It's hard to believe it’s already December! With the holiday season fully underway, we’re featuring some of our favorite places to unwind in front of a fireplace this winter—hopefully with some of your favorite people. Speaking of winter, we’re highlighting a recent trip to the Scandinavian Arctic, complete with a viewing of the Northern Lights. Beaches more your speed? We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best hotels in Anguilla. From all of us at First in Service, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Cheers to 2019!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Having spent almost 15 years in Paris, I still feel Parisian at times even though I am now permanently based in Provence. I lived in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, and home to the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens.
No stay in Paris is complete without a visit to this historic area. So I begin here with My Paris – a selection of favorite insider tips and addresses to make the most of your next visit to the City of Lights.
WHERE TO STAY
Paris is thankfully full of luxury lodging. As I am in love with the Right Bank, I can only recommend the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. This contemporary palace is steps from Place Vendôme, within easy reach of most places of interests. After a long day exploring the city, get ready to be spoiled with comfort. Rooms are chic, with bespoke toiletries by renowned parfumeur Blaise Mautin. Enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the conservatory filled with white orchids. Relax at La Mer Spa, the only one in town. And finally, unwind at Le Bar, a favorite with the stylish locals.
WHERE TO DINE
Parisians take their food seriously. From casual bistros to fine dining, the 1st arrondissement is full of mouthwatering options. These picks are all within walking distance from the Park Hyatt.
Restaurant Beef Club
A mecca of artisanal meat in a classic 1950s French setting. Attractive wine list. Hot tip: The underground cellar doubles as a secret speakeasy.
58, rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau – 75001 Paris. Phone +33 9 54 37 13 65
Sumptuously decorated by designers Gilles & Boissier (team behind New York’s Baccarat Hotel), serving Japanese fusion, including a sushi bar. Designer Karl Lagerfeld is a regular.Hot tip: Ask for a table upstairs (downstairs is Siberia).
9, rue du Mont Thabor – 75001 Paris. Phone +33 1 42 60 65 07
La Regalade St Honoré
A local gem serving traditional classics in a very casual atmosphere. Large portions mean you can skip lunch if you go for dinner. Great value. Hot tip: Order the gateau de riz (rice pudding) for dessert, said to be the best of Paris.
123, rue Saint Honoré – 75001 Paris. Phone + 33 1 42 21 92 40
Le Meurice Alain Ducasse
The perfect Michelin-starred splurge in the Hotel Le Meurice. A gastronomic experience masterminded by celebrity Chef Alain Ducasse, in a stunning dining room inspired by Versailles’s Salon de la Paix. Hot tip: If on a budget, go for the 3-course lunch priced at 110 EUR (vs. 380 EUR dinner menu). Request Table 5 with views of the Tuileries Gardens.
228 rue de Rivoli – 75001 Paris. Phone +33 1 44 58 10 10
Small, buzzy bistro offering tapas-style lunch and dinner. Delicious, creative menu accompanied by attractive wines by the glass. Fancy brunch on weekends. Natalie Portman is a regular. Hot tip: Grab a seat at the bar if available.
34 rue de Richelieu – 75001 Paris. Phone +33 1 42 60 59 66
WHERE TO SHOP
You’ll find temptation throughout the city. This list will get you started.
Always a good idea to step into this uber-hip concept store, which has been a trendsetter since 1996. colette.fr
Immerse yourself in the world of taxidermy at this Parisian institution in Saint Germain. deyrolle.com
While walking around the Left Bank, stop at this skincare mecca to sample the original classic beauty products created over two centuries ago. buly1803.com
Thank you to this boutique in the Upper Marais for an eclectic selection of designer fashion and accessories for men and women. Don’t miss the in-house cafe and library. merci-merci.com
La Maison Plisson
Paris’ version of Dean & Deluca in the Marais is considered the best deli in town. Along with French gastronomic treasures, there’s a wine cellar, bar and restaurant. lamaisonplisson.com
Le Bon Marche
Shop alongside the crowds of chic Parisians at the city’s oldest department store. lebonmarche.com
WHAT NOT TO MISS
– Stroll through the Tuileries Gardens for stunning views of the Louvre.
– Visit the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Frank Gehry’s avant-garde masterpiece in the Bois de Boulogne.
– Enter the Opera Garnier to admire the magnificent ceiling painted by Chagall.
– Tour the newly reopened Picasso Museum.
– Walk through the historic and trendy Marais to the lovely Place des Vosges.
– Explore the shops in the galleries of the Palais Royal while enjoying the views of the garden.
– Visit one of Pierre Herme’s patisseries to sample a delicacy from the world’s best pastry chef.
A French native, our Pierre-Alexandre Francin specializes in luxury leisure travel. Follow his adventures on Instagram @PAFrancin.