neighbourhood guide:

2nd Arrondissement

The smallest arrondissement in Paris, ‘le deuxième’ is a food-lover’s paradise. If the neighbouring first arrondissement is synonymous with grand squares and even grander museums, then the second is where you want to end up at the end of the day, ravenous and thirsty having visited them all. Look out for the beautiful 18th century arcades that run through the area. Many of them conceal some of the finest restaurants in town.

Restaurants

CAFFÈ STERN // alajmo.it
Situated in the historic Passage des Panoramas this Philippe Stark decorated restaurant serves food from the Veneto. Opt for the fixed price menu, sit back in glorious surroundings and enjoy the exquisite culinary ride.

FRENCHIE // frenchie-restaurant.com
You’ll never get a table in the evening so try lunchtime instead. Open on Thursday and Friday for le déjeuner, Frenchie is a bit of a legend about these parts. And should the reservations policy get the better of you, try Frenchie To Go next door for a sandwich and frites on the hoof.

FELIX // yohjiyamamoto.co.jp
Teeny tiny with a no-reservations policy and slightly haphazard service, Yamamoto is a culinary delight. Architects and graphic designers from nearby studios flock here at lunchtime. You may have to be patient but it is worth the wait.

KLAY // klaysaintsauveur.fr
Only in France would your local gym also have an excellent restaurant. So it is with Klay on the rue Saint Sauveur where you will have to choose between lunch, a swim or a yoga class. Such is life in the Second Arrondissement.

The Pantry

FRENCHIE CAVISTE // frenchie-caviste.com
The wine store of famed restaurant Frenchie is small but with a perfectly formed cellar. Try some of the lesser known Rhône whites or a champagne from a house you have never heard of.

LE COMPTOIR DE LA GASTRONOMIE // comptoirdelagastronomie.com
Salmon eggs, snails and foie gras are just a few of the must-buy delights on offer in this local stalwart. The service is of the excessively grumpy variety and whatever you do don’t try to pay with a card unless you have filled your basket to the brim. Endure, for the truffled taramasalata alone is worth it.

Our 2nd arrondissement favourites

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Pâtisseries

STOHRER // stohrer.fr
The oldest pâtisserie in Paris is also the home of fabulous croissants and beautiful brioche that should come with a health warning. A toasted loaf can easily disappear in one sitting with good butter and strawberry jam.

LA MOULIN DE LA VIERGE // instagram.com/moulindelavierge
Situated on the Place des Petits-Pères this café is a glorious people watching spot. Just avoid school drop-off time in the morning as the terrace and the bar will be full to bursting. If you are a church lover, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires watches over the square and is very much worth a visit.

Stores

RUE MONTMARTRE //
The part you are looking for runs on both sides of the rue Etienne Marcel (also worth a wander). A mixture of wonderful local stores (58m for shoes for example) and mainstream brands (& Other Stories) share space on the tree-lined, pedestrian part of the street. The lower half nearer to Les Halles is home to Princesse Tam Tam for cute, reasonably priced underwear and a lovely Maje. Don’t miss the BA&SH sale store on the corner with the rue du Jour.

SÉZANE // sezane.com
If you haven’t heard of French online fashion sensation Sézane there is a chance you may have been living in a cave. The ground floor ‘appartement’ on the corner of the rue Saint Fiacre and the rue des Jeuneurs is a pitstop for any self-respecting fashion lover. Boys, despair not. The menswear store October Editions is just around the corner.

HERVÉ CHATELAIN // instagram.com/hervechatelainfleuriste
Stop by to gaze at the majestic displays and marvel at the tiny, flower-filled round glass vases that make the perfect dinner party present. Instagram lovers beware: Hervé doesn’t encourage photography…

MAISON SARAH LAVOINE // maisonsarahlavoine.com
Something of a local celebrity, Sarah Lavoine is a Parisian interior designer who is definitely having her moment in the sun. Her double floor flagship on the hugely handsome Place des Victoires is a lesson in modern French interior design. If you can’t tear yourself away, stay for lunch at La La Cuisine, the restaurant on the ground floor.

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN // christopherobin.co.uk
Natural, ‘I woke up like this’ Parisian hair is the stuff that beauty editors tend to get excited about. The hairdresser du jour is Christophe Robin and his salon in the 2nd arrondissement is also home to a store where you can purchase his cult products. The prickly pear range is a particular favourite (the smell is so divine we recommend using the hair vinegar as perfume) as is the rose perfumed cleansing and volumising paste.

GALLERIE VIVIENNE // en.parisinfo.com
The Parisian ‘passages’ are a shopping experience unlike many others, purely for the feeling of stepping back in time and inside a film-worthy bookshop. Galerie Vivienne is our favourite covered passage home to charming second-hand shops, alongside designer boutiques such as Alexis Mabille. Two wooden bears mark the doorway to ‘If you Want’ – a delightful Toy Shop, great for sourcing the ideal birthday gift for little ones, with a traditional aesthetic. After you’ve perused the stores, head to Le Valentin for a selection of delicious French tarts and petit fours.