Left: a bookstore in Paris. The French word for bookstore, "librarie" is written in white on the dark green storefront which is surrounded bu white stone buildings. Books can be seen in the window. Right: a Parisian apartment building. There are four windows visible. The two closer to the top are lit up and there is greenery on their balcony. The two windows below have closed white shutters.
Top: deareverest / Above: pamelaloutfi

During this most challenging year, we at HiP Paris have aimed to bring you moments of joy, beauty, and diversion, in whatever small ways we could. This would not have been possible without our team of talented writers and photographers. Their insights and stories helped us get through these times with a bit of French flair and bonheur. While we normally feature the new restaurants, expositions, and bonnes adresses enlivening the Paris landscape, most of us couldn’t pay a visit to any of these beloved places this year. So instead, we brought the best of Parisian and French culture to your home. Here’s the best of HiP Paris from 2020 – a rundown of some of our favorite à la maison moments.

Left: an aerial view of a cat looking up at the camera, a bright multi colored throw rug, a pink pillow, a bright pink typewriter, and a house plant. Right: A large roll of fabric with yellow lemons with green leaves on it. There is a small plastic container with several gold scissors in it. There is a larger pair of silver scissors on the piece of fabric.
Make My Lemonade

French Entertainment 

What better way to pass the seemingly endless hours at home than with Netflix? Ali Postma gave us the lowdown on the best French-language Netflix series back in February, during France’s first lockdown, and a new edition during the most recent confinement this autumn.

Left: a street in Paris at sunset. Buildings are visible as well as someone walking in the street. The sky is blue and there are clouds and the sun that is setting is shining brightly. Right: a window in the interior of an apartment in Paris. To the left is a cat sleeping on a cushion. There are cream colored curtains of the window and another Parisian building can be seen outside.

During trying times, there’s nothing better than light-hearted French films to get your Francophone fix. If high culture is more your thing, we brought you the best of Paris’ museums to enjoy online. For many, podcasts are the pick-me-up of choice. Jamie Rolston’s roundup of Parisian podcasts helped us fill the time, whether working, commuting, or just lounging around the house.

Left: a tray of French desserts called madeleines being covered in powdered sugar. The sugar is visible on the cakes as well as in the air. Right A white platter of madeleines. There is also a small cutting board to the right with more cakes. Some of the madeleines are covered in chocolate.

Online Learning

For many of us, the internet is an important source of education, not just entertainment. Lily Heise showed us that language learning has never been more accessible. What better time than the pandemic to brush up on language skills? And while finances were tight for so many of us, cost posed no barrier to bettering ourselves. Ali Postma rounded up the best in free lessons for the Francophile – whether it be cooking, DIY, mixology, fashion, art, or culture.

Left: a Parisian fireplace mantle with bottles of alcohol, citrus fruits, and several glasses. There is a mirror on the mantle. Right: A group of three people on a Parisian balcony. There is a table with plates of food and glasses and there is a man sitting on a chair to the left, there is one woman standing to the right, and another woman sitting in a chair and drinking.


Nothing evokes France like the food, and fortunately, you could experience this wherever you are. If leaving the work to others is your style, Lily Heise compiled the best French sweet treats to have delivered to your door. For Parisians, where takeout food is still somewhat novel, food deliveries—from restaurants, épiceries, bakeries, and more —became ubiquitous like never before. The petits commerçants behind these businesses are part of the soul of Paris and France at large. We were more than happy that Yvonne Hazelton gave these unsung heroes their due.

Left: someone holding a French baguette in front of a brick wall. Only the person's hand and the bread is visible. Right: an aerial view of a tray of several apple tarts. They are small and open faced so that the cut apples are visible.
Circus Bakery

For keen home chefs, bistro cookbooks and recipes like summer vegetable tian from Dorie Greenspan meant that iconic French dishes were at the tips of your fingers. During le confinement, an apéro with quarantine buddies and friends (over Zoom, bien sûr) was our antidote of choice to lockdown fatigue. Molli McConnell showed us how to host a French apéritif at home like a pro.

