Paris is Always a Good Idea

When it comes to wondering how to spend time in Paris, one cannot think of a better guide than Julie, Olivia, or Caroline, all of whom were born and bred in the city and are still there regularly. All three now live in London with their families.

Caroline Villa

Favourite Restaurants:
  • La Giraffe for drinks with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower
  • Victoria for its gorgeous building, beautiful food, great people
  • Cafe Lapérouse for its cheeky rooms and incredible food
  • Auberge Bressane .. traditional, comforting food.. Love it!
  • Darocco in the 2eme - Isreali food at its best
  • Loulou's at the Carrousel du Louvre for summer nights in a garden with incredible views
-) Along the river seine, from Pont des Invalides to Ile de la Cité, stop for coffee at newly refurbished hotel Madame Rêve on the top floor terrace

-) Best food shops: rue Montorgueil and rue Cler (stop at la Boucherie du Perche for the best melting meat ever and follow their IG @boucherieduperche for everyday jokes)

-) Canal St Martin for lively riverside cafés

-) Rent a "penichette" with Marin d'eau Douce for a boat trip with an apéro

Kobido massage, soft but efficient anti-ageing message (insta: @hypnoperformance ) or, on
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-) The newly opened Pinault Collection in the Bourse de Commerce is a work of art upon itself, inside and out 
-) Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne
-) Quai D'Orsay - know your classics
-) Rodin museum for their beautiful gardens

Did you know?

During the non- Covid summers, the banks of the Seine River transform into Paris Beaches with proper sand, palm trees, beach chairs , umbrellas and ...swimming pools - yet another reason to visit Paris!
After 10 years working in fashion (Ralph Lauren, Net-a-Porter), Caroline now heads up her own head hunting agency where she specialises in fashion and retail for the European market. She lives with her husband and 3 daughters in Chelsea. Caroline became something of a celebrity in 2013 when her youngest daughter Pia was born - in the staircase of her mother-in-law's Notting Hill apartment building - a story still spoken of on both sides of the Channel.

Julie Imbard

Favourite Restaurants:
  • Le Flandrin: My ultimate go-to and a family tradition - I always feel at home there; the team hasn’t changed in years. Love their “bistro chic” style. Place Tattegrain Paris 16th
  • Gigi: New restaurant "sur les toits de Paris". One of the most beautiful views of the city. Just above le theatre des champs Elysees. Avenue Montaigne.
  • Le Piaf: A fun restaurant to sing all the most well-known French songs with the piano bar… It transforms itself at the end of the night into a nightclub.
  • L’hotel Particulier: the best place to have a romantic night lost in time… in Montmartre 
  • Les Resistants: Pour une cuisine engagee. After almost 2 years sourcing the best local little producers in France. They give you their passions focused on tastes and quality.
Ultimate Paris tip:
Conservatoire de hemispheres: Best tea with a touch of poetry in beautiful surroundings.
Boutique de bonbons a l’ancienne: Maison Boissier

Paris with the children: la Cité des Sciences, le Musée en Herbe, And the unique Buttes de Chaumont with a poney ride, waterfalls in caves, carrousel, waffles and many more surprises.

Julie is London's best-kept secret when it comes to Pilates teaching - half of Chelsea is currently on her waiting list. As a mother of 2 boys, Julie juggles her time between London and travel; making sure that she is on top of cultural developments no matter where she finds herself.

Olivia Roussel

Favourite Restaurants:
  • Le Scheffer: look no further if you're looking for a typical Parisian bistro – this neighbourhood restaurant is where I like to meet my close friends, cosy, welcoming (yes, even though it's in Paris!) with reliably good food
  • Le Café Lapérouse: nested in the (newly-refurbished) grandiose Hôtel de La Marine overlooking Place de la Concorde, decorated by my childhood friend Cordélia de Castellane (who is also behind La Maison Russe), it is opulent and decadent à souhait
  • Le Grand Colbert: a quintessentially French brasserie in the lovely Galerie Vivienne, at the heart of Palais Royal and the hip 2nd arrondissement, this is where my wedding lunch took place – a very Parisian experience, even for locals!
Ultimate Paris tip:
-) Visit the Musée Gustave Moreau, my favourite secret museum in the 9th arrondissement – major staircase envy:
-) For candles and regal beauty presents, Buly:
-) Favourite cabinet of curiosities: 
Something I learned about Paris (when working on "Le Guide de Paris en métro" for Hachette):
When built, the Line 4 of the metro required part of the river Seine to be frozen to run underneath it, also to avoid being to close to the Académie Française – following objection from its members or immortels. A big feat at the time!
Olivia is Co-Founder of The Big Heart Edit, an online auctioneer of cool lots with all proceeds going to charity. To shop with purpose, follow @thebigheartedit

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