Maison Cupcake in Paris: Amelie Poulain’s Paris

Amelie Poulain Paris

This is the last of my three part series about last year’s spring trip to Paris. After viewing Paris through the eyes of Simone de Beauvoir last week, today it is the turn of Amelie Poulain as in Le Fableux Destin de Amelie Poulain – to give Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film comedy its full title!

At the time of filming, the Canal St Martin in north east Paris was a fairly dingy area however it’s now smarter and artier a la Portobello or Hoxton.

French canals are over twice the width of those in the UK and the banks were lined with office workers eating their lunch in the leafy surroundings. Barge trips sail up and down although there is a tunnel close to where this photo was taken preventing them going any further south.

Amelie Poulain Paris

The Metro features frequently in Amelie. There are many differences between the Paris Metro and London’s Underground; stations are closer together and often only just below the surface (like the Circle Line); platforms face each other rather than having their backs to each other meaning you can see people on the platforms opposite and it’s less closed in.

The passageways of the Metro are echoey and like Amelie, you often hear music from buskers coming from far away.

Amelie Poulain Paris

We took the metro from Canal St Martin to below Sacre Coeur; scene in the film where Amelie arranges to meet Nino but only communicates with him via public telephone boxes.

A funicular railway transports you from this level to the top where it’s a short walk to Montmarte.

Amelie Poulain Paris

Montmartre is like a village on a hill. It feels separate from Paris yet is quintessentially Parisian at the same time. On such a sunny day, lighting was very harsh to take pictures from our cafe and I must confess I was wilting somewhat in 27c heat. (I would be hopeless anywhere hotter).

Amelie Poulain Paris

I had hoped to walk to the Moulin Rouge or better still, photograph it at night but alas, with sore feet we consoled ourselves with this windmill, one of several which used to dot the Montmartre hill.

Amelie Poulain Paris

This Amelie pilgrimage was impromptu, hence I had not researched where the famous bar was located. This grocery store however featured prominently in the film and even displays an Amelie poster on the corner!

Amelie Poulain Paris

Small pleasures in life are a recurring theme in Amelie, the crack of caramel on a brulee, plunging a hand into a sack of lentils.

Our small pleasure in Montmartre was watching crepes being cooked on this iron.

Amelie Poulain Paris Amelie Poulain Paris

I’m struggling to think of an equivalent fast food in the UK which would be served with liqueur such as Grand Marnier. Ideas welcome below…

Amelie Poulain Paris

Un fableux ice cream parlour!

Amelie Poulain Paris

Having walked from Montparnasse to Montmarte with only a brief 4 stop hop on the Metro, we crawled down Montmarte to our final Amelie moment of the day.

Abbesses Metro station is one of only a few retaining its original Art Nouveau canopy. It’s also the station to which Amelie escorts the blind man in the film. Being built into the side of the hill, it’s a rarity in Paris that you have to descend deep to the platform.

Never had I been so glad to sit down! Exploring cities in hot weather is thirsty work.

Maison Cupcake in Paris Part One: Laduree
Maison Cupcake in Paris Part Two: La Coupole and La Rotonde

Amelie Poulain Paris


    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Thanks, it’s a wonderful film and I think it’s time I watched it again. As for themed visits, I think I’d do Edith Piaf’s Paris next time.

  1. says

    I’m in Paris all the time and it never seems that special, but you make it magical! I’m going to have to watch the film as well. So far, never have. I do realise however that I am the only one in the world who hasn’t!!

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      You must, you must. If you like Paris then you’ll love Amelie and no doubt have the soundtrack in your head forever more when you visit!

      And if you haven’t seen them I also highly recommend Les Amants du Pont Neuf (with Juliet Binoche) and Pret a Porter (spoof of Paris Fashion scene by Robert Altman). They’re completely different films but each show Paris in detail – from the tramps to the fashionistas!

  2. says

    just wanted to say how lovely your posts on paris have been…. you must have had such a lovely time, the weather in these pics looks wonderful. I adore paris and its nice to see it captured by you so beautifully… plus it gives me another reason to go back and discover new stuff!

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Thanks – we were incredibly fortunate with weather since it was so hot and sunny last Easter – although this has a downside for me since I’m such a lightweight with warmer temperatures. Very pleased people have enjoyed these posts and it’s been worth the wait in me posting them!

  3. says

    Beautifully done – great pictures and wonderful ideas. I love the thought that plunging your hand into a bag of lentils is a pleasure – it’s true, it is! I’d just never thought about it before. Thank you.

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      I may visit my kitchen this second to dip my hands into bags of lentils. Hours of fun!!

  4. says

    Great post – we stayed a couple of doors down from Moulin Rouge and got some great pics of it in the dark! It’s a rather ‘interesting’ area at night!

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Ha yes, I imagine it is. Although I understand it’s far less “interesting” than it used to be!!