8 november 2012, the alarm rings at 7am. And for once, I’m getting out of bed without even snoozing: today, I’m going to Paris with a few other bloggers for the day!
I arrive at Brussels-Midi at the Thalys Terminal too meet everyone and hop on a fast train direction Paris – first class baby! The trip lasts about 1h30, which is exactly the time we need to have breakfast and get to meet each other. When we arrive at Gare du Nord, our guide for the day is waiting for us: Eléonore Chedeville is a personal shopper (talk about dream job!) and today, her mission is to put us in the shoes of a typical Parisienne for a day.
We start our journey in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where all the most prestigious brands have their headquarters. But we’re not here on a shopping spree, and Eleonore mostly wants us to discover intersting concepts and locations, like this XVIIth century hotel particulier owned by Ralph Lauren: 5 floors of fabulousness, where he installed his restaurant Ralph’s and his collections. Yes, I wanna live there!
173 Boulevard Saint-Germain
The other discoveries we made in Rive Gauche included the first Alexis Mabille boutique and its impressive mirrors, the Hermès “store” (if you can call that a store, considering it was built in the former pool of a grand hotel), the incredible Brand Bazar, where we definitely didn’t stay long enough (busy schedule! Hopefully I can catch up on the e-shop) but also the amazing french brand Ela Stone. This was by far my crush of the day! I already knew the name, but I was really impressed by the creations, and even more when I learned that all the jewelry was handmade in France and could still be sold at such a reasonable price.
Photo n°1/ Brieuc75
11 rue de Grenelle
55 bis rue des Saints-Pères
Photos/ Michel Denancé
17 rue de Sèvre
Photo/ Violaine Olga Madeleine
33 rue Sèvres
79 rue des Saint-Pères
But we’ve been walking around for a few hours already and we’re getting kinda hungry! Which is good, because Eleonore picked a really good restaurant for lunch: Les Parisiennes.
I might as well tell you now, things got ugly: Cheeseburgers were ordered, desserts were finished (I had the Hot Fudge, which was absolutely exquisite!), and it took about an hour to get back on our feet but…totally worth it!
(Oh and imagine Eleonore’s face when she saw us all taking pictures of our food in every angle!)
17 avenue de la Motte Picquet
We hopped on a taxi-bus with our round bellies, and hit the road to Le Marais, a.k.a. the place to be for a good, typical, cool Parisienne.
In a few hours, we did a tour of the best concept-stores in the neighborhood; every store had their own identity, and we made some really nice discoveries!
Starting with French Trotters, which is a concept store mostly focused on menswear, but not only: they also had a pretty cool women selection and a few nice home items. A bit further on the same sidewalk, we stop by Abou d’Abi Bazar, which sells exclusive scandinavian brands, and then headed to Shine, where you can find la crème de la crème of fashion (Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, Theyskens’ Theory, Carven…). At the end of the street, we decide to take a look at the second-hand items sold at Violette et Léonie: I wasn’t feeling like searching the whole store, but I could already see some pretty good deals! After that, we spent a few minutes at Valentine Gauthier, casually chatting with the designer herself. After a quick stop at a local pastry, Eleonore took us to Les Prairies de Paris. If you’ve never been there, you should definitely put it on your to-do list next time you visit Paris: the ground floor is basically an art gallery, and if you go downstairs you’ll discover the most amazing pieces of clothing! Great designs, amazing quality, I could have bought the whole store – if only I could afford it. We ended our Marais tour with the must Merci, an ethical concept store where you can find diverse things such as clothing, lights, dishes, furniture and gifts.
116 rue Vieille du Temple
Photo/Blog Da Rê
Abou d’Abi Bazar
125 rue Vieille du Temple
Photo n°1/ Absolutely Paris
15 Rue de Poitou
Violette et Léonie
27 Rue de Poitou
58 Rue Charlot
Photo n°2/ Brunette Blogging
Les Prairies de Paris
23 rue Debelleyme
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
When we get out, it’s 5.30: it’s completely dark outside and almost time to go home! We take a last look at the city while the cab is driving us back to the station, before crashing in the Thalys, exhausted but happy, almost directly back to bed (yes, some Thalys trains are passing by Ghent!). That day, I learned that you can always have a fresh look on a city you thought you knew by heart!
I wanna thank Thalys and Whyte for the city-trip and the princess treatment, Eleonore for her patience and her listening, and my fellow bloggers/journalists – I made new friends!