Cultural ParisParis / Cultural Paris Tour
Catherine Marche is a Parisienne who now lives in London where she works as a jewellery designer and illustrator. She makes chic and elegant couture designer jewellery in precious gold and silver for women who love a jewellery designs with a French twist.
Catherine's Paris highlights:Movie locations:
The Devil Wears Prada around The Louvre
Amelie around Montmartre
For edible treats:
Maison de thé Angelina, 226 Rue de Rivoli
Chocolaterie Pralus, 35 Rue Rambuteau
For textiles and supplies:
Marché Saint Pierre, 2, Rue Charles Nodier
For boutique shopping:
Concept fashion store - Joy, 38, Rue du Roi de Sicile
Perfume - Marie Antoinette Place du marche Sainte-Catherine, 5 Rue d’Ormesson
Organic clothing - La Boutique Extraordinaire, 67 Rue Charlot
Concept fashion store - Shop Merci, 111 boulevard Beaumarchais
Jewellery & accessories - Cecile et Jeanne, 19, rue Ferdinand Duval, Angle rue des Rosiers
Some of Catherine's Parisian illustrations
Jewelery designer and illustrator Catherine Marche describes her two perfect days that she looks forward to whenever returning to her home city, combining fashion shopping, sight-seeing, and of course, wonderful French food.
Day OneWhen at home in Paris, I love that atmosphere of the city is like a small villages in some areas. For my perfect two days exploring, I would wear a nice pair of ballerina pumps, ready for the walking I’ll be doing whilst I fill myself with l’air de Paris. I’d also carry a large leather handbag to collect all the little discoveries I’ll come across.
I suggest you start the first morning as I do, admiring the statues at Musee Bourdelle, who was one of Rodin’s pupils. Then head over to Chatelet les Halles, just next to the Centre Pompidou. I love spending a few moments at the fontaine Stravinsky designed by Nikki de St Phalle and Jean Tiguery, and I suggest you follow this with a glacee at Berthillon.
Take advantage of the shops around like Agnes b., on Rue du Jour, and Mme André which is a cute little shop, that stocks designers like Lolita Lepicka, accessories and little presents on Rue du Mont-Thabor. Then follow the Rue de Rivoli up to Louvre, which you'll recognise from The Devil Wears Prada. When you get hungry, you really should go to Maison de thé Angelina, nearby. It’s well worth the queue. Their thick and mellow hot chocolate is to die for, and the patisseries are just exquisite. All served in an amazing atmospheric salon with beautiful paintings. I love their Mont Blanc, which is made with meringue and crème de marrons.
Close by is an ateliere not to be missed; Maison Cadolle at 255 Rue Saint Honoré, which makes tailored lingerie and corsets. And then, a stroll to Place Vendome to linger in front of Haute Joaillerie, followed by Place de la Madeleine.
There is also a little specialist jeweller, Marthan Lorand, with good prices for classic pieces that might be worth the detour - hidden upstairs at 8 Place de la Madeleine where you will need to ring the bell to gain entrance (Shhh, it’s a secret!) And for a touch of luxury, wonder around the Rue Francois Ler. In my opinion the streets here and around Champs Elysees are more interesting than Les Champs which have become very commercial.
In the evening, I’d recommend Le Cafe de l’Homme, with its entrance through Le Musee de L’homme, with its unbeatable view on the Eiffel Tower so do ask for a table on the terrace! And to finish the night with some nice cocktails, the Buddha bar is great, located near Champs Elysees on Rue Boissy d'Anglas. Or, to finish with a (very) crazy and fun night, head to the gay club Banana Cafe Paris at 13 Rue de la Ferronnerie.
Day twoFor the second day, I’d head to the north of Paris and Montmartre for a more arty experience.
Take the Metro to Anvers or Blanche, and head to the lively place St Pierre which has an amazing old fashioned fabric shop, in which you can find almost every kind of fabric. Lots of fashion designers and seamstresses go there to source materials.
Located at the bottom of the stairs to the Sacré Coeur is Paris’ largest textile market which attracts endless designers. The area boasts the largest and oldest department store Le Marché Saint Pierre 2, rue Charles Nodier, 75018, as well as the specialist fabric store Tissus Reine and haberdashery at Moline close by.
On your way through the area you will spot the (in)famous Moulin Rouge, recognise some of it from the film Amelie which was filmed in the area, like the Epicerie (grocery shop).
Take the steps up or the funiculaire up the hill to the Sacre Coeur - the place is full of cityscape painters and portrait artists. This is where artists like Utrillo, Suzanne Valadon and Picasso used to hang out. A close up view of the gargoyles on the church is a thrill, as well as the amazing panoramic view on our great city which will captivate you.
For a typical French meal in this area, I would recommend either La Mère Catherine at 6 Place du Tertre, or La Rose de Montmartre, at 2 Rue de L’Abreuvoir, which both serve typical French food, like snails and onion soup. Make sure while you're here you have a stroll around the area to discover little designer boutiques and vintage shops . Another interesting recommended visit is to Espace Dali and its specialist Dali collection on 11 rue Poulbot.
Once you are full of art, I would go to rue d’Orsel, to discover many little designer boutiques and ateliers. And then walk down to the Puces at Brocante des Abesses to discover unique little finds or head to the Parc des buttes Chaumont for a calm moment in a beautiful floral park.
Then more shopping time in the Marais, our medieval old Jewish quarter. It’s very lively and picturesque, with lots of cute shops. Also, visit the lively Rue des Francs Bourgeois, which opens for shopping even on Sundays, including antique jewellery stores, and fashion boutiques like Zadig et Voltaire. Stop at Guerlain, Dyptique or L’artisan parfumeur to try on some great perfumes, and the rather special Musee Carnavalet is close by at 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois.
Then to finish your shopping, stop at Chocolaterie Pralus, at 35 Rue Rambuteau, to stock up on goodies to bring back home for after dinner. To eat in this area I like Le temps des Cerises, a small unpretentious restaurant on Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, with traditional food. The Marais has has many affordable creperies and greek restaurants also worth a try.
Finish your trip around Paris by a night listening to a jazz band and dancing at Le Caveau de la Huchette, at 5 rue de la Huchette, which is just like being back to the cotton club era.