July 30, 2014
When Benjamin Franklin came to Paris as US ambassador, he moved into the charming village of Passy, where genteel manor homes filled the bucolic countryside in what is now the 16th arrondissement. The Passy neighborhood still has that easy village feel, shady streets leading the way for relaxed, affluent Parisians out running their daily errands. It is far from the tourist crowds, yet very much in the heart of the city, the Eiffel Tower never far from sight.
The 16th is known for its wide tree lined boulevards with bourgeois apartment buildings, the epitome of Baron Haussmann’s 19th century urban planning. This is an arrondissement made for leisurely strolls and easy access, full of excellent museums, remarkable food, and stupendous views with the extraordinary 2000-acre Bois de Boulogne park just steps away.
As museums go, the Cîté de l’architecture is a jewel box of architecture from the Middle Ages to today, with gargoyles lining the walls just a floor below Le Corbusier models. The Eiffel Tower looks on through the plate glass façade. A few blocks away the Palais de Tokyo is the largest contemporary art space in Europe, next to the City of Paris’ Free Modern Art Museum with the Galliera Fashion Museum just across the street. At the far extreme of the arrondissement the Marmottan Monet Museum displays the world’s largest collection of Monet masterpieces.
Dining options in the 16th run the gamut, from the Michelin-three-star Astrance to the humble Cîté de l’architecture‘s cafeteria with its priceless view of the Trocadero fountains and the Eiffel Tower. Le Tournesol is a bright, vibrant bistro along the Seine, serving fresh, modern cuisine to the intellectual crowd from the Maison de la Radio across the street.
La Petite Marquise is another favorite with the local business crowd, well known for their baked goods, while Le Stella is a classic old world style bistro with memorable food that takes diners back to another era. Les Deux Stations is a charming neighborhood bistro with the perfect mix of authentic tradition and modern fun.
As soon as the sun starts to shine, the fashion crowd heads to the terrace at Monsieur Bleu to munch on contemporary fusion fare, with yet another view to take your breath away.
Tokyo Eat is where local families head for a Sunday brunch with a post-modern, industrial, arty vibe, while the more genteel set will opt for the aristocratic St James garden brunch or Michelin-starred dinners.
The residents of the 16th have remained loyal to their local markets, ensuring the survival of two covered markets – the Marché couvert Passy and the Marché couvert Saint-Didier – as well as six open-air roving markets that visit on various days from Tuesday to Sunday.
Parisians will cross town to visit the butchers Yves Marie Le Bourdonnec or Hugo Desnoyer, true artisans who are passionate about their craft. And while they’re in the neighborhood, they’re sure to visit one of the infamous pastry shops in the area: the historic Carette, the modern Cyril Lignac, and the decadent Pâtisserie des Rêves.
In between meals and museums, families can head to the quaint Ranelagh gardens for a puppet show or to ride the old-fashioned, hand-cranked merry-go-round. The newly restored Art Deco pools at Piscine Molitor guarantee a relaxing day, regardless of the weather, with one large pool for bathing and sun bathing, and a second covered pool for serious laps in any weather, all set in what could easily be a 1930s film set. Modern boutiques featuring popular Parisian brands line the boulevard Victor Hugo and fill the Passy village, with the LVMH-owned Franck et Fils department store ensuring that there really is something for everyone. And if you don’t find it there, the collection of five Reciproque consignment shops on the rue de la Pompe is a treasure trove of luxury bargains.
At the end of the day, the Sir Winston is a classy neighborhood dive that sells cheap drinks to the thirsty crowd of business folk leaving their offices on the Champs Elysées. The Hotel Raphael serves up perfect drinks with an exclusive rooftop view of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, while the equally elegant Shangri-La is known for elaborate cocktails and the occasional DJ entertaining into the wee hours.
Stay tuned soon for a visit to those 2000 acres of the Bois de Boulogne, where Michelin-starred restaurants collide with an amusement park and some very exciting architecture…
- Musée Cité de l’architecture, 1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 58 51 52 00
- Musée Marmottan Monet, 2 rue Louis Boilly, 75016 Paris. Tel: + 33 (0)1 44 96 50 33
- Musée d’Art Moderne, 11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 53 67 40 00
- Palais Galeria, 10 rue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 56 52 86 00
- Astrance, 4 rue Beethoven, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 50 84 40
- Le Tournesol, 2 avenue de Lamballe, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 25 95 94
- Les Deux Stations, 131 boulevard Exelmans, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 46 51 89 19
- Le Stella, 133 avenue Victor Hugo, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 56 90 56 00
- La Petite Marquise, 3 place Victor Hugo, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (01)
- Palais de Tokyo/Tokyo Eat, 13 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 47 20 00 29
- Monsieur Bleu, 20 avenue de New York, 75116, Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 47 20 90 47
- Yves Marie Bourdonnec, 172 avenue Victor Hugo, 75116 Paris.
- Hugo Desnoyer, 28 rue du Docteur Blanche, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 40 76 67
- Carette, 4 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 47 27 98 85
- Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac, 2 rue Chaillot, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (01) 43 72 74 88
- Pâtisserie des Rêves, 111 rue de Longchamp, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 47 04 00 24
- Jardin Ranelagh, 1 avenue Prudhon, 75016 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 83 51 75
- Hotel Raphael, 17 avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 53 64 32 00
- Shangri-La, 10 avenue d’Iéna, 75116 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 53 67 19 98
- Check out some additional 16ème arrondissement recommendations from the Savoir Faire Paris blog
- Sylvia Sabes shares more insider tips: here are her top 5 favorite cafes in Paris for the HiP Paris Blog
- Take a look at Haven in Paris’s gorgeous new Victor Hugo Luxe apartment in the 16ème
Written by Sylvia Sabes
Sylvia is thrilled to be a French citizen, living in Paris where she writes ad copy for brands like Cartier, Hermès and L'Oréal while raising two teens and learning to share life with a Frenchman. You can read more of her adventures in Paris and across the globe on her website, Only In Paris.
Website: Only In Paris
Tags: 16eme, 16th arrondissement, Arc de Triomphe, Astrance, Baron Haussman, Benjamin Franklin, Bois de Boulogne, Carette, Champs Elysee, Cite de l'Architecture, City of Paris Modern Art Museum, Cyril Lignac, eiffel tower, Hotel Raphael, Hugo Desnoyer, Jardi Ranelagh, La Petite Marquise, Le Corbusier, Le Tournesol, Les Deux Stations, Marche Didier, Marche Passy, Michelin, Monet, Monsieur Bleu, Musee Marmottan Monet, Palais de Tokyo, Palmyre Roigt, paris, Passy, Patisserie des Reves, Shangri-La, Sylvia Sabes, tokyo eat, Trocadero, Trocadero Fountains, Yves Marie Le Bourdonnec
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