Le Pigalle, Paris

a neighbourhood, Pigalle has always attracted thugs and
artists, musicians and adventurers. We’ll wait while you label
yourselves accordingly.

Known as “La Nouvelle Athenes” thanks to its neoclassical
architecture, it is far grittier than the stuff you’ll find in your
oysters along the Rue St Honore. It’s a great starting point for a
trip to Paris that is more boho than bouji; a Shoreditch-esque
rejuvenation is underway and a flock of boutique hotels are
sprouting up just beyond the central strip.

Regulars at the Ace Hotels or the Hoxton should opt to stay at
eponymous Le Pigalle, where chilled vibes
and distinctly downplayed style make it a pied-à-terre in the
truest of senses. Decorated with second-hand furniture, trinkets,
marble-topped surfaces and terrazzo floors, Le Pigalle encompasses
all that Pigalle is and all that it aspires to be. In the basement
and elevators, red high-gloss painted walls are offset with
leopard-print carpet – not unlike our prized Buffalo platform
trainers circa 1998 – making it clear as day (and night) that Le
Pigalle is no wallflower.


Comfortably compact, rooms follow a similar style, regardless of
size or spec. Expect frame-flanked walls, king-size beds and a
bathroom overflowing with Le Labo amenities. Despite raucous
surrounds, rooms are soundproof and the beds are so succumbing that
sleep is not a laboured task. After a night of bar hopping, retreat
upstairs, pour yourself a pre-mixed cocktail from the mini bar and
accompany with a soundtrack of historic vinyl selected by Victor

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is served in the dining room or in room (at a charge
of €5). Choose from a concise menu of croissants and brioche
sourced from a local bakery, Le Petrai Medieval, or for something
morning substantial order a pairing of soft-boiled eggs served with
cream cheese, toast and fresh herbs alongside a mango, avocado and
ginger salad. Wash down with a glass of OJ and a café crème. For
breakfast in bed, orders can be processed from your personal iPad –
ideal if it’s still far too early to chat to anyone directly. Just
make sure you allow a cushion for delivery – 30 minutes should do

How about lunch and dinner?

Menus have a distinctly local flavour. Available from 11am until
11pm, you won’t go far wrong with an order of burrata, sage and
rosemary fritters accompanied by sweet-potato croquettes with spicy
yoghurt. Chase with the white-chocolate and orange-flower panna

Is there a bar?

Come 8pm, the lobby becomes a modern-day salon awash with
creative types. From lecture series to parties, DJ sets and table
dancing, Le Pigalle is a place for low-key partying. Sip on Dean
Shury’s signature cocktails or Petite Pigalle beer, brewed in the
neighbourhood on rue de la Goutte d’Or. At the far end of the lobby
you’ll clock a small red-velvet flanked booth. Step behind the
curtain and try to resist the stripper pole – the neon model bolted
to the wall in a gravity-defying pose does not need imitating.


Le Pigalle is frill free so don’t expect much more than bed,
board and a bit of debauchery. In-room you’ll find a well-versed
iPad loaded with information from restaurant guides to florist

Things you should know

10 minutes by Metro to Gare du Norde, or 20 minutes on foot –
ideal for a weekend jaunt to Paris for less than you might

Within a short walk I can find…

Sex shops galore and some great independent bistros, including
L’Entrée des Artistes and Pink Mamma.