A Short Guide to Paris...

For the last 25 years I have been lucky enough to visit Paris at least twice a year in order to attend the Maison et Objet Trade Show, which is a big date in the calendar for designers, buyer, interior stylist, journalists and architects. Below are three hotels (2-4) I have stayed in over the years and one (1) which has recently opened and looking forward to trying out when I visit in September.


1) Hôtel de la Boétie
In the Champs Élysées area, London-based Swedish designer Beata Heuman makes her hotel design debut with this small hotel minutes from the Champs-Élysées, however this right bank address is far from glamorous. Plotted on an unassuming street but does ultimately lead you onto a plethora of luxury stores, the 8th arrondissement is, after all, best known for its high end shopping.
2) Hôtel Panache
Having taken over two 19th-century buildings in the heart of the bustling 9th arrondissement, Hôtel Panache is a quintessential Parisian stay - with the interior design by Dorothée Meilichzon.
3) Hôtel Henriette
The hotel is located on a sweet and relatively quiet side street, just five minutes' walk from the busy Rue Mouffetard and historic Latin Quarter. The Luxembourg Gardens, as well as the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens and zoo are also within walking distance.
4) Hôtel Les Deux Gares
A brilliant Wes Anderson aesthetic designed by Englishman, Luke Edward Hall, located in a fairly unconventional location very close to Gare du Nord.  Perfect for stepping off the Eurostar and straight to your room but it is a very different side to the city...they also have a great bistro on the opposite corner.


These restaurants are just personal favourites, and I am sure there are newer places, more in demand or well-known. But I have always enjoyed these four restaurants for different reasons - from people watching, fun atmosphere, and cosy to Septime, where the food is exceptional.

1) Chez Georges
It is a legendary brasserie where you are seated cheek by jowl, but the atmosphere is bright & noisy. It is a classical bistro with stern waitresses and brilliant French food. Loved by the fashion crowd, although the interiors haven't changed since 1964...
2) Septime
This Michelin-starred restaurant, which also features on the World's Top 50, is undoubtedly one of the best meals Cass & I have eaten in Paris. Relaxed interiors with raw plaster glass partitions & lots of flowers, the tasting menu and paired wines are superb.
3) Robert et Louise
Located in the Marais, in the heart of boutique shopping. This is the cosiest restaurant in the city. With an open kitchen, this meat-orientated menu is cooked on fire in front of you. The taste tatin is delicious. Lots of regional French wines by the glass.
4) Chez Janou
A Provençal-influenced lively brasserie in the 3rd arrondissement, again in the Marais. The Art Deco interior is full of character and detail. Always busy and difficult to get a table, but well worth it if you do. The chocolate mousse is the best.

Worth a mention but now a chain (with outposts in London) is Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. The St Germain site constantly has a queue when it opens but as it only has one dish, there is no need for pontificating. It is a steak frites only restaurant with the most delicious secret sauce. The frisée lettuce and lardons starter and profiterole pudding never gets boring.

There are so many amazing bakeries and patisseries in Paris - again hard to list all the ones I love but here are three..

1) Tapisserie Paris
Opened in 2021 by Septime, the restaurant I mentioned above.  Say no more...
2) Maison Julien
Awarded the best baguette in France.  High accolade.
3) Stohrer
Oldes patisserie in Paris and worth a visit for the lemon tarts...

As a retail buyer and trend/style forecaster for over 20 years, it was  my business to comparable shop, research visual merchandising and look for trends in interiors.

1) Ailleurs
Ailleurs, a home and interiors, opened in December 2016 in an old furniture workshop in Paris' Bastille district.
2) Alix D. Reynis
Alix D. Reynis uses refined materials, such as French porcelain, and creates exceptional items such as plates, bowls and scented candles.

3) Merci-Merci
Merci is a three-story concept boutique in the Marais, with smartly curated clothes and home goods (and just about anything else a style-conscious shopper could want).
La Trésorerie
This store is a sight to see, a mix between a traditional droguerie; hardware store and a modern homewares boutique.

5) Caravane
Caravane (which is also in London (Marylebone and Coal Drops Yard) is one of my ultimate favourites.  Constantly channeling colour, pattern and artisanal products. We have a number of their cushions in Brassica Restaurant.

6) La Tuile de Loup
In the heart of old Paris, in the 5th arrondissement, La Tuile à Loup has been a go-to source for the best of artisanal French craftsmanship for over 40 years.

7) E. Dehillerin
Nearly 200-year-old E. Dehillerin wasn’t created for dilettantes; chefs, students of Le Cordon Bleu and other restaurant professionals come here to buy everything from cast-iron Dutch ovens to sauté pans to kitchen utensils. Julia Child shopped here during her time living in Paris.
La Grande Épicerie de Paris
The incredible department store, Le Bon Marché launched this 4 storey food store next door from its humble beginnings in the 
basement. It is a truly memorable store with amazing product and fantastic lunch takeaway options.

Paris retailers are some of the best in the world. From small fashion chains such as B&SH, Seour, APC, Sézane, Claudie Pierlot, Isabel Marant and Sandro are quintessentially French but have some of the loveliest collections every season.
Vintage shopping is another highlight - visiting the flea markets are a day out in itself.

Vanves Flea Market/ Marché aux Puces de la porte de Vanves
Saint Ouen Flea Market/ Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen
Village Saint Paul

As this is a short guide and my personal favourites, I have listed my three top galleries to visit only. 

1) Musée National Picasso-Paris
The Picasso Museum is the French national museum dedicated to the life and work of Pablo Picasso as well as to the artists who were linked to him. Offers a unique glimpse into the life of the artist.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
This museum of the decorative arts and design is located in the Palais du Louvre's western wing. The major focus here is French furniture and tableware. From extravagant carpets to delicate crystal and porcelain, there is much to admire but often has amazing fashion exhibitions also.
3) Fondation Cartier
The Fondation Cartier opens its doors to themes rarely dealt with in museums. It asserts an eclectic and multidisciplinary dimension crossing all areas of contemporary creation and spurring unexpected meetings between artists, scientists, philosophers, musicians and architects.

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