Le Soleil de Mouffetard
Apartment | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 4
Come and stay in our gorgeous, sunny and quiet 2-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a classic old Paris building, just yards from the fabulous rue Mouffetard street market in Paris’ wonderful 5th arrondissement.
The apartment has all the typical Paris features you could dream of: hardwood floors, moulded ceilings, marble fireplaces, full-length windows and small balconies at every window. Because it is at the top, it is incredibly bright and sunny on both sides, with open aspects to the back, a through breeze on hot days, and no neighbours walking about above your head!
It has been fully remodeled by a wonderful architect, who preserved all the old features, added some fabulous touches of his own, and installed a level of comfort rarely found in Paris rental properties. The spacious sitting room gets the morning sun, while the kitchen is a joy, with all that you need to produce gourmet meals. The apartment comes fully-equipped: dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, and power shower. There is a PC with broadband internet access, and phone calls to most international landlines are free.
The apartment is on a quiet street, but right in the middle of a bustling neighbourhood with an abundance of cafes and restaurants, shops and cinemas. We are just a stone’s throw from the rue Mouffetard, a classic Parisian street – narrow and cobble-stoned, it is host to a daily fresh produce market. We are also just minutes from the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, Notre Dame, the Seine, the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Jardin des Plantes.
An authentic Paris home.
This is our home too. Until recently it was our full-time family home, and has a lovely warm feel to it – we left it with great reluctance, and return whenever possible. Be our guests. The apartment is furnished much as it was when we lived there, with an eclectic mix of comfortable furniture, and a personal collection of pictures and curios gathered on our travels over the years.
This is not at all a sterile rental, but a real home, complete with houseplants, flowers on the balconies, board games and fully-stocked bookshelves.
Are you a foodie? Do you love to cook? Do you love to picnic? Then this apartment is for you!
We are located right next to the renowned rue Mouffetard street market, a wonderful neighborhood resource where we have done our family shop for 20 years. My children often didn’t need dinner after they had been to see their ‘friends’ on the various stalls – a strawberry or a clementine from the fruit man, a hot roast potato from the butcher, a slice of cantal from the cheese man, a fresh chouquette from the baker….
Make sure to get up early to collect fresh baguette, croissants and pains au chocolat just as the market is setting up, and before the locals get there. There are several amazing bakers within a stone’s throw – including an organic one – with impossibly elaborate tarts and glorious breads (the walnut is a particular favourite).
You’ll come back daily to spend hours wandering from stall to stall, a feast for all the senses.
• Go ask Sharif what he recommends today from an incredible range of seasonal fruit and vegetables – asparagus, melon, apricots, cherries, tiny spinach leaves and every kind of mushroom known to man!
• Get our cheese man to carve you off a chunk of salted butter – and while you are there, pick up some comté fruité, some wickedly runny brie, some morbier or a St Marcellin. After 20 years I have still not sampled all the cheeses on offer!
• At the fish shop, choose from mussels by the litre, fillets of sole, whitebait, sea urchin or sea bass. The kids will love the live crabs!
• At the butchers, try some filet mignon, a rabbit, some calves’ liver or some whole duck breast. Or for a picnic, how about some rillettes, some paté with Calvados and apples, or a hot roast chicken fresh off the spit?
• Aperitif time? Stop off in the Greek deli for endless varieties of olive, some pitta bread and fabulous tarama or hummous. And be sure to go chat with Raymond and Michele in the wine shop; they will deliver if you buy a case, and throw an extra surprise bottle in for free!
There is also an Italian deli with fresh made pasta, fantastic sun-dried tomatoes, and mouth-watering pancetta, a gourmet chocolate shop with delicate hand-made chocolates and the impossibly tasty Berthillon ice cream, a shop specializing in olive oil – the list goes on.
I love to cook, and I love to entertain – so when we worked with the architect on remodelling the apartment some years ago, it was very important that we set up the kitchen in a way that made cooking both easy and a pleasure. Although the kitchen is small, it is incredibly well-designed, with everything within easy reach, and lots of counter space. I often cook with the windows wide open, and there are fresh herbs growing on the balcony.
There is a gas hob and an electric oven, a large fridge, and more cooking equipment than you will ever need: a crepe pan, a parsley grinder, an ice crusher, a knife sharpener…. I’ve prepared a buffet for 50 in this kitchen (though I’d rather you didn’t do that!). If you find there is some essential missing, please let me know!
Usually, in vacation rentals, every new tenant has to go out and buy the basics. So the tenant buys a bag of flour, uses 3 tablespoons, and then throws the rest away at the end of the trip. And the next tenant does the same. Our apartment is more of a home than that, and you should find a supply of basics – flour, sugar, tea, spices, olive oil, etc. I would just ask that you replace any of the basics that you finish up, so that the next tenants have the same experience as you. And if there are some basics that you think should be there, please let me know!
