Visitors entering from boulevard Raspail step into La Traversée (The Crossing), the dreamlike world of Eva Jospin made from a cardboard forest that forms a thirty-meter corridor leading straight to Marc Vellay’s huge bronze L’Arbre Neuronal (Neuronal Tree.) Les Mangoustes de Beauvais by stone sculptor Stefan Rinck is just a short walk away. These three primitive mongooses invite us to enjoy the gourmet delights on offer at Yannick Alléno’s Allénothèque, a bistronomic restaurant, wine cellar and art gallery spread over three floors; the Mersea restaurant of Finistère Chef Olivier Bellin with its seafood menu; La Boulangerie Thierry Marx and its wide selection of bread kneaded on the premises; Alexandre Pommard’s Boucherie-Restaurant; the Fromagerie Barthélémy, a cheese store that supplies the French presidential palace, the Élysée, among others; and the Café Pierre Hermé, where you can savor macaroons in a tasteful décor by Laura Gonzalez. To create the perfect showcase, each Chef has called on top designers including Mathieu Lehanneur, the brains behind Daily Pic, Anne-Sophie Pic’s upmarket canteen, and the Onndo collective, formed by the Nomura and Nendo architecture studios, which designed the contemporary café for Japanese brand %arabica, where you can choose from a stimulating selection of quality coffees. And if you need to burn off some of those calories, the sports club opened by champion coach Abdoulaye Fadiga has all the facilities you need for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Beaupassage, an Epicure Garden
Love the finer things in life? Then you’re sure to like Beaupassage! A feast for mind and body, this open-air art gallery, landscaped garden and foodie heaven has infused this typically Parisian passage with new blood – and there’s nowhere quite like it. Paris was not only the first city to build shopping arcades in the 18th century, it also had the largest number – although only 17 out of the original 240 survive, the rest were sacrificed on the altar of urban development. Boasting three entrances, Beaupassage is an enchanted island where visitors enjoy a multi-sensory experience combining food for the soul and the taste buds. With buildings dating from the 18th century, 1930s and the industrial era, in brick, iron, glass and stone, a visit to this 10,000 sq.m. passage sheds light on the city’s changing urban landscape. International landscaping star, Michel Desvigne has stitched it all together with his sculpted wooded environment planted with some 60 varieties of plants, flowers and trees from the Paris region, providing the perfect backdrop to the passage’s artworks. Les Deux Chênes (The Two Oak Trees), for example, is a two-tone molding of a three-centuries-old tree by Fabrice Hyber.