TRAVEL FEMME: A Tres Chic Guide to Paris
A personally curated guide to everything the super chic femmes would want to see and do in this magical city and with Paris Fashion Week commencing – it’s the perfect excuse!
First up – get some comfy shoes (read comfy that is….cute flats are just that cute but make sure you break them in first!) and be prepared to walk. I never get the Metro and only jump in a cab if I must at the end of the day to give myself enough time for a rest in the hotel, french wine on the balcony and then a revamp before dinner. Plus, it really does make you feel better about eating all of those delish pastries….
This guide will take you all over the City of Lights. I could just spend my time in St Germain alone and on Avenue Montaigne but then we wouldn’t be experiencing all this wonderful city has to offer. So if it’s your first time you can start with these suggestions.
Oh and if you need some tips on what to wear, check out our La Femme Mecca Parisian Lust List here.
Perfect for a meal before you hit the boutiques on Rue St Honore and the best meal I had on my last trip! It was a freezing day when we took refuge here. We arrived at 12pm on the dot, first ones in and by the time we left at 1.30pm you couldn’t get a table. The menu is in French so a little bit of French food knowledge will go a long way however the waiter did speak English. We both went for the Menu de jour (menu of the day for the non French speakers) which we understood to be white fish on potato with a glass of wine and a coffee. Well let me tell you, this was the best piece of fish I have ever eaten. No idea what they cooked it in but it was delish on a bed of finely sliced potato. That’s it, simple and perfect! Great house wine and coffee as well. All for 16.50 Euro. Just a warning though, the one heater they have does not do much and don’t expect a lavish interior, its very basic.
47 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France
This is exactly what you expect a Parisian brasserie to be, tight tables, elaborate décor, rich food and great people watching. You will find a fairly traditional menu which is perfect for a winter evening. Expect mouthwatering duck, delicious steak tartar and an amazing pizza soufflé!
79 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
This restaurant has been recommended by more people than I can count. The chef hails from Grammercy Tavern in New York (a favourite, see our New York Guide here) so if that’s anything to go by you can be sure you are going to love it. You will definitely need to book and they are strict! If you want something more traditional, skip this one as it is modern French cuisine. They do have a wine bar across the street for walk-ins, which has a fun and buzzy vibe.
5 Rue du Nil, 75002
If you want to experience the Kim & Kanye Paris then this is where you want to go! It is a super trendy spot on the corner of Rue Montaigne so you can go either before of after you drop wads of cash at the likes of Celine and Chanel. Don’t expect great food or amazing service, but do expect to spot a celeb or two especially during fashion week. Sometimes it really isn’t about the food…I’m sure the champagne tastes amazing.
41 Avenue Montaigne 75008
ASTIER de VILLATTE
A little haven on Rue St Honore for home ware lovers, Astier de Villatte carries a well curated range of cutlery, dishes, cups, saucers, platters, trays…you name it! You will be able to pick up pieces that you cannot get at home (win!) so stock up on cute dishes and trays that are easy to get home and perfect for gifts. Their range of candles smell divine! The store is tight so don’t swing your bag around!
173 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
A perfume lovers idea of heaven, come to Nose to test scents in their ‘lab’ and be matched with a perfume they sell in store. Think boutique brands such as Diptique and Maison Martin Margiela. You can also find candles, laundry items (better than Cuddly!) and room fragrances. Spend hours in this little boutique and get lost in the magic of scents. My favourite? Maison Martin Margiela, Replica, Beach Walk.
20 Rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris, France
St Germain is a big place and that makes it perfect for getting lost amongst the cobbled streets. At each turn be expected to find more galleries and boutiques and spend hours searching through each. You will be amazed at the interesting pieces you can pick up. Anything from stunning one-off prints to fabulous socks. The area is jammed with restaurants and cafe’s so it might be wise to do a little research before you just sit down anywhere. The 6th is home to some of Paris’s most famous venues, Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots. I highly recommend heading down to the food hall at Le Bon Marche – heaven!
With arguably the best scene in Paris, be prepared to be wowed! If high-end shopping and Michelin star restaurants are your thing, then this is your resting place. Rooms are pricey and super french but this hotel is SO cool that it’s worth every pretty penny. With a bustling restaurant and bar that is buzzing with fashion types and celeb’s such as the Beckham’s, you will be quite happy sipping on your champs while checking out the latest French fashion trends. Let’s face it, you can justify the price…it’s Paris!
239-241 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
If you want to live like a Parisian while in the city then you should definitely considering renting an apartment. I have done this and was 100 times better than staying in a cramped hotel room. The options are endless with anything from a small studio in Monmarte to 5 bedroom’s looking at the Eiffel Tower, and with this comes many pricing options as well. I am not suggesting you rent an apartment and live like you do at home – there is no grocery shopping! You have the rare opportunity to buy fresh bread and pastries each morning and eat them at your leisure. An apartment will allow you much more space and most have a washing machine and dryer which, let me tell you, is a god send while travelling. Do your research and take recommendations off friends and make sure you read the reviews carefully. I would recommend Home Away or One Fine Stay. Give it a go, you will never look back!
A tip for our femmes…
If you need to brush up on your language skills (you will need to know how to communicate with those suave French boys) we recommend a few classes with Martine Baboin in Paddington.