La Dame de Canton Night Club and restaurant in Paris
The Dame de Canton is a very unique and unusual cabaret, concert, nightclub and restaurant in Paris, that is a wooden Chinese junk, which is now moored permanently on the River Seine in the heart of Paris.
A bit of history on the Dame de Canton
La Dame de Canton is often referred to as the Lady of Canton, but basically translates to Lady of the Region, although it did at one point change its name to Guinguette Pirate, however this Chinese junk has reverted back to its maiden name of Dame de Canton.
The History of the Dame de Canton started back in the late 1970s when two young French made a crazy bet to build an authentic Chinese junk to original plans that were drawn up centuries ago.
The Dame de Canton is made of wood and is an exact replica of one of the original Chinese Junks that used to sail the seas back in the 17th century and for over ten years it has travelled to over forty different countries.
In fact, it is 25 metres long, 7 metres wide and weighs in at approximately 80 tons and this scale replica is authentic down to the seven different types of exotic wood that were used, along with its tiller, the three-masted rig and much more.
This lady of the seas departed her home port for several years of sailing and was the first junk to pass the Cape of Good Hope, making its journey half way around the world and discovering different continents such as Africa, Asia, the United States of America and Europe.
But then its role changed completely when it was permanently moored on the River Seine and it became one of the first cabaret and music venues along with a restaurant to be located on a permanently moored boat.
About the Dame de Canton today
This is a magical and unusual place that is suitable for all the family and during the summer months there is a terrace on the quayside where you can enjoy a drink or a meal with quality French food that will be prepared in front of you at the open kitchen with delights such as wood-fired pizzas, salads etc.
Here you will also find live music from solo artists or groups along with DJs, even activities, games, workshops and specific events for both adults and children in a fun atmosphere that all the family will enjoy while you are on holiday in Paris.
You can listen to these performances that vary immensely from guitarists to singers and pop to jazz and these run at different times of the day and of an evening between 7pm and 8.30pm on the dockside terrace. Plus they are always looking for fresh new talent to vary the shows and keep the audiences enthralled, day after day and year after year.
However, the Dame de Canton wooden junk itself has different levels and there is a bar on the upper deck for drinks and cocktails, which are actually quite reasonably priced for Paris, especially considering the location and to give you an idea, a cocktail such as a Pina Colada is around €7.50.
There are also two other spaces that will welcome you for dining and charm you with their authenticity within the boat, which are the original captains space with its library, and the bedroom that is now a truly romantic restaurant.
So when it comes to the restaurants on the Dame de Canton, you will find exquisite French cuisine that releases flavours to tempt the taste buds but with some unusual creativity, yet the presentation is just as good, as even this has creative flair that you do not often find at restaurants in Paris, like a certain dish served up as though it is a Chinese junk.
Keeping on the theme of French food, you could enjoy delights such as home cooked Fois gras with fig chutney, roast duck fillet with honey and chestnuts, French cheese selection and much more, although, please do bear in mind that the menu does change frequently.
There is an a la carte option with a main course being around €20, however, there are also two formulas available which as of 2012 these are €28 for either a starter and main course or main course and dessert. The second formula is a cost of €35 for a three course dinner, however, we would like to point out that these are only available if pre-booked.
The third area of La Dame de Canton has been changed into the concert hall with a good sized dance floor that also turns into a nightclub in Paris, which runs until the early hours of the morning after the concerts have finished.
The concerts are very varied and the programme is always changing, but there is an information line available so you can find out exactly what type of concerts and shows that are being held and on what dates, so you can always pre-arrange your evening of entertainment in Paris.
Children are also not missed out, as they conduct specific shows in Paris on this Chinese junk during certain afternoons that are specifically for young children, plus you can even arrange a birthday party
Also, reservations can also be made for conferences, photo shoots, family gatherings and all different kinds of parties, if you want to do something completely unique whilst you are on holiday in Paris. But this cabaret show and nightclub venue is also ideal for those of you that want to experience the nightlife in Paris in completely different surroundings.
Opening and Access to La Dame de Canton
The 300m squared terrace with a panoramic view of the River Seine is open from May to September where it is a meeting place and somewhere to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Paris.
On a Tuesday through to a Friday the terrace is open from 11am through to midnight, on a Saturday it opens at 3pm to 1am, on a Sunday it open at 1pm through to midnight and on a Monday the terrace is open from 6pm until midnight.
The bar of the Dame de Canton is open on a Tuesday to Thursday from 7pm through to 2am, then on a Friday and Saturday, this music venue is open from 7pm through to around 5pm.
The restaurants of this unusual venue are open on a Tuesday through to a Saturday from 8pm through to midnight, but of course you also have the terrace during the summer months, yet we would like to point out that the Dame de Canton is closed on a Sunday and a Monday except when there is a bank holiday.
The bateau or boat hosts concerts that start at 8.30pm and the DJ come nightclub scene normally starts at around 11pm and as mentioned before, of a weekday this unusual nightclub in Paris finishes at 2am.
However, we would also like to point out that there is a charge for the concerts or for gaining access to the nightclub and this ranges from €5 for a concert upwards and €6 upwards for the club nights, which depends upon what the entertainment is. But there are discounts available, especially if you are booking a dinner at the Dame de Canton as well.
The Dame de Canton is moored at the foot of the Biblioteque Francois Mitterrand, close to the foot of the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge that links the Bercy Park and the nearest Metro stations are the Quai de la Gare on line 6 and the Biblioteque Francois Mitterrand on line 14.