A Santa Barbaran in Paris

Posted online: September 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 4.18.09 PMWritten and photographed by Ellie O’Connell 

MAGICAL. No matter if this is your first trip to Paris or your 50th, the result is the same and that is magical, truly magical. Waking up in the City of Lights early enough to take a brisk walk with the fall breeze nipping at your flawlessly tied cashmere scarf, you will find wonderment on every rue. Start by grabbing a noisette roasted to nutty perfection at Frenchie To Go and then pop into an Uber and get over to the 15th arrondissement to the authentic Parisian farmers market, the Marché Grenelle. If you want to know what it’s like to be a true local, this is the spot. Here, French women walk their teckel à poil dur chiens while artfully selecting France’s fall offerings of aromatic earthy champignons, robust fromages from the French Alps, and hearty potatoes roasted in duck fat while their partners wander off to choose the perfect bouquet for Madame.

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Ah, but there are still so many rues to discover. Luckily, it is still early enough to get to your next stop, the flea market of all flea markets, the nostalgic Marché aux Puces. This is just the place to find that neoclassical demilune table you’ve been coveting for your entry. Don’t worry, you don’t have to try to squeeze it into your luggage—you can easily ship it back home without hassle via Camard.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.13.04 PMAfter such an exciting morning, it’s certainly time to relax. Head over to the secret/not-so-secret 17th-century garden of the Palais-Royal. Sink into a much-coveted lounge chair, bask in the fall sunshine in front of the fountain, and let your imagination go wild as you realize that Monsieur Les Misérables himself, Victor Hugo, dined at the restaurant Le Grand Véfour, a stone’s throw from where you sit.

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Now that you are refreshed, it’s time to start primping for your evening out. Keeping it demure in a knee-length Lanvin skirt, Roger Vivier heels, a quintessential French turtleneck sweater, and a chic Perrin clutch, stroll over to the 6th arrondissement to Joséphine “Chez Dumonet.” In this circa 1880 art nouveau restaurant, dine like l’ancienne bourgeoisie on confit du canard, boeuf bourguignon, and soufflé au Grand Marnier. 

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With the weekend over, it’s time to get busy and that means one thing—le shopping. It’s not about going big in this town, it’s about the petite, thoughtful pieces that you will look back at years later and remember, “I found that in Paris.” Shop hand-engraved bottles of perfume at Serge Lutens, a vintage Chanel blazer at Didier Ludot, or a pair of sunnies “lunettes Françoise” from the new shop of ambassadrice of all things Parisian chic, Inès de la Fressange. Not leaving out the gentleman, a visit to Berluti is in order to indulge in irreproachable bespoke footwear from the company that has been perfecting this craftsmanship since 1895 because after all, the shoes make the man.

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Not forgetting that we are creatures of culture as well, the newly reimagined Musée National Picasso-Paris in the architecturally important Marais neighborhood is both historically intriguing and a testament to modernity. You will catch yourself thinking, “I didn’t know Picasso did that!” Without being completely selfish, let’s remember that we have family back home who deserve a souvenir from Paris as well. Chocolates from haute chocolaterie Pierre Marcolini always do the trick. However, your main goal in Paris is to perfect the art of being a flâneur. Walk with your eyes, mind, and heart open on every ancienne rue and make a little magic of your own. Le sigh.

Read more about Ellie O’Connell’s musings at havesomedecorum.blogspot.com. 
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KScreen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.22.56 PMnown for its classic style, Le Bristol Paris is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with notable events that evoke the 1925 opening of the iconic hotel. A Jazz Age-inspired spa day, a gala dinner with 1920s fashion, and a guided stroll through Art Deco-era landmarks of the City of Lights all highlight the fall.

Whatever the season, however, there’s a timeless elegance about Le Bristol, whose neighbors in the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré include the Elysée Palace (home of French presidents) and the finest haute couture boutiques. Inside, the landmark hotel’s 188 rooms and suites are appointed with 18th-century furnishings and works of art, which also set the style for the public spaces.

The clublike atmosphere of Le Bar, with its wood-paneled walls and tapestries, is a favorite spot for l’apero, while the hotel’s interior garden offers a serene respite in the city. “It is all perfection at the Bristol,” says a recent guest.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.22.47 PM “The glistening lobby is full of fabulous and glamorous people. And the level of service is top-notch.”Le Bristol’s restaurants have earned a rare four Michelin stars: three for Epicure and its executive chef Eric Frechon, and another for Le Bristol Brasserie. Not surprisingly, adds the guest, “The breakfasts are divine!” –JOAN TAPPER

LE BRISTOL PARIS 112 Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, Paris, France011-33-1-53-43-43-00, lebristolparis.com. Rates: From $1,106 night.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.22.34 PM

RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: The garden of Le Bristol Paris; the Michelin-starred Epicure; a Prestige Elysée Suite.


[FALL 2015]

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