Time is precious, and time in Paris is even more precious. Whether you’ve been here a hundred times or are seeing the city with fresh eyes, there is always something new to discover—an unexplored neighborhood, a new restaurant, a little known boutique, a clandestine art gallery, a hidden wine bar. And whether you live here or are just passing through, it seems there is never enough time to uncover and take advantage of Paris’ numerous secrets. Until now.
I recently sat down with Didier, Parisian concierge extraordinaire, to discuss the role of the modern-day concierge. Didier defines his work in simple terms: “To be totally available to clients and to do everything I possibly can to satisfy their demands.” Whether it’s getting the city’s hottest restaurant reservation, planning a weekend getaway, finding the perfect wedding dress, seeking out antiques to furnish an apartment, or nabbing the Hermès bag that everyone wants now (despite a five year waiting list), Didier knows how to make it happen.
His newly launched concierge service evolved naturally after years working with some of Europe’s most prestigious brands. After completing his studies at the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, he began working in communications for various major couture houses: Balenciaga, Dior, Lacroix, Jacques Fath, Alexander McQueen. After ten years, he changed gears, working directly with high net-worth clientele at one of Paris’ most celebrated concept stores. It was there that he realized there was an untapped niche for an all-purpose concierge service that could cater to clients’ specific needs. Now, working for himself, Didier thrives on the freedom and flexibility that self-employment affords. “I can do anything in a day … there are no rules.” He embraces the challenge of working with a variety of clients from different backgrounds, with different budgets and different goals.
A self-proclaimed optimist, Didier would argue that the glass is more than half full — it’s completely full. “When we are positive, everything is simpler. It’s all in the details; they can change everything.” He applies this philosophy to his work, and for Didier, the most important detail has remained constant: Paris itself. Raised in Marseilles, he has been enamored with this city since he first visited as a child. “From the first moment I arrived in Paris, I said to myself ‘This is where I want to live when I grow up.’ It was the city of my dreams.”
Having spent the past fifteen years here, Didier is still amazed by the dynamism and diversity that defines Paris. “It is a world unto itself. There are twenty different arrondissements with twenty different cultures, different lifestyles. You can be in a neighborhood that is very chic, and when you cross one street, you are suddenly in a neighborhood that is completely bohemian. Everything can change in an instant.” It is this element of surprise that makes Paris one of the world’s most charming and intriguing cities. Unfortunately, not all travelers have the luxury of exploring the city at a leisurely pace. So whether you have specific goals or simply want to make the best of your experience, hiring a private concierge is the perfect way to maximize your time here, while still leaving room for surprises and spontaneity.
In addition to working for himself, Didier also provides his service to clients of other companies. “I like working with brands like Haven in Paris,” notes Didier, “because their product is of the best quality. Not only are the apartments exquisite, but they welcome guests with the best flowers, with nice wines. These details make all the difference.”
As we sit on the terrace of the chic La Palette in St. Germain-de-Près, it is clear that Didier has mastered the art of Parisian living. But despite knowing the city inside and out, he is still awestruck when he thinks about the beauty, the diversity, and mutability of life here. “I’ve lived in Paris for fifteen years,” he marvels, “and I still discover something new everyday.”
Didier’s service include (but are not limited to):
- Personal Shopping
- Antique / Art Shopping & Home Decorating
- Wedding & Event Planning
- Restaurant reservations
- Tickets (Opera, Ballet, Concerts, Theatre, etc.)
- Private Tours (neighborhoods, museums, etc.)
- Cultural Experiences (wine tastings, cooking classes, etc.)
- Day Trip Coordination
- General Vacation Planning (restaurant & travel reservations, private tours, day trips, spa services, car services childcare, etc.)
- Luxe services: flower or champagne delivery, at-home massage, etc.
- Special requests welcome!
For more information about Didier’s services, click here.
To inquire about working with him, contact him directly at [email protected].
To read Didier’s blog (in French followed by English translation), click here: http://paris-est-une-fete.over-blog.com/
For fabulous vacation rental apartments in Paris, visit www.haveninparis.com