The Only Places to Eat and Shop in Paris (According to This Sydney Influencer)
Sure, Paris has earned quite the reputation for being the city of love, but thanks to the French-girl charm that seems to have infatuated the globe, Paris not only prides itself on being a honeymoon destination, but also a cultural melting pot, brimming with places to eat, stay and shop at. I mean, who can resist a decadent croissant on at a Parisian café? Not us. So when we found out that INF / Network member, and influencer, Rebecca Jobson was taking a girls trip, we made sure she took note of the best places she visited. One look at her pictures proved she had a dream trip, and we must say, she definitely nailed French-girl dressing perfectly. Read on for Jobson's favourite activities that will ensure a good time.
Galleries Lafayette: This is a huge department store that includes levels and levels of designer clothing. Each designer has their own mini-store under the one roof. I loved the amazing stained glass sphere roof feature and the women and men have separate buildings.
La Bonmach: Also a department store but a bit more curated and a lot quieter than the Galleries Lafayette. Each designer has their own mini store within the big department store. They have mens, womens, children’s and homewares all under the one roof. They also have cafes, a bar and little do it yourself craft workshops in between the stores.
St Honorè Street: Two words: Designer heaven. A popular street in the first district that is littered with designer stores. Everything from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Chloe, Sandro, E.Goyard, Acne. You name it, its on this street. Consider it like the ultimate girls day out, if you're ready to strut the streets and splash some cash.
Kiliwatch: A french vintage paradise. Walls are filled with incredible vintage items varying from diamond-in-the-rough vintage designer finds to cheaper vintage gems. You can spend hours here trawling their garments and they have a range of women's and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories.
Merci: Merci is one of the hot spots on the fashion It girl's lists and for good reason. It's a perfectly curated store, with Parisian and internationally well known brands. Merci is somewhere that you have to add to your hit list. It features a dome full of high-end brands on the bottom level, with only two people allowed to enter the dome at a time, how about that for exclusive!
Airbnb: We had quite a big group of girls on this trip, so we decided to book an Airbnb apartment so we could all be together. It was easy to find one, and we found a quintessential Parisian apartment.
Hotel Peninsula: If you’re going to make it all the way to Paris, you may as well save your pennies and live it up at a stunning hotel like the Peninsula. There was a gigantic bed that is as close as you can get to a cloud. I could have slept for days in there, and the wardrobe is bigger than most french apartments in their entirety. The hotel is also equipped with world class restaurants L’Oiseau Blanc, and Le Lobby so you barely even need to leave the premises. The Peninsula is located within a couple of minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower, perfect for a little stroll to get your morning caffeine fix.
Hôtel Ritz Paris: If you’re in the mood to go all out and live like Jay-Z and Beyoncé, then The Ritz is a must for your accommodation needs. It's everything that you could possibly dream of and more. Stunning golden-lit hallways with a slight Peruvian luxury touch everywhere you look. Definitely on the pricier side of things, but it's worth it. You feel like an absolute queen the moment you step through the doors. The perfect place for a little celebrity spotting. If you stay here you must go to The Bar Hemingway (if you can manage to get a seat that is). It's a little bar that seats around 20-30 people and it’s the bar where Hemingway and other famous authors used to go and drink whiskey in the '20s.
La Derrière: One can only assume that this restaurant is the place where the French “cool kids” go. Such an amazing vibe: Mismatched furniture, good music and a ping-pong table in the middle of the restaurant. The venue is set in an old house and what was once a bedroom is now a secret dining room that is themed to perfection. The French menu is worth salivating for and I managed to sample one or two (read: 10) of their margaritas, and from what I can remember, they were delicious.
L’Oiseau Blanc: This incredible fine dining restaurant was one for the memory books. Located on the top level of the Peninsula hotel, L’Oiseau Blanc has a wonderful glasshouse feeling with incredible views of the Eiffel Tower while you eat. I felt familiar with my surroundings when I arrived because I’ve seen it before, as it was featured in one of the Sex and the City episodes when Carrie moves to Paris. Safe to say my SATC-watching teenage years were all flowing back in to memory, and it was a dream come true to dine there. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, I hope that you get to sample the truffle risotto as a starter. If its on the menu, don’t go past it. It's heaven.
Pho 14: Not every meal you eat in Paris has to be expensive. One rainy day we stumble into a crowd favourite, Pho 14. A bit of a drive, but totally worth it! Backed by the New York Times, you can easily find this restaurant by the line out the front. Don’t be confused by its neighbours Pho 22 and Pho 12, because 14 is the one to go to with its world famous Pho noodle soups and spring rolls.
Hôtel Costes: Without sounding like a complete Kardashian-loving, 16-year-old, someone told me that Kim flew all the way to Paris while she was pregnant because she was craving the cheesecake from Hôtel Costes. How can you not sample somewhere with a reputation like that? It didn’t disappoint! I even ate a cheesecake for breakfast one morning. Don’t judge me, I had eggs first, and i was on holidays, so everything goes out the window. Right? Their regular menu is just as good. The burrata and the crab salad are divine. This is also my absolute favourite people-spotting places in Paris. It has a courtyard setting with the outside feels, but the warmth of the closed-in glass roof is everything you want on a cold and frosty Paris day.
La Droguerie: In a quiet, little alley way in Le Morais, lies a fabulously famous little hole-in-the-wall shop that has (arguably) Paris’ best crepes. The hardest part is trying to pick a time of day where the line in the shortest. And then choosing between savoury or sweet. Hint: I went both.
The Crazy Horse: We have all heard of the Moulin Rouge, and the crazy horse is more of an understated, modern version of that. I’d probably say it's a bit more on the sexy side and less theatrical, but amazing in its own right. We sat down at the front, ordered way too much champagne, and tried to keep some of the moves in the memory book for when we got home to the boyfriends and husbands. Such a fun girls night out!
The Bar Hemingway: I slightly touched on this bar in the "stay" section as it is tucked away in the back of the Ritz Hotel. It can be extremely difficult to get a seat, unless you have a contact, are Gigi Hadid, or are willing to wait hours. Not a very good one for a big group, as it only seats around 20-30 guests. We managed to sneak away from the group for a sneaky drink in between shops, and it was incredible. An amazing old-bar feel to it, it really transports you back into the '20s when it was famous for having Hemingway and other incredible writers, sit and drink whiskey when they had writers block.
L’Arc: If your love for Drake is as big as mine, you have to go to L’Arc for a night out while you are in Paris. Table service and a huge VIP section behind the DJ is what you’ll find here, and hours upon hours of the best hip-hop music that your ears have ever heard. My girlfriends danced until we could dance no more and quickly made it home before the sun came up. Now that's the sign of a good night.
Musée d'Orsay: One of the perks of being in Paris is being in arm's reach of so many incredible museums and art exhibitions. The Musée d'Orsay is one of my favourites because it's much quieter than the usual suspects like the Louvre. All amazing in their own right of course, but if you’re after a less touristy attraction, I would go to this museum for all your art exhibition needs.