Earlier this year I paid a whistle-stop visit to the French capital with one of my favourite skincare brands, Darphin and beauty stops, Space NK. It had been a while since my last trip to Paris so being able to hop on the Eurostar (I say hop, when in reality it was a sweaty frantic run due to London traffic)- was truly exciting, and I honestly feel that since my last trip (which was possibly over a year ago) the city has become even more magical- with plenty more hidden gems cropping up.
So, with an agenda packed with a beautiful facial at the Darphin Institute, a tour of the city by night (zooming through on bike no less) and some other beautiful discoveries, I thought I’d share a few new gems I took note of in the city of love- and why it certainly still has my heart.
The French Facial:
Situated a stones throw from Rue Saint-Honoré in the prettiest of hidden courtyards, the Darphin Vendôme Institute feels like the ultimate little black book discovery. It’s more than just a pretty location- inside this magical hub are seriously spellbinding facials- delivered by experts able to not only tailor (and advise) something perfect for your skin, but can deliver using unique massage techniques with light essential oils for something truly unforgettable. Although you wouldn’t necessarily travel to a city to have a facial, I can promise you that this is the perfect dose of relaxation after a day on your feet and makes for the ultimate way to unwind too (definitely worth Channel hopping for)!
Darphin Vendôme Institute, 350, rue Saint Honoré, Paris
I’ve been lucky enough to stay in a handful of lovely hotels in Paris, but after staying at Le Roch I think I may have just found a new number one. Not only does it score top points in the design department- combining contemporary design from Sarah Lavoine and plenty of pastels fused with rich hues, but the location is second to none. Minutes away from Place Vendôme, the Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries (as well as more boutique shops than you can throw your debit card at)- you couldn’t wish to feel more in the heart of the city, and with a pool and spa to add to that, it’d be something if you even wanted to leave the hotel after all.
28 Rue Saint-Roch, 75001 Paris
If like me you’re partial to a bit of embroidery and/or a slogan tee, I’m pretty certain Maison Labiche needs to slide to the top of your shopping list. With piles of neat bretons, cosy sweats and light jersey adorning the shelves- each item is emblazoned with cute slogans, funny sayings and everything in between (read: Beyonce to Bowie lyrics). They also have seasonal capsule collections too and if there’s not anything you fancy on a tee you can even design your own- not badio, daddio.
24 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris
Renown for their traditional ceramics and beautiful homeware, Astier De Villette is home to all things lifestyle. Wether you want to pick up (or, ahem, sniff) one of their beautiful candles (which I’m sure I’ve spotted in Liberty), fawn over their one of a kind furniture pieces or even pick up a plate or two- this beautiful store is worth adding to any lists (if only crockery was easier to pack, sigh)!
173 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris
Really now? Would any guide be complete without the mention of somewhere to pick up some bloody good stationary? I thought not. Papier Tigre is a new discovery for me in the city, and sells some of the coolest products for your desk, purse and home- all with custom design, print, pattern and production from their Paris head office- very cool indeed.
5 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris
Maison Lautrec for delicious dinner and cocktails, Le Slip Français for underwear and chocolates (I know, I know), Clown Bar for a menu like no other (and their Earl Grey ice cream) and Antoinette Poisson for design, prints and unique furnishings