Oh Paris, you treated us well! My husband Ben and I made our way to the French capital last weekend. Not to run from one sight to the next but to enjoy the atmosphere that makes the city so unique, have some quality time and visit places that make us feel heiter. Today I would like to share our heiter Paris list with you. Ben and I both love food, good coffee, greenery and antique shopping and if you do too, the list below is for you.
Food & Coffee
A meal at Les Grand d’Amour is a must – in particular during the warmer months when their courtyard is open. The hotel is very close the Gare de l'Est, the train station we arrived at (but also Gare du Nord if you travel from the UK; it’s only one Metro stop away) so we decided to go there for our first Parisian lunch. I loved the tiny Parisian table and chairs, the summery atmosphere as well as the food (the best tartare I had in a long time!).
Not only is this place stylish but they also sell the best coffee in town. The waiters approach you in English which adds to the international vibe of the café and the breakfast (toasties, croissants, granola and scones) is lovely too. I adore their white tiles that finish off the café front and the laid back setting.
You would like to enjoy traditional platters and great wine in an easy-going atmosphere? Then this is the place to go. Cheese, saucisson and calm background music instantly made us feel heiter. We also loved that there were hardly any tourists but many real Parisians. An insider tip I would say!
Nature in the city
Chairs and benches invite you to sit down in between the trees, by the roses or the fountain. When we visited the lovely garden we even had the chance to listen to someone play the violin. So many people were out that night, chatting to friends, playing bocce or simply enjoying the evening light.
The plant concept store Mama Petula feels like an urban jungle. Plants, flower pots, vintage apothecary bottles or antique flower books are everywhere in the little shop at Les Grands Voisins, an old hospital site that has been turned into a place for community, art and culture. During the week Mama Petula run a plant service for other businesses that involves decorating with and taking care of plants, on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday afternoon) Caroline, the founder of Mama Petula, and her team invite people to their shop. Reasonable prices, make sure you bring cash.
I was amazed by their excellent selection of vintage clothes! It ranges from elegant and quirky to eccentric and is well looked after while reasonably priced. All pieces are presented either by their colour or theme which makes it easy to find your way round. I could manage to get myself a white blouse from the 80s as well as a boater hat (which I had had on my wishlist for a long time). Luckily, there are several sites in Paris so I am sure you can easily find one close to where you stay.
Based in an old hospital building La Ressourcerie Creative (alongside other creative projects – see Mama Petula above) offers creative activities but also runs one of the best charity shops I’ve come across Paris. Shelves full of crockery, accessories, old books as well as furniture and clothes invite you to rummage around and find treasures. I am sure everyone could find something to take home from this lovely place. I was very tempted to get an antique typewriter but it was too heavy to bring back all the way to Germany.
We stayed close to Montmartre and decided one night to walk all the way up to Sacre Coeur. The sunset view from Sacre Coeur over Paris was stunning and if I am honest, very romantic. We wanted to avoid the touristy parts on our way down so decided to walk to the pretty and green Avenue Junot and from there to Rue Durantin, which is also lovely and calm. Rue Durantin led us to one of the nicest parts of Montmartre Hill, Halle Saint-Pierre. We had bought drinks on the way and sat down for a bit to enjoy them and listen to someone playing “You’re wonderful” on the guitar. After a while we carried on to the beautiful Rue Ramey and then to Rue Caulaincourt. The latter is filled with boutiques, cafés and restaurant. Even though most of them were already closed by the time we got there, they looked beautiful in the moonlight.
Do you like our list? Then you might also like ‘Sundays in Paris: An insider's guide on where to eat, drink and explore’ by Yasmin Zeinab that is currently available on Our Story Time. Huma, the lovely founder of Our Story Time has agreed to gift two copies of the book to two lucky heiter readers. I will soon announce how to win via Instagram.
Words: Katharina Geissler-Evans, heiter magazine
Images: Katharina and Benjamin Geissler-Evans
Images Mama Petula: Mama Petula