Paris Stories is my journey through Paris, a visual and sensory discovery of Paris, its restaurants, café’s and places to see, join me in Paris Stories day two Wednesday 10th July…
We had so much planned today, a whole day in beautiful Paris in glorious warm weather was an exciting prospect. Zoe wanted to visit Brandy Melville, a high street chain much like Top Shop, I’ve never heard of this chain but apparently there are a few branches in Carnaby Street, Covent Garden and King’s Road. She’d made some rash and unwise choices in the clothes that she brought to Paris, so we needed to buy a couple of tops but first breakfast.
Breakfast at Hotel Le Six is quite a simple but varied offering both a cold and hot buffet. The cold buffet presentation consists of yoghurts, cheese, ham, fruit and of course, those delicious French pastries we all adore. A selection of the best French bread, butter and jam and also some scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and waffles. It’s a relatively small display for a 4* hotel but nonetheless plentiful in choice to suit even the fussy breakfast eater.
We were out of the hotel by 10:00am, Brandy Melville is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel on rue de Rennes. It’s a really cool shop with cute clothes for teens right up my daughter’s street. She loves little crop tops and we picked up a few and a present for her best friend. I was relieved she’d found a few things to wear while we were in Paris. We stopped over to have a coffee in a little corner café admiring Paris, it provided some great photo opportunities for me. It was good to be back; my café crème was just what I needed and always tastes better in Paris!
We walked to the end of rue des Rennes and hailed a cab to rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th arrondissement. This is one of Paris’ most prestigious neighbourhoods. The Faubourg Saint-Honoré extends to the luxurious and fashionable rue Saint-Honoré home to many designer boutiques. Every global fashion house has a home here and it’s also the location of the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the President of the French Republic , currently Emmanuel Macron. Also, on this famous street is The Hotel Le Bristol, granted Palace status, few hotels in Paris are given this honour. Some of the others are the Hotel de Crillon which I had the pleasure of staying in twice, the Shangri-La, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Le Meurice and the Plaza Athénée where Carrie Bradshaw (Sex & the City) stayed in that iconic episode. I have major ambitions to stay in all these hotels and yes, the Crillon again because it’s recently undergone a lavish refurbishment, it’s meant to be magnificent now but how is that even possible when in my eyes, the Hotel de Crillon has always been magnificent. It’s one of finest hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying in along with the Ritz in London.
I specifically wanted to come to Faubourg Saint-Honoré because I wanted to visit Honor Café, do you see the connection in the name? there are many of these ultra-hip coffee shops cropping up in Paris, it’s serves great coffee, light lunches, pastries and cakes. Honor Café is located in a quiet courtyard off rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, it’s quite easy to miss but it is well sign posted.
We planned to have lunch here, but we were also meeting my friend Alix from the blog A Hedgehog Travels whom I met in January, she joined us for coffee after our lunch. She had just finished work nearby so it was a very convenient meeting place for her and also not far from her home in the neighbouring arrondissement. After catching up with Alix and it was so good to see her again, we walked the couple of minutes it takes to get to another hidden and very romantic courtyard where the French perfume brand Rose Desgranges has a boutique. I first discovered this perfume by chance online searching for something else in 2015. We were staying in the Left Bank of Paris and I made Mr A walk over half an hour to get to rue Faubourg just so that I could buy the perfume. It’s a gorgeous mix of many ingredients and there is the most special story behind the perfume, I’ve been meaning to do a blog post on it for a long time.
After waving goodbye to Alix, we took a cab to I think Paris’ only Greek Orthodox church, remember when I mentioned that my daughter wanted to visit as many churches as possible? Sadly, the church was closed only open half days most days apart from the weekend, I could see Zoe was disappointed but there nothing we could do.
We walked from the church on rue Georges Bizet to the end of the road and approached Avenue du President Wilson. Opposite the road is the Pont de L’Alma where Princess Diana was tragically killed, there are views to the Eiffel Tower from here. It was such a hot day and we were exhausted; Zoe didn’t really enjoy her avocado on crumpets at Honor Café because of the seeds that were sprinkled on top whereas I loved mine. I knew she was peckish, so we sat down and ordered some fried calamari and fries and cold drinks because it was super warm. A glass of chilled white wine was just what I needed as we both relaxed on the terrace of the café admiring the views of the river Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
It was by now nearly 6:00pm, we were totally chilled but thought it was a good idea to get back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. It was a tough decision on where to have dinner tonight but as always, the planner in me wants to have these decisions made before any trip and after much deliberation, I had decided to pick the Restaurant Astair inside the Passage des Panoramas in the Grands Boulevards.
I had made the right choice in choosing Astair, everything was perfect, the ambience, the location, the restaurant, the service and food. We left completely satisfied even though we both agreed that frogs’ legs really weren’t our thing although we were pretty chuffed that we had even tried them! Tomorrow would be our last day in Paris….
Follow me through Paris in Paris Stories, day three coming soon. Love Helen XxX