Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

48 Hours in Paris

People often ask me for great places to go in Paris. I'm never sure what to tell them because I love everything about this city. However, if I only had a weekend to spend in this perfectly beautiful place, this is probably what I'd do...

I'd reserve a room at La Belle Juliette hotel.

Or La Maison Favart...

Or one of my all-time favourites, the Hotel du Pantheon.

I might even request a bouquet of flowers.

And perhaps a Champagne bottle or two. (Depending on who's with me on this mini Parisian honeymoon.)

Although if I wanted to save money, I'd just wait until I went to the Flower Market at Place Louis-Lepine on the Île de la Cité (Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux), which is open every day of the week and filled with glorious blooms. Browsing, of course, is free, but there's nothing like a small posy to enhance a Parisian hotel room.

To really begin the weekend in the Parisian spirit, I'd wander around the Left Bank and get reacquainted with the charming streets, just to remember how pretty the city is. I'd also head for the gorgeous quartier tucked away behind the Rue de Furstenberg, where some of the best design stores are clustered, like macarons.

And then I'd wander around the corner to Rue du Buci, for a coffee in a sidewalk cafe, and some serious people watching, for some free lessons in fabulous Parisian style.

Then I might head to either Catherine B, for some vintage Chanel (a girl can only dream)...

Or head across to the Right Bank and Hermès, for some of the best browsing in Paris. (Tip: If you can't afford an entire outfit, their fragrances are just as lovely.)

And while I was over that side of the city, I might make my way up to Montmartre, to the fabulous fabric shops of Marché Saint-Pierre on Rue Charles Nodier. Most people head for the biggest one, which is nicknamed (confusingly) Marché Saint-Pierre, but I prefer Reine and Moline. The choice of French silk taffetas is extraordinary. And the French linens are always lovely, too.

Then I'd head back to the hotel, put on some fresh lipstick and a cute frock, and head out to dinner somewhere on the Île Saint-Louis, just so I/we could walk across the Seine at the magic hour, when the pink twilight makes you feel as though you're in a movie.

Then, if we had some energy left and there was a spare taxi nearby, I'd suggest a late-night drink at The Champagne Bar of Dokhan's Trocadero hotel, one of the most beautiful rooms in the entire city.

The next morning, I'd wake up before the rest of Paris and wander the streets, because dawn is always one of the best time to take photographs of Parisian streets. 

Then I'd grab a freshly baked croissant at a traditional French bakery. (Tip: If you're not sure which one to go to, look for the busiest places.)

Or, if we wanted to splurge, we'd head to the Hotel Vendome for breakfast, because while the suites are well out of my price range the fancy brunches are thankfully still within budget!

Then I'd head to one of the many fantastic flea markets, before the crowds descended upon the best antiques. 

With lunchtime approaching, I'd head back to the Left Bank, for a wander around the Luxembourg Gardens and the neighbouring Fifth Arrondissement; both of which are always charming on a sun-filled Sunday. (Many shops and tourist attractions are closed on Sunday mornings, so these places are also great to fill in the time until the city wakes up  and/or open its doors.)

I'd find a cute place to have some lunch. 

Or just a macaron to see me through the afternoon...

And perhaps finish off the day with some shopping, seeing as Le Bon Marche is right nearby.

Before heading back to the hotel for a sound night's sleep!

{All photos mine, except the lovely map, Belle Juliette, Maison Favart, the exquisite Chanel drawing, Hermes, the YSL lipstick and the beautiful Burberry coat – all the good ones were taken by others, of course!}


  1. What a wonderful post - loved it ALL... Definitely going to file these ideas away... after all Paris is so close to me now! And totally agree re Hermes fragrances - my all time favourite - Rose Ikebana - delicious! X

  2. Gorgeous! I ache for Paris.......Rx

  3. Just delicious, Janelle. Ooh, where's my magic carpet so we can zoom over there now?! J x

  4. After reading your post I'm back "in the pink"! My favorite color combination, pink and orange, never fails to delight, and the Parisian backdrops are just the icing on the cake. G'day!!

  5. Caleche is my favourite perfume...

    I would love to see those flea markets. My grandmother... another Melbournian.. bought bits and pieces there in the 20s before she was married..I have some sculpture and other bits and pieces is that big , beautiful, gold mirror ?


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