• A Rainy Day In The Marais
  • Jean Burman
  • australian artistaustralian writerfrancejeanburmanmaraisparisparis sojournparisianparislifetravel
A Rainy Day In The Marais

There curled up with the books
I could while away the day
In the warmth of merci café
In the heart of le Marais

I don’t know much about the Marais [sounds like mah - ray] except that it rains there quite a lot [grin]

The rain gives this small quaint area of Paris [between the 3rd and 4th on le Rive Droite] a warm cosy industrial-chic edge. I know that sounds like a contradiction… but the Marais is very much like that!

It’s a shopper’s heaven… filled with designer boutiques… art galleries… and intimate cafes.


It’s a historical masterpiece of 19th century aristocracy that slowly fell from grace until the 1960s when new life was breathed back into the place.

It’s a complete contradiction to the Paris I thought I had come to know!

Warm… friendly… cosy even… the streets are narrower… older… more funky and down to earth than the boulevards of the more bourgeoisie 7th. It’s grungy and boho… stylish and sophisticated all packed into one.

It’s complicated.

I like it.

The mint tea at the Merci Used Book Café is to die for… the raw key lime cheesecake… legendary.

I guess a person could spend months here getting to know this place.

Curled up in an armchair in the corner of Merci café with bookcases stacked to the rafters… I imagine I can hear the books talking. They’re telling me to write… and asking me to join them on the shelf up on the right [I think they’ve got a party going on!] 

Le Marais is kind of magical like that.

On the walk home in the rain I bought an umbrella [there it is above]

It is awkward… square shaped… impractical… and still gets me into more trouble than I can poke a stick at but it’s as beautiful as any umbrella you’ve ever seen and that pretty much sums up the Marais.

OKAY now it's your turn.

  • Have you been to the Marais?
  • Would you ever go to the Marais based on this shabby but chic report?
  • If you went to the Marais would you drink mint tea [or make it something stronger]?
  • If you were in the Marais would you weigh in on the conversation outside LIVRES D'ART [the art book shop above] or just leave well enough alone? [grin] 


Leave a note  :)

  • Jean Burman
  • australian artistaustralian writerfrancejeanburmanmaraisparisparis sojournparisianparislifetravel

Comments on this post ( 6 )

  • Oct 19, 2014

    Okay… I’ll kick this thing off seeing as I started it ;)
    1. Yes
    2. Mmmm… yeah maybe…
    3. Yes… definitely… mmmm… how about coffee?
    4. Absolutely… I mean… who wouldn’t? :D

    — Jean Burman

  • Oct 19, 2014

    Oh I wish. But only In my dreams. Books in shops shelves or piles just draw me
    Enjoy dear lassie.

    — Elinor

  • Oct 19, 2014

    Hey thanks dear Elinor :) oh and me too! I absolutely adore bookshops. Has something to do with all those authors… all those dreams ideas thoughts and aspirations all poured out into the written word that simply inspires me more than anything else. If that bookshop also happens to have coffee and cake then more’s the better haha. So lovely to hear from you X

    — Jean Burman

  • Oct 21, 2014

    Your pictures are so evocative – I could certainly enjoy time there especially at that bookshop. I was in a different Marais area while in France. A protected marshy green area with rivers filled with flat bottomed boats rowed by men standing up like gondoliers minus the striped shirts and hats and it was renowned for its birds. xxx

    — Aileen

  • Oct 21, 2014

    Aileen you would love the Merci Bookshop. There are no pretensions here… just worn leather chairs and plenty of 70s retro. It feels like someone’s home. Add rain outside and a warm cup of something and you have a recipe for magic. Your marais sounds equally magical. I love France [as you know] haha :) so lovely to hear from you x

    — Jean Burman

  • Oct 21, 2014

    … meant to say thanks as well… the photo ops just presented themselves. Thanks to the Marais there was a feast of people going about their daily lives… a truly fascinating place :)

    — Jean

Leave a comment