About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for.

La Belle Hortense, Paris

Where? Paris, France

Recommended by:

Joanna Walsh

Joanna said: "If you'd like another Paris bookshop recommendation, how about La Belle Hortense, opposite the infamous Petit fer à Cheval bar in the Marais (3rd) arondissement. It's a bookshop/bar/exhibition space - which is kind of the ideal combination. It has a good selection of French and other language art - and other - books which you can peruse as you booze."

For those of you who find regular bookstores not interesting enough or who feel the need to get a book way past the working hours of a normal bookstore, Paris has the answer. This Parisian Bookstore is an undisputed one-of-a-kind in our Guide. The unique concept of combining a bar, a bookstore and an exhibition space most definitely deserves to be mentioned among our other Parisian listings. La Belle Hortense is thus a great demonstration of how much the French love all three elements which can be found under its roof - books, wine and art. This place offers you the uncommon opportunity to cruise into a bar around midnight, order a glass of fine wine, pick up a book and enjoy it in the intimate atmosphere of the back room among some modern works of art, or on one of the high stools at the dominant zinc-covered bar.

La Belle Hortense is located in le Marais, a neighborhood known for its cultural qualities which is home to many bars and cafes, but also several museums such as le Musée Picasso, to mention the most famous one. Its name comes from a most intriguing novel by Jacques Roubaud which takes place in the same neighborhood - La belle Hortense is actually the first tome of his trilogy La trilogie d'Hortense. The offer of books in La Belle Hortense covers fiction (mainly French literary classics) but even poetry and an interesting selection of non-fiction titles dealing with philosophy, art, history, sociology or cultural studies. Although most of the books are in French, there are always some titles in English to be found. The lounge located in the back of the bar holds temporary art exhibitions and literary events such as book readings or lectures take place regularly, although in French language only. All in all, this "literary bar" is an exceptional cultural venue which should definitely lift your mood whether you choose the liquid (wine) or the solid (book) form...

la belle hortense parisla belle hortense maraisLa Belle Hortense
31 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris


Phone and Email:
01 48 04 71 60
email via website

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun 17-02

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1 comment:

Badaude said...

I prefer both together...