The French comparable of back-to-school starts this week with everybody going back to their desks, schoolrooms, and workshops. The City of Light in large part still shuts down for les vacances in August, so now is the seamless time to start thinking about what to do in Paris this fall. Although not always the newest and shiniest hot spot, here’s a list of cool places to eat, shop, and discover. Check out this ultimate guide to Paris.
One of the latest shopping destinations in Paris is in a church. Within the walls of the Church Saint Roch, where the memorial services for both Yves Saint Laurent and Francois-Xavier Lalanne were held, is the teeny, tiny shop Brigitte Tanaka, a.k.a. BT, with 75 square feet per floor over three levels, full of repurposed antiques, new creations, jewelry, baskets, and ceramics. And everything can be monogrammed.
Feels like a small-is-cool trend. At just about 86 square feet, the hip Boot Café, in the gallery- and fashion-rich Marais, seats about six on Martino Gamper stools.It was founded by American designer Phil Euell a few years ago, as he just wanted “really good coffee, nothing pedantic, served in a cultural way.” Success has it that he just opened a larger Boot Café in the Saint Germain area, but nothing beats the original location, located in a tiny former cobbler’s shop.
Head up to the next coolest area in Paris, South Pigalle, and go straight to the florist Debeaulieu. Pierre Banchereau loves flowers. He only works with small producers, in France but also in Japan. He has a huge collection of vases: some he sells, others for his daily changing displays and windows. Everything is specific and special, and he is currently collaborating with two artists on a collection of floral jewelry. He wants to continue with collaborations, and when recently told he was the “trendiest florist in Paris,” he replied, “I am not the trendy florist of the moment… I am about creating ephemeral moments.”
Named after his grandfather’s restaurant in Pigalle, Chez Graf is a fixture in the chic seventh quarter of Paris. Next to the prime minister’s office, the small bistro, which seats 35, serves up what the owner, Thomas Loustau, calls “revisited traditional French cuisine.” The signature dish is a miso-marinated steak, and the all-time favorite dessert is the “mousse au chocolat de Catherine”—Catherine being the master chef behind Le Garage, now open in Brooklyn.
Living in Paris and looking for the Ding Dongs and s’mores of his childhood, Philip Andelman teamed up with two other American chefs, Beth and Cassie, and founded Stoney Clove Bakery. The menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh, and every weekend is “childhood treats” time. According to Andelman, “a real layer cake or chocolate chip can only be made by someone who has the taste ingrained in their taste buds and childhood memories.”
For interior design ideas, explore our Pinterest boards where you can find inspiration about the City of Light and also about Paris events, arts, and design.