On Saturday we finally headed over to Holybelly Cafe near Canal Saint Martin for some lunch, which was opened last month by former Market Lane barista, photographer and self-professed Croissant Smasher (yes, really!), Nico Alary, and ex Duchess of Spotswood chef,  Sarah Mouchot. We had to wait around 20 minutes for a table, as it seemed everyone else had the same idea. And once inside we could see why. Seemingly small from the outside, walk past the coffee bar and a few sets of diner-style booths, and Holybelly opens up into a large space at the back of the cafe with high ceilings and a huge table for communal eating. And with exposed brick walls, a wood panelled ceiling, which reminded me of Ariele Alasko's beautiful multi-panelled creations that she blogs about on Brooklyn to West, lightbulbs hanging from a copper industrial light fitting and plants dotted about, it didn't feel like we were in Paris anymore - more like Austin, Texas or LA perhaps. Either way it was warm and cosy, and beautifully designed. 

We ordered the grilled cheese sandwich and the lentils and sausage salad from the friendly staff who were speaking a mixture of French and English, meaning we did too. The dishes arrived well-presented and tasty, especially the lentil salad - the slices of sausage were delicious. They were perhaps a little on the pricey side at €12-14 when paired with a coffee - making lunch more of a weekend affair, but I can't wait to come back for more coffee. Holybelly serves up rich Belleville beans, like all the good Parisian cafes and advertises as such on a black board above the coffee bar usually found on old cinemas. I managed to get a few shots of the interiors, despite the amount of people congregating around the bar to pay and grabbed a sneaky snap of Nico on the way out. See you soon!

Love those cheerful yellow mugs
Co-founder Nico Alary