Bucolic delights reign at Rosa Bonheur, a rustic tavern set in a former guinguette in the heart of the picturesque Buttes Chaumont park. This idyllic place happens to be in northern Paris, the leafy heart of boho-land, far far away from the tourist trails.
Its name loosely translates as ‘pink happiness’ but refers to 19th-century French artist ‘Rosa Bonheur’, famous for her massive depictions of animals as well as for wearing trousers and smoking cigarettes. The bar has kept the eccentric spirit of its namesake alive, catering to a casual crowd of local bohemians and hipsters.
The Bonheur is nothing if not relaxed, and for Parisians of all persuasions, its terrace is the place to see and be seen in the summer. Sit back and enjoy the shade of the tall chestnut trees as you sip on your beer, or more like, French wine (they even have their own label). There’s a bistro where you can get delicious french appetizers and a wide range of beverages, and where you can run for cover if the typical drizzle suddenly sets in.
Rosa Bonheur is the unofficial gay meeting point on Sunday afternoon and it attracts guys from all across Paris. A long conversation is a key element to the fun and the setting is beautiful with the park’s landmark twin peak hillocks looming. Once the park closes, the bar puts on its party face as DJs get the boisterous crowd on their feet for a brief but wild time on the dance floor.
A practical tip for those going; I recommend arriving before 6 pm. After this time, the place tends to get very busy and the line could take a long time, especially in summer time.
Here it’s where the Parisians come to relax on a sunny day. I would have never found this place if my local friend hadn’t taken me there on a Sunday evening. Rosa Bonheur is a cabin in the woods that nobody should be afraid to knock on!