Otu is originally from London and moved to Paris in 2009. Always eager to discover new areas he lived in the most charming neighborhoods, Le Marais, Saint Germain and around the Canal St Martin. He loves to party, is addicted to French cheese and good wine. He is the perfect guide for an unforgettable weekend in Paris.
What is your favorite area in Paris?
You can find me most in the area around the Canal St Martin, Belleville and the North Marais. They are each very different from each other but also share a small community or village feel once you get to know them and the people who live and work here.
Where did you have a great dinner recently?
At Freddy’s in Saint Germain. It’s a simple tapas restaurant, very tasty, has a great wine selection and helpful friendly staff.
Where do you go for drinks?
In the 6th ARR, I am usually at La Palette. Although it is in a fairly popular neighborhood, it is tucked out of the way and frequented by locals, young and old, living in the area. I am sure the occasional Tinder dates can all be observed once you’ve settled in with your favorite drink. Further up north I like to go to Aux Folies in Belleville. My swimming pool is on the same street so I often go there after a swim. The people that come here are diverse and usually very friendly. When I am around Pigalle, Le Sans Souci is a die-hard favorite. With great music, friendly and entertaining bar staff it is not difficult to see why this place is usually teeming no matter what time of day or night.
What would you do with friends from out of town who come over for a weekend to Paris?
The museum L’Institut du monde arab in the 5th ARR. The rooftop offers an incredible view of the city. I would take them to the market, Marché des Enfants Rouge, my favorite Moroccan restaurant is hidden inside here somewhere but don’t tell anyone about it. The queues already go half way around the block. I would go to Marché d’aligre, between place the La Bastille and place the La Nation. It’s a great market with food stalls, cheese shops and many antique shops. We will make a stop at Le Baron Rouge; a wonderful wine bar with a charcuterie board that will make you go weak in the knees.
Where would you recommend friends from another city to sleep?
I like Mama Shelter in the 20e ARR, but it is a bit out of the way for most people. The Artus and Hotel du Buci are both great places in the 6e ARR. If they are staying for more than a couple of nights, then Airbnb can be an attractive alternative.
Is there a shop where you often go to?
Aux Merveilleux de Fred at Rue du Pont Louis Philippe, is a meringue and cream based pastry that is very popular in the north of France. I rarely find myself anywhere around Le Marais / St Paul / Ile St Louis without stopping by to indulge.
Where do you meet your friends for coffee?
I generally think coffee in Paris is atrocious, so I drink an “express” (espresso) at the bar of any bistro and get on with it. For a real coffee experience however, La Cafeotheque at Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, Coutume cafe in the 7th ARR and Cafe Kitsune near Le Jardin du Luxembourg all serve up excellent choices.
What would you miss if you were to leave Paris?
My friends. Ultimately the people are what make experiencing a city unique and memorable. But if I could take my friends with me then I’d weep for the amazing cheese, wine, freshly baked baguettes & chausson aux pommes I haven’t yet gorged myself on. Tip: Order a pain parisien or tradition instead of a baguette.