Or shall I say 724 hours in Paris? I moved to Paris about two months ago and honestly I don’t want to leave this place ever again. I am sure this will not be my only “48 Hours in Paris”, so let’s consider this as part one. Paris’ poetic streets, mindblowing architecture, cultural heritage, the savoir-vivre, its elegance – everything comes together here at this beautiful spot on earth. There is no other place like this where you can sit in a café for hours nothing but drinking a coffee and reading your book. There is no hurry, nobody pushes you, you just can take time for the beautiful things in life: eating, drinking, watching, reading, listening and often just strolling around, in order to discover new things. Here are some of my faves:
Where to have your coffee: One of the classics you should check out is Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris), it’s a beautiful place with history. Lots of intelectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir or artists like Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau sat here and had their coffee. As Karl Lagerfeld lives really close to this place and loves it here, you could meet him by chance one day. Another favorite place to hang out and drink a coffee or glass of wine (I have the general impression that in Paris it’s not a big thing to start with that right after you have finished your breakfast) is Le Nemours (2 Galerie de Nemours, 75001 Paris). When you sit outside at the terrasse, you can look at the beautiful “Le Kiosque des noctambules” designed by the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. It’s the metro entrance for Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre – a very romantic spot for meeting points.
Where to go out for a drink: One of my favorite places is Le Prescription (23 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris) in Saint Germain. A cosy atmosphere and incredibly delicious cocktails. Then there is a secret spot called Candelaria (52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris). And this is really funny, because to enter the bar you have to go through a small door at the end of this tiny mexican-restaurant you are standing in front. Entered the bar you will discover an atmospheric place, packed with people and insanely good cocktails – the whole night long. A super eccentric interieur will welcome you when you enter the Comptoir General (80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris) at Canal Saint Martin. Lots of people and a great choice for drinks and good music. Then another nice restaurant/bar is La Belle Epoque (36 Rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris) a great interieur in the style of Art Déco. A hip meeting point of Paris’ arty people. Very crowded at nights, you have to be lucky to get a seat without reservation. During the day it should be not problem, then you can eat something there too. Although Mary Celeste (1 Rue Commines, 75003 Paris) is specialised in oysters and champagne, you can have amazing cocktails and tapas here. The atmosphere is intimate and cosy, the best place to have a date. Last but not least our all time fave: Andy Wahloo (69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris). For me this is one of the best places in the world. This is the bar, but in the partio there is also the restaurant Le Derrière where you can taste great cuisine. The music at Andy Wahloo is funky, the people are chilled out, the staff is very kind and there is also a dancing area in the middle of the bar. So you have basically everything here: good drinks, kind staff, a dancefloor, a stylish ambience. Definitely worth coming again and again.
Where to eat: There are so many good restaurants in Paris that it is impossible to write everything down. Let’s start with brunch. There is Eggs & Co (11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 75006 Paris). It’s a tiny place, which reminded me of Brooklyn, New York. To have a traditional french dinner I recommend Chez René (14 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris), pleasant staff and very authentic french cuisine. An interieur with mirrors and lots of paintings and art deco prints, which reminds you of finally having arrived in beautiful Paris. If you like fish I highly recommend you La Mediterranée (2 Place de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris). The staff is very welcoming and during the week you probably won’t need any reservation. In 1944 it was Jean Subrenat, a friend of Jean Cocteau, who opened this seafood restaurant. And Cocteau himself created lovely prints and texts for the menu card, the restaurant description and dishes. This place is a charming example of the french artist’s art and writing.
Where to stroll around: For example at the Le Marché des Enfants Rouges in Marais. There is a small door which leads to this fresh food market. You can choose between different types of food like Morrocan, Italian or Japanese. Another beautiful spot to go for a walk is the Jardin du Palais Royal. It’s a secret garden in the middle of the 1er Arrondissement. If you go to the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (261 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris), don’t miss the very cute Rue Daguerre close by with a very authentic and nonchalant Parisian atmosphere.
Which scent to wear: As I am addicted to niche parfums, it is pretty difficult just to name a few. But to make a start I would love to suggest Claire de Musc by Serge Lutens, which smells pure and freshly clean. And Aqua Allegoria Pampelune by Guerlain, which is an authentic creation of Monsieur Jean-Paul Guerlain himself. He created this perfume for festive women, who celebrate life. With grapefruit, lemon, bergamot and vanilla it is a sensual, feminin and fruity scent.
Which sentences to learn: Tu vois means you know, and you can use it in nearly every sentece. Un truc is a funny word, it means thing and every time you don’t know the actual term, just replace it with un truc. Ça marche bien or ça marche pas – means it’s working well, or it’s not working. Depends on the situation, but you can use it instead of oui or non, to be more like a Parisienne.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
What to bring home with you: A jar of crème de marrons, it is delicious as a topping for yoghurt or also au naturel. Don’t forget to buy some bottles of good wine. Condrieu and Pouilly Fumé. And when you are back home again and start to miss the savoir-faire and the l’Art de vivre of the french people: open a bottle of wine, lean backwards on your sofa and think of all the beautiful memories. There is no place like Paris, as Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” So maybe just book another ticket and be back in Paris as soon as you can.
Photos: Revan Baysal
Header: Mareike Seifried