Originally, what was Gros Caillou (big stone)? A marker, no doubt. Perhaps even one of the prehistoric stones that can still be found in France’s forests. Since then, the city has covered the countryside, but the district of Gros Caillou has kept a village atmosphere, centred by a church of modest dimensions at the end of rue Cler, which is a permanent market.
This is both the most family friendly and the liveliest district in the 7th arrondissement. Everyone seems to know each other, from generation to generation, going to the same schools, the same shops with all the joy of a neighbourhood anxious to preserve its soul and its pleasures. The shops on rue Cler have not been replaced by luxury names. The shops on rue de Grenelle have kept their authenticity (so much so that people come from all over Paris to shop here).
The very small neighbourhood streets (often old country roads) have lost none of their provincial charm: rue Valadon; rue de l’Exposition; passage Jean Nicot; rue de la Comête, named in homage to the asteroid which passed over the Parisian skies in 1763; rue Amélie, the first name of the daughter of the owner of the street! On the fringes of these charming alleyways are some Art Nouveau masterpieces, such as the remarkable square Rapp, or the Jules Lavirotte building at 29 avenue Rapp, whose fascinating arabesques have been hypnotizing passers-by since 1900…
It is very agreeable to settle down here as a family in a neighbourhood that has an almost provincial spirit. Schools and shops abound. It is not difficult to discover charming places such as the delightful Lutheran Evangelical church of Saint-Jean-Denys-Bulher at 147 rue de Grenelle. There is also a wealth of restaurants – both relaxed and more formal, such as the delicious Ami Jean, rue Malar; the famous Thoumieux brasserie, rue Saint Dominique; and the gourmet pastries in the tea room Les Deux Abeilles, rue de l’Université, opposite Musée Quai Branly…
Dinner on the terrace, on a spring evening, opposite the charming fountain on the corner of rue de l’Exposition and rue Saint Dominique – a pure delight! Whether you choose classic dishes served in La Fontaine de Mars or the more creative cuisine from Fables de la Fontaine: your taste buds will be partying!
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