March 21, 2014
The glass pyramids of the Louvre, the manicured grounds of the Tuileries Garden, and of course, the remarkable iron puzzle that is the Eiffel Tower. When planning a trip to Paris, worldly known sights like these intoxicate you with euphoric expectations. But when you step off the plane, you find that they are simply window dressings framing an elaborate web of breathtaking details.
While a view of the Eiffel Tower guarantees excitement (and there are many), Paris is a city you must tour leisurely. The true beauty of Paris is in its details.
Whether you’re snacking on a world-class éclair, window-shopping on Boulevard Saint Germain, or merely sauntering about, there are countless opportunities to find little nuggets of beauty.
Romance is omnipresent. To many, the idea that every day is Valentine’s Day in Paris is a gross stereotype intended to lure travelers who have never walked the cobble stone streets. But I’m sorry; everything you’ve heard is true.
March 11, 2014
The Finish Institute (Anna Brones)
Clean lines, fresh food, cozy cafes – it is no surprise that so many of us have an obsession with Scandinavia. Paris is having its own love affair with the Nordic countries, and if you want a mini-escape to the cultures of a colder climate, you don’t even have to leave the French capital. From food to fashion, there’s plenty of Scandinavia to be had on the streets of Paris.
Whether it’s a little grim, gray and rainy out, or you’re treated with blue skies and sun, Le Café Suédois at l’Institut Suédois is equally inviting. This cozy café space in the Swedish Institute in the Marais feels like stepping into any café in Sweden, complete with strong dark filter coffee and plenty of Swedish baked goods.
In the summer you can sit in the beautiful courtyard and eat your kanelbulle (cinnamon roll), or come for lunch and order a classic Swedish open-faced sandwich.
Icone (Anna Brones)
At the Institut Finlandais you’ll find Coutume Institutti, a partnership with local coffee roaster Coutume. The Finns are known for their coffee consumption, and in this typically Scandinavian designed café, you can sit for hours nursing a big cup, catching up on some work on your computer, or simply sitting and feeling a wave of Scandinavian inspiration.
February 28, 2014
As a single Mom of two teens, this is not the first time I’ve lived with a man. With almost half a century of life and decades of dish with girlfriends on both sides of the Atlantic behind me, I have identified some undeniable signs that there is a Frenchman in my house. He is not classically good looking, my Frenchman, but he has a magnetic attraction that pulls me in. I can’t quite describe it, and I’m not the only one — it’s why the French had to invent the expression je ne sais quoi. There are so many Frenchmen with that certain inexplicable charm that it has almost become a cliché, with quirky looking men like Serge Gainsbourg able to seduce gorgeous, intelligent ladies à la Jane Birkin. Living with a Frenchman is very much like marriage; for better and for worse.
1/ Bathroom clutter. The French are addicted to their lotions and potions. There are currently about a dozen bottles leaving water rings on the shelves, and only two or three of those are mine. When I complain about the disorder and suggest we open one product at a time, Mr French is horrified, “But, I must choose how I smell in the morning. How can you ask me to wear a citrus scent on a day that must be sandalwood, or patchouli?”
February 25, 2014
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
Rue Riquet, which stretches from the edge of the 18th arrondissement to the quai of the canal in the 19th arrondissement, is now home to an increasing number of charming meeting points for locals and visitors looking to see a new side of Paris.
En Vrac (Emily Dilling Poulain)
The renovation of Marché couvert La Chapelle (or Marché de l’Olive as the locals refer to it), which was completed in 2010, brought new life to the neighborhood which was mostly known for its Asian supermarkets and smoke-filled bars and cafés.
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
The market is open six days a week and is home to one of the area’s finest (and friendliest) fishmongers as well as an excellent cheese and dairy stand. Alumni of the market include the owners of En Vrac who went to open a brick and mortar shop a few paces away, beginning the conquest of rue Riquet.
February 20, 2014
Located in the shop-lined streets south of Pigalle, Sept Cinq offers concept shopping along with a cozy café setting. Taking its name, “Seven Five”, from the same postal code where they source their stock, this innovative boutique features locally made jewelry, handbags, and other accessories all created within the city of Paris.
Finding and supporting local producers is a big part of my life abroad. I scour the city’s markets to find local farmers, I serve locally brewed beer at my house parties, and I spend my time in cafés enjoying in-house roasted coffee.
February 13, 2014
Be My Perfect Valentine
Paris is definitely one of the most romantic cities in the world. But with so much to do in the City of Love, it can be hard to choose how to celebrate the ultimate day of amour: Valentine’s Day. Here are some thematic original ideas to inspire your plans for February 14th, or any special Paris date night!
