One of the best things about moving to a new city is getting settled into local life. After four years, I’ve finally found my fitness groove, I’ve got my regular ‘resto’, and I’ve fine-tuned my personalised visitor’s guide. However, there’s always something new to do in Paris, whether it’s a bar opening, a pop-up venue privée sample sale or a free concert (and there are so many!). Here are some of my latest Parisian discoveries…
Every weekend, Ines, a French fashion consultant, opens her stylish Bastille loft (#apartmentgoals) and cooks a homemade brunch for guests. It’s a typical Parisian apartment – ie only 10 people can fit, max – which means it’s also a friendly meal where you can chat to Ines (she speaks fluent English) and your fellow brunchers. Ines can cater to whatever you feel like, although she specialises in the healthy stuff – everything is fresh, organic and gluten-free. The menu changes all the time – when I went, I had dairy-free Fromage blanc with a seed crumble and kiwi fruit, an avocado and pineapple quinoa salad, raw flourless chocolate cake, and her grandfather’s secret recipe tisane.
The French version of Banksy, known only as Invader, has slowly taken over Paris with his famous pixelated art stuck on walls and buildings. Everywhere you go, you’ll see his tiled mosaics, mostly in the form of the ‘80s space invaders, although he’s also done a Mona Lisa (Rue du Louvre), Mario (near the Pompidou Centre) and a Smurf (Quai de Valmy). Each artwork is worth a certain number of points and there are competitions around the world to beat the top score. You can find maps online, but I prefer just to wander around the streets, eyes up and camera at the ready.
For a yoga class like no other, try an Optimystic Movement class. Teacher Meghan Sullivan moved from the US to France, bringing her unique dance-yoga-cardio classes to the City of Light. She hosts a variety of hip-hop ballet barre, urban flow yoga, and strength and flexibility workshops every week. One of my yoga highlights was doing downward dogs in the premier suite of the boutique Hôtel Particulier in Montmartre. She also has classes in dance studios, art schools and outdoors in parks around Paris.
One of the coolest pop-up bars in Paris at the moment is ABQ, a lab-in-a-van like Walter and Jesse’s mobile meth lab in the Breaking Bad. In a warehouse on the slightly dodgy outskirts of Paris, you’ll find a beat-up camper van blasting ‘90s beats from its blacked out windows. Once you get inside, you’ll be asked to put on a yellow hazmat suit and safety goggles while a neon Heisenburg watches over you. Over the course of two hours, you mix powders, liquids and questionable other things in flasks and set off chemical reactions with dry ice, blenders and gas. It’s only in Paris this summer before the van heads back across the Channel to London.
OFF Paris Seine is a new hotel on a peniche docked at the Seine in the 13th arrondissement. There are 58 floating rooms where you can stay, or else just stop by for a few poolside pre-drinks before heading next door to the rooftop club Nuba and finishing the night off over the other side of the river at Concrete.
Kimberlee Oo is a freelance writer and French-English translator who moved to Paris in pursuit of the perfect croissant. Instagram: @kymbali20; Snapchat: kymbali20
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.