When I’m in Paris I stay and spend most of my time on the Left Bank, specifically St. Germain…
The best place for breakfast: Bar du Marche has a set price menu for their continental breakfast which includes a coffee of your choice, orange juice, a chunk of baguette, and some of the best croissants which they get fresh from the bakery a few doors down. Carb loading at its finest.
Best croissants: Patisserie Carton just down the road from Bar du Marche has the fluffiest, butteriest croissants ever!
For a unique shop: Hermes Rive Gauche Yes of course it is still worth going to the original Hermes shop on the Right Bank, but their Left Bank boutique in the space of the Hotel Lutecia’s former swimming pool is much more on trend, and a gorgeous space. You get a bit of design culture while you shop.
Where to go to see and be seen: La Palette is one of Paris’s classic cafes and a great place for aperitivo. The well heeled establishment loves to hang out on the terrace of this very popular corner and bottles of rosé and champagne are the norm. Obviously the place to go for a pre dinner cocktail -or after dinner cocktail, this hot spot is tres chic and you will feel very Parisian.
For a light bite: Deux Magots Classic literary cafe frequented by Hemingway back in his day, this cafe remains a favourite spot conjuring up all that we love about Paris. Perfectly situated on the Boulevard St. Germain and overlooking the iconic St. Germain de Pres church, it makes a great place for a spot of lunch. I love their Goat cheese tartine that comes with a lovely side salad which I enjoy with a nice glass of wine for a perfect lunch. If I am tempted they have Pierre Herme patisseries for dessert which are really hard to pass up.
Best shopping spot: Le Bon Marche is a very chic, very stylish department store in the heart of the Left Bank. It is also a great place to find the top designers all under one roof and a wonderful shoe salon. Their home design shop next door along with their world famous food halls are also not to be missed.
Where to go for a classic French dinner: Brasserie Lipp If you have only one night in Paris, it is best enjoyed at one of the most historic restaurants. With turn of the century lamps and design painted walls, in many ways not too much has changed since it first opened thankfully. The menu is traditional French bistro fare with all the french culinary delights included, Lipp does not disappoint.
Best Cafe to feel like a Parisian: Cafe Flore The iconic, the classic, the most famous cafe in Paris is Cafe Flore. And for observing the French locals or just simply to watch life go by there is no other place. Order La Creme for the traditional morning coffee to have with your tartine of bread and butter and you will fit right in.