The dining area is bright and sunny, with ample room for 4 or 6. There is silverware for 8 if you are entertaining, and there is an additional leaf that can be added to the table.
Eating out in Paris is one of life’s greatest pleasures – but so is eating in!
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle/Paris Orly, Nearest railway: Gare du Nord (EuroStar)|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|General||Central heating, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace|
|Further details indoors|
The apartment is on the top (7th) floor of a traditional 1900 Parisian building, complete with lift. The building still has the original old mosaic floor in the hallway, but has recently been redecorated inside and out.
The apartment has a spacious hallway, with all rooms leading off: 2 double bedrooms, a large living-dining room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Each room has full-length French windows opening onto a small balcony. From the front balconies you can see the St Médard church and park, and hear French folk songs being sung in the market on a Sunday morning. The back has an open aspect, with a view over to the dome of Val de Grace.
The sitting room and second bedroom are at the front, with morning sun, while the master bedroom, kitchen and bathroom are at the back, with afternoon/evening sun. Both bedrooms have state-of-the-art silent ceiling fans for warm summer nights.
The double-sized sitting-dining room is drenched in light due to its 2 full-length windows. In winter, there are full-length velvet curtains you can close to create a cosy feel. There is a very comfy sofa and chairs, a dining table that can comfortably seat 6, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with plenty of Paris guide books, as well as fiction for your holiday reading, and an array of boardgames.
The large master bedroom is very quiet, and has a full-size double bed, along with plenty of wardrobe space. There is a built-in office area, complete with PC for internet browsing (you are also welcome to bring your own laptop and use the house WiFi).
The second bedroom is at the front, again with a full-size double bed, wardrobe space, and a desk for writing postcards or your Paris journal.
The kitchen is custom-built and designed to maximize the space – I love to cook, so it is very well-equipped, and with the market on your doorstep, you can make the most of the huge range of wonderfully fresh food available. Even if you don’t want to cook as such, there are endless delis in the neighbourhood to tempt you to eat in rather than out for a change.
The bathroom is a good size, and very bright. There is a power shower over the full-size bath-tub, and an extra-large handbasin, with plenty of space around for your toiletries. Luxurious thick towels are provided, along with a hairdryer.
The apartment comes with free WiFi, and even a PC and printer provided for those who don’t want to lug their laptops on holiday. Calls to local and most international landlines (as well as US cellphones) are free.
|Further details outdoors|
One of the great joys of the apartment is the light. As it is situated on the top floor, you are not overlooked, and the apartment gets glorious sunshine for most of the day. The full-length French windows in each room open onto small balconies, each with window boxes full of flowers.
With the windows open on both sides, a cool breeze plays through. While the balconies are sadly not big enough to sit on, they are great places to stand with a glass of wine, watching the activity in the streets down below.
You will be met on arrival by our delightful apartment manager, who is bilingual French-English. She will ensure you are well settled in, and have all that you need. She knows the neighbourhood well, so can also point you to the market, metro, restaurants and other local facilities.
Children are welcome. A folding cot is available, as well as a booster seat and pushchair.
Prices are all inclusive. There are no hidden fees, taxes or charges.
The Paris/Ile de France region
Paris needs no real introduction: a gem of a city, with endless art galleries and museums, street markets and quirky shops, parks and restaurants. After 20 years, I still get a kick out of how beautiful it is. There’s a vibrant cafe culture, exciting nightlife, and diverse and picturesque neighbourhoods, as well as a clean, cheap and efficient public transport system. The local government has worked hard to preserve old neighbourhoods, blocking high rise buildings and large supermarkets. Much of the city still has a very local village feel.
Just walking the streets of Paris is a joy, but there is also much to see and do: the obvious attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, etc, but also many more smaller and less well-known attractions.
Some personal favourites include
- Hanging out in the Luxembourg gardens (wonderful people-watching, plus you can rent toy sailboats, hear a live band, play tennis, and try out the huge adventure playground)
- Pottering about the Marais area, including the Place des Vosges (a network of small streets and quirky shops, which manages simultaneously to be the old Jewish neighbourhood and the new gay neighbourhood)
- mint tea in the gardens of the mosque, just next to the Jardin des Plantes
- Cité des Sciences at La Villette (fantastic hands-on science for children)
- Ambling along the Seine (check out the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge where the locals gather for late night picnics on hot summer nights)
- Taking a boat trip up the Canal St Martin (through the locks and tunnels, with fascinating commentary on the history of the waterways)
- Musée Jacquemart-André (hidden gem of a museum in a fabulous mansion, showing the private collection of a late 19th century couple)
- Hotel de Cluny (museum of the Middle Ages)
- Musée des Arts et Métiers (fantastic museum of scientific instruments)
- Expensive coffee in the Café Marly, overlooking the pyramid at the Louvre
The 5th arrondissement is in the heart of Paris, an area full of history, sandwiched between two of the main Paris parks (Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin des Plantes) and the Seine.
