Sunday, April 13, 2014

Le Vieux Belleville

Next thing I hear, "I'm taking you there Friday April 11".
"Oh sure. Look if you asked me to jump off a bridge into the Seine, I probably would".
Coco has good taste.
She wrote back,"Wear a bathing suit!"
This week I am reminded,
"Don't forget we're going to Le Vieux Belleville Friday. Come by at 6:30".
Ooopla...I plumb forgot but why not...
First Coco took me for a tour around her house in the 20th arrondissement near Place Edith Piaf.
It's known as "la compagna a Paris" or the country of Paris.
More like a little village in the Cottswalds with French trimmings.
Really you can not be led astray if you follow Coco.
We met up with Coco's friend Georges at the very top of Paris above parc Belleville - stunning views.
I wasn't sure if we were going to dance or sing
Inside Le Vieux Belleville.
12, rue des Envierges 75020
In fact it's one of the two last restaurant musette with live sing-alongs of old traditional French songs in Paris.
The owner/patron and staff immortalized.
It reminded me of old Jean Gabin movies
There are tons of them in Youtube.
If he walked through the door I wouldn't be the least surprised.
Old photo of the Le Vieux Belleville's facade.
Our starter - a salade mixed
Then the accordéoniste MINELLE came out
For each song we got copies for the sing-along.
Then they were collected and we got the next song. All printed out in French but with a few Edith Piaf songs the whole world knows.
Padam Padam Padam...Even I could mumble through that one.
Really a very jolly evening and not just for Frenchies.
5***** from Travel Advisor. Do consider going for something completely different and loads of fun.
Willis, the cat, stayed home and guarded his new little friend.


  1. You two must turn heads stylish..
    I love her coin de Paris and I am certain that place must be so fun..Music always adds to everything.We ate at one of our daughter's last night..her husband plays guitar..sings..his daughter also..
    I love when they "jam" for us.
    Jean of my husband's FAVORITES.....a French Spencer Tracy in his opinion.. Jean Val Jean..:)not to mention Catherine of course.

  2. What a night we had !

    Great fun !!

  3. Soooo beautiful in the 20th in Paris!
    Who knew?

  4. You make this sound like great fun! I'm not sure it safe?

    1. But of course. Plus the neighbors love this place. It's a bit of old world Paris.
      A treasure.

    2. I will be in Paris in two weeks and was also wondering about the safety. One of the internet posts I've read say to avoid 20th at night if you are not a local. But the restaurant musette is something I would so love to do! any advice for a tourist? Can a taxi be arranged? So many questions!!

    3. Definitely take a taxi up there and be sure and call to reserve the resto.
      There are some unsavory-looking types up there but they are very respectful of the restaurants/cafes in the little coin du Paris.
      They don't want the cops up there at all so everyone very well behaved I was assured.
      Coco's friend lives right there and no problems.
      IMHO Paris is generally safe unless you brandish your iPhone at the Opera Metro and other touristic spots.

      ***Keep yr $$$ and credit cards in your bra like I do and never have to worry!
      I learned this from my sister, who was always reaching in to pay at restaurants.

      Better safe than sorry.

  5. I love the photos of the restaurant musette. I didn't know that anyplace remained like that. Looks like a great place (& neighborhood) to visit.
    I love the Zou-Zou posters, too!
    The annoyed cat pic is classic :)

  6. Anonymous12:03 AM

    I didn't know of this restaurant and sing-a-long fun until your post today, Carol. I am so thrilled to know of this lovely area, and true local experience of Paris. Can't wait to try it out. It won't be long now, until we are once again in Paris.

  7. Foodwalker9:46 AM

    Wonderful post. Our French teacher thinks songs are the best way to learn French.

  8. This reminds me of a Madeline adventure but all grown up!

    1. Wonderful reference Connie!
      I LOVE Madeleine...
      Coco reminds me of Alice.

  9. Very nice blue house...I wish I owned it...
    Great report!

  10. How perfectly charming .... loved the photos.

    Karen in VA

  11. Fantastic neighborhood! And when they say "vieux" they really mean it!
    But what was the bathing suit for?

  12. I was wondering about the bathing suit too. Lol love her house and that wisteria on the one building. Wow..fab post.

  13. Kathyrn10:26 AM

    I want to go to Vieux Belleville! Loved spending the day with you. Thank you (and Coco) for the radish tip. xo K

  14. I love the view from Parc de Belleville <3 Thanks for the restaurant tip! Great place to go when having friends over and want to show a typical french bistro with live music :-)


Love hearing from you