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Happy New Year 2016! A Look Back on HiP Paris: Best of 2015

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop.

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop, Jean-Marie Heidinger

As 2015 comes to a close, the requisite annual nostalgia is setting in. The past year has been a trying one for the city of Paris, but certainly not without many positive and exciting happenings too. On behalf of Erica and myself, I want to take a moment to thank our wonderfully supportive readers as well as our talented writers and photographers – you all continue to make the HiP Paris Blog what it is today!

We’re ready for the excitement 2016 is sure to bring, but are first taking a look back at some of the terrific pieces we shared over the past year:

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Anticafe, a concept coffee shop.HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Natural wines at La Buvette.

Anticafe, Jean-Marie Heidinger; La BuvettePalmyre Roigt

2015 had no shortage of exciting developments in the food and drink scenes in Paris, bien sûr. Le Fooding announced the French food world’s departure from the bobo, bestowing this year’s emerging trends the moniker “faubourgeoise.” We checked out Dersou, an all-around favorite address of the past year and winner of Le Fooding’s coveted “Best table” award, and fell for the stunning décor and tasty far of Les Chouettes in the Marais. We also saw changes to the Barbès neighborhood with the arrival of much-anticipated Brasserie Barbès.

Brasserie Barbès

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Maison de la Chantilly.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Chicken on the spit at Marche Bastille.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Emily Dilling of My Paris Market Cookbook.

Brasserie Barbes, Briag Courteaux; Maison de la Chantilly, Emily Jackson; Poulet rôti, Casey Hatfield-Chotti; My Paris Market Cookbook

Shops specializing in specific items are also popping up around the city, and we thoroughly enjoyed the creamy goodness served up at Maison de la Chantilly. Equally as mouth watering was our hunt for Paris’ best poulet roti, a simple yet oh-so-delicious pleasure. And for those days when cooking a fabulous meal at home is what we crave, our peek inside Emily Dilling’s Paris Market Cookbook, complete with recipes and tips and tricks for eating locally, proves the perfect inspiration.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop.HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Honor Café.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. aveK, a concept coffee shop.

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop, Honor Café, aveK; Jean-Marie Heidinger

We simply cannot talk about 2015 in Paris without giving a nod to the slew of concept craft coffee joints that opened up around the city, seemingly a new one every week over the summer!

A specialty at Dersou Restaurant in Paris

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. La Buvette, a natural wine bar.

Dersou, Briag Courteaux; La Buvette, Palmyre Roigt

Paris’ wine and beer scenes continue to flourish as well. We dished on our favorite addresses for natural wine in Paris, the best classes for expanding our wine knowledge, and some of the most outrageous cocktails tasted this year. We also saw the opening of bars that place a focus on French-made spirits, like at bistro-bar A La Française in the 11ème.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. The Paris-Brule-t-Il cocktail at A La Française.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Finishing touches at Bespoke, a bar featuring one of Doni Belau's picks for Most Outrageous Cocktail.HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Hotel du Nord on the Canal Saint Martin.HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Cocktail bar Dirty Dick.

A La Française, Emily Jackson; Bespoke, Jean-Marie Heidinger; Hotel du Nord, Palmyre Roigt; Dirty Dick, Jean-Marie Heidinger

We continued to discover new pockets of Paris and loved exploring the Canal Saint Martin20ème and Nation areas in particular. We got the dish on Paris’ Spring Fashion week from an outsider prospective and chatted with Melissa Unger, the wonder woman behind Seymour+, one of the most unique spaces in Paris.

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Le Picotin at Nation.
HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Seymour+, a unique creative space in Paris' 10eme.

Le Picotin, Palmyre Roigt; Seymour+, Camille Malissen

In addition to sharing new openings, favorite addresses, and interviews with people who inspire us, we will always love sharing those heart-warming Paris stories, like one about uprooting a life in the US and moving to Paris, or advice from real Parisiennes on dating in Paris. For new visitors to the city and locals alike, we also put together our favorite off-the-beaten-track museums as well as the best apps to make exploring the City of Light easier.
HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Le CENTQUATRE at the Canal Saint Martin.HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Honor Café.

