While sauntering around the ninth arrondissement - and more specifically, the corner of rues Victor-Massé and Henry Monnierk - you're likely to happen upon Grand Pigalle. A bed, board and booze depot in South Pigalle, here there are no extras. There's no gym, no spa and no room in the lift. But as SoPi residents will tell you, there's an art to living in the ninth. Certain things take priority - namely good food, large bathrooms and a sizeable bed (even if the bedroom it's housed in edges toward petite). A dash of the unexpected doesn't hurt either - a "martini" carpet designed by Dorothée Meilichzon or a pineapple-shaped doorknob does the trick here.
If navy-blue leopard-print carpets and kitschy brass door knockers aren't your jam then a sleepover at Grand Pigalle would be ill-advised. Compact rooms mix a blend of furniture styles and come with original moldings - we could stare at those ceiling roses all day - fireplaces, copper lamps, graphic wallpaper and custom-made mahogany desks. Jazz blares from the radio and those staple rooftop views from a corner room send our hearts aflutter. Octagonal design is omnipresent (from the miniature side tables to the velvet-covered stools) symbolic of the form of the South Pigalle quartier. Bathrooms are very generous in size, stocked with SachaJuan amenities and decorated with forest-green butcher tiles on the walls and chevron patterning on the floor.
What's for breakfast?
The buffet spread overtakes the bar counter in the mornings, displaying an array of sweet and savoury including homemade granola, meats and cheese, Le Fierbois yoghurt pots and a selection of tarts. Grab a seat at the front for passing views of stragglers returning home from a raucous evening, and on Sunday enjoy brunch from 12pm until 3pm. For €32 you'll get a day's worth of food down in one sitting.
How about lunch and dinner?
As advertised by the gold lettering in the window, come for any meal. Fans of mood lighting and vegetable tempura should head here for a late dinner, choosing a blue-velvet booth at the back for peekaboo views of the kitchen. Finish with Sicilian cannolis - there's plenty of time for French pastry sampling elsewhere, and these are particularly good.
Is there a bar?
Yes. Open from 6pm until 2am, grab a seat at the bar where your neighbour is likely to be a poet and/or DJ or better yet, a night owl.
Room service is available anytime - just add €3 to the price listed.
Things you should know
The minibar is stocked with local French food products - think cheese, crackers and olives - and signature bottled cocktails by Experimental Cocktail Club. Looking for advice on where to head after an aperitif in your room? Dial nine for the concierge who will have a host of suggestions at the ready.