Friday, July 2, 2010

Bercy Village

Bercy Village is one of my new favorite places in Paris.  I just discovered it back in March/April, and I love it so much I can't stay away.  I was very unhappy in May when the weather didn't allow me to spend my afternoons and evenings sitting on the terrasse at Nicolas drinking wonderful bottles of wine with my friends.  But now that the weather is nice again, I make it a point to go at least once a week (and no, this does not make me an alcoholic, I just enjoy a nice bottle of wine, like any Frenchie).

Bercy Village and the chais

Bercy Village is an adorable part of Paris in the 12th arrondissement.  The area is full of 19th century wine storehouses from when Bercy was independent of Paris and the largest wine market in the world.  Using the Seine and a small railway, wine bottles would be shipped to Bercy where the wine would then be unloaded and bottled in the chais (wine storehouses) before being sold.

This practiced lasted until as late as 1960 when the Bordelais invented a method of bottling wine at the chateau where it was produced, rather than shipping the barrels to be bottled elsewhere.  As a result, the Bercy wine market eventually closed and Bercy became an area of Paris full of businesses and housing.  However, the old chais remained, as well as the train tracks running through the center.

Bercy Village

At the end of the 20th century Paris decided to do something to preserve the area and finally chose a proposal by Altarea which consisted of renovating and restoring the chais and preserving the old train tracks.  After the renovations bars, restaurants and shops moved into the old chais and the area is not a lively district in Paris, and one of my favorites!  It is very cute and has a bit of a small village feel in the middle of the big city.

with Jasmin at Nicolas

The Nicolas is my favorite place at Bercy Village.  Normally Nicolas is only a wine store, but in Bercy Village it is also a wine bar with a terrasse, some food options and, of course, wine.  I love going on a nice day and sitting on the terrasse in the middle of Bercy Village, people watching, admiring the chais and sipping on a wonderful glass of red wine.  And the best part is, it is extremely inexpensive.  Their menu is very reasonably priced with glasses of wine starting at less than 3 euros.  And if you aren't alone, you can choose any bottle from inside the store and enjoy it on the terrasse for only 3 euros extra, which means you can really control the amount of money you spend and drink a good bottle of wine in a wine bar in the middle of Paris for under 10 euros total.  What's not to love???

a nice bottle of red on the terrasse at Nicolas

And since this is one of my favorite places, you can be sure to find me on the terrasse of Nicolas at least once a week!!!

***To get to Bercy Village take the line 14 to Cour Saint-Emilion.  Go up the escalators/stairs and the entrance to Bercy Village is right in front of you (the cute little stone archways).  To get to the Nicolas at Bercy Village, turn right once you enter Bercy Village and it is down the road a little on your left.  Enjoy and sant√©!

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day. How do we get there? What metro or train do we take?

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  2. well, i should have thought to include that in my post...im gonna edit it to include the transportation info. but its on the line 14 at Cour Saint-Emilion. Get off the metro and when you come out the entrance to Bercy Village is right in front of you, you can't miss it. The Nicolas is to the right once you enter Bercy Village. Enjoy!

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  3. Thank you Michele see you at Nicolais sometime soon.

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  4. Fun stuff! Thank you for all the background information, too.

    I went there (to Bercy AND to Nicolas), but it was long ago, after I was first in Paris. I went to the UGC cinema there, too. It's a very nice one. There are lots of fun shops as well. You've made me want to go back. :)

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