Paris-Bastille and the Marais
May 11, 2018
To English ears, a restaurant called Chez Prune may not sound that promising, but a glance at its red canopy on the Rue Beaurepaire and the silver chairs and tables inside will quell any doubts about this great little venue. Whether you’re nipping in for a bite to eat and a glass of wine on a sunny day, or fancy an aperitif in the evening, Chez Prune is just the ticket. True, there are swisher places in the city, but for sheer warmth and character, it stands alone friendly, unpretentious and welcoming, it’s no surprise this place is popular, and on sunny days the outdoor tables are a prime people watching spot. Yes, it’s a humble neighbourhood cafe, but it does not stand on ceremony nor, mercifully, is it touristy. What’s more, the food and wine are both affordable and above reproach. The menu is dominated by French classics with a twist, though the regulars-in-the-know often favour the simple but good cheese and charcuterie plates, and it’s a great place to pop into for a (relatively cheap by Parisian standards) coffee. How pleasant then it is to watch the boats glide by in the canal, and eavesdrop of the conversations of locals over a glass of cognac. And the clientele? Local Parisians, for the most part, which means Prune, aside from its other not inconsiderable charms, is the ideal bolt-hole far from the madding tourist crowd though increasing recognition of its humble appeal does mean the place is a neighbourhood favourite, so it can get packed out at peak times.