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Paris is Always a Good Idea: Shop, Stay, Eat & Wander the Circaphiles Way

Every January, after the last remnants of the holiday season have been tucked away, designers from around the world descend on the city of lights. A menagerie of styles and taste converge for a trip to Maison & Objet Paris at the Parc des Expositions and Deco Off in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement. The preeminent furniture and design showcase is a favorite of myself and many designers, and for good reason. And while this year’s event has been postponed until March, it is the perfect time to start preparing to make the most of your trip! Read on for a portrait of Paris, offering my curated edit on what to see and do.

xo Genevieve

A snap from Genevieve’s most recent trip to Paris! 

GO-TO HOTELS

  1. Oscar Wilde’s L’Hotel – Oscar Wilde took up residence at the end of the 19th century and lived at L’Hotel until his death, famously claiming to ‘live above his means’.  After undergoing extensive refurbishment in 1967, L’Hotel soon became the place to be seen in Paris, with every famous visitor to the city passing through its doors, from Salvador Dali, Princess Grace, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton, Jim Morrison and Serge Gainsbourg.  L’Hotel’s iconic status as the leading hotel on the Left Bank was confirmed following a stunning overhaul by legendary designer Jacques Garcia, who won many accolades and awards.
  2. Search the St. Germain quarter on Airbnb for fabulous privately-owned pied-a-terres so that you can feel like you are a local!
  3. Hotel Esprit Saint-Germain is a very special boutique experience.
  4. Hôtel de la Marine sits on the corner of Place de la Concorde, the biggest square in Paris. Visitors often pass by and admire the stunning architecture from afar. But now you can go inside this iconic site too: the Hôtel de la Marine opened to the public in June 2021.  Allons-y!
  5. The Hotel de Cluny and The Aromatic Medieval Garden…the. name speaks for itself!
  6. Musée De La Chasse Et De La Nature This museum, which is located in the historic Marais district, in a 17th- and 18th-century house, looks like a private home. It celebrates animals in painting and the decorative artists. This cabinet of curiosities displays a collection of rare artifacts and contemporary works of art and is certainly worth a visit.

APRÉS shopping  

After a long day touring around Paris, it is time for a well-deserved meal! Whether you have a sweet tooth or looking for a drink on the rocks, these decadent restaurants have everything you could fancy in an authentic French feel. 

  1. L’Ami Jean C’est Ici– The best pomme purée!
  2. Restaurant Au Vieux Paris
  3. No Entry – One of the restaurants of the Big Mamma group, famous for its delicious pasta with truffles, hides a well-kept secret. Behind the cold room of Pink Mamma, hundreds of exotic liqueurs are stashed in the mysterious speakeasy, No Entry. The challenge is to find the entrance to the cold room without getting lost in the 750 square meters of the restaurant!
  4. Crêperie Des Pêcheurs
  5. Little Red Door – Located in the Marais, the Little Red Door – voted one of the 50 best bars in the world in 2017, is hidden behind a mysterious red door on rue Charlot. In this secluded speakeasy, the bartender Rêmy Savage dreamed up a menu of explosive cocktails in the same spirit as that of the Benevolence (Tequila, Martini Ambrato, carrot, ginger, and spices).

image by loiclagarde