Le CENTQUATRE, Palmyre Roigt; Honor Café, Jean-Marie Heidinger

We would love to thank each and every writer who contributed to HiP Paris this year. We could not do it without you. A big shout out to (alphabetical order):

Kristen Beddard, Doni Belau, Elena BertonAnna Brones, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Forest Collins, Lisa Czarina Michaud, Meghan Cunningham, Emily Dilling, Casey Hatfield-Chiotti, Lily Heise, Rooksana Hossenally, Emily Jackson, Sara Mccarty & Jaimie Evoy (Context Travel), Marjorie Preval, Alex Roberts, Kate Robinson, Sylvia Sabes, Lauren Sarazen, Emma Stencil, and Amy Thomas.

We worked with some truly talented photographers this year as well. An especially big thank you to Briag Courteaux, Jean-Marie Heidinger,  Palmyre Roigt, Didier  Gauducheau, and Rebecca Plotnick for keeping the HiP Paris Blog looking gorgeous.

And we owe a very special thank you to our lovely Editorial Assistants who not only wrote and shot photos for a number of fantastic pieces, but also worked tirelessly to keep the HiP Paris Blog up and running. Emma and Emily – merci  à vous!

Happy New Year 2016, may it be a wonderful one. -Erin and Erica

HiP Paris blog. A look back at 2015. Ephemeral photos from a photographer who decided to pursue her dreams in Paris.

Marjorie Preval

Written by Erin Dahl for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Finding Your Creativity in Paris with SEYMOUR+

HiP Paris blog. Interior of SEYMOUR+ space.Camille Malissen

When I moved to Paris six years ago, one of the greatest things that happened to me was meeting Melissa Unger. A fellow New Yorker, Melissa also had French blood and California cool. She was gregarious, generous, genuine, and a little bit wild. She had confidence and grace in equal measure, and very clear convictions along with the ability to articulate them. As our friendship developed over the years, I was witness—more recently, from 3000 miles away, back in New York—to her mining her beliefs to create something pretty amazing, especially for Paris, where the cynics run free.

It started in 2011, when Melissa launched Seymour Projects, a not-for-profit organization committed to helping individuals cultivate self-expression by encouraging them to balance technological stimuli with internal exploration. As of January of this year, it evolved into a physical space called SEYMOUR+. Making good on its founding philosophy, SEYMOUR+ gives the general public a physical place to disconnect from technology and other external distractions in order to reconnect with their imagination and intuition—a spa for the mind, if you will. It’s a concept that is wholly unique and yet totally natural. Here, Melissa shares her journey to opening the most innovative space in Paris.

HiP Paris blog. Melissa Unger, creator of Seymour Projects and SEYMOUR+.Beatrix Delic

Continue Reading »

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Melissa Unger of Seymour Finds Inspiration in Paris’ Creative Soul

Melissa Unger, the fabulous American expat behind Seymour, the thought-provoking creative initiative, is one of our very favorite Parisians. Amy Thomas sat down with Melissa to chat about Paris, creativity, and why so many artists gravitate to the city of light. If you’re in Paris this week, be sure to stop by her Mindsurf event at the Galerie Christian Berst on Wednesday. More info here. -Genevieve


There’s the love for words and ideas. The unapologetic devotion to sensuality. And, of course, the majestic architecture and light. But still, the question remains: what is it about Paris that beckons creative types? Melissa Unger, attuned to the city’s soul, enmeshed with its artists, and driving more and more of its creative energy through her initiative, Seymour, shares her thoughts.

Melissa Unger

Why is Paris a beacon for so many artists, writers, musicians and other creative types?
There are so many possible answers to this question but I’d say it’s largely because Paris is one of the few major metropolitan centers that provides a much needed respite from the “race.” It’s a place to catch one’s breath long enough to properly look outward (and inward), interpret and express. In a world where doing and achieving seem to have overtaken all else, Paris remains a city devoted to ideas, discussion and the pleasures linked to the senses, rather than to material things. “Philosopher” is still a recognized and accepted job description here. Continue Reading »

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