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Livening up the Left Bank: Trendy New Addresses in Paris’ 7th

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the 7th arrondissementYUJ Yoga Studio / Albane Delacommune

The Gros Caillou (or “big pebble”) neighborhood spans from Invalides to the Champs de Mars in the 7th arrondissement. The neighborhood, which is located within a pebble lined boundary that dates back to the middle ages, is comprised of specialty boutiques, the café and merchant-lined Rue Cler, and the inevitable, tourist-tailored commerce.

While viewed as a more traditional neighborhood catering towards the affluent bourgeoisie, recently opened businesses are revitalizing the district with their youthful energy. Here are a few newcomers that provide a refreshing perspective on everything from pantry goods to athletic pursuits.

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An Independent Tea House’s Success in Montmartre: Neo. T.

HiP Paris Blog visits Neo TAli Postma

The popularity of the Abbesses neighborhood and its village-like atmosphere has made the area a well loved destination for tourists. The neighborhood’s popularity has led to higher rents forcing some of the independent shops of Abbesses close their doors only to be replaced by bland franchised stores found all over  in France.

Despite this sad reality, a few specialty shops are able to stay true to the authentic quirky Montmartrois spirit.

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A Bio Butcher in Paris: Buying Organic Meat in Montmartre

HiP Paris Blog Visits Organic Butcher Prosper Montmartre

Prosper Montmartre

If your experience of shopping for meat in Paris is limited to picking up a shrink-wrapped steak at Monoprix or roast chicken that’s been sitting all morning under a heating lamp at the local market, do yourself a favor and step into the fascinating world of artisan butcher Jean Christophe Prosper.

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Living Like a Local: How To Spend Sunday in Paris (Part III)

How to spend Sundays like a local in Paris

Parisians take relaxing very seriously. France is world renowned for its 35-hour workweek, its terrace coffee sipping, August vacations, people watching and sleepy Sundays, bien sûr! Here are some local Parisian tips for making the most of your languid dimanche:

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Posted in Coffee, Food, Parisian Living, Shopping | No Comments »

Les French Desmoiselles: Ethical Fashion Made in France

HiP Paris, French Desmoiselles, Florie Berger

A mysterious event invitation showed up in my Facebook feed a little while back.

“Secret Christmas / Vente Très Très Privée Mode et Beauté” (“Very, Very Private Fashion and Beauty Sale”), it announced, presumably so exclusive that just one “very” wouldn’t do.

The invitation went on to reveal that somebody named Laurence would be welcoming shoppers into her cozy Paris apartment that Saturday, enticing invitees with the promise of treats, holiday fashions, and personalized beauty advice.

“If you wish to participate, email us so we can send you the address and door code for this secret rendez-vous”, the invitation instructed, stopping just short of adding, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”

The pre-adolescent Nancy Drew fan in me was intrigued.

French Desmoiselles, a chic new Paris fashion brand, on HiP Paris

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Empreintes: A New Concept Store Dedicated to French Craftsmanship

Empreintes Concept Store in the Haut Marais Paris

One of the newest gems of the Haut Marais, the Empreintes concept store is dedicated to fine art. At four stories and 600m2 of floor space, it’s one of the largest concept stores in the city, but you won’t find any kitschy trinkets here. The store was opened by the Ateliers d’Art de France, a syndicate representing and defending the work of crafts professionals in France, with members in over 90 different professions under the crafts umbrella. It functions as a gallery as much as a store, inviting visitors to take in the craftsmanship behind the products as well as offering the ability to purchase them.

Greenery and strands of twinkling lights add character to the bright white entryway. With products ranging from fine jewelry to scarves to tableware to furniture, each floor of the gorgeously lit space has something different to offer. The theme of the products in the store changes every two months, to keep new pieces coming in, keep the range of art and merchandise interesting and give as many members of the syndicate a chance to sell their wares. Everything is made in France, so you know you’re getting a piece that is truly one of a kind.

Empreintes Concept Store in the Haut Marais Paris

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Winter Strolls: Three Itineraries for Soaking Up the Festive Atmosphere + Giveaway

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Passage Jouffroy; Lily Heise

There’s something particularly special about Paris over the holidays. Of course there’s the sparkling street lights, the enticing window displays, the abundance of heavenly holiday treats, but it’s also something more than that. Spirits ride on this wave of joie and les parisiens can’t help but have a little extra joie de vivre. Here are three itineraries that will take you away from (most of) the crowds and allow you to take in that same joy, guilty pleasures, and offbeat sites that will make the holiday season in Paris truly shine.

Hip Shopping, Food and Culture in the Marais

Skip the mayhem of les grands magasins and do your holiday shopping as you take this creative meander through the Marais. Embark on your foray at the trendy concept store Merci, where you can pick up some of their carefully selected holiday ideas and perfect stocking stuffers like a candle version of their trademark red fiat bearing a roof-load of presents or a Christmas tree, thin garland thread, offbeat snow globes and an vast array of other cool gift ideas.

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Merci Concept Store; Lily Heise

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Posted in Food, Markets, Shopping, Travel | 9 Comments »

Holiday Shopping: Unique Christmas Gifts from the City of Light

Christmas Gift Shopping in Paris, Rebecca Plotnick Photo Prints

Rebecca Plotnick Photography

Gift-giving is one of those benevolent acts that requires several critical components to come together in order to make the perfect package: it should be creative and thoughtful, yet useful; selflessly chosen, but still reflect a little bit of you, the giver.

Christmas Gift Shopping in Paris, COTO Design Handmade Cushions

CO TO

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Made in Paris: Local Designers in Paris’ Haut Marais

Shopping local designers at the chicest boutiques in Paris' Haut Marais with Kasia Dietz

French Trotters, Jean-Marie Heidinger

Living as a local designer in the uber-chic North Marais gives me insights into not only the most fashionable cafés in the neighborhood, of which there are many, but of the most noteworthy boutiques. Designers both French and foreign have chosen to call the Haut Marais home, perhaps due to its history as a small-scale manufacturing hub. You can still stumble across the odd zipper or ribbon shop. More likely, Paris’ 3rd arrondissement attracts the independent fashion elite for its contagious creative energy and strong local vibe. The area is a bit lesser known to tourists, as most frequent the more commercial, albeit charming, cobbled streets of the 4th.

Shopping local designers at the chicest boutiques in Paris' Haut Marais with Kasia Dietz

French Trotters, Jean-Marie Heidinger

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La Cantine de Merci. Lunch in Paris’ Trendiest Concept Store

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Paris abounds with design galleries, chic clothing boutiques and tile-floored bistros serving market-fresh cuisine, but rarely do you find more than one together under the same roof. Merci is a delightful exception.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Founded in 2009 by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, Merci is a concept store that rolls the best of fashion, design, household goods, lighting, and lunch into one stunning space in the Haut Marais neighborhood. Spanning three light-filled floors of a former wallpaper factory, the gallery-cum-boutique is run a bit like a magazine: roughly 15 “exhibitions” held throughout the year highlight diverse themes that have included herring, urban sports, wax-dyed batiks, and urban gardening.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

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