Odette review, Paris, France

Featured

Odette Paris reviewOdette Paris review

It would be a struggle to find a cafe as Parisian as Odette. With its colourful exterior, cute little tables and outdoor plants, Odette is as picturesque a cafe that you could ask for. With a selection of coffees and pastries, what Odette is really known for as its delicately decadent cream puffs, the perfect accompaniment to a cafe au lait.

The Location

This little cafe is located centrally in Paris a few minutes walk from the Notre Dame and the infamous Shakespeare and Company bookshop. It’s address is 77 Rue Galande, 75005, Paris. Be sure to bag a table outside if you can.

The Decor

Odette’s decor is unapologetically girly. Everything from the tiny chairs and tables to its gorgeous little cream puffs, are delicate and beautiful. The patisserie has what has to be one of the prettiest cafe exteriors in Paris. It was the first place that I stopped off at when I arrived in the city in the early morning and I felt like I’d talked right on to a Parisian film set. It’s pretty cosy inside with the best seats being out the front where you can catch a glimpse of the Notre Dame.

The Menu

Odette doesn’t do a lot, food and drink wise, but what it does, it does well. It’s cream puffs or ‘choux a la creme’ are somewhat legendary in the city and they looked so gorgeous with their colourful sugar paste flowers on top that it was a nightmare choosing between them. Unlike a lot of patisserie options, Odettes cream puffs are a ‘two-bite gone’ size meaning that it’s totally acceptable to try a few of them.  These gorgeous pastries consist of a light fluffy choux bun exterior which harbours a variety of gooey cream fillings with  tempting flavours like coffee, caramel, lemon and pistachio. My favourite has to be the praline one. The only negative is that Odette doesn’t have an extensive coffee menu.

The Prices

Odettes prices aren’t cheap but they’re not outrageous and I didn’t resent paying a little more to sit in somewhere as beautiful as it is. I paid around £6 for a coffee and a cream puff.

A 20-Something’s Travel Guide to Paris

 A 20- something’s travel guide for the best vegetarian food, vintage shops and exhibitions in Paris

When one of my best friends told me she was going to be in Paris for July I couldn’t resist booking a long weekend to visit her and explore one of my favourite cities. I couldn’t have been more lucky with the timing because not only was I blessed with gorgeous weather but my trip also coincided with Bastille Day and France winning the World Cup Final so it made for an amazing weekend.

Paris is a city that oozes romance and beauty more than any other European city and it’s a place that’s totally captured my heart. I absolutely adore the French capital for its culture, the effortless Parisian chic style, the magnificently detailed architecture and the fact that there’s a patisserie or boulangerie on almost every street, each as equally wonderful as the last.

I think that Paris is really under rated as a European city as it’s often thought of as a bit stuffy which is a HUGE misconception and whether you’re looking for vintage shopping, quirky cafes or late night bars, Paris has got everything to offer and more. So, if you consider yourself a bit of a hipster then read on.

A1CB06B4-47A8-4ABC-9233-E0AC1D4588C2.JPG547A6849-F61B-49B1-B5BD-50AB44A6756A.JPG0ACD2169-5ACF-4A75-8347-76A30931057A.JPG

Areas you need to visit 

La Marais district

La Marais is an area that’s spread over the 3rd and 4th arrondissement of Paris and its most definitely the ‘hipster’ part of the city. This was my first time knowingly visiting this area and now I’d say it’s my favourite part of Paris. I can only describe it as very ‘London Shoreditch’ with lots of street art, vintage shops, proper coffee shops (which are harder to find in Paris) and boutique stores.

Be sure to check out Mad Vintage for inexpensive second-hand fashion, the quirky Igor Stravinsky fountain and surrounding square and the Jewish district at Rue des Rosiers.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Montmartre

I’ve been to Paris a few times and I always have to go to Montmartre. Probably one of the most obviously beautiful parts of the city, Montmartre is the artists corner of Paris and the entire area with the beautiful Sacre Couer church and the surrounding cobblestone streets are a photographers paradise.

There’s so much to do in this part of the city but one thing that can’t be missed is taking a walk up to the Sacre Couer because its hard to beat the view over the city from up there. Any film buffs will recognise this church from the classic film, Amelie starring Audrey Tatou- one of my personal favourite films. (Speaking of which make sure to check out the Cafe des Deux Moulins if you’re in the area as it’s the cafe that Amelie was also filmed in).

I love Montmartre because its known as the artists part of paris and along with the portrait artists in the main square you will find lots of independent galleries and exhibitions here. More about these further on in this post. 

