Le Mary Celeste, a jolly jumble sale followed by oysters and beer

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It may have snowed all day but inside Le Mary Celeste on Sunday the sun shone brightly. The crazy-talented young ladies from art collective The House That Jack Built held their fourth Jumble Sale just in time for fashion week, which starts today, and invited their friends along to spruce their wares and share their talents. Newly indigo-tressed Rubi Jones cut hair; in the opposite corner Kim Laidlaw-Adrey painted customers' digits with her fancy nail-art; David Lebovitz chatted all things yummy while signing copies of his books and The Sporting Project kept everyone hydrated with Bob's super-healthy cold-pressed juices.

I arrived just as things were kicking off as I had an early appointment with Rubi, and lucky I did; as I waited for my turn I nabbed an excellent pair of boatshoe-motif embroidered khaki pants for Mr M and a slice of caramel and honey salted pie - the yummiest thing I've eaten in a very long time - for both of us to share later. As I wandered around the stalls and happy people I easily fell in love with Le Mary Celeste.

Named for a ship mysteriously found abandoned off the coast of Portugal in 1872, Mary Celeste is the third opening from the wonder-team that bestowed Paris Calandria then Glass, and nautically-decorated by the inspiring husband-wife team of David Rager and Cheri Messerli. Situated in the fork of two close-meeting streets, Le Mary Celeste is blessed with natural light on three sides, making it a beautiful light and bright space, rare for a bar in Paris which are normally shrouded in curtains and terrasse awnings. Allegedly plans are in the works for the bar to open up earlier than their start time of 5pm, and I'm anxious for it to happen - it would be the perfect place to while away the afternoon with a coffee (or early cocktail, or three). Once my cut was done and Rubi graciously worked my hair into one of her amazing braids - lucky me! - I ducked out of there to meet Mr M for a puppy play date, not before bidding the girls a "see you soon!"; I was definitely heading back once the bar opened at five pm.

Dragging my bestie along with me we settled into a just-vacated nook under one of the big windows and we watched as the slick staff transformed the place from a hipster bazaar into an oyster and cocktail bar. As soon as we could we ordered ourselves a wine and pint of Brooklyn Brewery beer on draught and four of the 1€ happy-hour oysters. There's nothing quite like freshly shucked oysters. These were divine. The chili jus, surprisingly served alongside complimentary, was the perfect accompaniment to give some heat to the chilled oysters. Of course, as quickly as we consumed the first a second round was ordered and devoured. It was the perfect thing to do on a cold Sunday afternoon and on more than one occasion I completely forgot it was snowing outside.

While the original Mary Celeste was found completely abandoned, this Mary Celeste will most definitely not encounter the same fate. Instead, this bricks-and-mortar Mary Celeste will be a bright beacon in Paris' burgeoning bar scene and punters are sure to flock to jump on board.

Le Mary Celeste
1, rue Commines, 3e
Open everyday 17h-2h
Oyster happy hour 17h - 19h
Kitchen open Wed-Sun, 19h-23h30
Reservations by email only: info{at}lemaryceleste{dot}com
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**For a great review on the servings on offer once the kitchen opens after the 5-7pm happy hour ends head over to Paris by Mouth for their review posted today.

The House that Jack Built styling + art direction
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xx

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