Down a dark passageway off the Canal St Martin, this is a playhouse of the surreal and fantastic, like a secret voodoo temple crossed with a 19th century literary salon. In short, madness.
It’s hard to get your head around the space, so we say don’t bother and just roll with it. In the ‘classroom’ there’s a Little Shop of Horrors living jungle next to the canteen (they do delish food day and night). Next up, have a poke around the cabinet of witchcraft and laboratory of oddities with voodoo trinkets. Exit into The Rampant Garden for a cigarette, or move on to the Tavern for a drink (it took us this long to remember we actually came here for that). They do a bunch of tiki/Creole cocktails and beers, just don’t get distracted in the Barber Shop (where they may or may not actually cut hair).
Keep going: there’s a ballroom, a record collection/museum, a bookstore, a boutique, a curiosity shop and a toy store. Depending when you turn up they host farmers’ markets, lectures, gigs and screenings. It’s packed with the stylish inhabitants of the 10th, but remains wonderfully unpretentious. The only drawback is it’s insanely popular with queues even on weekdays.