Paris - the city of love, couture, fashion and food. With a small train journey time of only two hours from London, over the years this has led to countless weekend trips, spontaneous getaways, birthdays and impromptu celebrations. The second half of our love affair with Paris began in 2015, once we took the decision to present our collections at Paris Fashion Week and, as a result, our affiliation with Paris grew even stronger. As we post this, we are currently in Paris to present our fifth collection for Autumn / Winter 2017. Whilst recent trips have involved a little less play and a little more work, our Paris guide contains a fine selection of our favourite Parisian haunts, which we regularly frequent when we’re in town. Disclaimer: this is not a tourist guide to Paris and certainly omits some of the most beautiful sightseeing in Paris, which we highly recommend (La Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Les Jardines Tuileries, Fontainbleu…the list is endless).
We hope you enjoy it.
K, R & D x
Where to go:
40 rue de Sévigné 75003 Paris
For 30 years this iconic boutique has been at the pinnacle of Paris fashion and today the store now sells from six locations across Paris. Being the first concept store in Paris, L’Eclaireur is always one step ahead, leading the new direction to follow and having the vision of what’s to come next with all things fashion / art / design related. Our favourite of the 6 boutiques is the Rue de Sévigné store because it’s where reality and illusion are at a crossroads – when describing this particular store, Arne Quinze herself says that ‘this is not just a shop, it’s an experience. The project grew as a dream fed by emotions, history and memories. It is a fantasy in which I hope everyone will find a story for themselves’.
There’s an inherent romanticism to this chic neighbourhood. St. Germain still has its youthful energy, interesting streets and authentic charm. Be sure to see St Germain Des Pres whilst in the area (one of the oldest churches in Paris) and Café de Flore (one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris). You can easily pass a whole day in this area of Paris without even realising it.
The absolute go to place on a Sunday in Paris. Stroll through some of the tiny streets, have a look at some of the shops (also open on Sundays) and sit down at Place des Vosges and enjoy a cup of coffee. Enjoy some typical French food such as a Crêpe at Le Crêperie Chez Suzette or try the life-changing Falafel at L’As du Falafel.
213 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Colette is not just a store, but a retail institution which has paved the way for new-gen stores all around the world, combining fashion with culture, reinventing the concept of retail. Colette goes beyond the traditional ‘concept store’ and is our particular go-to for all things home related - think coffee table books, candles and fun gadgets. It’s also a great place to discover the latest urban streetwear brands, featuring your go-to slogan tees and caps you’ll be living in for months. Located on Rue Saint Honoré, you can easily spend hours not only in the store but on the street, heading to boutique after boutique.
41 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France | +33 1 40 70 14 91
We know its cliché and we know it’s easy to dismiss L’Avenue as touristy and a little been-there-done-that. But, whether you like to admit it or not, L’Avenue will always be the ultimate people watching spot, particularly during Fashion Week, with one of the best locations in town and actually a few good dishes on the menu. Though we don’t recommend it for dinner, several dishes are worth ordering – our favourites are the Tom Yam Seabass and the L’Escargots. This place is comfortable, cosy & chic and although we hate to admit it, a trip to Paris is never really complete without a quick coffee at L’Avenue. Tip: layer up in Izaak Azanei, order a coffee, a glass of wine & a chocolate fondant - and always sit outside!
Where to stay
If you’re in to the highest standards of hotel service, Le Bristol should be high up on your list of favourite hotels globally. Named after the Count of Bristol, a British nobleman with a passion for travel and luxury, Le Bristol welcomed its first guests in 1925, a fact that is definitely evident from the moment you enter into the hotel and as you pass through the corridors. Whilst we admit the interiors aren’t massively in-line with our taste (pretty old-school) and do need some refreshing (we stayed in the old wing), the hotel is nothing short of charming, offering unparalleled service. Housed on the sixth floor, you will find a small swimming pool designed to look like a cruise-ship. Whilst small in size, the views from the pool, overlooking quaint Parisian rooftops, the church of Saint Augustin and the Sacre Coeur, is definitely worth seeing.
Located on Rue St. Honoré, the Mandarin Oriental easily has one of our favourite hotel locations in Paris flanked between some of the best stores in the capital, and is a haven of elegance and understated luxury. The aesthetic is cool, contemporary and deeply chic, with subtle hints of the Orient in the form of cherry wood panelling and fine silks. Like the others of its name, this hotel is always guaranteed to deliver its promise of un-compromised and sophisticated luxury.
