We returned last week from a three-week stay in Paris where we rented an apartment on Rue de Condé in the Odéon neighborhood of the city’s sixth arrondissement.
Rue de Condé starts at Rue de Vaugirard across the street from the Luxembourg Palace, currently the home of the French Senate. It then runs north for three blocks until it joins four other streets at a busy intersection just short of Blvd St Germain. There is a tiny island in the middle of this intersection and the whole place is called Carrefour de l’Odéon.
Seven restaurants surround this crossroads and we visited five of them during our stay. The best of the seven was probably one of the two we missed: Le Comptoir du Relais was always crowded and there was always a long line of people waiting to get a table. We avoided the other restaurant (Le Schmuck) because of its exorbitant prices.
For two and a half weeks we walked by the southern tip of the Carrefour where Rue de Condé and Rue de l’Odéon meet. The place was covered with scaffolding and plastic, leaving little room to amble from one crosswalk to another. We wondered what was going on and found out that there used to be a restaurant there at one time called Le Horse and at another The Horse’s Tavern. One evening near the end of our stay we walked by to discover that the scaffolding and plastic had disappeared and there was a grand opening for a new restaurant called Le Hibou. The horse was replaced by an owl!
On our last day in Paris we decided to have lunch at the new restaurant. Our table was at the right-most window on the second floor (Europeans say this is the first floor). This was our window view:
Most of the places we wanted to see in Paris were within walking distance from our apartment on Rue de Condé. For those places not within walking distance we just had to catch the Metro at the Odéon stop on Blvd St Germain right around the corner from Carrefour de l’Odéon.