Saturday, December 05, 2009

SUCH A PERFECT DAY...

Ah, what would be my perfect day in Paris...This year I have managed a paltry two and a half days in my favourite city, so my perfect day would involve a healthy dose of all those things I always like to do in Paris, with a few new things thrown in. Actually, if you've been reading this blog long enough you could probably write a post about my perfect day in Paris yourselves, and I could just sit here dreaming about it.

The perfect winter's day in Paris would be cold, but dry and sunny. I would start with a filling breakfast at Cafe Charlot, which is a bit of a cliche perhaps. But I love how lively it is - how the term people watching will usually include marveling at how say, Clemence Poesy seems to be permanently backlit, glowing away unassumingly as she chats to a friend. The food's not bad either - a proper breakfast/brunch affair at weekends.

Then, out into rue de Bretagne, which wakes up earlier than the rest of the area. You can't not have a mooch around the Marche des Enfants Rouges, stopping for a coffee at L'Estaminet or the Italian and perhaps a crepe from one of the market stalls. By this time Photographie will be open, so a quick flick through thousands of old photos of other people's families.

quiet at marche des enfants rouges


Now follows the usual march through the boutiques of the Haut Marais. Except today, oh didn't I mention, I have a budget of 1000 euros; so instead of wistfully stroking the garments at Isabel Marant in rue Saintonge I may actually buy one. A fevered circuit of boutiques at breakneck speed will now include: The Ofr art bookshop and 213, Surface to Air, then all the usual suspects: APC and Vanessa Bruno in rue Vieille du Temple, AB33 in rue Charlot and Hoses shoe shop and La Galerie de l'Instant in rue du Poitou where I've been threatening to buy an original photograph of Jane Birkin for the past three years. A little detour to look at vintage magazines in Les Archives de la Presse, then a stroll towards the Place des Vosges, calling in on the charming M. Bernard Sylvain to see if he can make me a little rose gold ring, to wear with the other ring he made me.


Then, to Merci, where again I threaten to buy something instead of just admiring the merchandise. Phew. We'll stop for a coffee in the bookshop cafe here as well, to catch our breath.

It's almost lunchtime and we haven't even said hello to the Seine yet. Time to stroll down either of my favourite streets - rue St Paul or rue du Pont Louis Philippe and onto the Ile Saint Louis. Here I like to indulge in what I call river pootling. This is where you wander along, half wondering where Johnny Depp's house is, sit down by the water and generally have a breather, taking in the beauty all around you. Then a stroll along the river and back over it to Le Fumoir for lunch. {Update: Le Fumoir has gone horribly downhill since this was written - don't go there.} First though, there are some friends we need to visit at Vilmorin on the quai de la Megisserie. All cute, all adorable? Good.

kittens vilmorin

A nice relaxing lunch in the dark, cosy confines of Le Fumoir - the perfect place for a winter lunch. I have no idea if jerusalem artichokes are in season, but this is my perfect day so they have creme of artichoke soup on the menu.

All we've done so far is shop and eat and walk. Sounds about right, but after lunch we hit the Madeleine Vionnet exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. After the exhibition and perusing the fantastic bookstore there, it's a quick stroll around the Jardin du Palais Royal, finally summoning the courage to try something on at Didier Ludot, perhaps buying a pair of shoes at Pierre Hardy. Now, perfume. I'm torn because at Shiseido you can get a scent in a huge flacon with your initials on, which is pretty amazing.

Palais Royal
didier ludot

But I am loyal to Frederic Malle perfumes, so maybe we'll just pop down there, before crossing the Jardin des Tuileries and meandering our way across the river onto the left bank. A nice stroll along certain streets looking in antique shop windows, taking in the atmosphere, until we arrive at Pierre Herme.

macarons

Now, we will attempt to recreate the perfect day when I bought a box of macarons there and went to eat them in the Jardins du Luxembourg. Writing this I realise that in Paris, it's not so much the destination as the journey itself. It's the walking between, taking the routes on favourite streets. Now, dusk is falling early and we have to get to the Musee Rodin before they close the garden at 5pm.

