neighbourhood guide:

1st Arrondissement

As you enter the 1st arrondissement from the west, heading along the rue Saint Honoré, you pass through an imaginary gate into ‘Fashion Paris.’ Home to Chanel, Vogue, the Hotel Costes and the now defunct Colette, this area has always been the city’s most fashionable heart. Fun too, elegant always, and most certainly chic. Whatever that means, and it is hard to define, the 1st is the best place to find it.

Arts & Culture

THE LOUVRE // louvre.fr
A truly iconic piece of Parisian architecture (after a certain Tower of course), a visit to the city is not complete without marvelling at the Louvre in its historic setting. The largest museum in the world, it is also the most visited – so expect a queue, albeit with an exceptional view. Home to the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Liberty Leading the People, the seminal art on display is worth the wait.

THE PALAIS-ROYAL AND GARDENS // palais-royal.fr
The former home of French royalty prior to the construction of the Palace of Versailles, the Palais Royal and their beautiful surrounding gardens offer a unique oasis in the heart of Paris. Like your favourite bonbon, the monochrome striped plinths which populate the recognisable courtyard provide great entertainment for children and adults alike. Take two at Cafe Kitsune which borders the gardens to drink in the Palace whilst sipping on your espresso.

MUSÉE DE L'ORANGERIE // musee-orangerie
To an art lover, Paris can often blend into a landscape indicative of an Impressionist painting. The Musée de L’Orangerie displays amongst others, the work of the most renowned artists of the Impressionist movement – Claude Monet. The installation of his Water Lilies series has to be one of the greatest gallery exhibits the world-over. Experience for yourself, before strolling through the Tuileries Garden that surrounds the museum.

Caffeine Fix

TÉLÉSCOPE CAFE // telescope.fr
Situated on rue Villedo, Télescope is a bit of a hipster hideout but still frequented by locals in the morning between the school run and the office. The lemon zest and olive oil granola is wonderful. Note that computers are not allowed. No mobile phones is surely the next logical step?

CLAUS // claus.fr
The only place in Paris you need to book for breakfast... Claus is Austrian so this is not about the croissants. Eggs, ham, cheese, house granola and excellent coffee make for an delightful start to the day. And should you come later, try the matcha financier. If you are stocking up your kitchen there is also a great deli over the road.

Our 1st arrondissement favourites

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Restaurants

LOULOU // loulou.fr
Glamour with a view, whether you are people watching inside or staring out of the window at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The food is modern Italian with a French twist. The slightly more French than Italian vanilla mille-feuille is the best dessert for miles around.

KUNITORAYA // kunitoraya.fr
There are actually two Kunitorayas on the same street (rue Villedo) and they are both excellent. One (on the corner of the rue de Richelieu) is of the faster food variety and the other, housed in a glorious wood panelled dining room further down the road, is for a longer lunch and requires a reservation.

LE FUMOIR // lefumoir.fr
This 1st arrondissement stalwart is still exquisite. It can be a bit of a bun fight at the weekend so if possible join the locals midweek for lunch or a late supper. The terrace on the side overlooking the Saint Germain l’Auxerrois church faces due south if you like to soak up a little lunchtime sun.

LE RUBIS //
"So unfashionable it’s fashionable" could be the mantra of this restaurant just off the rue Saint Honoré. Red and white table cloths, œufs mayonnaise and a glass of Beaujolais do still exist in Paris and Le Rubis is their natural habitat.

Stores

WHITE BIRD // whitebird.com
Stéphanie Roger came from a high jewellery background and had had enough of security guards and jewellery behind glass counters. Situated in a quiet street behind the rue Saint Honoré, White Bird is quite the opposite. Exquisite one-off pieces from a selection of international designers are presented in a relaxed environment that feels more like the flat of a super chic friend.

SAINT HONORÉ // ruesainthonore.com
Once the preserve of a certain type of Parisian woman (fur-clad and a little conservative perhaps), the rue Saint Honoré is now one of the coolest streets in town. Today’s denizens frequent the usual affordable luxury players – Sandro, Maje, BA&SH, Zadig & Voltaire – but you can also head into more luxury, less affordable territory at Saint Laurent or Balenciaga. The rue Cambon – home of Chanel – intersects, as does the rue du Marché Saint Honoré, with a more eclectic selection of stores such as Essential Antwerp and Heschung for hand-made leather boots. Take a pitstop at Le Castiglione for great people watching and Parisian classics.

LEO ET VIOLETTE // leoetviolette.com
Perfect for small, cross-body bags that look a little 1970s Céline or Hermes, without the price tag. The showroom on the rue Saint Anne is sober and elegant, which also describes the bags perfectly. Handmade in Italy and designed in France by Leo and Violette, who, according to the website are also lovers. So French.

LE CHOCOLAT ALAIN DUCASSE // lechocolatalainducasse.com
Mr Ducasse has recently added chocolate making to his list of accomplishments. The wide variety of bars on offer in this tiny chocolate bar means that you can try varying degrees of cocoa concentration, each with a clearly marked geographical provenance. The packaging is most pleasing too.

BY TERRY // byterry.com
Dine on bistrot classics amongst the palm trees, bamboo and flickering candles in the garden of this 9th arrondissement hotel. Terry de Gunzberg is the French beauty superstar who invented the dark shadow-erasing miracle Touche Eclat whilst at Yves Saint Laurent. Her eponymous store in the 1st arrondissement is a luxurious haven where you can order bespoke eyeshadow or blusher, test to your heart’s content and receive make-up tips that are, as you would expect, perfectly polished. If you only buy one thing? The Baume de Rose lip balm.

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After Hours

LE MEURICE // lemeurice.com
The bar is tiny so not getting a place doesn’t feel like an insult, just a huge disappointment. You can have drinks in the salon but it isn’t quite the same as sharing bar space with Isabelle Adjani and gazing into the flickering mirrored candle sculpture, a glass of champagne in hand…

LE NEMOURS // lenemours.fr
Nestled between the Palais-Royal and the Louvre, the inviting tables outside Le Nemours provide the perfect spot to enjoy some refreshments. Old-school Parisian charm is the order of the day here, with classically dressed waiters and a set-up designed both for perusing stylish passers-by and to ensure you are seen.