CCA2CC39-4884-4175-A73C-57E914E10C2B.JPG

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

1514D11F-3C5E-4869-9033-D8EF590D67A7.JPG

Bastille (like the band)

Not just great for shopping, Bastille is packed full of record stores, trendy bars and music venues.

Be sure to check out Supersonic, a live bar with a New York loft style design, cheap drinks and a party that keeps going until the early hours of the morning at the weekend.

If you’re after somewhere a little more low-key then try Le Berliner. This german bar had a vintage, rustic vibe with squishy arm chairs, a Photo Booth and underground music.

Rue Crémeiux (the 12th arrondissement)

You don’t need to look hard in paris to find gorgeous architecture. However  Rue Cremiux, a quiet Parisian cobblestone street with multi coloured houses is more beautiful than most and the perfect place to go and take your Instagrams (Come on, you know you want to).

passport please blog

The Latin Quarter

Although touristy, the Latin Quarter has too many beautiful narrow streets, bookstores and cafes to be ignored. One place you can’t miss is Shakespeare and Company. Surely one of the most famous bookshops in the world, I could spend hours pondering over the books in this chaotic jumble of a bookshop located right over the road from the Notre Dame.

Since opening in 1951 Shakespeare and Company has become world-famous however wandering around between the narrow rows of books,  you’ll still feel like you’re one of the first people to discover this literary oasis.

If you’re a film lover or if you’re just looking to take a break from walking then the Latin Quarter has lots of Arthouse cinemas such as Le Champo and Le Reflet Medicis for you to escape in for a couple of hours and watch a movie.

shakespe.JPG

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

IMG_8621

Exhibitions

La Villa Extraordinaire

On reccomendation of my friend we went to La Villa Extraordinaire which is a really crazy and quirky immersive exhibition that’s open until the end of July in the Montmartre area. This building has loads of rooms full of interactive and contemporary exhibitions, each totally mental and different from the last. It also has a really nice garden area that you can sit and have a drink after.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Palais De Tokyo 

I’m really annoyed that I didn’t have the time to visit Palais De Tokyo on this trip as its somewhere I really wanted to go. This really cool modern art museum has more than most with cutting edge contemporary art exhibitions that are fun and edgy. It has a few different exhibitions at a time of which vary every few months and tickets cost $12 with concessions for students. It’s located near the Eiffel Tower so you could stop by if you’re looking to take a break from sight-seeing.

Green spaces

Paris lacks the volume of outdoor green spaces that you find in other cities like London however there are still lots of pockets that you can go to and escape the urbanisation of the city.

The Seine

Every city needs its water source and in Paris that’s the river Seine. If you’re visiting the city in the summer then you can take advantage of the deck chairs and makeshift beach areas set up along by the river or alternatively just take a stroll along in the sun. Also it’s obligatory to grab a friend and spend the early evening by the river with a bottle of wine.

4EB77DB5-27A5-4036-A5CD-C35F0B56CBCA.JPG

Parc de Belleville

The only other place to rival the view from the Sacre Couer is the one from the Parc de Belleville. Unlike the Sacre Couer this park actually has views of the Eiffel Tower and it’s more of a popular choice with locals rather than tourists ( it’s a bit further out in the 20th Arrondissement) so it’s a much quieter place to go and escape the hustle and bustle.

Jardin des Tuileries

If you head over to the Louvre then you’ll come across the Jardin des Tuileries, a beautifully manicured park with a lake, a few cafes and views of the Eiffel Tower. I picked up some hummus, baguette and french tarts for a makeshift picnic here. 91046C02-B0C8-4F4F-84E3-4CAEA89F1DFF.JPG

Eating out

8115DC7A-46DF-483E-BC22-C7C32A77A585.JPG

Paris really is the ultimate city destination for foodies and I’m completely enchanted with the french relationship to good food. Parisians understand that there’s more to food than just energy and shopping for food is an essential part of the day. While there are plenty of supermarkets in the city Paris’s streets are also adorned with speciality food stores like fromageries, wine stores, chocolatiers and delicatessens as well as patisseries advertising colourful and ornate pastries and tarts in the windows and boulangeries with bundles of freshly baked sourdough bread. In the mornings there are also lots of markets selling fresh fruits and vegetables too.

While traditional french brasseries and cafes are still the most common restaurants around, being a huge cosmopolitan city it’s possible to get every cuisine you could ever dream of. As I prefer to eat vegetarian I tend to favour the more contemporary eateries in the city however there were no limitations to the amount of times I would pop into a boulangerie in one day.

