Living with Style, Travel Notes

Experiencing Paris, Part 2

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Having previously introduced our hotel, Le Dokhan, in the first “Experiencing” post I wanted to mention a welcome ritual we enjoyed at the end of the day (or apres dinner)…sipping champagne in their intimate sitting rooms that embrace you like an old friend. That sipping also included a three-offering champagne tasting from their very representative collection of 250 bottles. What better place than Paris to enjoy this treat!

What else does one do on a Sunday in Paris except brunch with Parisian friends? And splurge on eggs benedict. I might add that they were probably the most delicious example of that breakfast staple I’ve had in a long time, leading me to believe that every other item on the representatively American menu at Ralph Lauren deserves serious consideration.

Five hours later we were finally exiting Ralph’s restaurant into the early dusk on Boulevard St. Germaine.

The Rive Gauche always draws me back, whether for the tea experience at Ladurée on Rue Dauphine (although I was saddened that the exquisitely painted main tea room, having been taken over by the landlord, is no longer part of the shop) or the narrow side streets that house boutiques of every type and offering.

On a short trip, I head to the Left Bank for a quick and lively Paris shopping experience. Just a few boutiques to point out…

Fabrice, 33 rue Bonaparte…It should come as no surprise that Paris is also known for its singular costume jewelry (think Coco Chanel and her gold chains and cuffs). A tiny shop where the offerings are more fun than serious, and very reasonable.

Ragtime, 23 rue de l’Échaudé…If you are an aficionado of vintage, this is a must stop on your list. Here you’ll find a jumble of treasures that cover many decades, from clothing to accessories to handbags, all with designer names.

Parallele, 9 rue de Sevres…Chic, understated shoes revisiting Parisian sophistication in a contemporary way.

Buly, 6 rue Bonaparte…Treasured by the Parisian cognoscenti, among the scents and beauty offerings is an item I treasure…your personal monogram carved into their soaps (or a gift for a difficult-to-buy-for friend).

Breakfast at the elegant Shangri La was a much anticipated date, for they are one of only two Paris hotels that have their own garden. Of course, I was in heaven…

They are also a wedding destination that attracts a high level of chic creativity.

(A fun side note…it was at the Shangri La that I was reminded of a very French level of customer service. As soon as you are seated, the waiter brings over a little side bench for your handbag; I had also noticed this the night before at Le Meurice).

Our last night was spent on what is arguably the most romantic, and ancient, part of Paris…Ile de la Cité. Think “Paris in the movies.” One crosses over the oldest standing bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf, to arrive on this island in the Seine.

To do so at the “golden hour” (around 7:00pm) is particularly magical. What a prelude to the intimate Place Dauphine, the site of Le Caveau du Palais.

And to top off the evening? Capturing a video of La Tour Eiffel at night, all aglitter for only five minutes each hour. It is even more delicious than I would have imagined. For a building of such scale to appear so delicate in its details and architectural accents would seem as big a feat as its construction.

Enjoy the Eiffel Tower in all its shimmering glory!

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

10 thoughts on “Experiencing Paris, Part 2

    1. Morning, speaking of joyous, I just last night had a long chat about the soon-to-be twins! Happy fall, B.

  1. Thank you so much for transporting me to Paris this morning!! You truly captured the essence of the ultimate Parisienne experience Bettie. Merci! xo

  2. Loved both parts. We seem to have very similar taste, therefore I enjoyed reliving my last trip. Thank you for that.
    I spent ten days but it’s never enough, Paris is gorgeous.
    Don’t miss the Musée Jacquemart André next time you are in the 8th arrondissement.

    1. Lovely to hear from you, Mariana. You’re so correct, even 10 days in Paris is not enough.
      And the Musée Jacquemart André is top of my list for my next trip. Thanks for reminding me! Happy fall, Bettie

  3. As much as I love Paris, I think the best way to understand France is in the small cities and villages in France profonde. Have you been to Carcassonne? Amazing. Not as chic–you won’t find haute couture designers–but sumptuous in a different way.

  4. Dear Bettie,
    Your photos are divine as well as your prose. Love the way you write! I am a former ‘airline stewardess’ with Pan Am, absolutely love Paris and am now a new subscriber to Private Newport. I look forward to … everything!
    Best regards~

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