Shakespeare and Company, the Britishest café-bookstore in Paris

Published by Graziella L. · Photos by Graziella L. · Updated on 20 October 2021 at 11h00 · Published on 19 October 2021 at 16h24
Just across Notre-Dame de Paris, the Shakespeare and Company Café is set right by the historic English bookstore founded by George Whitman. Foodies and bookworms, you have found heaven!

Genuine institution, the Shakespeare and Company is both a café and a bookstore in English only. Set across Notre-Dame, the bookstore has been the place to be for English-speaking writers since 1951. American bookstore-keeper George Whitman made it a landmark for literature lovers.

More than your average bookstore, it is also like a small hotel for authors, intellectuals, and artists of the time who could stay there for a few nights to encourage imagination. William Burroughs, Anaïs Nin, Richard Wright, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrel and James Baldwin settled there. Today, beds and furniture are part of the staging, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books covering the walls of the bookstore. The store also houses memories of generations of writers and travelers from the past century.

Shakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de ParisShakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de ParisShakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de ParisShakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de Paris

Although you are guaranteed to find old books – especially Shakespeare’s books – the bookstore also provides a young station and literary events. English-speaking writers can meet with their readers, for free. If you are lucky enough, you might see the little cat living there and making every heart melt with delight!

Shakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de Paris

But there is no great reading session without a nice cup of coffee and an indulging pastry, is it? George Whitman knew readers well and this is why he also wanted to open a small literary café by the bookstore. A wish that only became true in 2015 with wonderful panoramic views on Notre-Dame. One can enjoy coffee from Café Lomi, tea from Postcard Teas London, as well as pastries from Bob’s Bake Shop. Several of the latter are vegetarian. As for us, we went for a hearty slice of apple pie, just delicious!

Shakespeare and Company, le café-librairie le plus anglais de Paris

So, how about enjoying a good book and a tasty pastry in front of Notre-Dame?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 19 October 2021 to 19 October 2022

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    Location

    37 Rue de la Bûcherie
    75005 Paris 5

    Access
    Métro Saint-Michel (ligne 4 et RER C)

    Official website
    shakespeareandcompany.com

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