Now we're exhausted from all the walking. As money isn't an issue today we do something I never do in Paris: take a cab. We need to get ready for the evening. But first I'm going to have a massage at Les Bains du Marais. I change into my new Isabel Marant dress and Pierre Hardy heels and on the way out, passing a gallery, stumble on a vernissage which we politely gatecrash. Now we take an apero at...the Hemingway bar in the Ritz hotel. Continuing the old school theme, we'll have dinner at Le Voltaire, (whose windows I've only ever peered through) and then we'll have a cocktail or two at Curio Parlor. High on Paris and not wanting to end the night, we Velib it in heels back to our lodgings to sleep. Goodnight Paris. xxx

the seine at night la derniere nuit

(I made a wish with my previous post and hours later received an email inviting me to enter a competition held by the Regional Tourism Committee of Paris Ile-de-France for their new campaign “Toi, moi et Paris" - to show Le Nouveau Paris. The prize is either a return Eurostar ticket, or if one is very, very lucky a weekend in Paris. I had to write a post detailing what my perfect weekend in Paris would be. I chose to fit it all into one day - the Sunday would be spent recovering at Rose Bakery with some carrot cake and meandering round doing only spontaneous things. That is after all, the best way to enjoy Paris.)

(My English keyboard apologises to France for the lack of accents on many of the words in this post.)


{All photos are mine: Marche des Enfants Rouges, Bernard Sylvain, Palais Royal/Didier Ludot, kittens at Vilmorin, Pierre Herme macarons, Paris at night.}

13 comments:

If Jane said...

(i start clapping..i stand up and continue clapping!!!) ooooh marvelous!!!
oh and i made a wish as well...similiar i am sure!...mais no mail for me! BUT best of luck!

anddddd...this would have been my perfect day more or less...BUT you could have met me at the end of the day at "chez prune"...and i would have shown you what i bought (with the same budget)..oh and romain duris would have called to say 'that he would be a bit late'..;)) le purr!

Toni said...

Lovely! Now I know what to do when I visit Paris ;)

nina said...

you just made me even MORE homesick for Paris. and also hungry!

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

I feel so guilty, if I was really altruistic I would have spent my €1000 on freeing a kitten from life behind glass.

nancy - of course Romain is accompanying moi the whole day, goes without saying...

Iheartfashion said...

Sounds just about perfect! I've just come back and I miss it already. Pierre Herme macarons are the best. And rue St Paul is one of my favorite streets; love the bookshop there. Le Fumoir, quai de la messagerie pet shops.....sigh.

If Jane said...

heheheh!!! (and i want to see the film with charlotte...even though it has't gotten good reviews...)
yeah i would have freed the kittens as well...;))

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

If Jane - you mean, Charlotte who switched on the Champs Elysee Christmas lights? How inadequate do we feel about our cities now? (Jim Carrey did London's)

Kelly said...

I love imagining what I would do in a city if money wasn't an object! My trip to Paris involved a whole lot of window shopping but even that was pretty great. Love your blog by the way.

Juliet said...

That's just perfect! Now I miss Paris even more!

juliet xxx

miss milki said...

It sounds wonderful! Now I'm longing for a weekend in Paris too! :)

Tory - Hip Paris said...

Hi Claire. Great post! So many of our favorite places! And thanks so much for linking to our Curio Parlor post.

the jackdaw said...

aiii, I just got back from a blissful, if hectic weekend, in paris - struggling through withdrawal and knew your blog would hit the spot in a wee way :) lovely recap and already aching to go back...

Anonymous said...

I left Paris two days ago and am homesick now...those macaroons and those little black dresses at Didier Ludot in the Palais Royal would consume my one thousand Euros...
Cara