I didn’t like Paris at all until recently. School trips here staying in obscure arrondissements taught me Paris was full of weird wig shops, there was French onion soup and not a lot else, and Colette was the only wonderful thing about it. Since opening The Hoxton, Paris, I’ve spent a lot more time there and my feelings have definitely changed. I’ve picked up recommendations from locals along the way and had the chance to properly find my feet a bit more. The thing about Paris is you need to know the good bits, and if you’re in the wrong arrondissement, well, you’re gonna know about it. So here are 6 fave spots to help get you on your way…
The Hoxton, Paris
Biased, yes, but I think a lot of people will agree in saying The Hoxton, Paris is a great base for a trip to Paris. Not only is it beautiful (I mean, the interiors are proper Pinterst GOALS), but it’s a great location. Slap bang in the middle of the 2nd arrondissement, you’re surrounded by cool restaurants and bars, and you’ve got lots of the sights in walking distance too, like Le Louvre, Palais Royale and Les Tuilleries. My absolute number one hotel choice in Paris.
du pain et des idées
You can’t come to Paris and not have croissants, and why have them at anywhere but the best? 20 mins walk from The Hoxton, Paris, Du Pains et Des Idées is one of the best bakeries in Paris and the perfect place for breakfast. I love their pain au chocolat and their famous pistachio escargot.
(Visiting at the weekend when it’s shut? Try Liberté instead— also delicious).
One of the chicest shops in Paris and right around the corner from The Hoxton, Paris, Sezane is quite the dream, and where you go to look like a Parisian. Clothes and accessories are gonna cost you a pretty penny (though, really, there are some gorgeous pieces) but it’s the stationery and gifting bits I love. Definitely worth a stop by.
Want to be well fed? Head to Popolare. Hands down one of my favourite restaurants in Paris (and all of the locals’ too, there’s always a queue), Popolare is an Italian restaurant with the best food and guaranteed good time vibe. It’s big and has a great buzz whatever time of day. Queuing aside, I swear you’ll have nothing bad to say about it. Don’t miss the burrata nor the truffle pasta — YUM.
Yes, there are plenty of places to get coffee in Paris but few of them are as impossibly cool as Cafe Kitsuné — the teeny cafe from the chic French brand Kitsune. Located within Palais Royale, you can grab a coffee (or an iced matcha latte) before wandering into the courtyard and onto Le Louvre.
l’éclair de génie
Paris pretty much runs on sugar, and no better place to lap it up than at L’Éclair de Génie: the BEST eclairs in Paris. Admire them, buy them to eat, buy them to take home.
Now that Colette has closed (collective sob), Merci has to be in the runnings for the coolest concept store in Paris. More than just the Instagram-famous Mini outside, it’s stocks the most gorgeous homewares, accessories and gifts. You won’t leave empty handed.