How can you pass up a free place to stay in Paris – in the middle of the Marais – next to a delish bakery – down the street from your dream bistro…you can’t! So I boarded a plane from Milan (was there for work, not Best Bits), took the RER from De Gaulle and was at the Chatelet in 35 minutes. Couldn’t be easier…
ROBERT ET LOUISE
64, rue Vieille du Temple, 3e, +33 1 42 78 55 89
Wanted to try only new things this trip, so read up on Marain Bistros and came across Georget, or so it used to be called. Although we had not reserved and were speaking French 101 with thick American accents, the owner stuffed us in downstairs (which was just as fun and full as upstairs so don’t think they are trying to hide you away). Gruff French waiters with a sparkle in their eye, standard bistro fare, great frites, amazing creme brulee and the ambiance you come to Paris for – the two cute boys sitting next to us were an added bonus.
Place du Louvre, 6 rue de l’amiral Coligny, 1e, +33 1 42 92 00 24
After painfully thin models strut up and down the catwalk in one of the best exhibits in Paris at the moment, Hussein Chalayan at the Musees des Arts Decoratifs, one can get rather peckish. Around the corner is Le Fumoir, a truly fab central restaurant where you feel chicness emanating from everyone!
2, rue de Roger Verlomme, 3e, +33 1 42 72 28 41
Only the Marais stores are open on Sunday, so it’s a good idea to book a restaurant there for lunch, what’s not a good idea is to get very tipsy and spend willy-nilly after much wine. Chez Janou is that homey mix of delicious grub and plentiful wine with banquettes packed with locals. They specialize in Pernod so try a few of there hundreds of types.
80 rue des Saints-Pères, 7e, +33 1 45 48 49 02
Left the Left Bank until Monday for a bit of shopping and this is a great place to stop in for a small bite – a sandwich place in Paris is not Pret. Open face sandwiches with hunks of foie gras (which I against eating as they cruelly force feed geese but it is on the menu), sausage, cheese, ham, smoked salmon served with a local wine. I longed for their Tarte Tatin but it was sold out.
PAIN DE SUCRE
14 rue Rambuteau, 3e, +33 1 45 74 68 92
I am not a big fan of macaroons but this place made me change my mind, forget Ladurée or Pierre Hermé. The chocolate mint is worth getting the Eurostar. There is also a bakery next door that makes fab bread, quiche, sandwiches and soup.
Check her facebook page for the latest details of where you can get her fantastic designs.
We happened upon this shop after the drunken lunch at Chez Janou…and what a find. Margo, the designer, was there. She told us that the brand was started in 2007. She has a degree from Saint Martins in Costume Design. Everything is made in Paris in small series, with attention to fabric. The clothes are really special and not too pricey.
17 rue Vieille du Temple, 3e, +33 1 49 96 57 10
Lostmarc’h beach is on the Crozon peninsula and as they say on their website:”it’s a beach at the end of the world where they find their inspiration.” I loved the freshness of the scents and the fact that it is not sold in the UK and USA….
ASAP (AS SUSTAINABLE AS POSSIBLE)
99 rue de Bac, 7e, +33 1 42222890 / Corso Garibaldi 104, 20121, Milano
I love the concept of these items – not only is everything sustainable but also really pretty. Do check out their website for their whole concept. They started in Milan and everything is made in Italy…it’s recycled, natural dyes, vegetable tanned leather. It is the future of fashion.
16 rue Elzévir, 3e, +33 1 49 96 56 90
I love Meert – a special French jewel of a tea, patisserie and chocolate shop.
Just writing about all this makes me so excited for the January sales!
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Best Bits: Travel Cheat Sheet
Stay in one of Paris’s Luxury Hotels
Photo of Paris by David Pham