It is a traditional student haunt, with the Sorbonne the best known of the faculties here. The 5th is packed with cafés and shops, narrow wiggly cobbled streets that date from medieval times, and the fabulous rue Mouffetard street market, where you can buy every kind of fresh gourmet food you can imagine! The Mouffe, as it is affectionately known, is probably the best-known and best-loved street market in Paris, the heart of the neighbourhood, with locals still shopping at its vast array of market stalls rather than in the supermarket.
The apartment is situated on the southern edge of the 5th, about 20 minutes walk south of Notre Dame and right next to the market. It is very central, but just outside the areas that are inundated with tourists. The neighbourhood has a real ‘village’ feel, and is home to an eclectic mix of Parisians: young families, students, artists, immigrants, and many older people who have lived here all their lives.
It is a wonderful location for exploring the city, an easy stroll to Notre Dame, the Luxembourg Gardens, Sainte Chapelle, the Ile St Louis, and so much more. Joggers can head to the nearby parks, or run along the banks of the Seine, with the main river-side road closed to traffic on Sundays. Our nearest metro stop is Censier-Daubenton, less than 5 minutes away, and there are excellent bus lines running right past the door to the Louvre, Opera, Bastille and more.
Apart from the market, there are countless bars, cafes and restaurants within 5 minutes of the apartment, from cheap and cheerful to upmarket, serving everything from crêpes to fondue to gourmet 5-course meals . You’ll find jazz clubs, second-hand book stalls, quirky clothing boutiques and more just a short stroll away. On our corner alone there is a baker and a late-night corner shop, and for the homesick amongst you, a Starbucks just up the block! My favourite local café, La Bourgogne, is 1 minute away, with a great terrace for people-watching.
Previous visitors to the flat tell me they feel they have discovered the real Paris, away from the main tourist haunts, and are unanimous that this is the best neighbourhood in Paris. Many come back again and again, drawn to the vibrancy of the area, and the sense of living like locals.
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31 Aug 2014
"Ótima opção em Paris"
O apartamento fica um pouco afastado da agitação dos bairros mais turísticos, e exatamente por isso ele te dá uma aproximação maior com o cotidiano do parisiense comum. Está localizado a apenas… More
23 Aug 2014
"Excellent location, very reasonable costs, comfortable like a home"
We traveled to Paris from Seattle, WA, USA with our teen-age sons---it was a trip long-planned. It was one of those times when our hopes for the trip were exceeded by every aspect of the actual trip! … More
13 May 2014
"What a wonderful spot"
Clarissa, thank you for a wonderful apartment. You thought of everything - very well stocked and beautifully decorated. Made us feel like a Parisian. As other reviews have said it is located in a g… More
21 Jan 2014
"Home way from home"
Walking into this apartment is like walking into a friend's house. From the pantry complete with all the basics, to the classics and guidebooks on the bookshelves, to the original artworks, this … More
21 Nov 2013
"Truly home away from home"
From the moment we were met by Yoli at the door to Clarissa's apartment we knew we were in a marvellous place. As frequent travellers we always long for a quiet place, comfortable beds with wond… More
9 Nov 2013
"Gorgeous Parisian Family Friendly Apartment"
We had a wonderful stay in Clarissa's apartment. It was exactly as it appeared in the photos and in a great area. It was very easy to catch buses and the metro from this central location. We loved the proximity to the markets. Clarissa is also very generous in providing a computer and wifi and telephone access. The apartment was clean and airy with a lovely view across the rooftops. We very much felt like we were in Paris. My husband and I and our two girls aged 6 and 9 all loved it. Having a lift to access the apartment and to move the luggage was a great advantage! Thank you for a wonderful stay!
14 Oct 2013
"Lovely homely apartment in good Paris location"
We had a fantastic stay for 1 week in August for our family holiday. The apartment is very comfortable, interesting, well located with a great local market and restaurants. There are good public trans… More
12 Oct 2013
"Superb location, lovely apartment. Very homely and looked after."
Perfect place for a family break. Location very convenient for touring and the market. Well equipped kitchen and all the things you would want from your own place! Definitely visiting again!
18 Aug 2013
"The perfect apartment in a perfect area"
We have stayed in many hotels & apartments in Paris over the years & this one is way ahead of the competition. The apartment is beautifully furnished & has everything a visitor needs for a comfortable… More
28 Jan 2013
"Classic, ambient homely apartment"
Lovely well appointed apartment in a great location. Has everything one could need for a self catering holiday as well as being near one of the best streets for food lovers.
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Calendar last updated:15 Sep 2014
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