On a recent trip to Champagne, I just had to stop in Paris. Again. I can never quite get enough of this city. Each time I visit, I feel as though I need just a few more days to walk the streets, in hopes of charting new territory. The architecture, the timeless landmarks, the restaurants, the trendy new spots … everything is inspiring, and pleases me no end! Was there ever a city so full of life as the City of Light?
Every major centre has its must-sees, and Paris is certainly no exception. On my list are the Musée Rodin, where I always allow time to stroll the gardens. Afterwards, a drink at Café Marly, in front of the Louvre, is a must. I love walking the banks of the Seine and lunching at Monsieur Bleu, eating on the terrace to enjoy the fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower. The Champs-Élysées, Place de l’Opéra, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Île Saint-Louis, the coffee and toasted baguette at Café de Flore that reminds me of my good friend Richard …this is Paris to me.
Paris, of course, means shopping. I always find time for Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and a visit to one of the great designer shops is another trip down memory lane. It’s hard to resist a little treat.
This last visit provided an opportunity to stay at the Saint James Paris Hotel. Built on the site of the city’s first aerodrome, converted into a residence for talented but underprivileged students, it is now a luxury hotel like none other. It’s hard to know where to begin. The hot-air balloon theme? The amazing number of books in the bar library? The rooms and suites, individually decorated in a style both bold and chic? The whole is an unforgettable, uniquely Parisian experience. Thank you to Nathalie Guilbert, of Groupe Voyage VP, for the recommendation.
It was the hotel concierge who suggested we eat at (V)ivre, near Place de l’Opéra. The brainchild of Caroline Savoy, daughter of threestar Michelin chef Guy Savoy, (V)ivre was opened following the tragic events that shook the city in November 2015. Caroline is a most likeable person, and had a few recommendations of her own, such as La Régalade and Les Bouquinistes, which we promised to try. All three turned out to be remarkable dining experiences, with generous portions of delicious food in the friendliest of atmospheres. No matter the season, Paris is a little like a sister whom you can’t wait to see—the one you appreciate a little more every time you meet.