Tag Archives: Centre Pompidou

Kisses from Paris…

How would you describe a city like Paris? Do you automatically think of a Robert Doisneau image of two lover kissing in front of the Hotel de Ville or is the Eiffel Tower lit up at night inscribed in your memory?  Paris is undoubtedly magical, but the beyond the confines of the tourist trails is one of the most multi-cultural, artistic and unconventional capitals in Europe.

The Paris Ile-de-France Comite Regionale du Tourisme has just launched a short viral film to promote the young and vibrant side of the city that many visitors end up missing.

The three and a half minute film entitled Kisses From Paris is directed by French actor/director Yvan Attal (who is also Charlotte Gainsbourg’s partner) and is sound tracked by Rufus Wainwright’s atmospheric Leaving For Paris.   The Paris tourist board loved his sketch in New York, I Love You so much that they commissioned Yvan to express his own creative vision of the “New Paris Ile-de-France”.

The film features two young lovers, played by Zoé Schellenberg and Pierre Perrier snogging their way through Paris, stopping only to marvel at the amazing sights around them.  In between declaring how much they adore each other, the couple study the art at the Beaubourg and the Palais de Tokyo, stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin, go to a gig at the Chateau de Vincenne and hunt for vintage treasures at the Saint Ouen flea market.

The film is intense, stylish and dreamy but in a more realistic than whimsical way. It reminds me of Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset (shot in Paris), where Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet on a train and get to know each other in a day before going their separate ways, then meeting up in Paris nine years on.

Kisses From Paris does nothing to dispel the myth of Paris as a city for lovers and not all of us have a Louis Garrel look-a-like to kiss all over town, but it offers a new, alternative Paris to fall in love with.

To find out more about ‘le nouveau Paris’ and to win a trip to Paris, visit the website.

Bon café @ Beaubourg

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).

Cafe Beaubourg terrace

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!

Cafe Beaubourg

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. 

Café Beaubourg, 100, Rue Saint Martin, 75004 Paris, France

Nearby: Centre Pompidou, Fontaine Stravinski, le Marais, la Seine,

Metro: Rambuteau or Hôtel-de-Ville