Paris winter city break

Paris is beautiful no matter what season.

Recently my partner and I went to Paris for a winter city break.

Charm and beauty surprises you at every turn. The naked trees along the Quays de La Seine expose the beautifully grand buildings and on a sunny day, water reflections sparkle the façades along the river bringing them alive.

Every trip to Paris must encompass some manner of retail therapy. Even window-shopping can be rewarding. The best option is not to have anything in mind. Let yourself go.

A must is the Galerie Marion Held-Javal, in the Quartier de l'Odéon (6e), owned by the daughter of the acclaimed French designer Marc Held, responsible amongst others for the famous ‘fateuil Culbuto” (shown in pic above) produced by Knoll at the beginning of the 70s or the porcelain tea service for the Maison J.L Coquet.

The wonderful showroom is exquisitely managed by my dear friend Jean-Baptiste, with the indispensable help of ‘Bobby le chat’.

Le Marché aux Puces, Paul Bert Serpette, at Saint-Ouen is another unavoidable stop. Charming, buzzing, tempting, a feast for the senses and a danger for the pocket. Pretty much everything to be found “entre l’insolite et le sublime”.

Saint-Ouen is vast and so a leisurely lunch accompanied by a few glasses of a delightfully light Gamay is required. “Ma cocotte”, within the market, with design by the omnipresent Philip Stark was our choice.

Palais Garnier is equally customary. Alcina our pick and the perfect excuse to put our dinner jackets on and sip champagne amongst the gilt and the marble of the Grand Foyer (see pic above). No one does Grand as the French do and so one must rise to the occasion!

After the opera we headed to Monsieur Bleu (pic above), a très chic restaurant within the Palais de Tokyo, offering charming views of La Seine and La Tour Eiffel, and a wonderfully eclectic crowd. An exceptional Art Deco room of 10 mtr height ceilings, marble walls, golden bar, Ero Saarinen chairs and black lacquered tables, work of architect Joseph Dirand, responsible for Pucci’s boutique in NY and Chloé’s at rue Saint-Honoré. And , the food? Well delicious, as expected.

Coffee and cake with Parisian friends the following day, a visit to the design showrooms of la rue Jacobs and yet another delicious lunch at a charmingly unpretentious bistrot in Saint Germain completed a rather fabulous weekend.

Not to be finished without a glass of champagne at the delightfully gothic champagne bar of the Renaissance Hotel at St. Pancras on our return to London, of course.

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