Posted on October 16, 2013 by VINGT Editorial

Words: Jill Pope
Image: Chris and Emelie Nielson

Ask any Australian living in Paris what they miss most about home, and they’re likely to tell you ‘breakfasts’. In the city where a croissant, cigarette and coffee is considered more than enough for the most important meal of the day, there are plenty of antipodeans who long for the rather unique café breakfast (and coffee) culture that abounds down under. Two Parisians, Nico Alary and Sarah Mouchot, have taken it upon themselves to satisfy said craving with their new café Holybelly, recently opened in the 10th arrondissement.

Nico and Sarah lived in Melbourne for three years, working as a barista and chef respectively at Melbourne coffee-haven Market Lane and west-side hotspot the Duchess of Spotswood. Returning to Paris last year, they saw an opportunity to bring the best elements of the Melbourne food and coffee offerings to La Capitale, and have been busy planning their café ever since. They documented the highs and lows of the entire experience on their blog Behind Le Bar, which is a must-read for anyone considering opening a café anywhere!

The fruits of their labour are ripe for the picking. Holybelly gleams and twinkles with warmth from its prime position on rue Lucien Sampaix, close to Canal St Martin and down the road from another Australian inspired haunt, Tuckshop. Nico and Sarah make everyone feel welcome as they serve up some of the best coffee in Paris, under Nico’s watchful and expert eye, as well as Sarah’s (and co-chef Lise Kvan’s) fresh, seasonal menu. My eyes almost welled up when I read ‘poached eggs and sides’ on the breakfast menu (sides including barley hashbrowns, mushrooms with Fourme d’Ambert, and a seven hour cooked tomato amongst others), but never fear, when breakfast finishes at 12, flavoursome lunches and a delectable range of cakes and sweet treats come out. Nico uses locally roasted beans from another new addition to the Paris, the Belleville Brulerie, headed up by Thomas Lehoux, one of the owners at Ten Belles.

What is obvious at Holybelly is that Nico and Sarah love what they do, and seeing what they are producing there is no doubt that everyone else is going to as well.

19 rue Lucien Sampaix, 10th
Hours: M 8am-6pm, W-F 8am-6pm, Sat/Sun 10am-6pm
Metro: Jacques Bonsergent (5)