Where to eat:
213 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France | +33 1 44 77 76 00
Ralph Lauren’s aptly named restaurant is one of Paris’ most elegant and beautifully designed restaurants, well located on the Boulevard St. Germain. Guests walk in through a cute and cozy courtyard, which in the summer time is the perfect place to pass an afternoon drinking mimosas and chatting away in one of the most Parisian settings you’ll find. True to Ralph’s origins, the food celebrates contemporary American foodie culture – serving burgers, lobster rolls, fries and salad (our favourite is the tuna burger). So whether it’s for a pre-shopping aperitif or a post-shopping binge, Ralph’s is always a good idea. Recommendation: book for brunch.
9 Rue d'Argenteuil, 75001 Paris, France | no reservations
Disclaimer: it’s not fancy, it’s not chic, you’ll have to queue for at least half an hour (if you’re lucky) but the food is unbelievable. This is one of the best meals we’ve ever had in Paris and is a must for any real foodie out there. The food is authentically Japanese and with the loud bustling atmosphere both inside and out, you feel transported to Japan itself. The service is quick, your meal outstanding – it’s a no brainer. We really can’t recommend this one enough. You heard it here first!
20 Avenue de New York, 75116 Paris, France | +33 1 47 20 90 47
Designed by the same visionary behind both Balmain and Rick Owen’s Paris flagship stores, Joseph Dirand, Monsieur Bleu is the embodiment of fun, luxury and refinement with a low-key, cool and minimal aesthetic located in Palais de Tokyo, one of the most famous modern art museums in Paris (right beside the Seine River and across from the Eiffel Tower). Offering diners a lively yet intimate ambience, it's every bit as much about design, and atmosphere as it is about the food and thus offers both a complete culinary and artistic experience. Recommendation: book for dinner and book in advance.
107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France | +33 1 42 60 41 96
The view of this eatery is nothing less than spectacular, over-looking the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Pyramid and the Eiffel Tower. Designed by the same team behind Monsieur Bleu, with an aim in mind to recreate the feeling of a 'dining room of a decorative arts collector', each level reflects a decorative arts period: the 70s for the ground floor, made of five salons and the 18th century with a French Art Deco twist for the upstairs. Additionally, there’s a beautiful garden terrace which seats up to 200 guests.
17 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France | +33 1 42 65 33 32
Opened by the Russian owner Arcady Fixon, Caviar Kaspia has been the go-to spot in Paris since the 1920s. Diners are led through the ground floor shop and up to the hidden second floor. The menu is simple with extravagant ingredients and our go to every time is the twice baked potato topped with caviar and served with crème fraiche. This is without a doubt one of the hardest spots in Paris to secure a reservation for during Fashion Week, and you will likely spot some of the biggest names in fashion if you manage to secure a dinner. The environment is intimate and very cosy, making you a stones’ throw away from the diners. Caviar Kaspia is a real treat we look forward to every season during Fashion Week. Recommendation: book 5-6 weeks ahead, especially if you’re planning a visit during Fashion week.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
5, Rue Montalembert 75007 Paris | +33 1 42 22 56 56 | reservations only
The original L’Atelier in what is now a global empire, Joel Robuchon is a King of international gastronomy presiding over a realm filled with Michelin stars. Claimed by many as the best Robuchon restaurant globally, the restaurant itself has a very modern style with its signature black and red colour scheme and with its informal setting and ‘small plates’ concept, L’Atelier is made for casual fine dining. The Foie Gras is a must as is 'La Sphère' for dessert. Don’t forget: sit at the bar in the room on the right – very important.
11 Place des États-Unis, 75116 Paris, France | +33 1 40 22 11 10
On the first floor of the Maison Baccarat in the 16th District, you will encounter the Cristal Room restaurant. True to its name, Philippe Starck has created the most incredible of rooms fit with high ceilings, large mirrors, marble fireplaces and of course dazzling Baccarat crystal chandeliers – it is true Parisian dining at its finest and you can’t help but awe in pure admiration of this magical place. Our tip: go with lots of space on your camera roll and get ready to use the #nofilter caption – this place looks good at every angle.
4 Rue Bernard Palissy - 75006 Paris | +33 1 45 48 92 27
With its chef once leading Nobu, Orient Express is the place to get your Japanese fix with consistent food and great service every visit. Our top tips: order the tuna tartare, the black cod and the mochi for dessert.