Here are a few of my favourite places from this trip

Soul Kitchen

Soul kitchen is a charming canteen style cafe in the heart of Montmartre that serves home cooked food and great coffee with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available. It’s a really great place to go for lunch where you can sit on one of the little tables outside and it has a small but ever-changing menu that focuses on seasonal produce with meals for around 13 euros. I had the vegan quinoa salad which came with bread topped with the most fantastically fresh savoury lemon spread on top. They also do really good coffees.4EBEF9D3-2E21-4AD8-9D3F-5EAD7057B358.JPG

A L’Ouest Creperie

I’m very grateful to my friend for introducing me to traditional french galettes which we ate for dinner at L’Ouest. This fantastic creparie that’s also in Montmartre, has an extensive two page menu of galettes which are thin savoury crepes made with buckwheat and then topped or filled with ingredients like cheese, vegetables or eggs.

There were lots of vegetarian and Gluten free options at this place and it’s very affordable with prices starting at 9 euros. I went for the summer galette with tomatoes, ricotta pesto and pine nuts and we had them with a jug of traditional french cidre. We couldn’t resist ordering another crepe each for dessert (and an extra jug of cider) and my one (which was topped with very tart lemon curd) was absolutely phenomenal.IMG_9143.JPG

Motors Coffee

In Paris a cafe tends to be an eatery so if it’s a brew that you’re after then it’s coffee shops that you want. We stopped off at Motors Coffee, a really great, grungy style cafe not far from the Notre Dame. They do proper coffees, teas and cafe snacks like bagels, pancakes and english muffins. They also serve oat milk which brings me great joy.

8200056E-4F3A-414E-AA92-5CD41A8FA339.JPG

Patisseries and Bakeries

Staying in the apartment with my friend was great because it meant we had the added bonus that we could cook. Having a kitchen is one reason I always aim to book an apartment or a hostel for city breaks as it’s nice not to be dependent on eating out, especially in Paris when you can just grab some bread from the bakery and some cheese from the shop.

However eating pastries was absolutely an item on my Paris itinerary and I consequently happily gained a pound or two visiting the many patisseries and bakeries in the city. Here are my favourite places I spent my money at this time.

Maison Laundmaine

There are a few branches of this artisan bakery and patisserie in Paris, one of which was right over the street from where I was staying with my friend so I went there daily. Not only do they have one of the most aesthetically pleasing patisserie selections I have seen but they have the most fantastic bread selection. They stock all of the usual varieties of artisan breads as well as loads of obscure loaves like a chocolate loaf and pink coloured brioche aux pralines Roses.

It’s a great place to get a good espresso and a buttery Pain au Chocolat in the morning (which were also wonderful) and I got a box of their macarons for the journey home and instantly wished I’d bought an additional box or two as soon as I tasted one.C5664991-BCC2-45B7-AECD-3DA43D5A3216.JPG758AE443-7793-46ED-8F5B-66DA962B07E7.JPG

Odette

Odette is a lovely little patisserie that’s tucked away in the Latin Quarter with views of the Notre Dame. This was the first place I stopped when I got off the coach from Paris as I was drawn to its beautiful building and little outdoor seating area. They mainly serve mini choux buns and coffee, of which I had a praline one and a cafe au lait. A couple of these little buns are just perfect as they’re not overwhelming meaning you don’t need any excuses to eat them.

009A52F8-D33C-47E7-923A-41CCB72D2A4F.JPG13E0BC7E-C024-4391-8EB6-1F9C1C36CD2D.jpg

Getting around

Paris really is a very walkable city. You can easily cover the highlights in a weekend on foot so make sure to bring comfortable footwear.

H(appy) Paris: A couple of apps that were invaluable on this trip were:

Citymapper

Citymapper is a travel app that those in London will be familiar with. You simply plug in your start and end destination and this clever app with give you all the possible routes, be it by walking, metro, bus or taxi as well as approximate travel times and prices.

Dojo

Thanks to my friend I found out about the fantastic app, Dojo. It operates in Paris as well as London, and it’s something I couldn’t recommend enough downloading if you’re visiting either cities. Dojo lists all the best independent cafes, restaurants, gigs and exhibitions in the city with price guides, photos and a brief description. You can filter it by what’s around you or by specific categories like coffee shops, bars or vegetarian food so it’s great if you have dietary requirements. When you’ve found somewhere that you want to go it works with Citymapper to help get you there.

