Tiny Guide to Paris — Le Marais edition.
Paris. Je properly t’aime. And I keep going back. Because each stay in a different area (or arrondissement) brings a different experience. Always good. This time, we were ‘en famille’ so we were looking for more child-friendly places, but obviously still oozing with Parisian culture. We stayed in a beautiful apartment in Le Marais in the 3rd arrondissement. This area is popular, but with good reason. It’s great!
Sometimes, I find its helpful to plan in advance and have a hit-list of places to visit on a short break. (I’ve created some pretty epic Google star maps for example). Other times I love to turn up without a plan, and kind of wander around aimlessly, taking it all in. This was exactly the (none) plan for Paris this particular time. I popped out of our apartment one morning, in search of Parisian pastries and stumbled across Ofr.— a bookshop and art space. What. A. Place. Stacked full of beautiful magazines, special edition art, design, fashion, photography and architecture books, with a bonus collection of vintage clothing in the back. My perfect shop. I returned to base, ridiculously smug, armed with fresh croissants, an arty book and a pretty cool khaki tote.
If you like type. Or buildings. Or colour palettes. Or well-lit corners. Or old signage. Or peeling paint (you get the gist…) Paris is definitely for you. Its difficult to walk around without wanting to stop to grab a picture every five seconds. Its hardly surprising how many artists, writers and filmmakers have picked Paris as their muse. She’s the gift that keeps on giving.
A little shop we discovered on a bit of a wander—the magical Marionnettes du Marais. This was an entire room filled with woolen finger puppets. It was utterly charming. Basically a room of joy. Bursting with colour. We left with a pretty awesome monkey-banana combo and a very happy small person.
Café Breizh will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for a crêpe. Which in my case, is often. They’ve got them in spades, along with savoury galettes and buckets of cider. Mmmm. It was a popular spot so get in there early. The reason it made the Tiny Guide was the delicious (organic) fare. But more importantly (for me anyway) the lovely staff who brought my kiddo an extra plate with a sweet, for her toy ‘Doggle’. So Café Breizh—you’re ace. I would have taken some more useful pictures but I was distracted by the ‘Timbres Papiers Timbres’ tile typography outside.
By the time we were in the vicinity of Le Chef Thai, we were ravenous after a long day exploring. At this point, a huge plate of noodles was basically the dream. And so this place appeared before us like an oasis. It’s small and cosy, although I think they have a downstairs too which we didn’t see. It’s really relaxed inside and filled with plants so there was a nice calming energy. The guy that served us was super-friendly and we all had an excellent feed for a reasonable price. Happy days.
Although its not actually a loft, ‘Exclusive Loft’ is an oddly named, but well positioned ground floor/basement apartment close to the metro and round the corner from Square du temple. A beautiful apartment, with an element of bachelor pad but also equally suited to a family of three. And, sort of two minutes from lots of places we wanted to be. The ‘show around’ when we arrived was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. They have everything you could possibly need: wifi you could take out of the building; umbrellas for when it’s raining; a great coffee machine; a steamer when you’re feeling a bit creased and a helpful friendly contact if you get lost at any time of day or night. I’ve never felt so looked after on a key handover. They were ace. Would definitely stay there again. And this time we booked on booking.com… if it’s of interest.
The Tiny Guide to Paris was inspired by this trip. Wandering around the city, often at dusk. Looking up at the sky, gazing at rooftops, and watching the people go by.
You can get your own limited edition print from the Dotto print shop.
I’ll be updating the journal with more places from the Tiny Guide series so if you’re interested, jump on the mailing list below.