Ok, so Café Beaubourg is hardly off the beaten track – it stands in a square of sublime artiness, neighbouring the Centre Pompidou – but it has become my favourite place to stop for a coffee in Paris.
Often described as a haunt of the ‘fash pack/jet set/fashionistas’ or whatever you want to such privileged folk, Café Beaubourg is more BCBG than bobo, but don’t worry, there’s no sectioned off, limited view area for ‘civillians’ (thanks for that, Liz Hurley).
A café crème on the terrace feels divine after a long day wandering around the city and it’s in a prime spot for watching art students, Marais hipsters and chihuahuas (with their owners, of course) going about their day. In the winter, keep warm on the other side of the red velvet drapes and cosy up on a banquette amidst vast concrete columns and bookcases.
Café Beaubourg’s logo-emblazoned sugar lumps and cool soundtrack give away that it’s another outlet from that old paragon of good taste, Hotel Costes, but I was completely in awe of their amazing lightning bolt cups – kleptos, control yourselves!
But most importantly, the search for the best croque madame is temporarily over, as Café Beaubourg’s is a traditional béchamel-smothered 2 slicer, complete with a delicious french salad and bowl of crisp fries. In future posts, you will understand my utter contempt for dry and flimsy pain poilane rip-offs, and believe me, there are many of them in gay Paree.
Wherever you go in central Paris, you’re likely to pay upwards of 3.50 Euros for a coffee and Café Beaubourg doesn’t seem to be any more expensive than usual if you’re sticking to the lunchtime menu.
Nearby: Centre Pompidou, Fontaine Stravinski, le Marais, la Seine,
Metro: Rambuteau or Hôtel-de-Ville