As you may recall, back in September, my man and I took a trip to London. While we were there, we dashed over to Paris—in truth, we didn’t even have a full 36 hours, but we covered as much territory as we possibly could. Below are some highlights I snapped from our short but sweet French adventure.
WHERE TO SHOP
Astier de Villatte
I have a small collection of these beautiful French ceramics at home, and their Rue Saint Honoré boutique didn’t disappoint. The shelves climb all the way up to the high ceilings and the whole feeling is magical (be sure explore the back rooms!). Naturally, we walked out with a few “souvenirs.”
(Astier de Villatte, 173 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris)
This hip boutique is full of treasures, but was crowded to the point of claustrophobic. I grabbed a copy of How to be Parisian Wherever You Are (felt appropriate) and we split. Yesterday, Simon gave me this Eiffel Tower snow globe from the boutique as an early Christmas gift. He took note when I admired it in the store and ordered it when we got home (well done!). If you don’t have a chance to visit in person, be sure to scope out their website.
(Colette, 213 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris)
This legendary Parisian taxidermy shop has been around since 1831. I got goosebumps as we strolled past tigers, zebras, and butterflies on the upper level. You may recognize the store from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, since a lively cocktail scene was filmed here.
(Deyrolle, 46 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris)
The beloved French candlemaker first set up shop in their left bank flagship in 1961. It was founded by three friends—an interior designer, a painter, and a theater designer—and naturally, the store looks as good as it smells. My current favorites? Feu de Bois and Figuier. I didn’t snap any photos inside the shop so the above shot is simply a Diptyque candle on my desk.
(Diptyque, 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris)
This trendy boutique in the Marais district also boasts a darling cafe brimming with books. The sprawling space sells everything from chic Japanese office supplies to cozy cashmere sweaters. Simon got me a thin gold-plated ring that is stamped “l’important c’est d’aimer.” Awww.
(Merci, 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris)
Shakespeare & Company
This cluttered English-language bookshop by the Seine has been open since 1951 and is a true jewel box. We made our way up the creaky stairs to the children’s books and wound up leaving with a copy of Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog. At the register, they offered to stamp the title page with a Shakespeare & Co. seal—such a lovely touch. I’m trying to convince Simon to give me babies soon, but he’s a tough sell (i.e. fiscally responsible…sigh).
(Shakespeare & Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005, Paris)
WHERE TO DINE
We trekked miles from the Eiffel Tower past Notre Dame just to try this famous French ice cream. Luckily, it was worth it. Sadly, I was too busy eating to take a photo.
(Berthillon, 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris)
Café de Flore
This iconic Parisian cafe never disappoints. We sat outside and wound up engaging in a 30 minute conversation about existential philosophy with an older French gentleman. As I had nothing intelligent to contribute about Levinas or Rosenzweig, I spent a great deal of time people watching.
(Cafe de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris )
WHERE TO EXPLORE
Musée du Louvre
Truth is, I didn’t go inside! I’ve toured the museum on past trips so this time I just visited the grounds. This photo was taken at 7am—I had the entire area to myself. On my way back to the hotel to wake a slumbering Simon, I stopped for fresh croissants.
(Musée de Louvre, 75001 Paris)
The newly renovated gem in the Marais district boasts an overwhelming amount of work by its namesake, Pablo Picasso. I was devastated to find the grand staircase with its Diego Giacometti light fixtures was closed the day we visited. Bummer, I suppose I’ll have to go back!
(Musée Picasso, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris)
One of my favorite museums in Paris, this stately site celebrates the work of sculptor Auguste Rodin (including his most famous piece, “The Thinker”). Unfortunately, the museum was under renovation during our visit so we just took a stroll through the garden.
(Musée Rodin, 79 Rue de Varenne Paris)
Place des Vosges
This handsome square in the Marais district is in fact the oldest planned square in Paris (completed in 1612) and has long been a favorite spot of mine. We stopped en route to purchase a fresh baguette and some Camembert, which we enjoyed on a park bench. French author and poet Victor Hugo lived on the square for 16 years and his former residence is now a museum.
(Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris)
WHERE TO SLEEP
Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal
As I mentioned last week, the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal is absolutely stunning. We had such an incredible stay there and I can’t recommend it highly enough. A superb location in the heart of Paris and the most wonderful service. I can’t wait to go back.
(Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal, 4 Rue de Valois, 75001 Paris)
I hope you’ll find this helpful on your next jaunt to Paris! Coming soon are city guides to New Orleans, London, Venice, Florence, and Rome!
(all images via my instagram)