From the outside looking in

20 May, 2015

A hotel so quaint, so special and so charming, curious outsiders have their chilled springtime noses pressed against the front windows. Through puffs of warm air frosting the glass, you can almost lip read their oohs and aahs of hotel-envy. I was so very happy to be an insider complete with a harpsichord, a small dog and a French newspaper. To add some icing to the perfection, Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais lies at the end of one of the very best pavement pounding possibilities in Paris. Rue du Temple Vieille is the pulsing artery of the Marais District. And as if to cast aside any lingering doubt as to the hipness of the location, the famous trend forecaster Li Edelkoort was casually sipping wine in a minuscule bar next door. Au Petit Fer à Cheval named for it’s horseshoe-shaped marble counter allows seating for only a handful of the lucky Kir-sipping few. It’s air of exclusivity and desirability is delivered more by way of practical limitations than any real attempts at exclusion. Find locals, wannabe locals, tourists and maybe even a low-key celebrity.

The 18th century playwright, revolutionary and musician Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais lived in the heart of Rue Vieille du Temple. We discover that not only is the hotel named for Beaumarchais but every aspect of the décor is inspired by his playful exuberance and joie de vivre. Layer upon layer of decoration celebrates his most famous work, The Marriage of Figaro and the French culture of the time. Portraits from back in the day hang alongside wall-mounted chandeliers and on top of elegant wallpaper designs. Even the lift is a teeny sized statement in 18th century charm. Each bedroom features further delightful indulgence in the same theme along with old fashioned bathroom styling set into modern plumbing. The reception sets the scene and is a thematic high point with small bureaux, thin-legged seating options, and of course, the harpsichord, the small dog and Le Monde.

Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais
12 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

The Marais and Rue Vieille-du-Temple, The Hit and Hip List

Au Petit Fer à Cheval
On my shortlist for one of the coolest bars in the world.
30 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

Des Gars dans La Cuisine
As the name “boys in the kitchen” implies, this restaurant is relaxed, friendly yet in the highest league of quality and delectability.
72 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

L’Etoile Manquante
“The missing star” found at this little jewel of a bar.
34 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

Les Philosophes
Pontificate, preach, pronounce and philosophise over breakfast, lunch, aperitifs, dinner and into the night at this most perfect of people watching pavement cafés.
28 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

Le Pick-Clops
Quirky, chatty, retro cool for coffee to cocktails.
16 Rue Vieille-du-Temple

Marché des Enfants Rouges
39 Rue de Bretagne
The oldest covered market in Paris is open every day except Mondays. For those who cook, find irresistible fresh produce from seafood to vegetables and cheeses. For the lazy, find restaurants, bars and meals to take home.

Chez Julien
A classic Belle Epoque restaurant complete with aged mirrors, painted ceilings, romantic, candlelit dining and unique views from the terrace. A very special treat.
1 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe

Musée Carnavalet
A small, manageable and fascinating museum showcasing the extraordinary and blood-letting history of Paris.
23 rue de Sévigné

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