Start your night by slipping on your flapper-girl dress and slinking to the new Club Rayé piano bar (26 rue Dussoubs, 75002). Opened in December in a former 13th century nunnery, owner (and New Yorker) Kein Cross applied his interior design experience to create a one of a kind venue. Black and white stripes (rayé in French) are ever-present in the décor, from the comfy lounge chairs to the custom-made rayé accessories. Ideal for a before-or-after-dinner drink, sit back and enjoy the live piano music, inventive champagne cocktails and savory arancini balls.
Your evening should continue in kind, so make your way to the majestic art deco restaurant Le Boeuf sur le Toit (34 rue du Colisée, 75008). First opened at a different location in 1921, it became the after-hours hotspot of the Jazz era attracting the likes of Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie and Coco Chanel. While this incarnation dates from 1941, it impeccably embodies Les Années Folles.
Craving one more drink? Cozy in at Le Très Honoré (35 place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001) with its 1920s Boudoir style bar, plush sofas and seductively named cocktails such as “Bisou Bisou,” it’s the perfect late night lovers’ retreat. Read more about it here by fellow HiP Paris contributor and cocktail expert Forest Collins.
February 4, 2014
The popular Café Pinson has expanded beyond its first location in the 3rd and opened up shop on rue du Faubourg Poissonniere in the 10th. The vibe is a touch retro-meets-nautical, and the menu is stacked with organic, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, fresh pressed juices, bio wines, and Coutume coffees.
Another hyped café opened up just a few weeks ago and it too is offering up healthy eating and drinking options, conveniently located in the 1st. Brought to us by famed fashion/music label Maison Kitsuné, the new (and, as you can imagine, quite hip) Café Kitsuné is serving Brazilian coffee, fresh juices from Bob’s juice bar, and gluten-free pastries from NOGLU.
A new restaurant has popped up along the Canal St Martin and we cannot wait to give it a taste. Haï Kaï, under chef Amélie Darvas (formerly of the Meurice and L’Ami Jean, to name a few), is presenting a wonderfully priced menu that can be enjoyed at hours unheard of in Paris.
January 30, 2014
People’s Drugstore (Didier Gauducheau)
The increasing popularity of craft beers in bars across the capital brings a welcome change to the watered-down pints of 1664 or Kronenbourg that are typically served in Paris bars and cafés. Now more and more of the city’s watering holes are opting for higher quality quaffs, both from France and abroad.
La Fine Mousse (Alexandre Martin)
While beers from Brooklyn Brewery and other American and English brewers are becoming common at Paris bars, some of the most interesting beer options are homegrown. A selection of bars, founded by and for beer lovers, specialize in locally brewed, artisanal beers. Here are a few favorites:
La Fine Mousse (Alexandre Martin)
Le Supercoin- This neighborhood bar located off the beaten path in the 18th arrondissement brings locals together to cheer on the city’s football team, enjoy a relaxed weekday drink while listening to Belle and Sebastian, or take part in a monthly tournament of the classic French card game Belotte.
January 28, 2014
When we decided to move to Paris, one of the things I was most excited about was decorating my own Parisian apartment. It would be classic Haussmannian with herringbone floors, marble mantels, high ceilings and moldings – the works.
Scrolled iron balconies and a rooftop view were also on the wanted list. After a few weeks of scouring (and drooling over) listings from afar, I fell hard for an appartement familial in the 7ème. We negotiated with the rental agent and sealed the deal even before laying eyes on our future home.
It was better than I’d imagined: a light-filled double salon and a killer view of the Dome des Invalides, even a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in all its iconic beauty. But the fun was just beginning. It was now time to decorate.
January 21, 2014
There’s something about cold weather in Paris that makes me long for something warm, luxurious and indulgent… From the Belle Epoque-inspired classic served in every corner café, to the masterpieces of contemporary artisans dedicated to the art of chocolate making, I can’t think of a better way to chase away the chills than with a warm, dark, velvety, chocolate chaud. Here are a few of my very favorite Paris spots to indulge in this cold-weather treat.
A Good Old Fashioned Classic: Angelina
Founded in 1903, the Belle Epoque inspired Angelina is celebrated today for its traditional hot chocolate recipe: a thick, deliciously rich drink served with cream on the side.
The exquisite tea house on Rue Rivoli was once frequented by Coco Chanel and Proust. This season, thanks to the chic new boutique on Rue du Bac, you can now get your Angelina cocoa to-go – and skip the notoriously long lines.
Angelina. 108 Rue du Bac, 75007, Paris.