Exploring the little village of Batignolles

This district located in the 17th arrondissement is a haven of peace where old-timers rub shoulders with hipsters.

You will find the Batignolles district in the eastern part of the 17th arrondissement, between Place Clichy and Parc Monceau, near the metro stations Villiers and Rome (Line 2). The district is marked off by Boulevard des Batignolles to the south, Boulevard Berthier to the north, Rue de Tocqueville to the west and Avenue de Clichy to the east. It was formerly known as the village des Batignolles, and even today the local church and market make up the hubs of everyday life here.

Batignolles village

Place du Dr Félix Lobligeois is without a doubt the epicentre of Batignolles. People go about their business around this utterly charming little square so like the ones in French villages, with its fountain, restaurant terraces in the cool shade of lime trees, a bakery, an ice cream seller and the pretty little church of Sainte-Marie des Batignolles.

As in any other French village, Saturday is market day. To browse the stalls at the Batignolles farmer’s market, head to the stretch between numbers 34 and 48 on Boulevard des Batignolles on any Saturday from 9am to 3pm. The market is very popular with Parisians, as it only sells organic produce sourced directly from growers. On weekdays and Sundays, you can enjoy a visit to the Batignolles covered market at 96 bis rue Lemercier.

The equally charming Square des Batignolles is tucked away behind the church of Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. More quintessentially Parisian than Parc Martin Luther King and smaller than Parc Monceau, it is a popular gathering spot for local residents, with its well mowed lawns, centenary trees, public benches and duck pond.

What’s more, at the far end of the square you will find the local pétanque club, ‘La Batignollaise’. A true village!

A short distance from here, in the Epinettes area, the picturesque Cité des Fleurs with its village feel is a treat for visitors in search of greenery. This small pedestrian street is lined with villas in a range of architectural styles, all fronted by little courtyard gardens that are a riot of colour in early summer. Stop at Number 27 for a closer look at the house where the Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley lived for many years.

Fashion-forward shopping

Rue Legendre Les Batignolles

Many trendy brands favoured by Parisians have a branch in Batignolles, especially along Rue Legendre, which is lined with cult labels such as A.P.C., Sœur, Marie-Sixtine, Harris Wilson, Balibaris, Leon & Harper and Des Petits Hauts.

In the parallel and cross streets (Rue des Batignolles, Rue des Dames, etc.), you will also find small independent stores selling a selection of edgy brands, such as Anne et Marion (58, Rue des Dames), two young designers who stock their own creations alongside clothing from brands such as Nat & Nin, Petite Mendigote, See U soon and Suncoo.

The area’s home decor shops stock equally stylish ware, notably the three locally-sited branches of the concept store Blou (97 Rue Legendre, 99 Rue Legendre and 20 Rue des Dames), as do the children’s clothes shops (Les Loulous des Batignolles, Le Pestacle de Maëlou, Arsène et les pipelettes, etc).

An aperitif in Les Batignolles

When it is time for an after-work drink or an aperitif with friends, Parisians enjoy meeting up in this area chock full of little restaurants/ wine bars, like Olives et Cacahuètes, Les Beaux Gamins, Les Paresseux, L’Ébéniste du vin, Pignon and La Bouteille sur la table. These neighbourhood bistros featuring attractive decor have an excellent wine list (often featuring natural wines) and carefully sourced food served in the form of tapas or the traditional mixed platter (cheese and charcuterie).

For a more substantial meal, there are many good restaurants following the ‘bistronomy’ approach of fine food at affordable prices: Gaston, Les Puces des Batignolles, Le Manoir, Le Tout Petit, L’Endroit, Les Fils à Maman, Gare au Gorille and BBB, not to mention Le Bistrot des Dames with its pleasant tucked-away terrace. Feel like pasta or a pizza instead? Then head for one of the area’s Italian restaurants: Coretta, Viola, Sonata, Mamma Primi and Lucky Luciano.

The ‘new’ Batignolles

Square Martin Luther King

As of 2019, the new Clichy-Batignolles district extends to the north of Rue Cardinet all the way to the ring road (Porte de Clichy). This highly modern eco-district has emerged in the space of a few years on land that previously housed a number of disused railway goods sheds.

Grouped around the 10-hectare Parc Martin Luther King are a number of residential and office buildings, shops and hotels as well as Paris’s law courts, which have moved from their former home in the venerable buildings on the famed Quai des Orfèvres into a brand-new complex in this area. Located in a sprawling 6,000-m2 courtyard, the new Tribunal de Grande Instance was designed by the architect Renzo Piano. It is composed of three glass towers 160 metres in height (38 floors), and is now the second-highest inhabited building in Paris after the Tour Montparnasse.

The new district also boasts cultural venues, with a brand-new multiplex, Les 7 Batignolles, as well as the historic Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, where the Ateliers Berthier now serve as a second theatre. The architecture of the ‘new’ Batignolles blends harmoniously with the Haussmannian buildings of the ‘old’ Batignolles, making the district dual-faceted and even more interesting to explore.

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