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Monday, February 27, 2012

Paris: shop and eat

A quick weekend to Paris.  What to do but shop?  And eat!  And sneak in the museum or exhibition or so...


This weekend I had the pleasure of staying at Le Bristol.  The intriguing hotel from Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, Le Bristol is very French and the entry way to great shopping.  The real reason to stay  there is of course, Pharaoh, the hotel's chat.  


First must-stop-shop in Paris is Colette.  This is my absolute favorite small department store in the world.  Go not only for the shopping, but just the mannequin watching alone.  The stylists here are magicians.  If only they could come into my own closet and put together interesting looks that I could never imagine.  They are inspirational.

Love these Christopher Kane organza printed skirts!
There is also a cafe downstairs if you're hungry, a men's section and cool, modern jewelry.


You cannot miss a visit to the Nina Ricci boutique on Avenue Montaigne.  Peter Copping, head designer, creates the most beautiful and creative marzipans for women today.  Maria Nina Ricci and her son Robert founded the line in 1932.  Also known for the well known fragrance, L'Air du Temps, Nina Ricci produces all that is feminine.


And the boutique (the only one in Paris and few throughout the world) provides the backdrop for the ultimate experience in the world that is female.  With warm shades of grey,white and gold, cozy settees and chairs welcome any visitor to sit and watch.  Explore.  Fantasize.

The Spring shoes were delicate and lady like.  I couldn't resist picking up a pair of the floral collection in the sandal version 

Strolling down Rue St. Honore, it is difficult to not peer in the window of the beautiful shop of Lydia Courteille.  The window alone is reason to stop and admire the incredible craftsmanship and exquisitely rare stones and jewels that she uses to crete the most unusual pieces of jewelry I have seen.

Her new collection, called Amazon, is an escape into a world unseen and magical.  Every piece is mesmerizing and intoxicating.

I was able to meet and speak with her, and she is talkative and engaging.  With influences from vintage to Mexico, her work is never dull and always stunning.  Walk on in and have a look for yourself - or better yet, try some art on.
These cuffs were a must try on!  Made of a rare green turquoise, emeralds and diamonds - exquisite!

It would be a crime to go all the way to Paris and not buy any children's clothes.  (you will be the favorite of any expecting or new mother!) The French know how to dress a child.  Girls or boys, they are the best at doing it.  I love the Lanvin junior collection and Tartine et Chocolat, but my go to is Bonpoint.

And be prepared to spend some time.  The little gems are tucked away in drawers in several different rooms all around the large boutique.  Though the price tag is not cheap, these children's clothes are special and will last for generations.  They go from play clothes to the finest of the finest.  And the color scheme is always soft and sweet.  For girls, they even add a touch of sparkle and gleam - which I know makes my 9 year old smile.  Not to mention they have an entire line for the early teen crowd that even I could squeeze into, so no more complaining that no one makes suitable and stylish clothes for 14 year old girls!!!  Stylish, chic and presentable.


You can't be in Paris without eating.  Or drinking.  Here are my favorites for a shopping weekend:

LUNCH:  For lunch while out and about, it can't get better than Cafe Marly.  Situated within the Louvre courtyard, Marly boasts one of the most beautiful views of Paris (for some, minus the Pyramids).  And the food is actually tasty.  And the beautiful people watching never stops...

SUPPER:  A Parisian friend turned me on to Petrelle for dinner.  This is one of those quiet, off the map, little restaurants with an excellent chef and eclectic decor.  One chef, one waiter, one dishwasher, one kitty, and one dog. Lots of candles, excellent food and about 10 tables finds you one of the best seats in Paris.  This is not the place to go with a loud group or a table of single ladies in search of a man.  This is as if you are in the chef's dining room, enjoying his art, his pets and his cooking.

Tucked away in Montmartre, Petrelle will not disappoint, but will only inspire, as it should.  Not to mention, best Sea Bass I've ever had, over beautiful organic root vegetables and a fish consommé.  This is one not to miss.

COCKTAILS: Shopping and museum going is exhausting.  Like a walk through the desert, an oasis is needed.  Head over to The Bar at the Hotel Crillon.  The cocktails are good, the wine is better, and in the later afternoon the piano is playing.  Plus I like the potato chips.

Built in 1758 by request of King Louis XV, this historical piece of architecture faces Place de la Concorde.  (once a part of the entire palace) Inside, enjoy the warmth and discreetness that is entirely Parisian.  Whether for tea or martini or wine, The Bar will never disappoint, and the mercury glass that adorns the bar will continue to entice.

Bienvenue a Paris!

1 comment:

karenbetty said...

Thank you for my little getaway to Paris today. The view from Petrelle is gorgeous. I loved the movie Midnight in Paris- The first 5 minutes or so without dialogue, just listening to music going down the streets of Paris and then on Versailles was such a thrill for me. Love your blog. I have never read blogs before not interested. Keep them coming, please.