Bonjour mes amis! This is Taylor Aube from Stop Drop & Vogue and I am going to share the most fabulous spots in Paris. This historical French city is the capital of fashion, a mecca of gastronomy, and an architecture lover’s dream. I am going to take you up, down and around Paris and tell you all about my favorite spots. My only rule: TREAT YOSELF.
Vintage Shopping in the 16e
As the capitol of fashion the first thing on my Guide to Paris is one of my favorite stores. It is right down the street from my old Parisian apartment so I spent quite a bit of time in there. Named after the owners, Lorrette & Jasmin is a vintage store filled with Fendi furs, Dior purses, vintage YSL dresses and everything in between. I have never seen as many Chanel bags in my life as I did in that store. The owners are extremely kind and will dig down in their basement to find whatever you’re looking for. I bought a form-fitting vintage Mugler jacket there and I could not be happier with it. The quality of the clothing is pristine and they are direct descendants of the bourgeoisies of Paris. It is located on 6 Rue François Millet in the 16th arrondissement.
Note the pile of Hermes scarves at the bottom. Crêpes in Jardin du Luxembourg
Whenever someone asks me what my favorite thing about Paris was I immediately say, “The food.” France is well known for its gastronomy: from frog legs to escargot. Although there are hundreds of fancy restaurants I would give them all up for this one crêpe stand. From a professional food eater, or as I like to think, a crêpe with Nutella and whipped cream tastes the same no matter where you get one. The preconceived notion of many Americans is that a crêpe is always sweet and sugary. That is NOT the case! One of the best things I ever put in my mouth in Paris was a savory crêpe from this stand. Smoked salmon, tomatoes, Emmental cheese and a secret ingredient, which I highly recommend a yes to (okay, it’s oregano), melted my taste buds. The best part about this crêpe stand is that it’s located across from the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg. No matter what the season this park is phenomenal. It’s the perfect scenery for indulging into the savory delight. This crêpe stand is a small forest-green wooden box and lies across from the Luxembourg RER stop. It is attached to a restaurant called “Le Petit Journal.” Angelina
Chocolate fans gather round. After your long exhausting walk in the Tuileries I suggest you march right in to Angelina. Located on 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001, this boutique of a restaurant was a favorite of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. The hot chocolate is like drinking a candy bar. It is thick, sweet and filling. I suggest getting the smaller pitcher - I split the larger size with my friend and we could not finish it. One cup of this amazing hot chocolate will have you feeling like you just ate a whole meal. Alongside your hot chocolate I recommend a pastry. The total bill of a pitcher and two pastries will cost you about 40 Euro, but it is well worth the price and the nostalgia. Queen
If you are looking to go out with a bang in Paris, Queen is the place to be. It is located right on the Champs-Élysées and extremely accessible by the 1 metro. This club has amazing electronic music and is open all night. At midnight they throw out raver glow sticks, which light up the entire dance floor. The last time I was there two dancers dressed up as galactic warrior princesses descended from a zip line and landed on one of the dance boxes. They got on swings and started swinging over everyone dancing. Confetti sprayed into the air and a sick remix of Animals by Martin Garrix was spinning. It was nuts. The entry is 25 Euro, but it includes a free drink (the drinks come with screw on lids so you can rage harder). One time I got in free, and one time I paid – it depends on what time you show up. Macaron Baking Class
What could be more fulfilling than baking macarons in Paris? Especially when you’re located on the border of the Seine with a charming view of Notre Dame. The secrets of this traditional French treat are brought straight to your fingertips (and mouth) at the cooking school, La Cuisine. Professional chefs aid you along the way to create macarons of any color and any size. From the meringue to the sweet batter (macaron batter is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!), they take you step by step, and trust me there are a lot of them, on how to make the perfect macaron. The best part is - you get to take everything you bake home in a little box. Parfait! l’Orangerie
One of my favorite things to do in Paris was visit the museums. There are so many to see, but one of my favorites included Musée de l’Orangerie. It is located right at the Concord stop in the Tuileries. I saw an incredible exhibit on Frida Kahlo there. There are giant murals of Monet stretched across the two oval-shaped rooms. Although the museum is on the smaller side, there is plenty to see. I also recommend, bien sûr, the Lovure, Palais du Tokyo and Musée d’Orsay. Be sure to ask for the student discount if you are one! Le Marais Falafel
Le Marais is a wonderful place for many reasons. From the shopping and art galleries to the falafel stands, it is lively and full of culture. There is a large Jewish community in Le Marais and I was lucky enough to be there for Rosh Hashana. Since the Jewish day of rest is on Saturday most of the stores in Le Marais are open on Sunday, which is a rarity for Paris. I suggest spending your Sunday night grabbing some of the BEST falafel in your life at L’as Du Falafel. There will be a huge line, but it moves fairly quickly, and is well worth the wait. For about 5 Euro you will have a hot, steamy pita bread stuffed with falafel, eggplant, pickled red cabbage, hummus, cucumbers and a hot sauce called harissa. Bon appetite! Pere Lachaise
People are strange, when you’re a stranger. Faces look ugly, when you’re alone. Jim Morrison (among many other talents such as Chopin, Édith Piaf and Oscar Wilde) is buried in this most visited cemetery in the world. It is a macabre way to spend your afternoon, but the tombs are absolutely beautiful. Filled with cobblestones, mossy crypts and crying ravens, Pere Lachaise is the home to writers, poets, play writers and more. It is morbid, lovely and eerie all in once. I recommend putting this on the top of your to-do list when you arrive in Paris. This hauntingly beautiful cemetery is an opportunity that cannot be missed.
Tips for Paris:
*When at a restaurant ask for “une carafe d'eau” this means a jug of tap water. Restaurants will charge you if you get a brand new bottle.
*If you are there for an extended period of time, I recommend getting the “Paris Metro” app on your smartphone. It plans your route for you and is easy to follow!
*Always say “Bonjour madame or monsieur!” when you walk into a store.
*Ladies, make sure your purse is on your lap and never unzipped. Especially on the metro.
***If someone asks you to sign something DON’T. People will try and trick you into doing something in order to distract you and rob you. Don’t let anyone tie a little bracelet on your wrist. Don’t play the game where you need to choose 1 out of 3 cups that has the coin under it. These are all scams, and 100% of the time you will lose.