La Maison de la Truffe
19 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France | +33 1 42 65 53 22
As the name suggests, the cuisine is centred around truffles – both black and white. Being huge truffle aficionados, we always make time for this place especially on an evening when you have nothing else on your agenda other than eating. Recommendation: go to the one on Marbeuf, right inbetween Avenue Montaigne and Champs Elysees, and order the tagliatelle a la truffle.
8 Rue de Navarin, 75009 Paris, France | +33 1 48 78 31 80
The lesser known, younger and edgier boutique hotel owned by the Costes brothers is home to a très cool and très chic outdoor garden with a crowd that can only be described as 'young and beautiful'. We prefer this place for brunch as this place is a suntrap during the day and is perfect spot pre-shop.
107 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris, France | no reservations
What started with just 1 has now turned into a 3 Ober Mama dynasty, complete with their very own cookbook – our favourite one is the one in the 11th. The unstoppable trilogy has quirky names for their a la carte menu (hakuna-ma-burrata-ta) but don’t be fooled, this is for sure the best Italian restaurant in Paris serving authentic and hearty food. Annoyingly, they do not take reservations. Doors open at 6pm so be sure to get there on time to secure your spot!
Pain, Vin, Fromage
3 Rue Geoffroy l'Angevin, 75004 Paris, France | +33 1 42 74 07 52
This is a super tiny, super cosy place in Le Marais and is for sure a hidden gem! Be prepared to experience the best cheese fondue at a very affordable price. This place is made for cold winter nights when all you want to do is drink wine and carb up.
Where to play:
51 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France
Behold the utterly crazy Miss Ko, another spot designed by the visionary Philippe Starck. This is not just a restaurant, it’s an underground Asian fusion place where street food, cocktails, art and music all combine to create a unique culinary experience. Diners are surrounded by endless technology in the form of a 26m long table running the length of the restaurant made entirely of digital screens – each playing news channels from all over Asia. The restaurant’s name and identity are based around the character of Miss Ko – a young, sexy and fully tattooed, eternally mysterious symbol of Asia. We could easily dedicate a whole page to describing the interiors of this place, but it is something to be seen and experienced for yourself. Whilst we don’t love the food here, it’s definitely worth going for drinks – we recommend the Jasmin Collins.
58 Rue de Bassano, 75008 Paris, France
Through the red door within the entirely red interior of Raspoutine, it’s easy to forget that you’re just off the Champs-Elysees. This is a place made for anyone who wants to forget they’re in Paris altogether for a night of debauchery à la Eastern Bloc with a Western playlist. Get ready to party with knife throwers and burlesque dancers and regret it all tomorrow morning.
28 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris, France
Perfectly placed next to the iconic Café de Flore, facing a Louis Vuitton boutique, Le Montana is a chic late night spot co-owned by Jean Yves Le Fur. This place really stands out on the chic and quiet street of St. Germain and differentiates itself from the mundane Paris interior with its neo-gothic aesthetic inside. Revived in 2009 from the 60s, this place has played host to many fashion, film and music parties with a playlist of French pop and throwback hip hop and has recently opened a 6-room hotel, which you gain entry to through the place where you party — that says a lot. Warning: getting in can be difficult so have a plan B just in case!
5 Rue de Berri, 75008 Paris, France
As the name suggests, this is a spot in Paris where you’re almost guaranteed to have a fun night and is most definitely the unofficial fashion week after party place. With quirky neon signs on almost every wall, Titty Twister manages underground cool (NY style) with a kind of effortless Parisian flair. If you’re not a Hip Hop fan, this is not the club for you, as the playlist is almost exclusively RnB & Hip Hop.
Le Bar - Hôtel Costes
239-241 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
No list of things to do/see in Paris would be complete without a mention of Hôtel Costes, in some form. Rue Saint Honoré’s notoriously chic bar at Hôtel Costes houses the most stereotypical Parisians, we’ll admit. However, the bar is the perfect blend of chic, luxe and cool with cosy corners, decadent chandeliers and is known for its perpetually fashionable and international clientele. Costes is best experienced in full swing during Fashion Week but be prepared for some serious head turning as it’s the go to for any and every name in high fashion.
42 Route de Sèvres à Neuilly, 75016 Paris
Open mid-April onwards and located around 45 minutes away from central Paris is Bagatelle Mansion. Varying from the usual beachy Bagatelle scene, this one offers more of a countryside vibe beginning with dinner at sunset and ending with a 4am carriage ride. This is perfect for those hot summer nights when the last place you’d want to be is inside a stuffy club and rather outside with good people and good music.