Tip for the day:
When in Paris, I recommend walking as much as you can. I've often walked for hours along the Seine to admire the bridges and take in the light. I like to walk from St Germain all the way to Le Bristol hotel, there is so much to explore and see along the way. Take the chance of getting lost, you never know what you might discover down a beautiful cobbled street. And don’t forget to look up to admire the balconies of the Haussmannien buildings - all slightly different from one another.
I'm always torn between Le Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots. Situated side by side, they are both located along the renowned boulevard Saint Germain. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a fresh baguette and sipping coffee whilst watching Paris wake up to start the day.
As mentioned in my previous article on French lifestyle, one of my very favourite brands is Hermès. Paris would not be Paris without the illustrious Hermès flagship on the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. I could dream for hours on end in front of the gorgeous window displays and I love taking my time to admire all the scarves and leather goods.
Perfume & beauty shopping :
The Guerlain boutique on the Rue Saint-Honoré is a must visit. Newly renovated, it now has an exquisite private room : a dream come true! Among the oldest perfumeries in the world, the brand remains loyal to its top quality service and craftsmanship. Ever since I got married, thirteen years ago, the same sales lady, Patricia, sells me the same perfume, Cologne 68! I was first gifted it by my Maid of Honour.
Another boutique I adore visiting is Caron, for their exquisite powder puffs and pampering accessories. Old world French glamour and charm at its best and perfect for gifts!
Shopping for kids :
For baby and children's accessories and nursery decor, I've always loved to shop at Baudou rue de Solferino. As soon as I set foot in the boutique, I travel to fairytale worlds through their enchanting childhood universe!
I also love to buy toys for my children at Le Bon Marché! The most stylish shopping experience and the best curation of absolutely everything chic you could wish to buy. Last September, I managed to find a rare Iron Man lego set that I'd promised my son, so I ended up having to buy an extra suitcase! For my daughter and Goddaughter I brought sweet Corolle dolls, their vanilla scent brings back sweet memories of childhood.
Lunch break :
One of my favorite spots is Mon Square, rue Saint Dominique! A haven of peace in the 7th arrondissement, on one of the most elegant streets of Paris. The chairs alone are just exquisite.
Stationery shopping :
Writing paper and accessories from Fabriano are the just brilliant. If you can’t make it to Italy, their shop on Rue du Bac is a treasure trove.
Candy shopping :
Maison Boissier is the prettiest sweet shop, an authentic French institution that has delighted young and old for decades. Victor Hugo himself wrote poetry about it! With its slightly nostalgic feel, its charming fruit pastes, candies and chocolate will make you travel back in time.
For fashion lovers, don’t miss the exhibits of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. I had the chance to visit the Dior exhibition a couple of years ago and it was pure magic — the clothes of course, but the scenery too and attention to detail was simply amazing. You can also bring children along.
My favourite for a pre-dinner drink is the bar at Hôtel Crillon. Nothing like a glass of champagne in this beautiful French decor to end the day!
Final tip :
If you have time, hop on a train or rent a car, there are so many special places to visit in France…perhaps spend a couple of days in Saint Tropez...Be sure to enjoy a famous Tarte Tropézienne and to stop at the Café de l'Ormeau in Ramatuelle.Follow me on Instagram through my @olympiagrace account.