Paris guide: Taxidermy & pastries in the city of light

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Du Pain et Des Idées, Paris

Our insider's guide to Paris recommends following Woody Allen, seeing some maths-inspired art, and indulging for breakfast this spring.

Du Pain et Des Idées, Paris; image via David Lebovitz

Du Pain et Des Idées, rue Yves-Toudic, is where to start your trip. Simply the best place to pop in for an indulgent breakfast, it's run by fashion-sales-executive-turned-baker Christophe Vasseur and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. Delight in a mouth-watering pistachio and chocolate escargot roll or the mouna orange blossom butter brioche. For more traditional fare, try the pain des amis flatbread. This is no ordinary boulangerie, and worth the trip to sample the baked treats.

Deyrolle, Paris, image via Dinosaurs & Robots
Taxidermy is an acquired taste, but those who love it will find plenty of rare creatures and preserved insects in Paris. One of the biggest and oldest shops is Deyrolle, established in 1831. Recently, Woody Allen shot a scene with Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson for his film Midnight in Paris here.

Another intriguing shop is Claude Nature, where beautiful and rare butterflies are for sale at affordable prices. The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, now open late on Wednesday nights, also displays of paintings of hunted animals, as well as their stuffed counterparts.

Mathématiques – Un Dépaysement Soudain at La Fondation Cartier pour L’Art Contemporain; photo by Pierre-Yves Dinasquet

Two seemingly disparate worlds collide in Mathématiques – Un Dépaysement Soudain (Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere) where mathematicians meet artists to reinterpret mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck’s abstract expression “a sudden change of scenery". Patti Smith, David Lynch and Takeshi Kitano are among those contributing work for the exhibition, on until March 18 at La Fondation Cartier pour L’Art Contemporain.

Mathématiques – Un Dépaysement Soudain at La Fondation Cartier pour L’Art Contemporain; photo by Olivier Ouadah

Subscribers can read our full Paris tips here, and you can also check out what to do in London and Milan.