Canals & Countryside

Tour

The neighborhood around the canal Saint-Martin and Les Buttes Chaumont, a favorite Parisian park, has been nicknamed “la campagne à Paris” (The Countryside in Paris). A lively area where street-art, cultural haunts and good food attract the young, trendy and the creative.

Discover the hippest part of the city with your private guide, a true Bellevillian. Outside the usual tourist's itinerary, this excursion will take you to an oasis of authentic and popular Paris, which celebrates the value of food traditions rejuvenated by the best chefs.

Price per private group of 1 to 4:

Your exploration and tour of this part of the city begins with a lunch booked for you in one of the most coveted bistros of Paris. Over a glass of organic wine, learn all there is to know about traditional French cuisine. Savor the classic recipes of le Baratin, discover what made French Gastronomy world-reknowned and how it has been revisited and revived by a young brilliant chef.

As you continue to Buttes Chaumont, stroll through a romantic park with its rocky hills, waterfalls, improvised picnics, and a grotto. Built for the universal exhibition of 1867, the park still maintains its 19th century aura, as well as one of the last 'guinguette' remaining. As you enjoy coffee and the view, your private guide will let you in on the secrets of everyday life in this popular neighborhood. 

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As we pass La Rotonde Stalingrad, which used to be a tax gate under the Monarchy, your guide will evoke some lesser known reasons that started the French Revolution.

We will then move to a more light-hearted area to explore the romantic streets bordering the Canal St-Martin. A beautiful and pleasant tree-lined canal crossed by iron footbridges, it is a place where Parisians bring their picnics and guitars. Then explore the secrets of the hospital built in the 17th century by King Henry IV, preserved in what is becoming the latest bohemian area of Paris, with trendy shops, residences and night-life. At the end of your walk, you will enjoy a much-needed glass of wine and some ‘apéritif’ snacks to revive you in one of the best, local wine bars of the area. 

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Smugglers, guinguettes, murmurs behind the bushes

On the other side of the wall, wine ran freely, and the young girls who flocked to Paris looking  for work in the XIXth century, met gentlemen for picnics, dances, boating and other forms of entertainment that always started with food and drinks.

Earlier, Parisians had fought for their wine :

Eating and drinking places known as guinguettes had long been established around the outskirts of Paris. They were frequented by workers because they sold cheap wine ; this wine was untaxed, whereas in the city a duty was levied. In 1784 the municipality thought it a good idea to increase its revenue by building a wall which would enclose many of the guinguettes to the north and east of Paris and subject the cheap wine to tax. Fearing that they would no longer be able to afford a drink, the workers set fire to the half finished buildings in early July 1789. They may have lacked bread and been unable to eat brioche, but they weren't about to be deprived of their wine without a fight ; the events at the Bastille soon followed.”

Consumming Pleasures, John Rainford. 

-Lunch in a trendy Bistro 25€pp

-Inner courtyards, private gardens of Belleville and the Park of Les Buttes Chaumont

-Rotonde Stalingrad and bassin de la Villette

-Canal Saint-Martin, Hôtel du Nord

-Wine tasting 

Info

Available:  Daily
Start Time: 12.30pm
Duration: 4 Hrs
Meeting Point: Outside the exit of metro Pyrenees
Includes: Private Guide
Excludes: Cost of Transfers, Meals,Tastings

Additional Info

 

"The cheese tasting with Virginie was magnificent! She went to so much trouble: the table was perfectly decorated and her cheeses were sublime! We couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming and charming hostess!"    
Jessica

Cafe in Montmartre

 

The new bistronomy has roots in the time just before the Revolution of 1789: at that time, the first French restaurants had only just started to appear. Following the uprising, the former servants of the aristocracy were faced with a drastically changed society, and had to find new jobs. Using their knowledge of cuisine and catering, the most enterprising became the first restaurant owners. They created the culture of gastronomy that we know today, no longer ostentatious and lavish, but a gastronomy that could be shared by all French citizens, and then by the whole world.

The creations of the new wave of bistros chefs are made up of local and seasonal products bought fresh from the day, far away from the stuffy atmosphere and painful bills of three stars restaurants.

 

 

The first restaurant in Paris opened in 1785. Its founder, M. Boulanger, came up with the new word “restaurant,” taking it from the verb “restore” (in French, “restaurer”). On the outside of his establishment a sign said in Latin : come all you who are hungry and I will restore you.

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