Reams and reams of black and white print has already been devoted to that eternal quest for Parisian chic. It’s hard to pin down that one factor which makes this cultural citadel – the synonym for style, romance and luxury. From the arrondissements (boroughs) nestled in a snail-like formation to the geometric French gardens, which celebrate order and symmetry to ‘les petite mains’ (hands of seamstresses, who put in hours of work to create a garment) in ateliers of couture houses – the capital of France never fails to charm even the most stone-hearted travellers. It was my second trip to Paris and being an avid Francophile, I managed to live my Parisian fantasy – chewing on a baguette while sitting on a bench in the park, soaking in the glittering view of the Eiffel tour while dining and indulging in some vintage shopping at hole-in-the-wall boutiques. Here are some of my recommendations:
Soak in street style
Visit Café Kitsuné in Palais Royal, sip on their matcha latte and soak in some incredible street style. French men and women love sporting head-to-toe black though never like a uniform and there’s always a twist to their take on noir. A bold red lip, a gold pendant or an animal print top coat punctuates their ensembles. Also, the overall look is never too finished (no blow-drys here) and the little imperfections (smudgy kohl eyes, wind-blown mane) add to their je ne sais quoi appeal.
If you’re looking for old trench coats and branded jumpers then your search ends at this store called Thanx God I’m A V.I.P. This beautifully curated shop has the best of vintage separates, shoes and bags. The ever-helpful staff makes it a fun shopping experience.
Visit Yves Saint Laurent Museum
If you’re a fashion addict like me then I’d highly recommend a visit to Le Musée Yves Saint Laurent. The museum exhibits the couturier’s body of work on the legendary premises of his former haute couture house, alternating between retrospective displays and temporary thematic exhibitions.
Savour hot chocolate at Cafe Angelina
Located on the charming Rue de Rivoli, this Belle Époque–style cafe serves mouth-watering macaroons and hot chocolate. Besides the desserts, the brunch menu doesn’t disappoint and the service is rather prompt. Perhaps after a walk in the Jardin de Tuileries located right across, a hot chocolate at this cafe doesn’t disappoint. Don’t forget to check out the bookshops (Librairie Galignani and WHSmith) next door.
Enjoy brunch at Ladurée Paris Royale
Channel your inner Marie Antoinette and forget about the calories intake. Savour the delectable brunch which comprises freshly baked breads, tea, croissants and juice and then treat yourself to the Raspberry Passion Tart and Plaisir Sucre. The cafe radiates an old-world charm and the attentive staff makes it a sensorial carnival.
Dine at Monsieur Bleu
Dress to the nines and indulge at this bastion of culinary hipness. Make sure you make dinner reservations. Be it the green marble, velvet banquettes or geometric chandeliers – the restaurant’s decor toasts the epochal Art Deco style. Delectable food and friendly staff make it the ultimate Parisian fine dining experience. Don’t forget to top off your dinner with their deadly tiramisu. Trust me, you’ll need a walk around the Eiffel post this meal.
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