You’ve been wandering in the Marais old streets, visiting Picasso‘s or Carnavalet Museum, shopping in the Francs-Bourgeois street, or in Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville huge tool’s department?
Stop at “La Belle Hortense”, a very special place : A literary bar named after a delicious novel by Jacques Roubaud, where you can find a quite large selection of books and paperbacks : modern and classic literature, poetry, psychoanalysis, society, culture, some of them in english.
You can sit on a high stool by the zinc-covered bar and have a glass of wine, or make yourself more comfortable in the back room and look at some modern artist work. If you drop in in the evening, you may find the place crowded for a book signature, a lecture or some lively discussion.
It is quiet and cozy in the afternoon, with not too loud good music, and you can just glance through books, or just have a drink. You can also buy books, cards and wine bottles to take away. The place usually opens at 5 pm, but sometimes a little later.
If you find the door closed, or if you care to see a typical ancient parisian bar, ask for information at the “Petit Fer à Cheval ” ( “the little horseshoe”, that is the bar’s shape) the café just across the street – reflected in the Belle Hortense mirror on the picture above.
La Belle Hortense, 31 rue Vieille du Temple , 75003 Métro : Hôtel de Ville ou Saint-Paul. Tel : 01 48 04 71 60 . Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.