One of my Favorite Terraces in the Marais: Au Petit Fer à Cheval.
Address: 30 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris
The counter of the Petit Fer à Cheval, rue Vieille-du-Temple, dates from 1900. While sipping coffee in the morning or debating the comparative virtues of Pernod and Ricard, the ingenious shape allows customers to chat facing each other.
While small, the terrace faces a busy street with more foot traffic than car, allowing for excellent people watching as the sun passes overhead. The kitchen puts out simple, classic French dishes at affordable prices. And wine is supplied by the bookstore/wine bar across the street.
Au Petit Fer à Cheval is owned by Xavier Denamur, along with four other bars and restaurants in Le Marais district. He often darts across the street between this restaurant, Les Philosophes, and La Belle Hortense, welcoming regulars and holding court on Rue Vieille du Temple.
Paris feels alive again. Mr. Denamur and his team weathered the pandemic by offering takeaway dishes and opening up their terraces as soon as regulations allowed. But with tourists returning to Paris again and all mask rules canceled, the city looks and feels normal.
And so, we dance in the street, laugh and clap, make new friends, and meet up with old ones. It’s a beautiful time to be here.
In one of the photos, you’ll see petite Rose posing next to a saucer with a coin. The waiter who is dancing at the end is quite the comedian. Pan-handlers in Paris put out such cups, asking for money, and are often accompanied by signs asking for donations. He made a sign for Rose that says, “S’il vous plait, pour la crème auto-bronzante.” Translation: Please, for the self-tanning cream.
He even left his credit card machine so that Rose could accept Visa and Mastercard. 🤣
Are you planning a trip to Paris soon? I think you’d like my France Travel Planner! Check out the link in my bio ☝️☝️
Bisous 😘 and big hugs,
Black & white photos by Peter Turnley.