IMG_8565

Other useful apps and websites: 

  • Yandex:  Yandex is a good free language translation app that works without internet and allows you to translate by typing, photo or by speech.
  • https://en.parisinfo.com The official website of the Paris Tourism Bereau:  (As far as tourism websites go, the paris one is really good and it’s a great place to see what events are going on in the city and for eating and drinking recommendations)
  • Veilb: If you plan on picking up a city bike in Paris then make sure you download this app. Use the app to find the nearest Velib bike docking stations in Paris and buy a pass to use a bike.
  • G7 Taxi: G7 taxi is the main taxi booking app in Paris. You can use the app to book an immediate pickup or in advance for up to 14 days. You can also use Uber.

I hope that you guys found this post useful and that your ready to start planning a long ‘hipster’ weekend in Paris.  I really loved Paris this time around as I really saw the city in a new light. I always think there’s something lovely about revisiting somewhere that I’ve been previously because everything has a sense of nostalgia to it and when you’ve already seen the landmarks you can spend time getting to the soul of a place instead.

Of course there are many more things to do in Paris than what’s on this list (and the great thing about the city is that it’s always changing on a daily basis) but here are a few suggestions to start you off.

I’ll be writing up a Paris coffee guide soon so keep checking back and drop me a message if you have any questions in the meantime.

Ouibus London To Paris Review

Pros and cons of Ouibus overnight coach from London to Paris

The fact that you can get a coach from London to Paris was actually a bit of a revelation for me before going on my latest trip to Paris. I was going for a long weekend and I’d originally planned on taking the Eurostar train however when it came to booking, the prices were way above what I was prepared to pay. My other option was to fly but I was really keen to avoid the unneccessary hassle of an airport so, it was only after doing a bit of research that I found out about the option to get a coach with Ouibus.

From as little as £20 one way Ouibis offers a direct service from London to Paris city centre and vice versa. There are multiple departures from both cities throughout out the day and travel time can range from around 7 hours to 15 depending on traffic (as I found out on my return journey).

I booked the quickest (and I think the most practical option) which was to take the Ouibus overnight (departing around 10pm London time) which gets to Paris in the morning at 7am if it’s on schedule (so just in time for croissants and coffee).

Living in Brighton the coach option worked particularly well for me because for just £50 I had a return journey booked from Brighton to Paris via London so I didn’t even have the added expense of a train ticket up to london and back or airport transfers either.

I booked my trip through National Express coaches which used their own carrier to get from Brighton to London and then the Ouibus service to get to Paris.

Key Information

  • Overnight service leaves London at 10pm and mine arrived at 9am in Paris (although the journey was considerably delayed on the way home).
  • The bus goes straight from London to Dover for a ferry crossing and then from Calais to Paris
  • The ferry crossing  uses P&O ferries and takes 1 hour 30 minutes
  •  Ouibus prices start at £20 one way
  • Goes from London Victoria coach station to Paris Bercy
  • Paris Bercy is in the 12th arrondissementt in the centre of paris and is on the metro line. I walked to the Latin Quarter in half an hour. Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Pros

  • Clean
  • Toilets on board
  • Cheap
  • Comfortable
  • Reclining seats
  • Assigned seats
  • Friendly staff
  • Departs from the centre of both cities
  • 2x stowed luggage and 2x hand luggage
  • Straightforward travel process
  • Charging points for phone (plug socket and USB ports)
  • Overnight journey saves a night’s accommodation costs
  • Ouibus lets you exchange or cancel your booking up to 30 minutes before departure in exchange for a voucher

Cons

  • Can be delays due to traffic/ferry
  • Slower than other options e.g train, plane
  • Ferry crossing is early around 3am meaning it’s hard to sleep
  • Announcements are in French
  • Only limited wi-fi
  • No stops apart from ferry crossing

Things to remember

  • Arrive 15 minutes before coach departure time
  • Make sure you have a European adapter to charge devices on board
  • Bring your passport to present at start of journey and at border crossing
  • Download the Ouibus app for your tickets and travel updates 
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks as there isn’t a stop until Dover
  • Bring a blanket
  • Bring change in both GBP and Euros for toilets at either end of the journey
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Download the Citymapper app for the metro and underground in Paris and London

overall I was really impressed with the Ouibus service. It was very clean, comfortable and punctual on the outward journey and unfortunately we were several hours delayed on the way back due to queues at Calais but this wasn’t a fault with the company. The Ouibus does what it says on the tin: Cheap and comfortable travel between London and Paris. Just be sure to clear the travel day free as pretty much the entire day will be taken up with the journey.

Ouibus also offer plenty of other budget friendly routes From London and Paris (direct and connecting) all over Europe. Have a look at the full destination list here: https://www.ouibus.com/destinations