LIFESTYLE An unexpected time in Paris

5 min

Welcome to the series that swerves your stopover into a whole new dimension.

Ah, the city of light – a sleepy bateau mouche down the Seine and a little-known Iron Lady called La Tour Eiffel. Only joking… want to do things differently? We’ve got your back.


Well not outside the box per se, but outside the ‘périphérique’: the ring of motorway that encircles the 20 arrondissements of Paris and creates a barrier – both tarmac and psychological – between the city and the world outside it. It’s a barrier worth breaking, and you don’t even have to do so at the speed of light: simply wander up the canal north-east to Pantin. First stop? Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac – a prodigious early-20th century ironworks factory converted to host large-scale works, recent shows include Alex Katz, Gilbert & George and Anselm Kiefer. A truly world class gallery, a step beyond the normal footfall.

  • Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 93500 Pantin, France

Le Perchoir photographed by Jérôme Galland


Fancy a drink? Treat it like a game of cards: do you want to go high or low? In Paris, everyone loves a rooftop, or ‘toit’, so head skywards to one of the high-flying Perchoirs, or the clandestine champagne bar on the roof of the Moulin Rouge. Equally, everyone also likes the dark little secret of a speakeasy, so try out the old classic Moonshiner – where you’ll walk through a working fridge at the back of a pizzeria into a moody cocktail bar – or step outside of time, and into the Little Red Door.

  • Perchoir de L’est, Place du 11 Novembre 1918, Rue du 8 mai 1945, 75010 Paris (open from June to end of September)
  • Le Perchoir Ménilmontant, 33 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris (open all year long)
  • Le Bar à Bulles de la Machine du Moulin Rouge, 4Bis Cité Véron, 75018 Paris, France
  • Moonshiner, 5 rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris
  • Little Red Door, 60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France

Little Red Door photographed by Aron Farkas


Spend a minute with Paris’ three strangest clocks: Le Défenseur du temps – a surreal steel clock hidden away in the Quartier de L’Horloge, where quartz automata sees a man made of brass fight off, in turn, a bird, a dragon, and a crab (as you do) ; Salvador Dalí’s Sundial – head to 27 rue Saint-Jacques and look up to see a thing of beauty. Legend has it that in 1966, when Dali came to sign the concrete he arrived with a pal in tow: his leopard-like pet Ocelot – ; and, finally, Foucault’s Pendulum – that sounds a little like a riddle but it fact it solved one of the greatest mysteries of all time: now housed in Paris’ Pantheon, it was the first experiment to give simple, direct evidence of the earth’s rotation.

  • Salvador Dalí’s Sundial, 27 rue Saint-Jacques, 75005, Paris, France
  • Le Défenseur du Temps, Passage des Ménétriers, 19 Rue Brantôme, 75003 Paris, France
  • Foucault’s Pendulum, Panthéon, Place du Panthéon, 75005, Paris, France

The Pantheon in the 5th arrondissement of Paris


Hear the words ‘concept store’ one more time and you might scream? Well save it ‘til you see it, because Le Centre Commercial does it differently. With three Parisian locations, one focussed on (exceptionally stylish) kids, it’s a mecca of independent brands and sneakers handsome enough to live on a marble plinth.  We recommend the rue de Marseille edition, on the golden triangle that contains Chez Prune, for a perfect canal-side Picon once you’ve picked up your stash.

  • Le Centre Commercial, 2 Rue de Marseille, 75010 Paris, France
  • Le Centre Commercial Kids, 22 Rue Yves Toudic, 75 010 Paris, France
  • Chez Prune, 36 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010 Paris, France

Courtesy of Centre Commercial


Diving fan? Normally we’d recommend taking the plunge into the much-overlooked Musée National de la Marine, where you can swim up against a boat skippered by Napoleon, gilded figureheads rescued from ship-wrecks, and the Carmagnolle brothers’ 1882 diving suit…. Unfortunately, that’s closed for Titanic-sized renovations til 2021. So, a little known secret: if you have water-lust, we recommend a spot of wakeboarding, or wakeskating. Just outside of the city center and with trick ramps for the brave…

  • Musée National de la Marine, 17 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris, France (reopens in 2021).
  • Paris Wakepark, rue Jean Baptiste Clément, 94600 Choisy-le Roi

And last but not least

If you have a moment to spare after all the culture-cocktails-shopping-wakeboarding, check out the TAG Heuer boutique at 104 avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008, Paris, France. 

TAG Heuer Boutique Champ-Elysée in Paris