Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Cobblestoned Rue Cler is a wonderful market street in the elegant residential area of the 7th Arondissment, just a few minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower. Possibly the most upmarket market in Paris, the pedestrianized street is lined with an interesting mix of cafes, bars, butchers, restaurants, seafood markets, green grocers, flower stalls, bakers, cheese shops, chocolate shops, Italian delicatessans, a creperie stand and one or two tiny local hotels, marked by discrete entrance doors.
La Fermette Fromagerie window display, Rue Cler, Paris
Many of the food stalls sell fresh dinner 'meals' (hot and cold) for locals to pick up and take home on their way back from work in the evening – a bonus if you feel like eating in after a hard day's sightseeing, and quite a step-up on the usual 'take away'. The green grocers will often discount their more perishable market-fresh fruit at the end of the day. There are also two tiny supermarkets (FranPrix and Leader) for daily essentials.
Pied Pouce at La Sablaisse Poissonerie, Rue Cler, Paris
The seafood stall (La Sablaise Poissonerie) is particularly worth a look for its daily selection of the more exotic choices of seafood, such as sea urchins and creepy bivalves which look like witches claws. The cafes are tourist-friendly without being too touristy, and offer menus in English and French. Prices are around Euro20 for a main meal. The outdoor bakery half way along the street offers take-away light bites for lunch, such as toasted fresh baguettes and fresh made bite-sized donuts filled with 'citron' or nutella.
On Sunday mornings, temporary stall holders also set up, selling knick-knacks, jewellery and handicrafts. There is a Velib Paris bike stand half way up the pedestrianized street and the Ecole Militaire metro station is just around the corner.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Leveque, which has rooms from the tiny to the miniscule, but also three fantastic (and more spacious) rooms on the front at the top floor, which have their own balconies and a surprise view of the Eiffel Tower. It also boasts arguably the friendliest maitre'd in Paris (Francoise) and possibly the smallest lift in the world, which fits just one person plus their luggage – all breathing in for a tight fit as it ascends inside the circle of the old stairwell! Still, very welcome when there are 5 flights of stairs to climb after a delicious evening meal from one of the local restaurants!