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Review 4263: desigparis, Atelier Bastille


Review by :lynn: from the Netherlands

1bed/1bath apartment in 11th arrondissement, Paris

Across the road at Café de l'Industrie, photo by :lynn:


August 2008, 3 days


We drove down to Paris, in August 2008, to collect our daughter, who had been WWOOF-ing in Limoges. This atelier, booked online, looked absolutely perfect - sleeps three, kitchen, fully equipped, etc. - and it totally WAS.

Situated in an enclosed courtyard on the Rue Saint Sabin, not too far from Metro Bastille, and almost across the road from Café de l'Industrie, it was an outright oasis: tiny patios, wisteria, silence. We had missed the owners email, so we had no idea how to access the enclosure; luckily the tattoo shop just up the street knew the unlock-code and we entered, and found our key taped to the front door. The trust communicated by that gesture gave us a very good feeling indeed.

We felt at home immediately. It was an amazing, innovative, open-plan accommodation. We parked our car outside the door (subject to availability, but we were lucky!) and entered through a simple hallway. Halfway down that hallway were several concrete steps upward to a small, simple but eclectic - and very French - sitting room, with a wall-full of windows looking out onto the greenery. The divan converted to a bed; there was a television, a CD player and a whole collection of CDs to choose from. Another few stairs up - over a transparent "bridge" (which looked down into the bedroom) was a generous kitchen, with all imaginable amenities, and a dining table large enough for four. At the end of the downstairs hallway was a WC, and down a few steps more a double bed on a high platform with bookshelves and cupboard space and an adjoining shower, sink, and washer/dryer combo.

The host had left us a welcoming note, and instructions as to how to pay and close up at the end of our three days. He had also left us a jar full of Nespresso capsules for the Nespresso machine, and cream for the coffee in the fridge. The household linens were impeccable, the toiletries a treat. There were travel guides in the bookshelves. We were happy.

It was a wonderful neighbourhood - galleries, restaurants, the Marché Richard Lenoir on Thursday and Sundays - and we walked everywhere. My husband strolled to the boulangerie in the morning for ficelle and croissants and we made coffee and started our day at our own pace. In the evenings, too, after a long day out and about, we often just visited the traiteur or the Chinois and settled down with takeaway and a bottle of wine and a rehash of the day's adventures. Our wallet liked this solution, too!

I would recommend this accommodation to anyone; it is not luxurious, or twee, but it is comfortable, and very Parisian, and in an unforgettable location: a bit of paradise behind an enormous wooden gate.

You can view the property directly: Atelier Bastille.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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