5 former Parisian practice stations that at the moment are nice eating places

The railway La Petite Ceintureor Little Belt, was the brainchild of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann, who collectively razed a lot of the French capital creating what’s now quintessential Paris with its grand boulevards, buttery buildings, timber and open areas.

The thought was not solely to have a method of transporting items all through Paris with out having to traverse the bustling metropolis, but in addition to attach the outlying suburbs with the massive practice stations in central Paris.

In December 1851, after the inauguration of Napoleon III, the primary part of this intramural railway monitor which encircled Paris was granted. At its peak, in its one-and-a-half-hour circumnavigation of the town, the Petite Ceinture carried as much as 90,000 passengers a day in six scheduled trains an hour and tons of cargo round and into Paris.

Alas, it was the Metro, whose first station opened in 1900, that gave the Petite Ceinture the kiss of demise. Quickly many of the deserted stretches started to be reclaimed by nature, whereas some cargo traces nonetheless continued into the Eighties earlier than being deserted.

In latest many years, nevertheless, the previous traces have slowly been rediscovered as important inexperienced areas, and lots of sections are open to the general public as footbridges, making an incredible addition to Paris’ extra offbeat spots. Of the unique 29 stations, 17 stay, and a handful have been reimagined as cafes, eating places and music areas.

Once I lived in Paris, I walked all the perimeter, about 20 miles, of the Petite Ceinture, discovering this previous railway and stopping at varied eating places alongside the way in which. Listed below are my favorites, as standard, in no explicit order.

The REcyclerie

Picture credit score: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

1. The REcyclerie

While you exit the Metro at Porte de Clignancourt, you look straight on the gigantic Purple coronary heart, an set up by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, a glittering reminder of the cliché of everlasting romance in Paris. To your left you will notice what was clearly a former practice station, very unromantic proper subsequent to a KFC.

La REcyclerie is likely one of the first reinventions of the previous Petite Ceinture stations, made, because the identify suggests, largely recycled bits and items. Inside, your eye is drawn not solely to the massive home windows overlooking the railroad tracks, but in addition to the correct, the place the hole window and door frames make for excellent wall decorations.

Seating is a mixture of tables and chairs, as is crockery, as recycled stuff tends to be. If the climate’s good, step exterior and attempt to sit close to the restricted outside areas, which border the tracks and prolong into the restaurant’s veggie backyard full with beehives additional down.

It is a place to eat and drink, with espresso, beer and wine, sandwiches, desserts and risotto dishes, pasta and lots of vegetarian dishes. Not high-quality eating, however nice enjoyable and a really quirky atmosphere, good for al fresco lunches or afternoon drinks.

Professional tip: Cross the principle intersection and preserve strolling to the well-known Puces de Saint Ouen flea markets.


Picture credit score: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Previously the La Gare restaurant whose identify continues to be emblazoned on the previous constructing, this house is now occupied by the Latin American ANDIA. And he has a shock in retailer. The beautiful little station home merely would not look large enough for a restaurant, however step inside and also you make your technique to what had been as soon as the platforms and platforms, which now make for an enormous eating room below the excessive roof adorned with massive lamps. The venue is commonly used for big non-public events comparable to weddings because the house is ideal for bigger teams. That mentioned, you could find a comfy nook to your meal with none issues.

The menu spans Latin America, from tacos and ceviche to fish, beef, and staples like burgers with guacamole, in fact. A should strive, in my e book, is the tuna and truffle ceviche, so good! Or, you may simply sit by the window of the upstairs bar with a cocktail and a few snacks, popping in each hour, to see the Eiffel Tower making its twinkling simply down the road, and simply seen from the doorway.

Professional tip: In case you occur to have lunch right here afterwards, you may stroll a stretch of the Petite Ceinture beginning simply behind the restaurant (though the doorway is about 150 meters additional on), via an enchanted wooden, to the subsequent station, which has been reworked into the Brasserie Auteuil, see later.

Auteuil Brasserie

Picture credit score: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

This sprawling former railway station is a wonderful place to fulfill associates, sit exterior in the summertime, dance the evening away on the roof terrace or benefit from the cozy inside, predominantly Italian meals and in depth cocktail menu. Auteuil Brasserie isn’t a typical brasserie, being an all-rounder, with a big terrace in summer season overlooking the bustling sixteenth sq.th arrondissement, to its fashionable restaurant inside, with some fairly inside design touches, like leopard-print wallpaper within the bogs, and a rooftop terrace that is hopping in all seasons.

Within the winter, along with the entire above, it transforms right into a ski chalet full with snow, polar bear and ski decorations. In the summertime strive the burrata, in between seasons there may be nothing higher than pasta with mushrooms with truffles or the Auteuil pizza, and within the winter go for the entire above, simply with a glass of chaud wine pending.

Professional tip: From right here you’ve easy accessibility to the Bois de Boulogne, the huge forest with quite a few lakes and ponds and enormous walkways. Cross the principle avenue and go the racecourse through the Route d’Auteuil aux lacs to Lac Superior and Lac Inferieur, certainly one of my favourite European lakes; by the way in which, the names indicate higher and decrease lakes, not higher and fewer.


Picture credit score: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

This beautiful reinvention is likely one of the newest and one of many best. And one of many farthest from the middle, however I will offer you some good causes to go to this place. South of Paris, across the Porte d’Orleans, is the station which now homes Poincon, one other multifaceted place.

The restaurant is positioned within the open house that was as soon as the station entrance, full with a mezzanine, and is illuminated by the massive floor-to-ceiling home windows. Individuals come right here for lunch (Wednesday to Saturday solely), with a small set menu at an incredible worth, or for dinner, which takes the type of sharing trays, appetizers and nibbles to munch on with a number of drinks. However what you actually come for is the Sunday Jazz Brunch. For 35 euros, you get a number of breakfast dishes, juices, scorching drinks and plenty of reside music.

The environment is nice and the setting is even higher. There may be some historical past of the constructing and earlier than and after photographs on the entrance, displaying how a lot good they’ve performed to make this place so lovely after some 74 years of neglect.

Professional tip: Poincon is positioned between Porte de Vanves, with its nice lengthy weekend flea market and round Avenue Marc Sangnier, a beautiful market with all types of treasures, and Parc Montsouris, certainly one of my favourite parks in Paris. You may simply stroll between the three venues or hop on the tram for a few stops. Do you know that there are trams in Paris? They usually virtually parallel the Petite Ceinture as a extra fashionable model. Regular metro tickets work with trams.

Le Hasard Ludique

Picture credit score: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Within the north of Paris, close to the Porte de Saint-Ouen metro cease, one cease counterclockwise from the La REcycleries Petite Ceinture station, is Le Hasard Ludique, a really totally different idea from Poincon, but in addition a brunch hotspot. A terrific place to eat good meals, however not essentially in a high-quality eating setting. As an alternative, this mixture of café, restaurant and music venue, provides a hip and younger vibe and is totally popping on the weekend for Le Brunch and within the night for gentle bites, drinks and reside music.

Situated in one of many smaller station buildings on the lot, the venue additionally makes use of the steps main all the way down to the platforms, which supply further house. And it’s on this house {that a} Christmas market takes place in December. On the platforms of the previous Petite Ceinture, creating a very distinctive atmosphere. The market is extra various than conventional, extra native arts and crafts than mass produced, however, should you’re close by at Christmas time, it is nicely value a cease.

Professional tip: Inside strolling distance is the romantic and utterly hidden Cit des Fleurs, an unmissable place for a dream stroll admiring some gorgeous Parisian actual property that even comes full with gardens. Proper there in Paris!

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