Memo: La Belle Hortense, Paris, France

Photo credit AJ LEON (Flickr user)

Few establishments have a loaded bookshelf right across from the bar—but La Belle Hortense does. The bookselling winebar (could it get any more Parisienne?), located on 31 rue du Vieille Temple in the culture-hip Marais neighborhood, offers tomes as diverse and cultured as their wine list. The cozy, nineteenth-century rooms behind its pretty blue storefront house dozens of novels and nonfiction books on art, culture, and history. Most of their editions are in French, but a bit of searching will reveal some in English as well (but who wants an English book when you can perch stylishly on their metallic bar, a glass of red in one hand and a worn French tome in the other?). In terms of vino, La Belle Hortense stocks an impressive supply, including a range of organic wines. You can pop in and grab a book and bottle to go, or settle in for the evening in their comfy lounge showcasing a temporary art exhibit; at this time, they’re showcasing some pieces by the artist Stella Sujin. You may even run in during one of their live readings or lectures. They’re all in French, but what does that matter? So long as you’re in Paris, darling…

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