The first rule about Le Le Comptoir Général is that nobody speaks about Le Contoir General; the second rule is that nobody speaks about Le Comptoir Général.

It is a hidden place where cool goes to hang out. I discovered it by chance and it was the most pleasant of surprises. Since then I have often returned for its lively mojitos and pensive wines. If you are looking for a place off the tourist trail then this is a place for you. It is the venue’s delicate melange of personalities and friendly atmosphere that makes it so appealing, and though with each week its reputation spreads, and new people taste its appeal, it has retained its charm.

 

The venue is to be found through an unassuming entrance, through which if you brave you will discover a space that boasts a bar, restaurant and cultural centre. During the day its calm atmosphere is home to patient artists of various disciplines, but then at night – Fridays and Saturdays most off all – it comes to life as Paris’ leftist troops and fashionable peacocks come to mingle and socialise. On occasion it rings pretentious, but this side of its character is offset by its haphazard decorations that remind all “not to take life so seriously”.

 

 

 

Naniso Tswai
I have travelled afar and aplenty but never before have I met a city such as Paris. In fact, “that Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me” (Woody Allen: Midnight in Paris). This powerful quote both explains and encapsulates my relationship with Paris. Young, energetic and full of life, almost instantly her cuteness consumes you, coursing through your veins until all you desire is to never leave her embrace. But it is not all catwalk perfections, as despite her elegant demeanour, living here is an altogether different and gritty affair. For the tourist Paris dons her most beautiful frock and flirts an irresistible charm, but were you intent on becoming a permanent fixture, prepare yourself for her invariably coarse moods. She is obstinately and often infuriatingly French. She wears her French mantra, indeed breaths it as if though to do anything else would be an affront to her flag. Even when I ventured into her sprawling contours expecting her personality to become diluted, however I was both relieved and perplexed by the resoluteness of character. She is France at its most unyielding, arrogant and concentrated self, but damn, do I love to love her. I invite you to follow my own discoveries of Paris’s hidden corners and whispered beauties.

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