The only thing that keeps me in Paris on some weekends is my friends or when I feel like I need to keep up to date with this charming old lady (aka Paris).
And this is the story of a day in Paris…
Taking a good, robust breakfast is the basis. I know I’m going to walk a lot so I need not be hungry too soon (and I’m always hungry…).
I start the day around the Palais Royal area where I love seeing tourists going to the Louvre or having a morning coffee at Café Nemours right next to the most famous and oldest theatre in France, la Comédie-Française. This is the place where old French classics by Racine, Molière… are being played and where every Parisian kid has attended at least one play during their schooling. There are a few bookstores and florists in that area and it is always nice to get something for the home. There are also Japanese supermarkets that are really interesting but it is not always easy to find what you want as the products are not always translated in French…
I am starting to think about lunch. The good thing is that there are plenty of restaurants in the area. If you like Japanese food, go to rue Saint-Anne, it is the Japanese street in Paris. You can also have a nice Korean experience not very far at Mee. I choose however to go to the Zebulon on rue de Richelieu as I used to lunch there from time to time when I was working in the area – it’s a really nice experience if you like French bistronomy.
We are in France so lunch takes time. I’ve decided to walk so I’m going to walk. I cross the Seine River and head towards the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. I have many memories from Saint-Germain as it is my mom’s favorite area in Paris. And so, I have spent a lot of time there. I always stop at the Église Saint-Germain to admire the beautiful ceiling full of stars. It has been renovated a few years ago and I always find it an enchanting experience. Then, I stop by every bookshop in sight as I wander through the city. Another shop I love in particular is called Deyrolle. It is exceptional and is owned by the « Prince Gardner”, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie. I am not really keen on visiting the first floor (more taxidermy oriented) but I love spending time in the part dedicated to gardening. I always find something to buy there.
I usually decide I want to have a look at the new designs and collections at The Conran Shop so I walk there as it is not very far from Deyrolle. I love spending time in the kitchen department at Conran’s although I have to say I’m more and more disappointed with their selection. I don’t know if their buyers are not motivated anymore or maybe they have no say and London chooses the selection for them… still, they used to work with great brands before. It doesn’t prevent me from finding a few nice things that I can’t find elsewhere.
A bit tired after all the eating and walking, I decide to have a coffee at my favorite spot in Paris, Café Coutume. It is located a little bit further than the Conran Shop and Le Bon Marché, and it is the perfect place to relax, have good coffee and a nice Parisian experience. Just be aware that there are many tourists and expats at Café Coutume so your table neighbours often do not speak French.