Girl’s Guide to Paris

For those of you who follow me on Instgram (@mazpol), you will know that I have been to Paris quite a lot recently but I have not blogged about it. My girlfriends and I have been making an effort to go because we all turn 30 this year (gulp) and it is such a doable trip. I do not have a lot of pictures to share because the trips have been about coffee, shopping, wandering, wine and seeing where the night takes us. But I wanted to do a post so that I have the beginnings of a list of my favorite Parisian restaurants/shops/bars in one place. The stories are not for the internet.

Location, location:

Airbnb! One the best parts of being Paris are the markets, the boulangerie and the fromagerie. Its easier to embrace it, if you are staying in an apartment. I think the best neighborhood for tourists is Le Marais. It is really central but still feels like a neighborhood. Clearly the Latin Quarter has its charms but it’s a little more touristy in my opinion.

We have recently stayed a little further out, close to Republique and Oberkampf. Lots of fun bars and restaurants around. It is also slightly less stuffy, and definitely less expensive, than central Paris.

Restaurants:

Ober Mamma – Pizza and hot waiters (sorry J).

Le Dauphin – French tapas in a cool minimal interior.

Brasserie Barbès – Sit upstairs for a view of the busy street below.

Hôtel Costes – Cool and knows it. Only come close to pay day.

Le Derriere – The interiors alone are worth a visit.

Le Fumoir – I went here with colleagues, when I was in Paris for work. It was busy, tasty and central.

La place du Marché-Saint-Honoré is not a restaurant. It’s a square in central Paris with a bunch of good lunch spots.

Bars:

Andy Wahloo – I have never actually been, but I really want to go. It’s next to Le Derriere.

Le Perchoir – great view, cool crowd.

Café de Flore – technically a restaurant, also an institution.  The food is expensive. Best to stop by for a coffee or glass of wine and sit outside.

Candelaria – cocktails!  Better for small groups or couples.

For Later:

Silencio – Full disclosure, I am no pro when it comes to club research. Carmen has also been recommended to me. Pigalle has a bunch of late night options.

Shopping:

Chatelles – chic slippers.

Eric Bompard – cashmere, cashmere, cashmere.

Le Bon Marche – everything in one place.

A.P.C., Isabel Marant, Sandro – I know they are pretty much everywhere but if it is les soldes. There is also a Sandro outlet, or a Sandro with last season’s clothes, at 26 rue de Sévigné.

Maison Kitsuné – because Kitsuné.

Simrane – prints to die for.

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Easter in Paris

Paris

April 2015

Three Days Away

Me, J, my sister and my cousin

By Eurostar

Stayed at my cousin’s apartment

What I read:

How the Universe Got its Spots by Janna Levin – I really enjoyed this book, though it’s not the easiest to get through and I was a math major. If you are looking for something thought provoking, mathematical and a little philosophical I highly recommend it.

The gist of it:

We booked our tickets at the last minute because Easter in the UK is a four day weekend (!) and we had nothing planned. My sister, J and I have all been to Paris many times, and my cousin grew up there, so we didn’t feel any pressure to join the tourist hordes outside the Musee D’Orsay. Instead we went for many long walks, ate a lot of cheese (serious amounts of cheese) and even more baguette. Paris was, as always, beautiful.

Pictures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShopping on Rue Cler OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Les TuileriesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Notre DameOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA That view.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Signs of spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlaces des Vosges

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPantheon

28 in Paris

Paris

February 2014

Three days away

Me and J

By Eurostar

Stayed at La Villa Saint Germain

What I read:

Dear Life by Alice Munro, PORTER magazine (highly recommend both)

The gist of it:

I didn’t know that I was going to Paris until the day before we left. The trip was a surprise for my 28th birthday from my boyfriend (!!!). I have been to Paris a few times before, so did not feel any pressure to see all of the sights.

Paris is a city that proceeds itself in my opinion. But Paris does not disappoint. We spent our three days wondering and sitting in cafes. We also went to the Musée Rodin and the Centre Pompidou, both of which I had never visited. I have spent an afternoon sitting outside the Centre Pompidou in the sunshine, which I also highly recommend, but the gallery itself was wonderful. Living in London, I am spoiled by having the Tate Modern so close, but the Centre Pompidou has a very different energy. We also had a wonderful lazy lunch of big French salads at La Fonde just around the corner.

My favorite meal of our trip was at Bar du Central, not least because it was my birthday lunch. I should mention I am also easily pleased with a standard French menu including big salads and a few steak options. For dinner I would also recommend Peres et Filles and Los Cocettes, which has a more adventurous menu.  Los Cocottes does not take reservation, however, so get there with plenty of time.

Although I do love shopping in Paris, I saved J the stress of my taking hours trying on a million dresses only to decide I want the first one. I did, however, buy some lovely napkins from Simrane, a store I would highly recommend, and finally tracked down Dior Glow lip stick/gloss (?) that I now love.

Next Time:

I want to try Le Pantruche restaurant.

Photos:

Just a few of my favorites from a mix of the places we wondered. I took most of them, except for the last few of me in the Palais Royal, which J took on my birthday.

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Jardin du luxembourg

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Musée Rodin

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Pont Alexandre III

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Notre Dame (obligatory)

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Marché Bastille

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Palais Royal