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Paris in a Nutshell

by habituallychic

06 . 05 . 13
I am definitely planning a few longer posts on some of the things I did in Paris like my trip to BETC, the brocante de la rue Bretagne, and the Musée Nissim de Camondo but I thought it might be fun to first give you a overview of my  quick trip. I pretty much hit the ground running after I arrived on Thursday and didn’t stop until I sat down on the plane Sunday afternoon. 

I stayed at the Hotel Bel Ami in the 6th arrondissement of SaintGermaindesPrés and the location could not have been better although the hotel was a bit modern for my taste.  My first stop was to Ladurée on rue Bonaparte to pick up some macarons before having lunch across the street at Le Pré aux Clercs.   It’s fun to people watch at Café de Flore but the food isn’t great so I prefer to actually eat elsewhere in Paris.

After lunch, I took a walk over to the Seine.  It rained off an on all day but Paris wouldn’t be Paris without grey cloudy skies. 

The reason I love staying in Saint Germain are all the charming bookshops and galleries.  Even if you can’t afford anything, you can be inspired just by looking. 

I always say that New York has pockets of pretty while Paris is one of the most all over beautiful cities in the world. The Musée de la Monnaie (Currency Museum) is one of my favorite buildings in Saint Germain. After a quick dinner, it was back to my hotel to rest up for my big day on Friday. 

The whole reason for my trip to Paris was to visit the future home of BETC, France’s largest advertising agency, in Pantin, which has been described as the Brooklyn of Paris. Chanel and Hermès have already moved some of their divisions into the area because space is scare in Paris. 

I also toured the current office of BETC and interviewed its founder Rémi Babinet.  I’ll have more on this in another post but the photo above was taken from their roof.  Not too shabby.  

While I traveled to Paris alone, I wasn’t actually alone for long.  Before I left, Wayne Pate emailed me to let me know that he and his wife, fashion designer Rebecca Taylor, were also leaving that night for Paris. They were staying just a few blocks away at L’Hotel (this is his instagram pic) which was were I was supposed to stay but they were booked.  It is one of the most charming hotels and where I met up with them for champagne Friday night. 

If someone displayed flowers like this outside their door in New York, they’d probably be stolen within minutes. 

The Louvre never ceases to amaze me both inside and out.  

I decided to brave the crowds Friday night at the Louvre to check out a few works I still needed to see and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that packed. 

The Winged Victory of Samothrace is always awe inspiring.

I was treated to a beautiful sunset in Paris Friday night as I walked back to Saint Germain.  Le sigh. 

On Saturday, I had plans to finally visit Merci in the Marais before meeting up with architect and perfumer Carlos Huber who you might know from my book Creativity at Work.  I must say that I was disappointed by the merchandise in Merci and that the little red car was gone.  There is another new store nearby called The Broken Arm that I much preferred.  It’s a little fresher and cooler and has a cute cafe attached. 

I wondered what I was going to do with myself for two hours until I was to meet up with Carlos.  Luckily, the Travel Gods smiled on me and I walked right into the twice annual Brocante de la rue de Bretagne.  It happens each year during the first weekend in June and last weekend in November.  I will definitely be posting more photos in another post.  

Carlos took me to visit, Jardin de France, a shop in the Marais that carry his perfume Arquiste.  Carlos is in Paris to meet with his agent and all the stores that carry his perfume.  If you are missing my instagram pics of Paris, I highly recommend following Carlos at @arquistecarlos since he will be there for almost another month.  Talk about jealous! 

While with Carlos, we shopped some more of the brocante where the sellers around the Square de Temple had even more amazing items for sale.  I picked up this complete map of Paris from 1889 for only 15 euros! 

While at the brocante, Carlos mentioned that his friend Vahram Muratyan who wrote the book Paris Versus New York was in the area so we met up with him.  I bought his smaller book and just received the larger version as a gift along with an invitation to a Cartier dinner tomorrow night so meeting him was a huge treat! He also has a great instagram pics of Paris at @parisvsnyc.

La Madeline church is always a beautiful sight when you visit the 8th arrondissment. 


I left Carlos and the group at a cafe so I could hit some stores to buy gifts before they closed. Most everyone in Paris is closed on Sundays so I had to fit everything in on Saturday. 

