Sometimes you have to travel halfway around the world to go next door. If there’s one thing Paris has taught me, it’s that. Somehow, we were incredibly lucky to have rented an apartment in an amazing neighbourhood. In an old, cobblestone 16th century street in the middle of the Marais, we were surrounded by galleries and ateliers run by designers and artists that I wanted to people-watch all day long. Peppered throughout their striking spaces were some of the best restaurants, bars and boulangeries I’d ever been to.
Take for example, Chez Alain. You literally had to open the front door of our apartment building, take four steps directly in front of you to cross the street and then open the door to this delightful joint. Its Algerian/French cuisine and quaint service of the owner and his staff were enough to make you want to eat there every night.
But why would you? When right next door was another magnificent eatery, and two doors down another. And about fifty metres in the opposite direction is L’Ami Louis, dubbed one of the ‘best restaurants in the world’ and the favourite haunt of Bill Clinton, Jennifer Aniston and a slew of other celebrities when they’re in town. Although, judging by A.A Gill’s review, it’s far overrated by stuffy British folk and wealthy Americans. The thing is, with the amazing restaurants and bars on offer in Rue du Vertbois, we needed not worry about the culinary misdirections of L’Ami Louis.
It makes you realise that if one street alone can proffer up enough food, wine and artistic delights—imagine what a whole city can.
The thing that excited me most about Paris was that every turn of the corner was another exciting adventure. There was nothing better than getting lost down its long avenues or windy streets and laneways, as just next door to the last amazing place was one to rival it in quaintness, quirkiness or decadence.
It could possibly be the best city to get lost in and find something even better than what you were looking for. In Paris, there is always something to see and do and eat and buy and watch and listen to next door. And then turn the corner and do it all over again.
Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.