Left: the cover of the book "French Bistro." There is an image of a French bistro with several tables and chairs and the title of the book is written in white. Right: a plate of steak frites on a white plate with the words "Le Bistrot Paul Bert" written on the edges in red. A second plate with fries is visible at the bottom of the image.
Christian Sarramon / Sam Schnur


And while so many of us couldn’t enjoy Paris fully due to restrictions, we could still experience a perfect Parisian day vicariously, as told through the eyes of some of our favorite fellow bloggers like Vanessa Grall (aka Messy Nessy), Jane Bertch and David Lebovitz.

Left: the interior of a café in Paris. There is a large wooden spool being used as a table and there are three metal chairs painted yellow around it. Right: A woman, Jane Bertch, is standing in a shop filled with cooking and kitchen supplies. She has long light colored hair and is wearing all black with a colorful scarf. She is smiling at the camera.
Le Peleton Café / Jane Bertch – La Cuisine
Author David Lebovitz standing in a small grocery store. He is wearing a dark coat and scarf and a brown leather backpack. He has short gray hair and is smiling while looking to the right of the frame.
Top & Above: Diana Liu

Wanderlust has gotten the best of so many of us. Fortunately, there were many articles that helped quench that thirst until we can travel again. From Alessia Armenise’s round-up of swoon-worthy Parisian Instagram accounts, Lily Heise’s enviable trip to Provence,  and Erin Dahl’s leisurely Sunday afternoon in one of our favorite Parisian neighborhoods – we tried to bring you a travel fix to hold you over until things get back to normal.

Left: a country road with one house on the left and two houses on the right with a view of mountains and the sky. Right: a small country road with a house with blue shutter in front and a building with green and blue shutters to the left
Goult – lapicco / Goult – Henrik Berger Jørgensen

And finally, at this time last year, who would have imagined how commonplace certain things would become in our lives, like facemasks and vigilant handwashing? Ali Postma’s articles showed us how the French still bring chic and refinement to the most utilitarian aspects of life.

Left: several pieces of Marius Fabre soap stacked on top of one another. The soaps are either cream or taupe colored. There is a string wrapped around one. Right: A child plays with a cream colored piece of Marius Fabre soap over a large pile of flakes of soap. Their face is not visible but they are wearing dark gray. Another piece of soap is visible to the right.
Marius Fabre

As we look forward to 2021, we give thanks to the countless people, too many to name, that make the blog possible: the gifted writers, photographers, and you, our loyal readers. Your support keeps us afloat and brings us great joy. As we look forward to 2021, we wish that everyone in the HiP community is able to thrive and experience good health and happiness. Bright lights in the distance are beginning to shine at the end of this year—a year like no other.

Left: an aerial view of four face masks. They are brightly colored and have floral patterns on them. They are on top of a pink checkered tablecloth. Right: A man wearing a face mask walks away from the Eiffel Tower at Trocadero. There are not many other people seen and the sky is gray and cloudy.
Jamini / Fran Boloni
Left: shelving filled with several bottles of liquor. It is unclear what kind of alcohol it is but there are three shelves. Right: an aerial view of the cover of David Lebovitz's book "Drinking French." The book is bright blue and is on top of a wooden table with two cups of coffee.
Fontaine de Belleville café / David Lebovitz’s new book Drinking French – Diana Liu

Written by HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a  fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 


HiP Paris

HiP Paris is a lifestyle website about everything Paris and beyond. We enlighten and entertain our community, and share tips and recommendations. We believe in respect for French culture, timeless luxury, being comfortable in your skin, and the simple beauty of French life. Started in 2008, HIP Paris has evolved into a hub for expats and Francophiles. We have been featured in the New York Times, Business Insider, Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, Eater, Bon Appetit, Refinery29 and many other publications.

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