Secret Paris: The 1st District

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The über chic 1st arrondissement:

The crème de la crème of fashion is no more to be found on Avenue Montaigne, too remote and full of nouveau riches and millionnaires.

Now everybody goes to the Rue Saint Honoré, from the Rue Royal to Palais Royal and beyond.

I generally avoid to walk on Rue de Rivoli, because the arcades are packed with tourist shops and tourists. Beware of pickpockets!

You may start your walk from Concorde or Madeleine, and the Rue Royale. You may have a look at the legendary Hermès store on rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, and then take the Rue Saint Honoré towards the Louvre.

Here are few stores you may want to see:

Chloé: my favorite brand of all times, embodies timeless French style and playfulness. -253 rue Saint Honoré, Paris 1st.

Tara Jarmon: the cutest Parisian brand at affordable prices, the shop is very cute. -400 rue Saint Honoré.

– Chanel: the very 1st Chanel store, initally a millinery store Coco herself opened in 1910. -21 rue Cambon, Paris 1st. Here is a nice movie to watch about Chanel history in the neighbourhood.

– WH Smith on rue de Rivoli: the Parisian English book store -248 rue de Rivoli, at the corner with Rue Cambon, Paris 1st.

– do not miss the legendary Colette, 213 rue Saint Honoré: the best and only french fashion concept store. Check out the books, and the Colette candles. ‘L’air de Colette’ (fig perfume) has been my favorite candle for about 16 years now ! I love the store, and Madame Colette and her daughter are very graceful people, but you will not fail to notice how sad and unhappy the customers look there. Very blasé, and very sad for them!

– Chantal Thomass: beautiful lingerie in pink and black, the boutique is stunning ! -211 rue Saint Honoré, Paris 1st.

– Penhaligon’s: a beautiful old store for a fantastic British perfume brand. -209 rue Saint Honoré. And the staff is adorable !

– Don Cross: simply the most beautiful and surprising beauty salon in a mesmerizing apartment: it used to be the private apartment of the embroider Lesage. -207 rue Saint Honoré. The chamanic massage is fantastic!

Astier de Villate: the boutique is beautiful, looks like a 17th century house, and stores some of the best candles, such as Oulan Bator, Jerusalem or Zermatt. -173 rue Saint Honoré, Paris 1st.

If you want to stop to grab a bite, here are the options:

– if you have a sweet tooth:

Angelina: it is now a legend, but too many tourists are queuing in front, i personally do not have the patience for that. Nice place, if you have the patience to wait 1 hour to be seated, then try the Mont Blanc pastry. – 226 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1st.

– i would rather recommand for a quiet tea time: the secret 1st floor of the Hôtel de Vendôme, it looks like a Christian Dior salon of the 50s. Very quiet and so very luxurious. – 1 place Vendôme, Paris 1st.

– for a burger: Le Castiglione, you may bump into a movie start or Sofia Coppola. Very very good burgers ! -235 rue Saint Honoré, Paris 1st.

– if you love real good coffee (not Starbuck’s, yuk!): Cafés Verlet: a tiny tiny old wooden tables, fantastic coffee. Very picturesque and secret place, – 256 rue Saint Honoré, Paris 1st.

– for a cocktail at night: the bar at the Meurice, where a piano player sits and plays all evening long.

– for a salad or sandwich: Café Nemours, Place Colette. Love this beautiful French café.

– MY favorite restaurant in Paris (number 1 for me since 16 years !) is LE FUMOIR – 6 rue de L’Amiral de Coligny, Paris 1st, Métro Louvre Rivoli.

Great for lunch (opens at 11am), afternoon tea, light dinner, dinner, drinks… i simply love this place. The 1st part is more like a brasserie where you can order simple meals like club sandwich and salads, but beyond the bar, to the back, it is the restaurant. You should book there if you want to go for dinner. Secret tip: ask for a table in the library at the back, it is much more quiet !

Then, you HAVE to visit the Palais Royal, one of my favorite place in Paris !

Stop by a light meal or tea at Café Muscade, and have a look at Didier Ludot, a fashion antiquarian, glove shopping at Maison Fabre, and perfumes at Serge Lutens.

Make sure you take the beautiful Passage des Deux Pavillons to visit the Galerie Vivienne, a beautiful 19th century gallery. You may stop for a coffee and natural meal at the Pain Quotidien in front.

Do not miss 2 adorable boutiques in the neighbourhood, that look like doll houses !

– Olympia le Tan makes fabulous hand embroidered clutches, and playful and quirky ready-to-wear. -Passage des 2 Pavillons, Paris 1st.

– Fifi Chachnil is my favorite Lingerie brand.- 68 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, Paris 1st.

Have a look at the Place des Victoires, and the Place des Petits Pères too.

 

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