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Les Deux Magots

Page history last edited by Thomas Kutzli 2 years, 3 months ago


This old-fashioned St-Germain café named after the two Chinese figurines, or magots, inside has seen everyone from Oscar Wilde drinking his evening absinthe at a sidewalk table to Hemingway drinking with James Joyce, to those 1950s coffee enthusiasts Jean-Paul Sartre and Richard Wright. It remains packed, though these days you're more likely to rub shoulders with tourists than with philosophers and writers. Still, if you are in search of the mysterious glamour of the Rive Gauche, you can do no better than to station yourself at one of the sidewalk tables -- or at a window table on a wintry day -- to watch the passing parade.


Dubbed the second home of the élite intellectuelle, this café counted Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Stéphane Mallarmé, Oscar Wilde, and the Surrealists among its regulars. These days it's overpriced and mostly filled with tourists, but the hot chocolate served in a porcelain jug is still exceptionally good.


The poet Paul Eluard introduced Dora Maar to Pablo Picasso here as well. It is said that he was instantly attracted to her because she would always be depressed (supposedly because she was sterile) and would cut herself at the table. They had a really long love affair and she became one of his primary muses.


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