Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Marvelous Montorgueil

On Sunday morning I dropped our son off at a birthday party in the 2nd arrondissement. I had two hours to kill and decided to head towards rue Montorgueil, a lovely road full of restaurants, cafés, specialised food shops, charcuteries, cheese shops, chocolate shops, amazing looking bakeries, florists and more. To get there I wandered down Rue Réamur which is a large boulevard to the north of Rue Montorgueil. It was so quiet, hardly a car or pedestrian in sight. When I turned right into rue Montorgueil, however, that all changed. Suddenly I was amidst a throng of people, the small cobbled street was heaving. Claude Monet painted Rue Montorgueil in 1878 Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of June 30. It was heaving then too.

When I worked in rue Montorgueil  20 years ago they repaved the road with white marble cobbles. As the years passed these blocks were quick to crack and break and I noticed that they have now been replaced with granite cobbles. The white marble blocks remain on the pavements.

was alone with no children tugging at my arm begging me to stop being weird, so I was able to walk slowly down the road looking up at the shop fronts at my own pace. Some are beautifully intricate but in need of restoration. 

In contrast, some of the facades have been recently restored and look very crisp and clean.

There are small interesting details to be seen the whole way along the road. Notably at 'La Fermette' where there's a cow observing the goings on from the first floor.

I love this sign.


Wrought iron with gilded details.

Woodland imagery.

And then one of my favourites, a giant escargot at the infamous L'Escargot Montorgueil, a restaurant that has been serving snails for 200 years! 


  1. Growing up on rue de Clery, rue Montorgeuil was my family's shopping place. What an incredible open air street market this is: steaming with life, with the "vendeurs de 4 saisons" shouting humorously the quality of their lovingly displayed merchandise and the historic quality of the buildings on the street culminating with the enseigne of the giant gold snail restaurant toward the end of the street. But my favorite as a young boy was the" Au Planteur" tiled scenes that stimulated me to dream of exotic far away places while wanting a cup of Y A BON BANANIA every time I passed by. This is perhaps the cause for my living 16000 miles away from home. And let's not forget the wonderful tartelettes from the patisserie Stohrer. I always recommend to my American traveler friends to stop by rue Montorgeuil if they want to experience a true slice of the real Paris. Thank you for your wonderful pictures and thanks for the memories.
    Keep up the good work.
    Warmest wishes.

    1. Thanks Henri! I've only just seen this comment. I'm so glad that I have been able to take you on a trip down memory lane. Comments like this are what make writing this blog worthwhile. When we first came to France I worked for 2 years in a restaurant at the St Eustache end of Rue Montorgueil. I loved the whole ambiance of the street, right down to the man from the cheese shop next door who used to come in for a 'verre de rosé' first thing every morning! All the best, BB