-go on your visit to Paris,
  • Why not a drink (a cocktail, a coffee, a hot chocolate or whatever) in the gorgeous bar, where the bartender will serve you a customized cocktail if you wish to !
  • When you have a drink , you can have a pastry too. The “assiette gourmande” is delightful (An “assiette gourmande” is an assortment of a few very littles pastries). 
  • Or for a lunch or dinner either at the restaurant (but quite pricey, an upscale restaurant) or the brasserie.
  • After a lunch, you can either go for a walk in the Observatoire garden, (nearby –   ) then the Luxembourg garden (10 minutes walk from La Closerie), or go for a walk in the Montparnasse neighborhood (around Vavin) then to the Luxembourg garden (an entrance nearby Vavin street)
  • … And don’t miss the bathroom, which is really gorgeous ! Beautiful Art Deco style. 
  • The 4 other popular literary cafés/brasseries in Montparnasse neighborhood are : “Le Select’, “La Rotonde”, “Le Dome” and “La Coupole”

DSC_6143

Café Le Flore

A famous and charming cafe… Probably the most famous and charming cafe in Paris. Though a touristic cafe too, Le Flore is a cafe where you’ll find Parisians, alone or with friends. Spending time discussing, watching the passers by. The Art Deco interior of this café, all-red seating, mahogany and mirrors, has changed little since the war.

Le Flore is located on the left bank of the river Seine, in Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood, nearby the Saint Germain des Prés church, one of the oldest Paris’ church. 

Le Flore offers tes, coffees, hot chocolates, alcoholic drinks and juices, snacks and full meals

A  bit of History :

Le Flore was opened in the 1880s

In the 1950s, french intellectuals used to come and stay there, talking about new philosophical ideas. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir developed their philosophy of existentialism here.

In the 30’s, the gathering place for the surrealist, the publishers, the artists and directors.

After the WWII, Le Flore was the headquarter for the existentialists : Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Boris Vian and writers and artists such as Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Françoise Sagan, Romain Gary…

Nowadays, Le Flore is still a popular location for celebrities. Many artists, writers, intellectuals, politics use to come to “Le Flore”.  Since 1994 the “Prix de Flore”, a literary prize is awarded annually at the Café de Flore.

Practical details : 

Le Flore – 172 boulevard Saint-Germain – Paris 6 (at the corner of Boulevard St Germain and rue Saint Benoit)  Metro Stop : Saint Germain des Prés (line 4)

Below : a 40 secondes video about “Le Flore” (I am not on this video, nor filming it)

My advice : 

  • If you prefer to sit outside, choose the Saint Benoit street side of “Le Flore”, more “Parisian” and quiet.
  • You can buy Le Flore crockery if you wish to (cups,  saucers, glasses… etc with the words in green “Café de Flore”). Just ask a waiter who will show you the display case ). A nice gift to bring back home for your friends or family…. or yourself (!)
  • Nearby : “Les 2 magots”(the Flore’s sister), located in front of Saint Germain des Prés’s church. In “Les 2 magots” you can ask for a Pierre Hermé mille feuille which is gorgeous.