Paris with Caroline de Maigret

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Paris: The City of Light, by day and night.

From romantic, expansive views to hideaway bars to The Luxury Collection’s Hotel de Berri and Prince de Galles and all of their artful, intimate splendor.

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Why I Love Paris

It’s hard to avoid clichés when talking about Paris, as it is such a singular, strong, and incredibly beautiful (and instantly identifiable) city. It’s a multicultural metropolis where every single “arrondissement” has its own personality. I recommend that you walk through all of these districts, in order to better understand Paris. They are all very different and remarkable, and together, they create the magic of the City of Light. Paris is the city I was born in, and the city I love most.
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Local Insight

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What are three essential things to pack for a trip to Paris?

• A dress for a chic dinner or a night at the club.
• A book to read on a terrace.
• Curiosity.
One of the great things about Paris is how much there is to discover. Walk around (without a plan) and venture down the small streets. You’ll find the most amazing places this way.
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What are some surprising facts about your home city?

• It is said that The Bloody Mary cocktail was “invented” in Paris. Ernest Hemingway supposedly asked for a drink that didn’t smell like alcohol. It might not be true, but I love the idea of it.
• Le Procope is the oldest café in Paris, it first opened its doors in 1686. It’s still around today! It’s absolutely crazy to think that it’s been there through so much of French history.
• There’s a “lake” under the Opéra Garnier that firefighters use for scuba diving training, and there are bee hives on the roof!
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Do you have a favorite word or saying that people commonly use in Paris?

Stop, sit on a terrace, put your phone aside and order “un café, s’il vous plaît.”
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What’s an unexpected souvenir for guests to bring home?

A French lover could be fun, although they may not fit into your décor back home.
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What is the city’s most famous flavor or dish?

A Croque-Madame. It’s a Parisian staple, it’s got the best name, and is, all-around, a great lunch.
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Where to Stay

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Hôtel de Berri

Hôtel de Berri is a great chic place to stay while you are in Paris. The rooms are luxurious, eclectic and spacious (which, to note, is rare in this city) and the hotel is ideally located just a short walk from the Champs-Élysées. Try to get a room with a view of the garden.
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Prince de Galles

Situated on Avenue George V, just a few steps from the iconic Champs-Elysées, Prince de Galles places you near luxury boutiques, the tranquil beauty of the Seine and legendary landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe.
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Where to Eat & Drink

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La Poule au Pot

My go-to for an authentic and traditional French bistro meal using amazing, fresh, and local produce. My favorite order? Their Hachis Parmentier, the restaurant does a perfect rendition of this classic French dish.
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Le Bar des Prés

A French-Japanese fusion restaurant by chef Cyril Lignac in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Fantastic food in a chic and hype-worthy place.
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Balagan

Excellent Levantine food and an open kitchen. You can sit at the bar and watch the chefs cook in front of you. They are also known for their cocktails. One note: it can get a bit loud sometimes, but that’s part of the fun!
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Gili-Gili

Tucked away in the 9th arrondissement, you will find this super small, traditional Japanese takeaway restaurant. They specialize in fresh and handmade classics like onigiri, miso soup and bentos. I am addicted to their tuna-mayo onigiri for lunch.
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À Mi-Chemin

My favourite place for Tunisian couscous in Paris. It’s always delicious and a great place to go with friends and family in Montparnasse. Chef Nordine Labiadh is extremely welcoming. Trust him to choose what you should eat. But make sure you try the œuf/boutargue, it will take you to heaven!
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Waly-Fay

This is a really cool restaurant that opened in 1997, in the Bastille area. It’s a Parisian classic for anyone craving West African food. Led by a Senegalese chef, you can be sure you’ll enjoy an authentic tiep bou dien. Fun to go with a crowd before going out, the vibe is amazing.
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Rosebud

With its classic, vintage décor, this Montparnasse bar will take you straight back to the 1930’s. Rosebud is always buzzing with people, and it’s a great place for jazz and classic cocktails. The perfect combo.
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Le Mansart

