• BoBo and Le Comptoir General (Paris)

Four nights in Paris and my friends were determined to introduce me to the concept of BoBo.  They were obsessed, it was easy for me to become obsessed too but the one question was: what on earth is BoBo?

The fashion of Bohemian Bourgeouis is not a new trend for Paris’ elite but socially humble fashionistas.  As each suburb becomes gentrified, the movement takes hold somewhere else.  I am told that it is now about 70s furniture, dressing your children in the same clothes as daddy, eating organic and doing yoga on Wednesday afternoons.  Not quite understanding how this mis-match came together, I was taken to the area around the canal and then to Le Comptoir General – the epitome of all things BoBo.

Entrance is a forced donation which goes towards the foundation of goodness-knows-what.  To one side was a room of kids, a birthday party where none looked particularly excited.  Following the hallway, we ended up in a large room with rickety retro chairs and a groups of amateurs playing music that gave the impression that none had ever learnt how to play their instrument before (okay, so my recent experience with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra may have set my standards a little too high).

On the landing were vintage clothes and trinkets as ugly and expensive as possible.  These were described with praise for their curator who had ‘individually chosen each piece for your maximum enjoyment’.  My friend bought a beanie so I could try posing with him as a real French BoBo.

The cafe does serve coffee, bottled juice and home-made brownies.  I opted for a hot chocolate which was made with lots of sweet chocolate powder.

Despite the  cynicism in my words, and my remaining incomprehension of this trend, my friends declared I was quite BoBo myself, being vegetarian and all.  If anyone were to be vegetarian in Paris (and let me tell you it is rare) then it would be a BoBo.

Le Comptoir General
80 Quai de Jemmapes
75010 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 44 88 20 45