Oh Paris. You stole my heart so quickly, I didn’t even realize it. It will soon be four years since we started our relationship and it only feels like yesterday…
Life in Paris is not always as romantic and perfect as in movies. People are not the nicest, especially to non-French speakers, so the first months after moving were quiet challenging. But this city has something special. A strong energy. An extraordinary esthetic. A magnetic attraction. It’s beauty takes my breath away every time I wander around it’s pretty streets or cross one of it’s many bridges…
My favorite moment of the day is early morning, when the sun is still shy and the light over the Seine and the city that’s slowly waking up is so delicate. During the summer, the evenings are just as gorgeous. The sun sets very late and standing on the beautiful Alexandre III bridge looking west towards the Eiffel Tower that twinkles every full hour, you see the blue sky melting into hues of pinks and reds. It’s impossible to capture these colors on camera (impossible for me being an amateur photographer!). You just need to set down your camera and enjoy the moment.
This blog is becoming a diary of my favorite moments, locations, foods and other experiences in the City of Love. I wanted to share a few of my favorites in this post and more will be coming soon :-).
For the best Paris Brest, a famous French dessert made of puff pastry and hazelnut praliné cream, go to La Pâtisserie des Rêves in rue de Bac. Philippe Conticini’s take on this dessert is so light, not too sweet and oh so amazing!
The best hot chocolate is definitely to be found at Angelina’s. It’s made out of real chocolate, dense and intense, it’s a meal on it’s own but so good especially during the winter when the cold wind pushes you to warm up in a cozy corner of this famous pastry shop.
My favorite chocolate shop is Patrick Roger. I’m a huge chocolate lover and his creations are not too sweet not too intense, with the perfect balance of textures and tastes. Perfection. Very expensive but totally worth it.
My favorite little tea room & pastry shop with simple, home-made cakes is Mamie Gâteaux on rue Cherche-Midi (75006). A simple space with a friendly staff, perfect for a coffee/tea/cake break while shopping in the chic Le Bon Marché department store.
I tried several restaurants in Paris and my favorite one is by far Cyril Lignac’s restaurant Aux Près. It’s a cozy bistro hidden in a small street, rue de Dragon, in the heart of Saint-German-des-Près. I love the old fashion decor that mixes with the chef’s modern take on French food. The cocktails are delicious and the menu changes with the seasons to offer dishes with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Cyril Lignac is a Michelin star chef and a very famous pastry chef. Aside from the fact that he’s very cute (oh yeah!), he also animates one of my favorite shows, Le Meilleur Pâtissier (The Best Amateur Pasty Chef).
Le Jardin du Palais Royal is a smaller park in the heart of the city center, just across the street from the famous Louvre museum and Jardin des Tuilleries gardens which are always flooded with tourists.
Favorite coffee shops
I’m a coffee lover and I’m always in search of a good cappuccino which is not easy to find in the city! Coutume cafe on rue de Babylone (75007) and Cafe Kitsune at the Jardin du Palais Royal (75001) make an excellent one though, unfortunately, they don’t have soy milk. As I’m avoiding lactose and I really don’t like the taste of dairy milk, I prefer cappuccino with soy milk so my current favorite coffee place is Cuiller in rue de Grenelle (75006) that makes a beautiful soy cappuccino with an even better foam than with dairy milk. It’s a must stop after Sunday’s aqua biking class in the morning and before going to the market!
Currently favorite Parisian brand
Sézane is a trendy Parisian fashion brand that incarnates chic and youthful Parisian style. Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, they have it all and up till now, they were exclusively available on their e-shop. Just last week, they opened their first flagship store called L’Appartement de Sézane with their entire Spring-Summer collection and a whole new home decor area that I could just take home with me entirely… adorable! Love these linen beds sets…
Favorite perfume shop
Nose on rue Bachaumont is a very special boutique dedicated to niche perfume and cosmetic brands. It’s an olfactory lab where they help you find your fragrance on the basis of a personal olfactory diagnosis and teach you all about the world of perfumes. I love niche brand, artisanal fragrances so visiting Nose, I feel like Alice in Wonderland :-).
Favorite shop for cooking and baking equipment
it’s the oldest and most famous shop of this type in town – Mora on rue Montmartre. It’s serves for chefs and professionals from the field and there’s nothing you can’t find in there!
A tip for a perfect Parisian Saturday morning
My tip for a great Saturday morning is to start off the day at Sézane’s flagship store and stock up on Parisian fashion staples. Afterwards, walk down to rue Bachaumont and stop at L’Atelier de l’Eclair for a delicious eclair and espresso. Continue on to treat yourself with a special scent at the Nose boutique and finish off the shopping spree by stocking up on some kitchen utensils at Mora. Walk along the rue Montorgeuil and indulge in the many food shops selling cheeses and other French delicacies. I love to treat myself with a bouquet of flowers that remind me of weekend adventures in the city during the whole week :-).