In my last Paris instalment, I focused on the stylish Marais district and the hip, up-and-coming 10eme. On my most recent séjour à Paris, I turned my attentions to the fabulously chic 1er Arrondissement, and discovered a district where my shopping dreams came true, an incredibly personable Parisian waiter and a magical cocktail…
The 1er Arrondissement is diverse, delightfully chic and refreshingly free any kind of uppity ‘tude. It also attracts fewer tourists of the fanny-pack and matching tracksuit variety than you’ll see in other Parisian hotspots (I’m looking at you, Boulevard St Germain and environs). With that in mind, here are my top tips for your next visit to the City of Love:
The ever so stylish Hotel Bachaumont is the perfect place to start your day. The decor is to die for and you’ll go straight to viennoiserie heaven.
Hotel Bachaumont: 18, Rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris
shop paris 1er
For shopping joy, I would suggest starting off in the passage du Bourg l’Abbé, a charming old arcade, where you’ll find quirky fashion gems like Marilyn Feltz – Parisian designer who combines old school Hollywood glamour with contemporary style. She had me at the boudoir-esque interior. Continue down passage du Grand Cerf for unique and equally quirky jewellery and homewears.
Venture out onto Rue Etienne Marcel and shop to your heart’s content here and on the streets leading off to the left and right. You’ll find all your Frenchy high street faves from the Kooples to Sandro as well as the unique delights of the fabulously feminine Fifi Chachnil. Venture further north to L’Appartement Sezane, if only to try on a few things, get an idea of your sizing and then keep an eye out for new Sezane beauties which are constantly appearing on Sezane’s online store when you get home.
Marilyn Feltz: 17 Passage du Bourg l’Abbé, 75002 Paris
Fifi Chachnil: 68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris
L’Appartement Sezane: 1 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris
Ok, so it’s not strictly in the 1er Arrondissement, but it only a short mooch away in the neighbouring Marais district. I’m talking about the Marche des Enfants Rouges. It’s the oldest market in Paris, and it’s a foodie paradise. Mmm mm mm mm!
Marche des Enfants Rouges: 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
It was at Le Fish Club that I was served by waiting staff who are passionate about their cuisine which, by the way, was all levels of délicieux. Each of their succulent seafood suggestions was a taste sensation that I still think of fondly to this very day. It’s these kinds of places that are doing away with the stereotype of the snooty Parisian waiter and there should me more like them.
Le Fish Club: 58 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris
After dinner at Le Fish Club (or even at the next-door Le Beef Club) head to the cocktail lounge underneath the restaurant. It can be accessed by an anonymous door between the two restaurants. Here you’ll find yourself submerged in the sexiest, low-key Parisian cool. It is another string to the bow of the guys who started the Experimental Cocktail Club and who seem to do no wrong when it comes to exquisite libations and good vibrations. I had the “Sexy Thyme” cocktail and it went down a treat. Head here with that someone special who you’d like to hold hands with (winky face).