Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais
An antique card table abandoned mid-game, a pianoforte dating from 1792, an ornate wooden harp, an open score on a music stand. Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais is a unique cross between an 18th-century house, whose owners have only just gone out, and a minutely designed stage set. Lovingly framed collages of old manuscripts and etchings hang on the walls of the rooms, decorated with nothing but the best French wallpapers and fabrics. Owner Alain Bigeard, an antique dealer by trade, takes his inspiration for all this from the quartier’s late resident, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, who was an aristocrat, watchmaker to Louis XV, spy, revolutionary and, best remembered, writer of The Marriage of Figaro – hence the musical/literary theme. The wooden-beamed bedrooms, redecorated in 2008, are small (a Marais symptom) and now incongruously replete with TV sets; Alain tried to resist but decided to accommodate new-fangled habits.