I've just returned from a hurried three days in Paris. Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining; the truth be told, I would take even three hours in Paris. The primary purpose of the trip was to spend a few days with Paul Hooker and Aaron Stewart of SFERRA scouting for trends and visiting Maison&Objet.
We spent the first day walking the streets of the city and visiting shops. Day two was spent walking the halls of Paris Nord Villepinte. Today is a recount of a few top picks. Tomorrow I will share a few takeaways from Maison&Objet.
173 Boulevard St Germain
+33 (0) 1 44 77 77 00
The new Ralph Lauren flagship store on the Left Bank is simply stunning. The staggering 23,000 square foot space is housed in an 18th-century mansion. Striking carvings, classical French architecture, limestone, French white-oak paneling and “Versailles” style parquet flooring, set the stage for the Ralph Lauren collection. From made-to-measure suiting to a 128-seat American-cuisine restaurant, no detail has been left unturned.
La Fontaine de Mars
129 Rue Saint-Dominique
+33 (0) 1 47 05 46 44
La Fontaine de Mars is an authentic Parisian bistro that is not to be missed. The food is outstanding (everything perfectly prepared), and the foie gras is heavenly. Situated on a bewitching little square in the 7th arrondissement, with a lovely view of the Eiffel tower, it is easy to see why President and Mrs. Obama favored this bistro on their last trip to Paris.
The setting is traditional, unpretentious and charming. Checkered tablecloths, pretty lace curtains, moleskin banquettes and green toile walls compete the look.
David Hicks France
12, rue de Tournon
+33(0)1 55 42 82 82
The David Hicks France boutique opened in 1973 on Rue de Tourmon, just across the street from the first Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche boutique. Now, thanks to artistic director Christophe Aboville, the David Hicks line of carpeting, wallpaper, furniture and objects are lovingly edited and recreated.
7 bis, rue des Saints Pères
+33 (0) 1 58 62 41 36
The House of Lesage was founded in 1862, and were the embroiderers for Napoleon III and his court. Today the House of Lesage still supplies to the best couture houses including Yves St. Laurent and Christian Dior. You can now own one of their exquisite designs in the form of a pillow, blanket or curtains.
I fell in love with this sweet chair covered in Jean-Francois Lesage embroidery. To have your little one's painting replicated into a piece of embroidery, contact the shop directly.
51, rue de Grenelle
+33 (0)1 42 22 82 24
Barthélémy's tiny shop is a haven for cheese lovers. Every shelf and counter space is laden with the finest cheeses — predominantly French — each matured to perfection.
14 rue de Castiglione
+33 (0)1 42 60 52 82
I love Annick Goutal, and I usually acquire a bottle when I travel. I last purchased Annick Goutal Mandragore while in Spain. This trip I finally had a chance to smell Mandragore Pourpre. But ultimately, Ninfeo Mio launched in April of this year, won me over.
34 Saint-Germain Boulevard
Paris France 75005
+33 (0) 1 4326 7744
Certainly you don't have to travel to Paris to find Diptyque candles. But it is worth a visit to the flagship store on boulevard Saint-Germain. For more than 40 years Diptyque has remained a coveted and iconic candle. Figuier was my choice for this time of year.
Le Petit Vendôme
8 Rue Capucines
75002 Paris, France
+33 (0) 42 61 05 88
The best sandwich in Paris! Le Petit Vendôme, a lively cafe around the corner from the Hotel Ritz, is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Every day people line up in front of its takeout window for the best sandwiches in town. Made with baguette à l'ancienne from the bakery Julien (one-time supplier to the Elysée Palace) and products brought in directly from the Auvergne. The Jambon-beurre, with a swipe of Dijon mustard, is a favorite.