Unlike the Île de la Cité, the Île Saint-Louis, and the Île aux Cygnes, the last of Paris’ four spectacular islands, the Île Louviers, also known as the Île aux Javiaux, isn’t actually an island at all. The strip of water separating it from the mainland of the 4th arrondissement was filled in with soil in 1847 and instead makes the Île Louviers a minuscule neighbourhood. What it lacks in size (and accurate nomenclature), it makes up for in charm and the unusual diversions that can be found there. Read on and find out what all the fuss is about with this Paris island paradise.
Pop across the Boulevard Henri IV to Le Sully if you need a pre or post-museum coffee. The café-cum-restaurant is around 100 years in age and has developed a well-deserved reputation for its cured meat selection. Further down the would-be island, towards the Pont Morland is L’Affranchi, a solid choice for great homemade French cuisine, fine wine and, if the moment takes you, a cocktail. If you’d rather just grab something and go, Les Petits Pains Ronds is a popular local bakery. Head around the corner to check out the boats moored in the Bassin de l’Arsenal or those passing by the Quai Henri IV while you tuck into your picnic.
This is definitely a quarter for book lovers. As well as the public library and those attached to the various museums and cultural centers, there is also Comics Culture. It’s a haven for comic book aficionados, selling new and vintage issues in French and English. They also have an extensive online shop. If you’re vegan then you should maybe look away now because there is also a leather and fur emporium, Ventiuno, in the neighborhood.