24 hours in Paris
Ah, Paris. The city of love, art, food and shopping, and the inspiration behind Annabel’s chic Parisian apartment from this season’s stories. With so much to see and do on offer, Annabel shares her favourite spots to explore in this fascinating city, all in the space of a day.
“A perfect day in Paris for me is conducted largely à pied (with the odd hop and a skip by metro) to take in the sights, sounds and scents of this nonpareil city. There’s fabulous shopping to be found all over Paris, from the glamour of the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré to the haggle of the Marché aux Puces flea market in Clignacourt. But, for a good cross-section of frontline fashion and beautiful homewares, avant-garde galleries and under-the-radar restaurants, all set against the background of one of the most beautiful arrondissements in Paris, it’s hard to beat the Marais.
Rues Vieille de Temple, de Santonge, de Turenne and those surrounding are a treasure-trove of boutiques where you’ll find high-end, home-grown fashion (Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno) and cutting edge concept stores (Les Vignoles, Surface to Air) sitting comfortably alongside original homewares (Merci, Fleux) and whimsical one-off’s (Petit Pan, I Love My Blender).”
“When hunger strikes then of course there’s no place like Paris. Depending on your mood, there’s any number of bistros and restaurants in the 3rd, but if you’re on the run try the atmospheric Le Marche des Enfants Rouges on Rue de Bretagne where you can pick up something delicious from one of the stalls (and fresh produce to take away too).”
“The Marais is an architectural treat with gems around every corner (remember to look up!) The early 17th century Places de Vosges is one of its greatest treasures and it’s well worth taking a detour to wander through this ‘cloistered’ square and gardens (in spring, the scent of the lime blossom alone makes it worth a visit). Take a little time to find the ‘secret’ door in the south western corner that will lead you through into the peaceful, hidden, Hôtel de Sully garden beyond.
From there it’s a short walk south to the river where you can head west along its banks past Notre Dame and on to the Louvre. If you’ve time cross over to the Left Bank for a stroll around St Germain, and if you’re there for Paris Plages in late July and August, take your shoes off and enjoy the sandy beaches that miraculously materialise along this entire stretch of la Voie Georges Pompidou.”
“No trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to the Louvre (with the added bonus of the Tuileries gardens next door to relax in afterwards). My favourite galleries are the perhaps lesser-known Musée d’Arts Décoratif found in the Louvre’s western wing which contain an unique collection of furniture, textiles, tableware, glassware, decorative pieces and examples of period interior design, dating from 13th century through to the present day. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone with a flair for interior design and the perfect place to while away an afternoon in Paris.”