Well, I am soon to burst out of my plus-sized jeans with the daily onslaught of pastries, baguettes smothered in that delicieux french butter, cheese and wine. I may have also taken up smoking by proxy due to my love of people watching while dining or wining at Brasseries.
This is my last night in Paris and after 6 days I feel practically part of the furniture despite my colourful version of the language – an enchanting fusion of French and English – the Parisians love it! (Yes Glammies I am blogging in real time now. Please excuse the technical difficulties evident in the last update – bloody Ipad).
Paris hasn’t changed since my last visit: the same familiar urbany-Paris smell, tout le monde chain smoking and driving like maniacs, the same stony faced looks as you deliver your reherarsed French and then the fluent replies in English, but that’s the charm n’est pas? A beautiful city to wrap up ones 30’s and turn…40! (Ahhhhhh – that is the sound of a primal scream). It took a few Kir Royales to turn that frown upside down – bien sur. More on that later.
We stayed at a stylish little apartment in Le Marais – my favourite place in Paris. I just love pitter-pattering through all the little rues, discovering vintage stores, great fashion and enticing brasseries. We’ve been staying on Rue Vielle Du Temple which is quite chi chi cool with its fine shopping and eateries. But further into Le Marais there are other great streets like Rue Du Bretagne, Rue Du Turenne and Rue Des Archives – all lovely places to saunter.
Shopping: Le Marais is full of fantastic boutiques on more main streets like Rue Vielle Du Temple, but there are also great little finds off the beaten track and many a fab vintage store to be explored.
Rue Francois Bourgois has all your make-up needs with MAC, Makeup Forever (purchased Aqua Cream – budge proof cream eyeshadow) Bobbi Brown and Kheils.
There are also plenty of gorgewah stores to buy that sneaky statement piece like the tasty necklace I bought from Babylone (handmade in Paris) also on Rue Francs Bourgeois – managed by a very friendly lady who loves Australians (who wants to do business with a snooty-pants). My other favourite jewellery haunt is Jean Marie Poinot on Rue Vielle Du Temple who is a lovely man and also hand makes some really beautiful pieces.
For skincare you can’t go past the discount pharmacy on the very corner of Rue Du Four and Rue Bonaparte at St Germain. Not the world’s best kept secret as it’s shoulder-to-shoulder at any given hour, and is bulging with brands like Darphin, Decleor and Biotherm at amazing prices.
Eating: Our favourite meals thus far have been from the tiny French bistoto Robert & Loiuse on Rue Vielle Du Temple (best lamb chops and tates ever!) but you must book because it’s packed every night. (We were turned away tonight and I was quite heartbroken). Another little brasserie where we received amazing service and a fabulous meal was on Rue Du Bretagne called Le Bar Bouille. We also had a lovely cocktail at Cafe St Regis on Ile Saint Louis which is also a pleasant place to meander.
Le Grand Colbert is an old, glamorous French bistro on Rue Vivienne – not the greatest food but worth visiting for it’s old Parisian charm.
Avoid wasting time and money at Les Deax Maggots in St Germain. We had the worse and most expensive salad in Paris. It was SO crap. I looked down at my plate and saw sliced unripe tomatoes, a whole slab of cheese cut in squares, bits of ham and thought – this would not fly in Sydney. The experience made even worse by our waiter who was absolutely vile despite my best efforts in French. Cafe Flore next door is a better choice if you do want to soak up some atmosphere and spend a bucket-load on average coffee.
Fashion & Beauty: The typical Parisian women in this area seems to have perfect skin, wears no make-up and has hair tied up in some do-it-yourself chignon or loose and flowing. The coloured and printed jean seem to be quite the staple plus the classic-cool denim and leather jacket. And my favourite colour: burgundy – is still everywhere. I‘ve seen a lot of guys and girls wearing black rimmed glasses looking stylish and intelligent. It’s all about being effortlessly cool and non-contrived. No Shire girls around this part of town.
Je t’aime Paris but it’s now time to get my Barcelona on.
Au revoir Pareee!!!