If being achingly cool was a crime, Mama Shelter would definitely be found guilty! This little boutique hotel, tucked away in the north-eastern corner of Paris, is all sorts of hip. The rooms, we hear, have iMacs, Batman and Obelisk masks, and eclectic furnishings. The hip urban vibe of this place is a far cry from typical French sophistication and that’s what makes it unique. No wonder it has inspired offshoots in Lyon, LA, Istanbul, and a number of other cities.
But it’s their restaurant we’re smitten by! Our Parisian friend (hey Etienne, if you’re reading 🙂 ) treated us to a meal there last winter and we just can’t seem to get it out of our heads. Mama Shelter is definitely out of the way – it’s located in the 20th arrondisement, right next to the abandoned rail-tracks of La Petite Ceinture and is quite a trek from Central Paris. But one worth making!
The restaurant has been designed by Philippe Starck, a French architect known for his edgy style. Starck’s signature is everywhere to be seen. The restaurant boasts of a funky chalk board ceiling, yellow chairs, low-lighting, bare concrete walls, and a laid-back vibe – it seems like it belongs in Shoreditch, London. Photography isn’t allowed here but we were carrying our digital camcorder (thanks to a great deal on Tesco Direct!), so we did manage to sneak a couple of screenshots.
As for the food, there is a host of French and Continental classics to choose from. Vid went for French steak and chips while I opted for the rather safe (boring?) salmon with lentils. There was nothing exciting or unpredictable about our main courses but both dishes were flavourful and cooked to perfection.
The star of the show, however, was dessert. We ordered a rather enticing sounding sharing platter featuring chocolate ice-cream. We couldn’t stop gaping at it as the waiter put it on our table – the ‘platter’ was actually an entire tray full of French pastries, fresh fruit, and over 500 ml (yep, you heard that right!) of mind-numbingly creamy chocolate ice-cream. Nom!
We lingered over dessert and drinks and left almost four hours after we first walked into the restaurant. That’s quite the feat but the buzz at Mama Shelter’s restaurant is to blame. It’s simultaneous edginess and cosiness is rarely found at restaurants these days and consequently, is hard to beat!
We’ve made up our minds – the next time we’re in Paris, we’re staying at Mama Shelter Hotel 🙂
FURTHER READING ON PARIS
- Read about our favourite Things To Do in Paris
- If you feel like stepping out of the city for a day, make sure you do a day trip to the town and Palace of Versailles. You’ll love it.
- And when you are in Paris, you HAVE to visit these places to enjoy some cheap and delicious food: Our favourite places to eat in Paris !