Hot off the press and fresh out of the oven: brand new bakery Liberté opened its doors just last week on the corner of up-and-coming roads rue Lucien Sampaix and rue de Vinaigriers just next to the Canal St Martin in Paris' 10th arrondissement and has already been drawing in the crowds daily with its swanky interior design and superlative breads and cakes. Following the creation of Left Bank boulangerie-patisserie Josephine Bakery, master pastry chef Benoît Castel - who formerly created delights for luxury Parisian food hall La Grande Epicerie - has now opened his second address in the capital in the ultra-trendy, super-edgy Canal St Martin neighbourhood, a couple of doors up from our favourite fast food joint The Sunken Chip and just round the corner from new café Holybelly. The decor is stylishly modern and breaks the tradi/cosy local baker shop mould, with a sleek and massive marble counter contrasted with delicate tiled floors, brut walls and bare Claude Leveque-esque neon lights. On sale is a beautiful array of sweet things including refined lemon meringue tarts, rum babas each with their own pipette of rum, deliciously fragrant cakes and biscuits (the fruit financier is a winner) as well as top-notch croissants, excellent bread and lunch options including sandwiches and salads.
Supremely talented, cycling-mad mates Max Leonard and Andy Edwards have united their day jobs (writer and graphic designer respectively) with their passion for travelling on two wheels to create this beautiful box set of city cycling guides, in association with every bike enthusiast's favourite brand, Rapha. The nine pocket-sized books each deal with a different European city, detailing the best places to cycle and the best cafés and restaurants in which to refuel (and superlative shops, galleries and museums, too), neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and have all important sections on essential bike info, racing and training, and a suggested day-long itinerary. Paris - the hallowed cycling city in which the holy cycling grail of the Tour de France culminates - is, unsurprisingly, one of the chosen destinations for the guides (and to which Kim, your trusty editor of Unlock Paris, proudly contributed) and so fittingly hosted not only a launch party last week at chic cycling shop En Selle Marcel but also a Rapha-organised bike ride from the Champs-Elysées to Longchamp to celebrate the books landing in store. The box set - a perfect Christmas present idea - is out now for £25/€30.
City Cycling Guide Europe - Rapha (Thames & Hudson). Available to buy online now at the Rapha store.
Frenchman Gregory Donatien and his Danish wife Louise Vyff have united their stylish cultural heritage to create Maison Nordik, a new boutique in the foothills of Montmartre selling mid-century modern Scandinavian furniture and home accessories, bringing clean Nordic design to the north of Paris. The two-floor, 100m2 space showcases carefully sourced pieces - Arne Jacobsen tables, HW Klein chairs, Svend Middelboe lamps - that the couple seek out in Denmark and ship over to the shop, selecting only items that are in tip top condition. Mixed in with the pristine vintage furniture are equally covetable accessories such as graphic knitted cushions from contemporary brand Lucky Boy Sunday or iconic design items such as Finnish architect Mogens Lassen's geometric candle holders. The shop also sells its own brand scented candles in fragrances such as tomato leaf and fig that are, in keeping with the rest of the shop, of a superbly high quality. A great addition to the 18th arrondissement.
After opening Blackmarket Cafe in Paris' 18th arrondissement just over a year ago, and closing its doors definitively this summer, charming young Frenchman Youssef Li has now opened his brand spanking new coffee joint, Fragments, in the Marais. Blackmarket was a much loved addition to the Rue Ramey on the slopes of Montmartre, and its trusty regulars will be relieved to hear that the very same, super snazzy Mirage coffee machine has now found a new home at Fragments, in this cosy, exposed-brickwork and beamed-ceiling space, just behind the Boulevard Beaumarchais. Having just had its soft opening last weekend, there are still many yet-to-be-completed surprises in store for the new cafe: an architect is working on the interior, and menus are being devised for lunchtime bentos. The cafe, as you would expect, will be a centre for serious coffees, with blends coming from Coutume Cafe in Paris, as well as farther afield like the Coffee Collective in Denmark, served in incarnations of espresso, noisette, cappuccino or filter coffee. Fragments is open in the daytime only, from 8.30 until 4pm, seven days a week. We wish it every success!
Global trainer behemoth Nike has set up a pop up shop in Paris' romantic Montmartre neighbourhood, to showcase its winter Sneakerboots collection before it hits the mainstream shops. Featured in the chalet style space on a hidden-away mews - kitted out with mid-century design furniture and a scaled-down architectural model style Paris cityscape - are a range of men's and women's kicks, including the roshe, air force one and air max models, infused with alpine touches that recall mountaineering boots, such as thick red laces and brass rivets. The pop-up store will stay open until Saturday 9th November.
SoPi, the New Yorkified name for the area of Paris just South of Pigalle, continues its hipsterfication (it's a word) with the arrival of a Big Apple import: wine bar and "gastrothèque", Buvette. Greenwich village-born Jody Williams has recreated her West Village restaurant, Buvette New York, on the charming rue Henri Monnier in Paris' 9th arrondissement, in a casual, shabby-chic setting with a marble bar and exposed brick work, serving small plates to share, including bruschetta-style tartines, and mini fish, meat and veggie dishes such as cuttle fish and chick peas, coq au vin and fennel with spiced orange and honey, plus cured meat and cheese platters (€18 for three plates or €30 for five), all washed down with well-chosen wines from regions throughout France, expertly-mixed cocktails, artisan cider or organic beer. Also on the menu are tasty puddings such as tarte tatin, and croissants and scones are served all day for breakfast or a tea time snack. Buvette doesn't take advanced reservations and the kitchen is open all day, making this a great option for an affordable, friendly or romantic meal off the cuff. We like.