Walked past a group of men playing boule in the Tuileries, another of my favorite places in Paris. 

I would happily move to Paris just for the architecture. 

Bicycles are the main mode of transportation for may in Paris.  How cute is he?! 

I had to stop into the Dries Van Noten store as well.  It’s beyond chic. 

The Pont Alexandre never ceases to amaze. 

Saturday night found me at the old school restaurant Marius et Janette to meet a new blog friend Emmanuelle Rio who grew up in Paris but now lives in London.  She has a great online home site Belgrave Place that you should definitely check out. 

Sunday morning had me traveling to the 8th arrondissement to meet up with Carlos Huber to visit the Musée Nissim de Camondo   On the way, my taxi drove past the Musee d’Orsay that had a huge line out front.  Meanwhile, Carlos and I had practically had the Musee Camondo to ourselves.  

I am planning a separate post just on the Musée Nissim de Camondo and I highly recommend visiting it if you haven’t already. 

Carlos was staying in an apartment of some friends nearby so I went to check it out. 

The portes of Paris never get old either. 

I don’t want to show their apartment but the landing outside was pretty chic.  It was created in the space on the top floor of the building that use to house the maids. 

I also manged to meet up with an interior designer I know in Paris Guillaume Excoffier before heading to the airport on the most gorgeous day.  He had a store in the Marais but closed it and will be opening a new one in Saint Germain at 34 rue Bonaparte around September. 
I managed to cram a lot into this short trip and as I mentioned, I am planning a longer trip this fall.  If you have any recommendations on apartment rentals, please let me know. À bientôt Paris!

All photos by moi via iphone and instagram. 

Comments Closed

  1. always chic June 4, 2013 | 7:24 pm

    HC..thank you for allowing me to
    escape by way of your awesome pics
    of Paris! Bien fait.

  2. Jennifer@ClassicStyleHome June 5, 2013 | 12:33 am

    Wonderful pictures! Saint Germain is my favorite neighborhood as well. You were busy! I can relate because when I was in Paris there is so much I didn’t get to see. I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully, it will be for a girls trip sometime soon!

  3. Karen Albert June 5, 2013 | 3:50 am

    Heather I love it all, in spite of the weather, all of the charm and history is right there for all!

    2013 Designers Series
    Art by Karena

  4. Elena Luck June 5, 2013 | 8:23 am

    Dear Heather, thank you so much for sharing your Paris trip diary with us!
    And welcome back home!

  5. ordinette June 5, 2013 | 10:24 am

    I love these pictures. They just capture the essence of Paris. I love the grey cloyd sky of that wonderful city. Everything in Paris is soooo charmant and chic!

  6. Robin June 5, 2013 | 4:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing your trip. The photos are wonderful. My husband and I rent apartments through Just France – http://www.justfrance.com. Other friends have had positive experiences renting via Paris Perfect – http://www.ParisPerfect.com.

  7. Hallie June 5, 2013 | 6:06 pm

    Hi Heather, I don’t know what to say except thank you, I whizzed through your pictures and descriptions because I should be doing something else, but it was so enticingly lovely that I’ll be back later to enjoy them at my leisure.
    You’ve inspired me to fit more into a trip to Paris than just wandering around and daydreaming!

  8. Shed - the Eclectic Home June 5, 2013 | 8:06 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous trip with every moment spent doing something wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. MJH Design Arts June 6, 2013 | 5:02 am

    What a trip…Is there something across the Atlantic on the horizon??

  10. Irene June 6, 2013 | 9:06 am

    What an amazing post you wrote! Thank you, I really enjoyed it.

  11. Nicolas June 6, 2013 | 9:43 pm

    Hi ! Did you know that the Ladurée at Rue Bonaparte was previously the Madeleine Castaing shop and apartments, from the early 40’s to the end of the 90’s ?
    Julien, from Paris

  12. Tuire April 7, 2014 | 6:30 am

    Thank you for this lovely post and good tips! I am off to Paris in three weeks!

    Larudee, Park of Luxembourg, Louvre and dinner in Eiffel tower are planned. Your museum recomendations intrest my as well. I cannot wait!