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Canal Saint-Martin is a 4.6 km (2.86 mi) long canal in Paris.  It starts with a wide basin at the top. Then it narrows into three tree-lined double stair-cased locks drawing down towards the Seine river.


Looking south towards the locks


And you probably have never heard of it.

It is not on the usual list of Paris attractions but maybe it should be.

On a day where the sun is shinning reflecting the open water, it feels warmer and more relaxed than elsewhere —  a time out from all the main tourist sites.

The day I discovered it, and how I wish I could be back there again — I needed some calm.  I went to enjoy the slower pace, the people strolling along and the fanciful wall art.



Hungry along the Canal

It took me only half the morning to walk along the Quai de Valmy on the right side of the canal (the left side is called the Quai de Jemmapes) until I decided it was time for lunch.

I admit I am always hungry!


Le Chaland

Le Chaland * is one of those traditional French bistros with reasonable prices and an ambience that makes you want to move to Paris.

You want to adopt it as your neighbourhood hangout.

You want to make friends with the people who eat there, and also try everything on the menu.


I so wanted to hear what these gentlemen, obviously great friends, were talking about it.


It offers a traditional French bistro menu. At lunch and dinner, you can choose from starters like homemade foie gras, hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise, and mains, such as magret de canard | duck breast, cuisse de poulet fermier | roast chicken leg and faux filet |sirloin steak.

All of which are presented as if the chef believes this will be your last meal.

This day, I opted for a starter and main (for only 12.5 euros).


Endive salad with cherry tomatoes


I had the endive salad and my companion had a most delicious looking tarte à l’oignon|Onion Tart.



Our main was paupiettes de veau | veal rounds lightly stuffed with the most divine sauce. along with pureed potatoes cooked in plenty of butter.



As we all know, food is a religion in France, and after my lunch at Le Chaland along the Canal Saint-Martin, I am a believer!

  • Le Chaland means “barge” in French.
  • I loved how all the china plates were a different pattern!

If you have a favourite bistro or had a walk along the canal, please share your stories with us and comment below!

I am just going to continue to revel in my memories until I can make some new ones!  A la prochaine mes amis!


  1. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on May 31, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Looks like delicious food at Le Chaland … perfect for a birthday meal, if I was there today!!! And I can picture us strolling along the canal – what a non-touristy find!!!

    • Diana Bishop on May 31, 2020 at 11:50 am

      If I could I would take you there for your birthday lunch today. Happy Birthday Gretchen. It is not a year where you can spend it with friends and family up close and personal, but I hope you can feel the love that we are all sending to you on this special day! Much love, Diana

  2. Kelly on May 31, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Oh Diana, that sounds absolutely wonderful. I can’t think of anything better than a quiet walk in a less touristy part of Paris followed by a delicious meal at a lovely cafe. That seems so far away right now. I’m going to strive to get those same feelings of living in the moment by strolling my neighborhood and enjoying lunch on our deck this afternoon. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Twink on May 31, 2020 at 9:02 am

    When I stayed in Paris at my girlfriend’s apartment on Victor Hugo, she selected the cafe or restaurant that was completely amazing. The Parisians have taken the meal time and made it unforgettable. Each place had it’s own incredible ambiance. I cannot remember the names of the locations but they were sensational.
    Thank you for bringing me back to that time.
    Xxoo Twink

    • Diana Bishop on May 31, 2020 at 11:46 am

      I know..a long lunch, or a late leisurely dinner with friends in Paris is my idea of a great time. I love to eat but I also love to be with people in that setting where a meal is not rushed, and the conversation goes on and on on all sorts of subjects. Thanks as always for you comment! Diana

      • Diana Bishop on May 31, 2020 at 11:47 am

        We are soul-mates! Best to you, Diana

  4. Luci on May 31, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Diana im longing to go. We were aupposed to be there in sept. Darn it!

    • Diana Bishop on May 31, 2020 at 11:45 am

      OH Luci, I can so relate. I had two trips planned each a month or more this year … boo hoo.

      But I have some new things I will doing with my blog in the next six months that might take some of the lack of travel — so stay tuned! Diana

  5. Trudy Van Buskirk on May 31, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    They’re back! NO post today that has anything to do with Covid-19 – thank you Diana! It’’s a lovely sunny day here in Toronto and this post with pictures of a quiet canal and a French bistro with food cheered me up. It’s just what I needed!

  6. Maggie on May 31, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    I bet you needed a long walk after that lunch.

  7. Trisha Cuthbertson on May 31, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    My first stroll along the Seine came after buying my demi baguette, cafe au lait, and some deli slices for lunch. I remember seeing the bridges, a few river boats and enjoying the sunshine.

  8. Lucy Bertoldi on June 1, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I adore Paris and can’t wait to get back to it soon! Beautiful post and…it’s made me very hungry!! PLease come link this beautiful post over at my blog. I have a Link Party happening every Friday. I would love for others to also read what you wrote:) Fridays (it’s presently still on right now) at:
    Thanks! Lucy

    • Diana Bishop on June 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Thank you for this lovely comment. I would be delighted to take part in your LINK PARTY. How do I do that? And how do link my posts to your blog?
      Sounds like we should have a chat? Diana

      My email by the way is

  9. Kate Kemp-Griffin on June 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Diana,

    I love Canal St Martin! And it seems to be a popular subject these days…. here is a story France 24 did today… while you can’t be IN Paris, this might help you feel as if you were today…


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