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Marina Ferretti Bocquillon’s French favourites

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This interview is in English. Click here to read it in French.

Finishing off our meeting with Marina Ferretti Bocquillon, Scientific director of the Impressionism museum in Giverny and curator of the exhibition Radiance: The Neo-Impressionists in Melbourne.

Where do curators prefer to spend their days and nights in Paris? Find out Marina’s top Parisian picks for eating, drinking, relaxing and having fun!

Tell us your favourite places in Paris…

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To eat…

I prefer the restaurants in my area, where I can meet up with friends without breaking the bank, such as Le Bon Saint Pourçain in the charming rue Servandoni: traditional cuisine in an unpretentious original setting. The owner, François, is famous in the area and its surrounds.

Otherwise, I love bars like Le Bistrot de Paris near the Musée d’Orsay and La Poule au pot near Les Halles, both true institutions. On summer evenings the courtyard looking out over the gardens of the Maison de l’Amerique latine is, in my opinion, pure magic (reservations necessary!).

To have a drink…

The café Tournon (below), for its old-fashioned décor with all the charm of the 1950s, or, a few doors down, Au Petit Suisse for the view of the Jardin du Luxembourg and its sun-filled courtyard.

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There is also the café Le Nemours next to the Comédie Française; in summer it is the ideal place to have an aperitif while admiring the sunset from the courtyard.

For shopping…

Saint-Germain-des-Près for the bookshops, but also for the fashion and décor boutiques. The full scope of Bon Marché, along with design and food.

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I don’t have time to do my groceries during the week so I go to the markets on Sundays. I love the one at Place d’Aligre (pictured left), which remains very authentic with its covered market where you can find all the highest quality fruits, vegetables and cheeses.

In the mornings there is also the open-air market where the prices are the lowest in the capital; with stalls overflowing with colours and the market gardeners upholding the old cries of Paris (“with salad, never sick!”), it’s a unique place.

For general amusement (clubs, parks, etc.)…

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I like walking in the streets and gardens of Paris. The Jardins du Palais-Royal (above) surrounded by original and secret boutiques, or the Jardin des Plantes with its spectacular greenhouses, are my favourite places to go for a stroll.

There are also some charming arcades dating from the beginning of the 19th century in the Stock Exchange District [2nd Arrondissement], such as the Galerie Vivienne or the Passage des Panoramas.

Museum or Art Gallery…

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The old classics: The Musée d’Orsay (above) with its successful new presentation or the Louvre and its inexhaustible collections.

In my area, the hidden Musée Delacroix in place Furstenberg and the galleries along rue de la Seine.

The little Galerie Aitouarès with its original exhibitions or drawings, paintings and photographs of the 20th century and Galerie Prouté where, for generations, you have been able to find a remarkable selection of sketches at any price.

Day trip…

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Giverny, of course! The house and garden of Claude Monet are incomparable to anything else I’ve seen. Take (like Monet) the train to Saint-Lazare station, then the shuttle waiting for you at Vernon where you can also hire bikes. Visit the current exhibition at the Museum of Impressionism, and don’t miss the garden there (free access).

Have lunch at one of the many restaurants that are open in the peak season. The oldest, l’Auberge Baudy, dates back to the times of impressionists and its rose garden is worth the visit. The Jardin des Plumes has meanwhile opened its doors and it is, thanks to chef Eric Guérin, a true gastronomic delight.

Thank you Marina, for speaking with MaVieFrançaise®. It was wonderful to get to know more about you, your passions and professional experience!

Image credits:
1. Courtesy the National Gallery of Victoria.
2. Paris fake tilt-shifted, by bildungsroman on Flickr
3. Café Tournon, via Trip Advisor
4. Marche d’Aligre, by Ligelena on Flickr
5. Jardin du Palais Royal, by karigee on Flickr
6. Musée d’Orsay, by Dimitry B. on Flickr
7. Giverny, by shogunangel on Flickr


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