There are plenty of secret spots and an equal number of Parisian based bloggers that write lots about the magical city. I’ve been a dozen of times and one of the most amazing thing about Paris is that it’s so classic things don’t really change – except that now they greet me in Mandarin and speak to me in Mandarin regardless, especially at the Chanel store on rue de cambon. Who would have thought that the French would start learning Mandarin and speak it whenever they had the chance.
So, we spend our annual summer holidays in Tours and the South of France always with a couple of days to see friends and enjoy Paris. Here’s our little annual ritual of places and spaces we always have to visit. Chef used to work and live in Paris years ago and I’ve been in love with this city ever since I first visited in 2000.
I’ve been coming here since god knows when and in 2006 my friends from Fabrica took over the store and did pop ups and exhibitions. This place is a creative haven for the trendiest hipsters and creative. There’s also an art gallery upstairs, you can buy the fanciest stationery, coolest design books and art magazines as well as an awesome collection of CDs. There are reknown designers and then there are also prodigal young talents. Fashion ranges from Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney to Comme des Garçons on the 2nd floor while the first floor carries creative design T-shirts in the 50-100€ range.
2. Merci Paris in the haut Marais
Read all about it here
Always cutting edge well-curated shows with an international vibe. There’s also a lovely outdoor area to have a coffee.
Always insane queues in the summer and it’s free on the first Sunday of each month, so you might want to get there early to queue or avoid visiting on those dates alternatively, order them online or get the museum day passes which gets you savings!
5. Musée Branly
They always do great shows here and the restaurant Les Ombres (meaning shadow) upstairs probably offers one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant at the top of the museum is named as such because of it’s shadows cast by the tower looming so close. Definitely a date night choice for that special occasion.
6. Bastille market
Open every Thursday and Sunday mornings with the freshest produce and for us, some of the city’s best crepes! More on that here
7. Place des Vosges
One of the oldest planned square in the city in Le Marais and beautiful lawns to lounge around in. Beautiful for summer day strolls and a spot of people watching in the bistros around the square.
8. Porte de Montreuil flea market
I haven’t been here in the last few years as chef isn’t a fan of flea markets, but you’ll find plenty of vintage treasures here if you look hard enough.
If you liked Amelie Poulain as much as I do, you’ll be charmed time and again in this district. There’s the Sacré Coeur and cool little arty shops. Join the walking tours!
10. The 20eme Arrondissement
It’s the new boho area full of wonderful street art, home to a Chinatown full of delicious Asian food and a lovely place to check out called Felicity Lemon based on one of Agatha Christies’ characters.
I would recommend tours with Pret A Voyager – she also taught a map making class I took on skillshare and a great friend of mine Liyu Yeo who does private art tours for art collectors – he knows the city inside out for art.
I still haven’t made it out to the Pompidou Metz and hopefully we’ll get to take a weekend out there next time!