As you may have seen on Instagram I recently came back from a trip to Paris. During that time I did a fair amount fashion week related activities but I also had heaps of “me time” to do exploring and wanderlusting and creating Instagram content.
I will only be mentioning names of venues (anything else would take me a week haha). They’re all tried and road – tested by me personally so when you google them they take you to the Google Map pin. Don’t you just love technology the days *she said sounding like a really old person.
Right – first things first.
Accommodation: I used Trivago.com to book my hotel (it was a self sponsored trip so I looked for something cheap(ish)). I looked for something that was new, had good reviews and was walking distance to the central parts of the city. I ended up at Hotel Le Malown in the 8th arr. (right next door to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. (http://www.lemalown.com/en/).
The hotel turned out to be a GREAT find! The rooms were tiny but I was’t really going to be spending any time in the room apart from the zzzz. Crisp white sheets and beige walls (none of the dated plush velour nonsence many hotels in Paris insist on), little balcony, friendly staff, bargain rate of under 500 aed / night and a location that allowed me to walk everywhere plus take the metro from the Opera station which connects all the metro lines going through the city. Score!
This leads me to the next discovery:
Could this be the best (free) rooftop for aerial views?
Both these shots are taken at the rooftop floor of Printemps – free for public access as a little lunch cafeteria / coffee house is located up there.
Save your calories for ground floor however: thats where Cafe Pushkin is located. Hands down prettiest cakes in Paris if you ask me.
Walking distance from the hotel, opposite the Opera is Cafe De La Paix – excellent for a Parisian croissant / espresso breakfast.
As you can see I threw all gluten caution to the wind. Parisian bread is just the tastiest though!
Another breakfast place often voted the best bakery in town is Du Pain et Des Idée (easily allocated on google maps as is everything else I mentioned). Noone speaks english and there are no tourists and it’s just warm, authentic and wonderful.
For more restaurant options I recommend:
- Miss Ko – Nearby the Champs Elysée on Avenue George V. Very hip crowd, the the affordable sushi is AMAZING, and at night the music is great. The decor with Japanese murals is photo friendly bonus.
- Alcazar Restaurant – This restaurant just re-opened after a major refurbishment and is one of the most popular places in Paris at the moment. Très Instagram friendly.
- Les Bain Paris – It’s a bar/restaurant with amazing truffle popcorn accompanying the drinks. The interiors are incredible, and the staff actually isn’t arrogant (very rare for a trendy place in Paris). Dior hosted their perfume launch party here last season, and in general, it attracts a fashion-forward crowd. Downstairs turns into a nightclub in the late hours for Parisian style debauchery (there is even a small pool in the middle, a’la a 1970s Saint Laurent party)
- Hotel Costes: It’s expensive and smoky and yet all kinds of wonderful. Crammed with good looking / influential people, with the worlds most instagrammed french fries and every single dish on the menu is a taste experience. I would know, I ate there daily for a week and tried one of everything in a tres indulgent manner.
Nearby (3 minutes walk) is the infamous Colette department store where you dive into a world of all things eclectic and edgy. I get my fix of newly released sneakers, Byredo and Diptyque products in limited editions and cute electronic gadgets from there.
Otherwise my shopping go to district is Le Marais – brimming with vintage stores, cheap eats, French designers like Sandro, Maje and Zadie & Voltaire (with selections far better to the Dubai ones sadly) as well as the newly opened Anine Bing store.
How about the beautifully taupe Aesop store with pump flask testers on the street? Or mixing your own Le Labo scent with a customized label – all these can found on the streets of Marais. In general: if you’re looking for anything specific there are plenty of Time Out style articles that provide deep insight in the topic (such as vintage shopping which many might be into). I myself am not (strangely enough as it’s kinda expected from a fashion blogger). I like my things brand spanking new and still smelling of the fancy box they came in. 😀
On the topic of shopping and fancy boxes: the worlds only Louboutin beauty store (with the lipsticks and the nail polishes and oh the lipsticks, I am so in love with them all) is located in a covered passage close to Palais Royal. It’s called Galerie Vero-Dodat and is a beautiful old space with black and white floors. The Louboutin head office is located there so many ladies with red soles will swish past you when you’re around.
Across the road is my favorite breakfast place in the whole wide world called Claus (also on google maps like everything else). I was told that Claus himself was an ex high fashion PR executive that got tired of the fashion PR-ing game and launched the finest fanciest breakfast joint of them all. The male waiters will charm the crap out of you and you can have all day breakfast with a side of bubbly. Booking is essential or else there is a 45 min waiting list. Daily.
For a morning of indulgence treat yourself to a one time breakfast at The Peninsula Hotel. It oozes luxury, serves the best Raspberry Brioche in town and has unparalleled Instagram values. It’s simply exquisite.
I could go on and on and on and if there is anything else you need to know just drop a comment below!
In the meantime: don’t overplan. Make time to do nothing – Parisian style. One of the nicest things about Paris to me is the sitting outside in a bistro (with none imposing a minimum spend or forcing you to commit to dining whilst there) and breathing in the atmosphere.