Sunday 1 August 2010

Paris Address Book

While it's hard to be disappointed by the sights of Paris - beauty is everywhere you look - it is certainly possible to have mediocre eating, shopping or accommodation experiences. Though we've made wonderful finds by chance, personal recommendations usually work best, and I make a habit of squirrelling these away.

So, in the spirit of generosity - (well no, actually because I'm pretty sure only about three people in the world actually read my blog) - I offer you just a few of my personal favourites for the Paris address book ...

First of all, since nothing cheers me up quite like a spot of shopping ... my favourite interior shop, possibly in the entire world, is located in what may be the prettiest little square in Paris - 

Place de Furstenberg, right behind St Germain des Près – painted by Hockney, location for films (in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence Michele Pfeiffer’s character’s apartment was one of those windows top left) and home of the Musee Delacroix (he lived and worked here). Here is Flamant, outside and in.

For more traditional, classic French interiors, I love the gorgeous Mis en Demeure (27 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006). I could move in there too and die happily. (See also Windlost blog for a great, photo-filled post on this shop:

And then, because eating makes me every bit as happy as shopping, je vous propose ces restaurants ...

Hotel du Nord on the bank of the Canal St Martin (10th arrondissement), right here ...

No, it's not a hotel, though it was once. It's named for the 1938 film of doomed love by Marcel Carné and retro glamour is what it's all about.

(photo credit: Lisa Weatherbee, 

102 Quai de Jemmapes 75010
The atmosphere and décor is divine and we had great food served by dishy, friendly, efficient waiters.

Perhaps the best restaurant find of last week's trip though was the Laiterie Sainte Clotilde in St Germain (64 rue de Bellechasse 75007).

 Don't be put off by the 70s formica tables - this tiny place is run by the warmest, friendliest people (older woman who masterminds the menu plus sweet young thing just visible on the right above with mobile and fag, who serves and bartends) and serves a changing menu of seasonal food (three entrées, three plats, three desserts). We were lucky to get a table; by 9.00 pm it was humming, filled with a mix of elderly locals, beautiful young bobos, and suits from the neighbourhood Ministeries. We had our best meal in Paris here will so definitely go back.

Thank you HiPparis blog for this recommendation. And HiP (Haven in Paris) is a fantastic source, by the way, for beautiful apartments to rent in Paris for short-term stays. We have used them twice and not been disappointed.

We also discovered Les Nuits des Thés , not far from Musee d'Orsay, 22 rue de Beaune 75007...

... a salon de thé and also divine place for lunch – all pink toile and home made salads and wonderful patisseries. This is another family run treasure, with friendly Jacqueline (the patronne), her little son, grand-mère et grand-père all helping out. 

And finally, we returned to some old favourites. Yes, I know Les Deux Magots is hopelessly touristy but I do love that polished brass and wood, old-style 1920s glamour ... 

(the waiters are easy on the eye too) ...

 Breakfast here is my favourite way to start a day in Paris ...

Le Grizzli in the Marais - a stone’s throw from Beaubourg - (7 rue St-Martin 75004) is a bistro where we’ve always had a good experience over many years, with friendly staff and outside seating where you can happily sit with a bottle of wine and a view of the world passing you by, while you tuck into this ...

or this ...

maybe ending off with this ...

This is the apartment building right opposite Le Grizzli where I want to live when I’m grown up (the lighted window will be mine)...



  1. Place de Furstenberg is one of my favorite place and I knew you were going to mention Flamant . In this place I love to go also for all the farbics show room and there is also a beautiful antiques shop near by Flamant which I love

  2. Hi K!
    I strolled through your beautiful images and am all nostalgic for beautiful France. I will be back, thank you for your kind comments on my blog. Tonight I am too tired, just got back home.

  3. What delights, they remind me that I have to get to Paris, at last!
    Hotel or not, I want to move into Hôtel du Nord! ;-)

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  6. It's Marcel Carné, not Michel !

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