Economic prosperity, technical and scientific progress, artistic excitement are the key elements that best portray the Paris at the time of the Belle Époque. Paris was seen as the centre of the world during the revitalising period between the start of the Third Republic in 1870 and First World War in 1914.
The heritage left by this period is still tangible all over Paris, especially in the places that preserved that effervescence and atmosphere, characterised by progress, chivalry, handlebar moustaches, top hats and sinful liberties.
Café de L'Epoque
2, rue du Bouloi
Its atmosphere echoes its name: a typical brasserie of the Paris of the past and maybe a tiny bit faded. But this is one of the favourite places of Christian Louboutin, the famous creator of the unmistakable red-soled high-heeled shoes, who suggests to go there at the end of the day, when the “sunset light is marvellous”. Obviously, when the cocktail alcohol tickles your appetite, the kitchen is ready to offer the most traditional French cuisine dishes, from the onion soup to the foie gras de canard.
34, boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle
Aspiring celebrities, designers, journalists, fashionistas are the regular customers of this huge cafe decorated in gilded Rococo style and furnished with post-industrial baroque style furniture. Over time this cafe went through several lives: it was a brothel in the Napoleonic Paris, then an exclusive restaurant during the Belle Époque, a Chinese restaurant and today it’s a trendy restaurant-bar. The sinful splendour of its past is testified by its marble stairs and pillars, the marble and iron details, the elegant wooden ceiling and the refined gilded mosaics in the bar.
40, rue Notre Dame des Victoires
The bar and its venetian panels in Cuban mahogany wood, the enormous liberty glass window, the glass ceiling designed for the Universal Exposition of 1900, the glass tulip-shaped chandeliers, the purple velvet seats, the copper hat hangers and gold leaf decorations are all combined to to create a perfect Haussmannian style. It’s located near the Place de la Bourse and who wishes to taste the perfect «canard» and «poularde», the Brasserie has opened a Rôtisserie nearby, more young-looking but always very parisienne.