A day in Paris by Esprit de France #28

Le bouillon Pigalle par Esprit de France
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Hôtel du Rond Point des Champs Elysées
Hotel du Rond Point des Champs Elysées Esprit de France

From Montmartre To Pigalle: The Bateau Lavoir, The Cabarets And Le Bouillon Pigalle...

In the middle of Rue Cortot, one of the cobbled and steep streets that make up the charm of Butte Montmartre, the Musée Montmartre reveals the magic of its protected site. Composed of several ancient houses, it keeps the general layout of these homes and gardens which were the residence of many artists such as Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valadon or Maurice Utrillo (Suzanne’s son): the Maison du Bel Air, one of the oldest on the Butte, the more majestic Hôtel Demarne, Suzanne Valadon's workshop and the Renoir gardens, so called because they were recreated in 2012 from the paintings Renoir made during his stay there. In addition to a nice little cafe offering its glass roof and tables in the sun, you are treated to an exceptional view over the Clos Montmartre vineyards and the rue Saint-Vincent below where stands one of the famous cabarets, Le Lapin Agile, that contributed to the history of this neighborhood. Currently the museum, besides its permanent collections devoted to the artistic bohemia of Montmartre at the turn of the 20th century, is exhibiting the works of the Dutch painter Van Dongen. van-dongen-portrait-de-fernande He started painting in the artist studios of the legendary Bateau-Lavoir in 1905 and there met Picasso and his circle. He also linked up with those who would be called the Fauves at the Salon d'Automne that same year -such as Vlaminck, Matisse and Derain- and gradually abandoned his stroke by stroke technique for a more primitive approach to bold and flat color. Both his landscapes and portraits joyfully and expressively celebrate modernity.

At the end of the day, as you head down the Butte to the Boulevard de Clichy, why not stay in the same atmosphere for dinner? A cheerful ambience prevails at a new restaurant in the 18th district conjuring up a Paris of the past. Until now, The Bouillon Chartier and the Bouillon Racine were the only survivors of the large and popular bouillons serving cheap traditional French dishes during the late 19th century. Le Bouillon Pigalle, a beautiful two-floor building has been turned into a modern-style brasserie serving cult classics. Try out timeless, home-made dishes such as Basque black pudding with potato purée, or beef bourguignon & pasta shells, rounded off with choux puffs and whipped cream, while enjoying the 2nd floor terrace, decorated with brass fixings, Thonet bistro chairs and leatherette sofas.