Little did I know when I walked in the cool design concept store Merci that there is a cozy cafe inside. Actually it is not just one but three, one of which serves predominantly the lunch crowd. But that morning there was only time for a quick coffee and a treat and so we headed to Le Used Book cafe.
My jaw dropped when I walked in the beautiful low-lit library room which oozes charm from every corner. The ambience is relaxing and cozy. The place is brimming with hipsters and millennials and it exudes the kind of artsy-cool you would find in Brooklyn or in Hoxton. Upcycled furniture, urban-grunge vibes mashed up with vintage, jumble-sale and the occasional taxidermy. I am now perhaps too cynical to be impressed by this hip version of gentrification but I have to admit part of me wanted to spend hours at the place just chilling and exploring the hundreds of used books in the hope of finding a gem.
The service was impeccable. Our waiter kept refilling our carafe with water and mint leaves without us even asking. He was friendly and accommodating enough to help us decipher the menu. The menu keeps up with the minimalistic, artisanal with that "homemade" feeling expectations of the hipster subculture. You will find scones, toast, salads, eggs and soldiers, granola, bagels, terrines and cakes along with different types of coffee, smoothies, detox teas etc. I had a cappuccino and a pistachio teacake which were lovely and of good quality but didn't rock my world enough to photograph them. Maybe it's because I am a pastry snob.. But the ambience is intriguing enough to bring me back. It is a great place to meet a friend or to pass some leisurely time alone with a second hand book.
111 boulevard Beaumarchais Merci,
Metro: Saint Sebastien Froissart
Photo credit: all photos are mine unless otherwise stated