The Paris City Guide

Our tips on what to see, where to stay, and what to eat...

The French have a way with life that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Simple pleasures such as friends, family, food, and everyday objects are held in the highest regard, because life is for living. We have just returned home from a week in the city of Paris, visiting our makers and their ateliers. A feast for the eyes, and the spirit, the trip offered a smorgasbord of creativity, in many forms, and strengthened our existing friendships. We promise to share the time spent with our Parisian makers, but first here is our Paris Guide — tips on how to spend your time, where to stay, and where to eat, in a city that is overflowing with history and beauty...

TO SEE: The Picasso Museum — Located in the Marais area, is not only a glorious maze of a building, but sports a wonderful selection of Picasso's works, some of which we had never seen before. We appreciated that some sculptural works were hidden into various parts of the interior build. The main room, with the checkerboard tiled floor, bronze candelabras, and perfect-blue painted walls was awe inspiring.

Atelier Brancusi — Located just outside the Center Pompidou, this small atelier displays many of Brancusi sculptures, which can be viewed from behind glass windows. Marble, wood, and brass each carved in organic shapes and forms feel to be in response to one another.
Brancusi Atelier, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France.

Lemaire — The luxury of the brand spills out into their space. Walls lined in jute rugs, a staircase made from handcrafted tiles in a soft pink colour. Downstairs there is a Persian rug covered chaise lounge positioned on top of another Persian rug, it is a textile lovers dream. Upstairs the accessories are displayed on Enzo Mari build-your-own tables, painted in hues ranging from yellow to brick.

1 Rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris, France.

Astier de Villatte — A retail experience like no other. Made entirely by hand in Paris, Astier de Villatte showcases their ceramics in layers: plates cascade the walls, glassware lined up in antique cabinets, candles, books and curiosities piled up underneath wild and roaming bouquets of fresh flowers. Rue de Saint Honore. TIP! Don't miss visiting their other store, located near the Luxembourg Gardens, with a breathtaking stained glass window in the back room.
173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France.
Astier de Villatte, 16 Rue de Tournon, 75006 Paris, France.
OFR Bookstore — A must visit if you love paper of any kind. OFR offers an overwhelmingly brilliant curation of artist catalogues, vintage magazines, new releases in art and architecture, fashion and novels. Plus, the back room acts as a rotating gallery for working artists. 20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France.
Musée D'Orangerie — Located inside the Jardins de Tuileries, this museum is small but impressive, the main attraction being the Monet room. Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France.

Em Archives — A sophisticated curation of worthy vintage pieces, offering runway exclusives (an Izzey Miyake two piece suit), and classics (Chanel wool trousers, a Jil Sander anorak), and a few new items, such a handmade jewellery from Sisi Joia. Em Archives also recently hosted a pop up with Paris Image Unlimited. We drank tea from Japanese ceramics while we tried on outfits, admiring the vintage lamp and the bespoke ceramic wall sconces Emma had made for the store by her friend Mad Morio.

10 Rue Cavendish, 75019 Paris, France.

Em Archives, Paris.
Em Archives, Paris.
Dreaming Man — If you're craving a proper coffee in Paris, seek out this tiny hole in the wall, run by a Japanese duo. There is also an even smaller version of Dreaming Man coffee located just inside the store Broken Arm, which is another great retail experience of designer clothing, vinyl, and coffee. 140 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France.
Benetton — Described to us as "the place where all the chic people in Paris buy their paper from." So off we went! We were expecting a glamorous stationery store, but this was even more luxurious, offering bespoke stamps, personalised letter sets, hand painted envelopes and engraved signature rings. 75 Bd Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France.
STAY: Maison Saintonge — Originally a sweet store, Maison Saintonge is a small boutique hotel in the centre of the Marais district. Our breakfast was included in the rate, definitely a plus when you are jet lagged and up too early for the French cafes! It is also a walkable distance to a metro line, great retail, and very good restaurants.
16 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France.

Chateau Voltaire — Recommended to us by a very chic friend, for our final night of the trip we treated ourselves to the lush interior of Chateau Voltaire. We hardly left once we arrived, taking full advantage of the excellent bistro L'Emile located downstairs, and the house cocktail bar which was so thoughtfully designed, equipped with decadent textiles, decorative bar trimmings, gorgeous little lamps and wonderful menu of bar snacks, such a radishes with salted butter, and fresh tuna tacos. We wobbled back to bed and slept very well, thank you.

Chateau Voltaire, 55 Rue Saint-Roch, 75001 Paris, France.

Our Tessuti book in our room at Chateaux Voltaire.
TO EAT: La Crepe Autrement — Our first meal took place here, a caned chair lined cafe joint to a wine bar that we chanced upon for a late lunch. We were each served a crepe loaded with dollops of fresh goat cheese drizzled in honey, and covered with fresh salad greens that were perfectly dressed, was a fine way to begin our Parisian experience.
7-1 Rue du Perche, 75003 Paris, France.
Buvette — Serving traditional French cuisine, such as Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin, we dined here with our friend Peter Copping and shared a bottle of refreshing Pet Nat. 28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France.
Brutos — Owned by two brothers, one runs the restaurant, the other operates the bar next door, we dined here with our friend Oliver Church, ordering the Argentinian BBQ and a bottle of natural chilled red wine. The feeling was casual and rowdy, overlooking a pedestrian-only square with families playing and young crowds meeting post-work. 5 Rue du Général Renault, 75011 Paris, France.

Bouillon République — We had organised to meet a friend (a kiwi, living in France) for lunch, and this was her suggestion: a traditional Parisian bistro that is so popular it has a daily queue to get inside. We arrived early, ordering classic escargot and oeuf mayonnaise.

39 Bd du Temple, 75003 Paris, France.

VIVANT2 — A small bistro, with an even smaller kitchen, but the focus here is the wine list. We sat at the bar, overlooking the four chefs serving up extremely simple, yet extremely delicious dishes. The most memorable dish was the starter: a bowl of tomatoes in vinaigrette, of which we had to restrain ourselves to not lick the bowl for.
43 R. des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France.

L'Hommage — Founded by a Michelin star chef who wanted to do something more relaxing of his own, this bistro was the most outstanding meal we had in Paris. We were taken here by our friend Ricardo of Astier de Villatte, after visiting their showroom just around the corner. Standout dishes were the somehow-whipped Burratta with tomatoes and grapefruit juice, the melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked beef with roasted carrots, and for dessert: Creamy Iranian black lemon, praline, crumble & sesame sorbet. Take us back here any day.

36 Av. de Choisy, 75013 Paris, France.

Stayed tuned for our upcoming South of France Guide, where we are treated to Marseille's finest dishes and the heavenly treats of Provence... .
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