Last month we explored the 18th Arrondissement. This time we are traveling to the heart of the capital, the 1st Arrondissement. Léa wanted to share with us the effervescence of this neighborhood where day- and night-life come together perfectly to give rise to an unusual neighborhood.
Where can you do a bit of shopping?
To find all the major stores go to the Forum des Halles. It is a semi-underground shopping mall built on the former site of the Halles de Paris the big wholesale food markets currently under renovation. Here there is little chance you won’t find what you’re looking for. The many boutiques surrounding the Forum will add to your shopping session. If you are looking more for the big names in fashion: Dior, Chanel, Gucci, or Boss you can visit the Place Vendôme one of the most famous squares in Paris and one of the most luxurious in the world.
And if you want to go where the hip Parisians go visit Colette. This store has become a cult destination in the Capital where you can find incredible collections of all sorts: jewelry, clothing, furniture, toys…Colette
213 rue Saint Honoré Metro: Tuileries (line 1)
+33 (0)1 55 35 33 90
Open Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information on the website
And how about culture?
The neighborhood is not short on cultural treasures. Obviously you can’t miss the world famous Musée du Louvre and its glass pyramid! Also take a tour of the Palais Royal and its unique architecture within which are hidden two French government bodies: the Conseil d’Etat and the Conseil Institutionnel. Many other museums are also located in the neighborhood like the Musée de la publicité (advertisement), the Musée de la Mode et des Textiles (fashion and fabrics), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (decorative arts)… In short you will have no shortage of choices!
Where can you go for a stroll?
What better way than to wander a neighborhood to discover its little hidden corners. Starting with the Tuileries Gardens and the Orangerie. The plants are so green there that you could almost forget that you are in the middle of Paris. As you leave the gardens you can follow the Seine and start a lovely stroll along the water as you pass many bouquinistes (the used booksellers whose stalls line the riversides) and street artists.
What is there to do at night?
For dinner you can certainly let yourself be tempted by the Louvre Bouteille. In addition to its name, a nod to the neighborhood’s attractions, it is also a place where you can easily get carried away over dinner. The setting is simple and welcoming like its owners. The food here is fine and modern and Rodolphe will know how to advise you perfectly in your wine choices. You will definitely want to try the “œuf bourgogne” or the white chocolate soup with passion fruit for dessert…We KNOW your mouth is already watering! And to wrap up the evening you can certainly have a drink (or more) at the Ballroom. Founded recently by the kings of cocktail (also behind the Expérimental, the Prescription and the Curio Parlor) it has quickly carved itself a spot on the list of great Parisian cocktail bars. If you’d like to go there keep your eyes peeled because the entrance gives no hint as to what is hidden behind it.Louvre Bouteille
150 rue Saint-Honoré
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli (line 1)
+33 (0)1 73 54 44 44
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. More information on the website (in French) Le Ballroom
52 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Metro: Etienne-Marcel (line 4)
+33 (0)9 52 52 89 34
Open every day from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. except Sundays
And the neighborhood’s little bit extra
Hidden right at the exit of the Forum des Halles are the best cookies in Paris by Laura Todd. This pastry-crazy Austrian’s shop features all house-made treats made from organic ingredients. That’s probably what makes the cookies so delicious! There really is something for every taste! If you are more traditional you can set your heart on a dark, white or milk chocolate. But if you like trying new things let yourself be tempted by the coffee, Morello cherry or green tea flavors. And lastly if you are not a big cookie fan you can opt for a delicious brownie or a fabulous chocolate fondant cake.Laura Todd
2 rue Pierre Lescot
Metro: Les Halles (line 4)
+33(0)1 42 36 15 87
Open Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunays from Noon to 6 p.m. More information on the website (in French)