What is it about Paris? In short, everything! The romance, the style, the rich history and Gallic charm are just a few things to love about the City of Lights. No other city has ever been the inspiration for so many stories, dreams and works of art. To put it simply, Paris is both timeless and enchanting. I recently returned from another fabulous trip, and I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite things. - Carla
The candle store, Cire Trudon has a history that dates back to 1643, when a salesman named Claude Trudon became the owner of a store on the Rue Saint-Honoré. Trudon was a grocer but also a wax maker, and he supplied his customers with candles to light their homes and their local parish. The Trudon company supplied the Palace of Versailles until the very end of the Monarchy, and today they have stores throughout the world. Check out my online jewelry store here.
Along with their famous candles, the boutique on the Rue de Seine in the 6th arrondissement has just started scouting for and selling amazing antique furniture and home accessories. Their curated selection is as alluring as their candle scents!
Organic Farmer’s Market
There’s nothing like a good Farmer’s Market, and Paris has plenty. My pick is the organic market that meets on Sundays at the intersection of the Rue du Cherche-Midi and the Rue d’Assas in the 6th arrondissement. The selection of fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese and much more is a delight for the eyes! Go with an appetite and a large straw market basket!
The Luxembourg Garden, or Jardin du Luxembourg, is also located in the 6th. This is one of my all-time favorite strolls in the area. The garden is known for its gorgeous flowers, hidden fountains and people watching. There’s a large playground and a vintage carousel for families as well as free musical performances in the gazebo. Not to be missed: the puppet show, Les Guignoles, in the upper park. Don’t forget the cotton candy (barbe a papa) on your way out!
Astier de Villatte
No trip to Paris is complete without shopping for ceramics at Astier de Villatte on the Rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st arrondissement. Their 18th century inspired white ceramics are entirely made by hand in Paris in a workshop historically belonging to Napoleon’s silversmith. The boutique itself inspires dreams and setting a table with the dishes transports you to another time and place.
The Cligancourt Flea Market
This is the largest Paris market and one of the best shopping resources in the world. In a city known worldwide for its flea markets, that’s saying a lot! You might have to dedicate an entire weekend to browsing and searching, but you’ll find authentic, one-of-a-kind treasures. Start on the rue des Rosiers and explore all the specialty markets that run off of it. Don’t miss the Marché Serpette, one of my favorites!
This photo was taken at the new Left Bank Hermes store on the Rue de Sevres in the 6th. The building is a design wonder (as you can see!), and the 30 seat balcony cafe is called “Le Plongeoir.” “Plongeoir” means diving board in English, and this is a perfect name since the building used to house an indoor pool.
Cafe La Palette
This café is one of my favorite stops in the 6th for lunch or a glass of champagne. It is rich with history as it was frequented by artists Cezanne and Picasso, and later by Ernest Hemingway. If you can get a seat on the terrace, you’ll be able to observe the happenings on the rue du Seine. You can never go wrong with the plat du jour or a glass of rosé Champagne!
Palais Royal Arcades and Gardens
Located in the 1st arrondissement, this is a great spot for lunch, shopping, and people watching. Lunch at Villalys or Bistro Valois never fails to impress. Don’t miss the famous perfumer, Serge Lutens!
In the 1800s, Paris was full of covered passages. Only about two dozen remain, and Galerie Vero-Dodat is one of the most beautiful. You’ll find it near the Palais Royal in the 1st, and it’s a great place to shop specialty boutiques including my favorite makeup brand, By Terry.
Marche des Enfants Rouges
This is the oldest covered food market in Paris, and is perfect for enjoying a casual lunch. Located in the historic Marais district, there are over 20 food stands with culinary delights from around the world. The Picasso museum is nearby in case you have an appetite for art as well!
Apothecary Buly 1803
This chic boutique in the 6th arrondissement is inspired by the famed 18th century perfumer Jean-Vincent Bully. This is the place to go for unique potions, fragrance, lotions, soaps and accessories, including unique gold rings for women. The new concoctions include natural ingredients, all free from parabens and silicones. The Al Kassir soap is my favorite!
This is my newest discovery, a leather accessories boutique in the 6th featuring the work of Peggy Huynh Kinh. She was once the Artistic Director for Madame Gres, Balmain and Celine as well as Creative Director for Cartier, and has playfully rebranded herself to launch this label. This is my favorite new luxury brand!
There truly is no place quite like Paris. It feeds the souls of artists, historians, and any lover of beauty. You’ll find plenty of French inspired pieces in our collections, all with their own special American influence.
Have you visited the City of Lights? What are your favorite Paris picks?