My fondness for coffee originated in Paris, mainly out of frustration of being served awful tea, so it seemed apt to have coffee at one of Paris’ oldest cafés. Places like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, located next door, are pretty much landmarks but unfortunately they have become too touristy for my liking. You don’t go for the coffee. For me, it was convenience and the idea of enjoying a routine moment of reading in somewhere so rich in history.
I’ll share a tip: go for breakfast. I was there around 8am last Friday, had friendly service and enjoyed my breakfast (which I couldn’t finish) whilst listening to the Parisian accents of two lawyers discussing a case, an adorable little girl having her tartine with her grandfather en route to school and watching little birds flutter around under the graceful eye of l’église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A Parisian moment indeed.
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés
+33 1 45 48 55 25
Pretty much every time I visit Paris I go to Galeries Lafayette which is, at least in my opinion, more of a Parisian institution than a mere department store. Even if I manage to refrain myself from buying too much, I always go to visit the dome – the highlight of the store. With changing installations, there’s always something to see and come Christmas time, prepare to be amazed!
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Galerie Lafayette’s ‘La Suite‘. Nestled discreetly in the store with a secluded terrace and excellent view of the city, La Suite is a 400-square-meter apartment available to clientèle seeking a more intimate shopping experience. Available to both style-conscious men and women, La Suite offers a personalized, luxury shopping experience complete with style consultants to help you find the right ensemble to suit your body shape, event and even the accessories to complete the look. With soft tones, walls littered with art and seasonal floral arrangements, it’s easy to feel relaxed and enjoy the process of your very own style session. Perhaps you have a particular designer you prefer or fancy something cutting edge, the benefit of having the stylist is that may be exposed to new things; brands, cuts and more interestingly, you’ll pick up some tips to stop those fashion faux-pas we all fear.
And it doesn’t stop there. It has been a hard lesson to learn but it is a proven fact that no serious shopping trip should be enjoyed without champagne and Jean Paul Hévin chocolate. Fortunately these along with gourmet treats (what else in France?) can be provided. Now do you see why I’m a fan and no, I’m not at all jealous that it’s 3 times as spacious as my old Parisian apartment.
Have you had a personalized shopping experience? More importantly, have you been to La Suite?
I’m heading to Paris this weekend and have a packed agenda and it will come as no surprise that food will feature heavily. My Parisian food weekend will go a little something like this: breakfast = coffee and a pain au chocolat, lunch = salad, éclairs and champagne, goûter = macarons and tea, and dinner = champagne, cheese, bread, oh and let’s not forget, some kind of creamy, enough-calories-for-the-month dessert. That’s me: single-handedly keeping the French boulangeries and pâtissieres in business. Selfless!
Passez un bon week-end !
Photograph 1: Coutume Café
Photograph 2: Le Mini Palais
Photograph 3: Fauchon
Photograph 4: Mandarin Oriental Paris