Ile Saint-Louis could be celebrated as a miracle, that is to say an architectural miracle which evokes a harmony like no other in the heart of the Capital, and also an urban miracle, having managed to preserve its unity despite the passage of time and the substantive works which have so often altered Paris.
All along the quay sides of Bourbon, d’Anjou, Béthune and d’Orléans, there is a sense of timelessness and a definite feeling of déja vu! The magnificent row of resplendent private townhouses, standing solidly side by side, gives an insight of sorts into 17th Century Paris, and their residents are blessed with some of the most beautiful views possible over the Seine.
But Ile Saint-Louis is not confined to the river! The buildings on rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, Le Regrattier, Boutarel or Poulletier also evoke this timeless nobility of a magical Paris. We are waiting on tenterhooks for the final reveal of the new façade of the extraordinary Lambert Hotel - former property of the Rothschilds, which has been restored at great expense by its new owner.
Many people have dreamt of living in this very special neighbourhood, and indeed many have succeeded in doing so; Francis Carco, René Cassin, Philippe de Champaigne, Georges Pompidou, Camille Claudel, Marie Curie, Honoré Daumier, Louis le Vau… Celebrities continue to reside here today, maintaining a discreet presence, honoured to be part of this select club. Everything is so tranquil on the Ile Saint-Louis, as if a halo of benevolence insulates one from the cacophony of modern-day city life.
Just like the main street of a village, everything is to be found on rue St-Louis-en-l’île, arranged side by side like onion rings! The notably excellent Gardil attracts meat enthusiasts from all over Paris, to stock up on supplies from this acclaimed butcher shop. Another necessity while exploring Île Saint-Louis is to visit Bertillon, the legendary luxury ice cream and sorbet retailer which furnishes all neighbourhood restaurants, and has enchanted both young and old alike across the years.
Treat yourself to a blood-orange sorbet from Bertillon, and indulge in this delight while observing the sunset behind the lace-like structure of Notre Dame, from the vantage point of Louis Aragon square at the fore-end of the island. A taste of paradise... in Paris!