By Mary Gallagher
On a recent visit to Paris, we ventured out to the eastern side and Bercy Village, an ancient wine market dating from the Neolithic era when fisherman used to live here. The site has yielded thousands of objects of everyday life attesting to the presence of man at this location for more than 6500 years and the treasures are now at the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. The Cour Saint Emilion is the only remnant of this mythical place.
Until 1860, Bercy was a community independent of Paris, out of the jurisdiction of Lieutenant de Police of Paris for a few centuries allowing the libertines to live without restraint. In the 1880’s, with wines arriving by boat and unloaded for storage, Bercy becomes known as “cellar of the world “. Later, the railway replaced the boats. The common phrase “Bercy’s fever” means to be drunk.
This wine retailing business created a distinctive architectural style of small houses (les chais) along paved roads. As early as the XVII century, Bercy (then a separate village) became a “ lieu de plaisir ” with taverns, restaurants, parks and gardens along the river Seine.
Today the easy access to public transportation in a “quieter” area of Paris is a great asset to this neighborhood. Plus, the Number 14 is super-fast, and fully-automated (“fully-automated” means that the infamous French labor strikes don’t affect them!).
The Bercy Village now features a bustling paved courtyard, more than ten restaurants, 20 innovative shops dedicated to lifestyle and leisure, exceptional restaurants, a health club, Club Med World, Omnisens Wellness Spa and Paris’s largest cinema.
Residential apartment buildings look on to the historic and beautiful Parc de Bercy. Also in the neighborhood are a few small grocery stores, a wonderful French bakery and many hotels.
A beautiful calm enveloped us at the Omnisens Spain Bercy Village. Omnisens provides a wide range of programs and treatments. I was swooning over just the wonderful smell permeating the entire space, sounds of water, gentle voices and a great feeling of peace.
For various holidays and other times of the year special features are offered. Valentines Day for two included such delectable programs as:
* “Duo Plaisir” : features the use of the Jacuzzi, aromatherapy massage for two people in a large treatment room (with essential oils of ylang-ylang) and “Thé des Amants” (“Lovers’ Tea).
* “L’Asie à deux” (Together in Asia) use of the Jacuzzi, Thai massage for two people in a large treatment room and “Fleur de Geisha” (Geisha’s Flower tea).
Add on the Leçon de Séduction : makeover for a couple that offers advice and consulting on Colors, clothes, styles that fit for each of them (the couple).
Spa Omnisens unrolls the red carpet for Mother’s Day with the “Invaluable Care”. This original massage with the semi-precious stones is which a true care jewel reveals by the magic of the stones the interior richness of each person. The Invaluable Care Omnisens provides a treasure of relaxation. One starts with the shower and bubbling bath, accompanied by a cup of scented tea. The heart of the “Invaluable Care” of Omnisens is the massage with the semi-precious stones. Delicately posed on the points of energy of the body, the stones exert in turn their protective power on the organization, rebalance energies and get an immediate result that creates a delicious feeling. The therapist proceeds with a releasing massage slipping the multicolored stones on the skin. Amethyst, pink quartz, tourmaline, acute navy, all reveal their virtues.
To prolong the benefits, a semi-precious stone is offered in iridescent muslin. Deposit it at the entry of your house, carry on your person or place under your pillow. The protective powers will continue to provide their benefits.
Omnisens Spa for Wellbeing
33 01 43 41 96 96
The Frogat Bercy Village is just one of many restaurants located in the converted historic wine warehouses. Its spacious interior has been designed to reflect the atmosphere and traditions of an English pub.
The Frog houses an English custom-designed and manufactured microbrewery which produces 10,000 pints of the 5 house beers each week: one lager, Frog Natural Blonde; two bitters, Inseine and Parislytic; one stout, Dark de Triomphe; and one wheat beer, Trente Wheat. Two bars are arranged over the split-level interior of over 450 m2 (4,000 square feet), while outdoors, 150 people can be accommodated on the two terraces. Food is served throughout the day and the menu features English classics such as Bangers and Mash and Apple Crumble in addition to locally-influenced French and other dishes.
Frog Pubs are widely known in Paris as a key destination for people who want to watch major football and rugby matches. At The Frog at Bercy Village, all major sporting events are broadcast on the giant screen (12×12 feet) and five TVs.
28 rue François Truffaut
Acceso bus : 62, Lachambeaudie, 24, 111, 109,
Subterráneo : Ligne 14, Cour Saint Emilion
Acceso RER : A, D, Gare de Lyon
Some hotels in the area:
Best Western Bercy-Rive Gauche, www.parishotelbercy.com
Holiday Inn Paris Bibliothèque de France, www.holiday-inn.com/paris-tolbiac
Hôtel Arian, arianhotel.free.fr
Hôtel Le Cantagrel, www.hotelcantagrel.com
Hôtel Claret, www.hotel-claret.com
Hôtel des Deux Gares, www.hoteldesdeuxgares.fr
Hôtel Ibis Porte Durée, ibishotel.com
Hôtel Kyriad Paris XII Bercy Village, www.bercykyriad.com
Hôtel Majesty, lillesaigon.majesty.com
Hôtel de Marseille, www.hotelsinparisweb.com
Hôtel Mercure Paris Bercy, www.mercure.com
Hôtel Midi, www.hotel-midi.com
Hôtel Palym, www.hotel-palym.com
Hôtel de la Porte Dorée, www.hoteldelaportedoree.com
Hôtel Tolbiac, www.hotel-tolbiac.com
Hôtel Viator, www.hotelviator.com
Hôtel Wattignies, fr.federal-hotel.com/hotel_wattignies-hotel-paris_2825.htm
Novotel Paris Bercy, www.accorhotels.com
Pavillon Bercy Gare de Lyon, www.leshotelsdeparis.com
Pierre et Vacances City Paris Bercy, www.pierreetvacances.com
Prince Albert Lyon Bercy, www.princealbert.com
Relais de Paris Gare de Lyon, www.lesrelaisdeparis.fr
Résidence Park and Suites Tolbiac, www.la-sgcr.com
Résidence Richemont, http://www.hotel-richemont.com/
Sofitel Paris Bercy, www.sofitel.com