A spring day in Parc Montsouris is the closest thing to heaven. Really.
Montsouris is my favorite park in Paris. It’s not as big the Luxembourg Gardens. It lacks the formality of the Tuileries and doesn’t have the flower power of either of these two dynamos, but as you can see from the photos, it certainly is a welcoming picnic location.
If you’re already on the Left Bank, getting to Parc Montsouris is pretty easy. You can take the RER line to Cite Universitaire (within Paris, it costs the same as a regular Metro ticket, or you can take a leisurely walk from the Denfert Rochereau Metro stop along Rene Coty – (and stop at newly opened Bonjour Bakery for a mini eclair (more on that in a future post).
The layout of Montsouris is more ‘English style’ than classic French. It’s also a good park for jogs with some slight hills, twists and turns which make the job much more interesting than running circles around the Luxembourg Gardens.
There’s also the expensive Pavillon Montsouris restaurant (don’t even think about dropping in here for a casual meal) save it for a special occasion. Otherwise, you’ll find a snack bar, but nothing compared to the two cafes available in the Luxembourg gardens. Then again, why would you want to sit in a cafe when you can enjoy a ‘dejeuner sur l’herbe’?
Have your picnic and then head over to Musee d’Orsay to see the original ‘Dejeuner sur L’Herbe’ – a picnic that caused quite a stir in its day.
Here are some additional photos of Parc Montsouris:
(Photos by Chris Card Fuller ©2008)