Paris holds more charm beyond its repertoire as a fashion and gastronomy capital. If you’ve only managed to explore the usual shopping spots for deals on luxury goods, our city guide this week might tempt you to schedule for a getaway to the City of Love sooner than you think. Guest blogger, photographer and lifestyle blogger Rebekah Cheng takes us through her favourite places to indulge in around the city – even if you only 48 hours to spare, you will have more than enough time to check off these six spots on your list.
From charming lifestyle stores that offer chic stationery and quaint homewares to scoring a decadent cup of matcha latte and buttery flaky croissants, Rebekah’s visual guide is mandatory resource to have if you are indeed dropping by the capital in the near future:
When my travels take me to the artsy Marais district, a visit to Merci is almost always on the cards. Get lost in the colourful stationery section on the first floor, or pick out a little gift from their homeware section down below. Whilst you’re doing the latter, be sure to walk by their canteen for a glimpse at the store’s hidden wild garden.
If you have time to spare, sit back in Merci’s ground floor café (which also moonlights as a used bookshop) and fuel up on a delicious rosemary scone, served with orange zest and jam.
1. See Concept x Merci sunglasses, from €35
2. Inès de la Fressange’s guide to Paris, €18.50
3. Merci tote bag, €25
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris
33 0 1 42 77 00 33
Mon – Sat: 10:00 – 19:00
Sun: 11:00 – 19:30
Place des Vosges is one of the oldest squares in Paris and arguably one of the most beautiful. The benches that line the gardens make it the ideal place for people watching and/or a quick picnic – though be warned, you may have to fight off a few pigeons to get the perfect seat!
1. Carette, located within Place des Vosges, for petit déjeuner (breakfast). Don’t leave without trying a cup of Carette’s legendary hot chocolate!
2. Jardin de l’Hôtel de Sully, one of Marais’ most treasured gardens. To find it, walk through the corridor located along the south-west exit of Place des Vosges.
3. L’éclair de Génie, home to the most creative éclairs in town, and a short walk from Place des Vosges. My favourite’s No217: caramel, praline cream and hazelnut (€4.50).
3rd and 4th arrondissements
Calling all matcha latte connoisseurs! Café Kitsuné (as seen in our Tokyo guide) brews one of the best green tea cuppas (€5) in town. Grab a couple of fox shortbread cookies for good measure and take your time to enjoy it – they’re €2.50 a pop!
1. Les Deux Plateaux, the art installation by Daniel Buren that’s all over Instagram. Black-and-white striped columns of varying height create a stark contrast to the traditional decadence of Palais Royal’s architecture.
2. Didier Ludot, for vintage designer shopping and just a few shops along from Café Kitsuné. Think exquisitely preserved Chanel tweed suits circa the ’80s and highly coveted Hermés Kelly bags.
3. Kunitoraya, for the best udon in France (some die-hard fans might say Europe). They don’t take bookings so expect long queues at dinner time – definitely worth the wait!
51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris
33 0 40 15 62 31
Mon – Fri: 9:30 – 18:00
Weekends: 10:00 – 18:00
If I had to describe Sézane in two words it would be understated elegance – Morgane Sezalory, the lady behind the brand, epitomises this down to a T. You can find the entire Sézane collection online but The Apartment is well-worth a visit (and an Instagram photo or two).
1. Jack Sneakers, truly the most comfortable pair of leather trainers I have ever owned. €110, available in several colours and fabrics (leather/suede).
2. Sézane x Delfonics pouch, from €15 and available in several colours/designs.
3. Slim-cut 001 Jeans, on my Sézane Christmas wishlist! €95
1 rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris
Wed – Sat: 11:00 to 20:00
While striking views of the Eiffel tower are reason enough to explore the 7th arrondissement, Gâteaux Thoumieux makes the latter an essential activity. The croissants here are life changing – really. We brought almost a dozen back to London!
1. Start your tour of the 7th arrondissement where Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg meets rue Saint-Dominique.
2. Les Cocottes, the affordable but no less exquisite sister restaurant of Michelin-starred Le Violon d’Ingres. Modern French cuisine.
3. For unparalled views of the Eiffel tower while crossing the Seine, walk through Passerelle Debilly.
58 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
33 01 47 05 79 00
I am always on the look out for places with rooftop views in major cities. So naturally this guide wouldn’t be complete without a tip on where to find one!
Printemps – like Selfridges in London or Nordstrom in New York City – is a luxury department store, situated around the corner from the magnificent Palais Garnier. Rooftop access is free (yay!) and is open to the general public from Monday to Saturday. The larger-than-life, golden-edged telescopes are just the icing on this very delightful Parisian cake.
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
33 01 42 82 50 00