It’s hard not to love Paris. Of course, it helps when it feels like home 🙂 When the out of commission billet machine at Arts & Metiers station is no problem because you still have a ticket from your last visit eight months ago…
You pull out the map briefly to check if it is left or right from the hotel and in less than five minutes you
are on the incredible Paris métro. You discovered last year the hotel is conveniently on the metro line direct to Printemps and one stop away from Galèries Lafayette.
In the past I have always shunned Galèries Lafayette and still think Le Bon Marché is more charming but, if you are into shoes, Paris is your city and the basement of Galèries Lafayette the perfect gateway drug…
Being famous for my shoes, I have shopped for shoes all over the world – how I discovered Paris was the best city. And what is cool about Galèries Lafayette is that it represents what I love about shoe shopping in Paris. There are famous brands with dizzying prices to match the killer heels around the periphery but there are also lots of creative, well-crafted, more reasonably priced options in the middle of the 21st shoe temple.
I have just arrived in Paris so this was a scouting mission. Too many objects to lust over on just a brief visit but luckily I need to haul my suitcase through a few more train stations and airports before I leave Europe so some restraint needs to be exercised!
I am not yet sure in which order I will post my scribblings but I have two visits to both Paris and Amsterdam on the clock, neither of which has been fully reported.
Sadly I saw some cool exhibitions in Paris last year, which I meant to promote in the moment to encourage further visitation but the time has now passed so no taunting allowed. One of the cool things I did last September CAN be repeated – and I am doing it so the endorsement is notable.
If you read my ramblings on a regular basis, you will note that I am very fickle 🙂 In life I am the opposite and have friendships spanning decades to prove my commitment. But I love cities and interesting hotels. So I am always trying to mix it up. A new neighborhood. A new design. A new concept.
A hotel has to be pretty awesome to warrant a second visit 🙂 But last year I ran through Paris, primarily on Sunday and Monday. I do not recommend it.
Jules and Jim is in the Marais, a neighborhood I have flirted with but never fully explored. And the hotel is one of most memorable I have visited. When you rock up at the impromptu front desk and the cute boy says in his charming English, “you must be Marla”, you wonder “is this the hipster Claridges?”
Pretty much. The rooms are petite but perfectly designed. You get Molton Brown products and free wi-fi. I know from last year you can hang out at the bar with a serious budding mixologist who is thrilled to ply you with his innovative (and excellent) cocktail creations. (His name is Antoine).
There is wall art in the form of shrubbery – and art installations worthy of the Pompidou. It is a hotel where the hotel is part of your Parisian experience. George V service at a fraction of the cost 😉
I am writing this in one of those ubiquitous Parisian brasseries. The food was decent. The atmosphere is historic (in a good way – retro ceiling fixtures, advertisements from the art nouveau period plastered to the walls and menus on chalkboards).
But the real treat is the wine. There were options. Normally I peruse the wine list with a discerning eye and maybe even a Wine Spectator vintage chart…
But what is so amazing in Paris is that generally there is no “vin rouge” but nor is there a specific wine producer, let alone a vineyard or vintage.
You order a Croze-Hermitage and see what happens. A little magic it appears. It came in a plain bottle. I have no idea what it is – besides Croze-Hermitage.
But it’s delicious – and the same price as a beer in Amsterdam. Paris, je t’aime 😉