L’Ile St Louis ~ Le Marais ~ Le Haut Marais …What a day !

Dear friends and clients ,

Already 4 weeks that our shop has its doors closed to the public …it is still surreal but we have been able to stay in touch via our social medias , emails , shipped birthday gifts and care packages to loved ones , have put in place a curbside pick up hotline on my cell ( 619 518 0401 ) and have received lots of heart warming support by our tight community of long time customers . It is overwhelming to feel so much love and we are forever grateful .  In the meantime I will try to take you away from it all with this post ….lets walk and discover the hippest neighborhoods of Paris together. IMG_0798 (Large)Sunrise from our room …traffic is already heavy as people cannot rely on public transportation and so can’t we . We’ll start with a nice breakfast at the hotel looking at Notre Dame before to head out  . This hotel location has really been the best in these conditions , we can just step outside and stroll along the Seine . All of Paris is within reach !

Notre Dame reconstruction seems to be on the way IMG_3151 (Large)We are crossing onto l’Ile Saint Louis oh so well known for its ice cream shop “Berthillon” but it is no weather for that right now and this little island has a lot more to offer ! IMG_3152 (Large)We have just put a foot on the island and here is Alice’s favorite …Stationary ! IMG_3154 (Large)I recognize some lines we sell and find a new one I love …reminds me of Rifle Papers with an “Anthropologie” bohemian look …

How cool is this “fan” journal ! So you can  write in secret …

IMG_3155 (Large)Fun old fashion surprise gift pouches IMG_3158 (Large)There is even a Youth Hostel on the Ile and not so shabby too  !

Around the corner some young high school kids are getting ready for some protest . In France you learn early to barricade and fight …it’s in your blood , our national anthem!

2nd on Alice’s list of favorites : Antique shops . L’Ile St Louis is also well know for that . You just wander and find hidden squares with shops everywhere but a whole remodel is going on right now , lots and lots of construction witch will make for an even prettier re-opening of all those shops . http://www.levillagesaintpaul.com/index-en.html

The ones we found open were well curated and so very French ! IMG_3170 (Large)IMG_3173 (Large)Au Petit Bonheur La Chance …Try out your chance …you may be lucky ! http://aupetitbonheurlachance.fr/

IMG_3181 (Large)IMG_3180 (Large)La Mâle d’Effeenne concept store , the concept of 2 very creative minds : clothes, jewelry, home accessories , part Couture , part steampunk , eclectic and probably the most unique, stylish beautiful shop we came across ( it was still closed when we walked by so google them to see photos of what’s hiding inside )  http://www.lamaledeffeenne.com/ IMG_3185 (Large)One bridge crossing and we are stepping into the Marais . Fashionable Le Marais …little brother of New York  SoHo,  AKA  SoMa ( South Marais ) versus even more hip Haut Marais  / NorMa ( Northern Marais ) often compared to Nolita in NYC …you already get the picture !IMG_3195 (Edited) (Large)And here it is …my new favorite : combo chocolatier and patisserie , Japanese flavors and French know how !!! Never heard of them but it was love at first sight . You read about my love for Aoki patisserie in Day 1 blog post in Paris but this is the new updated and improved version of a French/Japanese patisserie . It has all the attention to details and finesse without the feeling of being overly fancy … totally approachable . You just want to eat that delicious cake ! IMG_0749 (Large)

http://les-trois-chocolats-paris.com/IMG_0751 (Large)Yuzu lemon , Hojicha (roasted green tea ) , Sakura ( cherry blossom ) , shiso ( a leaf with very unique flavor used like cilantro garnish ) wasabi ?? so many discoveries to be made , if this does not excite your taste buds ?!IMG_3189 (Large)I picked a bunch of chocolates for the road but I could seriously have bought the whole store ! How about these matcha “almond tuiles” . Tuiles are my mom’s specialty …no shop in Provence made better ones than hers …and she taught me how to …I just have to blend some matcha in mine now … Leaving inspired !

IMG_3196 (Edited) (Large)Popelini : I am not sure their Cream puffs are fabulous but the display was very clever and fun! IMG_3197 (Large)We pass the elegant Place des Vosges and make our way up . Shops are getting interesting , more eclectic  not that we would buy one of those shirts for our husbands but patterns , bow ties and old fashioned men’s underwear seams to be the new hype ! IMG_3199 (Large)IMG_3200 (Large)

Made in France is also a big trend ! There is a “carte Francaise” that link all the small businesses who pledge to make everything in France to support french craftsmanship and old manufactures on the verge of closing . I will support France’s underwear industry and will buy a very well made old fashioned “slip” for my Valentine …after all why not ?!

Even the packaging is really well made ! But are American men ready to spend $40 for a brief to have ” La classe ” even under their jeans  ??

https://www.leslipfrancais.ch/fr/nouvelle-collection-401

Cute window ! Daddy Chick Mommy Chick  Mini Chick …

IMG_3246 (Large)Just 5 mns away from the newly re opened  Picasso Museum is Breizh Cafe  . Whether you want a traditional crepe , galette or try one of their creative take on a crepe ( this Breton French man is married to a Japanese women and they had this idea of crepes like sushi rolls ) No matter what , the products are authentic and I think  a great place to have a crepe in Paris either French or Japanese way   https://breizhcafe.com/fr/la-crepe-autrement-crepes-galettes-bretonnes-creperie-paris-saint-malo-cancale-tokyo/.

