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An elegant neighbourhood that evokes both 19th-century romance and 21st-century luxury. If you take a stroll through the Quartier Graslin in Nantes you'll experience a touch of Paris. Classic buildings and squares, elegant shopping street and arcades, and a famous brasserie from 1895. This neighbourhood is the perfect destination for an afternoon stroll, some shopping and a delicious lunch.
Despite the heavy World War II air raids on Nantes, the greater part of the chic Quartier Graslin was spared. The centrally located district remains an elegant reminder of the 19th century with its homogeneous façades, streets and squares. This is evident from the monumental Place Royale, with its terraces and blue granite fountain; the Place Graslin, with its neoclassic opera house; and the entrance to the Cours Cambronne, a lovely green promenade. Enjoy a leisurely stroll from the Place Royale to the Place Graslin along the Rue Crébillon, a charming shopping street that is home to many famous French fashion labels.
Rue Crébillon was one of the first streets in Nantes with gas street lighting. Since the street was closed to traffic a few years ago, it is not that hard to imagine those bygone days. This shopping street is still a popular shopping destination with its pastry shops, jewellers and luxurious clothing brands. Here you will find labels such as Gérard Darel, Maje and Lacoste. Another exclusive shop is L’Artisan Parfumeur, which sells traditionally made perfumes. Half way down the street the Crébillon-Scribe Arcade begins, with trendy French fashion labels such as Isabelle Marant, LaFée Maraboutée and Stella Cadente.
Rue Crébillon 44000 Nantes
A side street off the Rue Crébillon leads to an even more famous shopping arcade: Passage Pommeraye. This 1843 shopping arcade has been declared a historic monument and resembles a theatre with its many banisters, pillars and a monumental wooden and wrought iron stairway. The 3 storeys are bathed in natural light that pours in through the large glass roof. The arcade exudes an old-fashioned charm with many traditional shops tucked away among modern boutiques that sell Hermès or L’Occitane. You may even stumble across an authentic stamp shop from the 1950s.
Rue de la Fosse 44000 Nantes
Another Nantes landmark can be found at the end of Rue Crébillon, across from the opera on Place Graslin. This is where you find La Cigale, a brasserie with an opulent Belle Époque interior. Early morning customers enjoy café crème with croissants, and until late into the evening waiters carry out large trays full of oysters and other delicious seafood. A spectacular experience. This is the spot to sample some local white wines, and the menu lists dozens of different Muscadet wines.
4 Place Graslin 44000 Nantes