A very cool bar in the heart of Pigalle with amazing rock music and a fun, young crowd. It’s a good place to begin your night!
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Bar 19.20

Just off the Champs-Élysées, I like to go to Bar 19.20, which was previously known as Bar Les Heures, for informal meetings. The bar is very cozy—a Parisian Art Deco jewel. Also: you can eat there at any time of day.
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Les Deux Abeilles

Right behind the Eiffel Tower, take a breather at Les Deux Abeilles. This is my favorite tea room in Paris, and the desserts are out of this world. When you’re here, it feels like time has stopped. Have a homemade ginger lemonade and a blueberry pie, and relax!
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La Closerie des Lilas

Chic and cozy, sit on this café’s terrace surrounded by beautiful flora. The interior décor is also stunning. For decades, this place has been a hangout for left bank artists and intellectuals alike.
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What to Do and See

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Are there any must-see popular activities that need to be booked months in advance?

Seeing a Ballet at the Opéra Garnier is an unforgettable experience. I would make sure to book tickets early, they sell out fast!
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Where can you find the best view in Paris?

Montmartre is a typical answer, yet it definitely has the most amazing view of Paris. Walk around the small streets of the old artists quarter and have a drink nearby. Then, watch the sunset from the Sacré Coeur. Truly nothing beats this view.
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What are your recommendations for places to find a little peace and quiet?
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Les Quais de la Seine
When I need to switch off, I walk by the Quais de la Seine. It’s a beautiful way to see Paris. There’s something very poetic about the water, the special light and the wind blowing in your hair! Start walking from Pont Marie.
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The Grande Mosquée de Paris
This is a true oasis in the middle of Paris. Walk around their elegant courtyard filled with flowers, plants and incredible mosaics. Have a Thé à la Menthe in their café after your visit. They also have an outstanding traditional hammam for the ultimate relaxation.
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What are some of your favorite places for celebrations?
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Le Petit Palace
Get ready to party in the basement of the once mythic Parisian club, Le Palace, from the 1980’s. Hot nights ahead.
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Where do you most like to visit to see art?
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Le Bal

Le Bal is a cultural space that hosts visual art exhibitions. They specialize in photography and video. The works presented are usually quite politically engaged and often very interesting. It’s a great way to discover up-and-coming visual artists.
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Musée de la Vie Romantique

This place is a hidden gem, and, I think, mostly only known to Parisians. It is quite incredible to walk around this house built in 1830, looking at the furniture and drawings from that time. My favorite part is to sit in the garden. Rose Bakery (one of my favorite kitchens in the Pigalle area) has a tea room there. It’s magical.
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Musée Antoine Bourdelle

This place is amazing and quite under the radar. Antoine Bourdelle was an incredible sculptor in the early twentieth century. In the museum, you can enjoy the monumental statues in the Great Hall and bronze pieces in the garden. Above all, go visit Bourdelle’s atelier. It’s very indicative of the Montparnasse area, with its high glass roof.
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Where to Shop

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Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

My favorite place to go on the weekend. Marché Paul Bert has the best antique shops in the world, and you’re guaranteed to find extraordinary things there. It’s also worth going just to stroll around the stalls and look at beautiful objects in an atypical setting!
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Astier de Villatte

A great place to go for home décor. It’s so gentle and beautiful. It’s an ideal shop for ceramics, cutlery and little things. I buy most of my presents there.
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Officine Universelle Buly 1803

A beautiful Parisian shop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which specializes in natural beauty products and perfumes. When you walk in, it feels like being in an ancient apothecary. Their perfumes are a cool idea for a unique gift.
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Little Africa Paris Village

A two-story multidisciplinary concept store that engages with African culture and history. Located in La Goutte d’Or, the Village often has a great exhibition or collaborations being presented.
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Balades Sonores

My favorite vinyl store in Paris. Located in Barbes, it holds an incredible selection of records for every genre, and a very sharp selection of music from around the world.
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Irregular 09

This is a small shop in the heart of Pigalle with a great selection of vintage designer clothes updated weekly. It’s always really, really good.
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