Slowly but surely we are moving into the Haut Marais and you can tell . La rue du Pont aux Choux is where hip is starting to take shape . All the sudden you have an “appointment only ” showroom ;  “Heureux les Curieux” a concept gallery that represent a new designer or artist every month   http://www.heureuxlescurieux.com/  We miss the Made in France expo by a week but there is always something unique to see. Next door is an old shoe shop ” Cordonnerie” transformed into a coffee shop , a “Boulangerie” now a secret Boutique Hotel  also designed by Christian Lacroix as the matter of fact http://www.hotelpetitmoulinparis.com/en/   and also what looks like the hottest place to eat some fried chicken Japanese curry bowls just by checking out the line of hipsters waiting … https://www.timeout.com/paris/en/restaurants/pontochoux

IMG_3249 (Edited) (Large)IMG_3204 (Large)Merci is THE concept store that started it all , where trends have been made , where you see what’s in now , what’s cool . Despite having diluted the concept and becoming a bit more commercial due to its success , it remains a must go to .IMG_0831 (Large)IMG_3211 (Large)

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IMG_3222 (Large)IMG_3226 (Large)My dream coffee shop ~ library

IMG_3210 (Edited) (Large)Recommended by the locals we keep walking north and encounter more professional showrooms where new up and coming designers are looking at making it in Paris fashion scene . IMG_3247 (Large)But what made the Haut Marais a cultural destination is “le Carreau du Temple”. Once a  semi-abandoned 19th-century covered market has now found new life as a beautifully redesigned center for exhibitions, performances, sports, exercise, eating, drinking, and people-watching ! And it just happened that there is a fashion show about to open …watching people waiting to attend the event is just as much fun as visiting the hall itself but I am too shy to take photos even though they all look editorial ready ! IMG_3242 (Large)IMG_3241 (Large)We figured out how to find a very coveted clean public bathroom without having to drink more or eat more … Public Administration Buildings ! City Hall , Libraries all have really nice ones and nobody goes there . We stop at the corner library which also offered a nice respite for our tired feet .IMG_3256 (Large)Now we are on the hunt for one more specialty shop …a notion store because we both love to sew and get into craft projects of all kinds . Google shows one so we decide to give it a shot even though it had to take us back near the Opera . We sure did not regret… what a find !! Ultramod opened up here in 1832 and not much has changed . We are like kids in a candy shop but only have 15mns before they are closing for the day …IMG_3259 (Large)IMG_3267 (Large)

Actually there are 2 shops on each side of the street , the 2nd is all about hat making !

IMG_3263 (Large)IMG_3264 (Large)IMG_3260 (Large)Here is a link to an article with the whole story about this piece of France Fashion history . https://www.rebeccadevaney.ie/blog/2019/6/3/ultramod-the-oldest-haberdashery-in-paris IMG_3270 (Large)Galerie Vivienne is a covered street or “passage” like you find all over Paris . This is one of the prettiest with cute shops like Mad Et Len selling my ultimate favorite pot pourri if you like deep earthy scents .IMG_3271 (Large)

IMG_3273 (Large)You probably know of the Jardin du Palais Royal right by Le Louvre Museum because of its “Instagrammable” striped columns courtyard . Yes this is the way some people travel …in search of Instagram spots !!  I always walked through the Jardin  not the covered alley surrounding the garden but at night only the Gallerie is open to foot traffic witch led to more discoveries . This is where the famous perfume creator Serge Lutens perfume house is …mysterious and enchanting …https://www.sergelutens.com/us/ IMG_3276 (Large)And next door a costume jewelry boutique IMG_3278 (Large)IMG_3277 (Large)It’s been one of those extra long and exciting day and as we make our walk back across the bridge we know there is more excitement to come with dinner at this little Bistro On L’ile St Louis …We eat in one of their sister restaurants the day before …but this one is a step up ! Normally we would have had to make a reservation , specially for a Friday night , but the transportation strikes have hit restaurants hard …people just try to get back home somehow and eating out is not on the schedule . Tonight we will eat at “Les Fous de l’Ile ” IMG_3358 (Large)Bistronomy is an etymological blend of “bistro” and “gastronomy”  , a new breed of bistros run by creative young chefs with formidable haute cuisine training  serving quality food at gentle prices instead of reaching for Michelin stars. Tonight will be all this and more . A casual cozy setting , tight seating so you can start conversation with the eater next to you ,wonderful food for an unbeatable price compare to anyplace in San Diego . For the 2 of us , the bill came up to 66E tax and tip included  , that is barely $75 US . OK we did not drink wine just bottled water but still…I would drive miles for the same meal here !

https://www.lesfousdelile.com/en/

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Ossau Irati sheep milk cheese with citrus cream, shaved persimon and tangerine

Dessert was incredible as well !

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Made to order Napoleon with home made ice cream

The place is filled with locals and our only wish is to eat tomorrow at their other sister restaurant just a 10mns walk from our hotel too . Le Christine is more Gastro than Bistro , a casual elegant place witch 3 course menu will cost you 46E /$50  taxes and tip included  Still a Steal !  https://www.restaurantlechristine.com/en/  Eating in Paris has been surprisingly reasonable if you avoid the tourist traps or tourist places in general …ask your hotel always and people in surrounding shops , they know best !

Tomorrow is a big day . We are going to Maison & Objet , one of the largest and most influential home and gift show in Europe …but this will be an other post on its own !

Merci for reading ! Until next post please Stay Safe and Stay Home !

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