0fr. Paris

The phrase, “Beautiful books and ideas,” painted on 0fr.‘s storefront windows pretty much describes the overall spirit of this cult bookstore-and-gallery. Siblings Alexandre and Marie Thumerelle opened their shop in 1995, offering an ample stock of books and magazines on art, architecture, photography, fashion and music. It has since become a well-loved fixture in the Marais district, attracting a mix of local artists, designers, creative types and mad magazine pilgrims like me. It’s a tight squeeze between the books stacked on the floor and the overflowing shelves, but its eclectic collection is irresistible to any bibliophile and art-lover. An afternoon can easily be spent flipping through vintage or newly-issued magazines, rummaging through a trunk filled with postcards or hunting down a limited edition art print to hang on your wall. A door at the back of the shop leads to the gallery, a space dedicated to weekly exhibits, performances and events, as well as a corner with selection of hand-dyed jackets (which 0fr.’s latest fashion venture).

20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Jardin du Palais Royal

The Jardin du Palais Royal is a perfect spot to sit, relax and picnic between boxed hedges, or to shop in the trio of beautiful arcades that frame the garden: the Galerie de Valois, Galerie de Montpensier and Galerie Beaujolais. However, it’s the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with sculptor Daniel Buren’s 260 black-and-white striped columns, that has become the garden’s signature feature. This chic urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Palais Royal, constructed in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Galerie de Valois is the most upmarket arcade, with designer boutiques like Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy. Across the garden, in the Galerie de Montpensier, the Revolution broke out on a warm mid-July day, just three years after the galleries opened, in the Café du Foy. The third arcade is crossed by Passage du Perron, a passageway above which the writer Colette lived out the last dozen years of her life. Here are the four “secret” spots that I loved the most in this intimate, quite underrated place in Paris.

Rick Owens

Of course. Owens’ flagship store is two floors of dark fantasy. From the wax sculpture of the designer himself and raw furniture created by his life-partner, Michele Lamy, to the wearable disco-ball dresses (see the above photo) and the staff dressed head-to-toes in Rick, you just don’t want to leave this place (and you really, really want to belong to this universe!).

130-133 Galerie de Valois

Didier Ludot

This place has been on my list of places to visit since I discovered it in Hamish Bowles’ video guide around the best Parisian vintage stores. Ludot’s namesake shop at the Palais Royal gardens is the go-to destination for museum-quality vintage haute couture – it’s where Reese Witherspoon’s stylist found the 1950 Christian Dior duchess satin gown embroidered with rose garlands that the actress wore when she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2006. Designers often make appointments here to browse through the archives. Vintage Schiaparelli, Prada, Madame Grès, Lanvin, Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent… this place is intense. No photos policy!

24 Galerie de Valois

Olympia Le-Tan

The cult, hand-made book-clutches created by Olympia Le-Tan (the designer is no longer behind the brand) feels like an enchanted apartment, which happens to front the Palais Royal. From Mondrian and Van Gogh motifs to covers of Agatha Christie criminals and vintage Paris guides, find the clutch you love the most (and eventually keep it on your bookshelf).

Passage des Deux Pavillons

Augustinus Bader

Developed by a world-leading expert in stem cell research, Professor Augustinus Bader has spent thirty years unlocking the body’s innate processes to self-heal. The result? Game-changing skin care that uses a unique, patented Trigger Factor Complex – TFC8 – to help visibly reduce the signs of ageing and damage caused by environmental stressors, and leave skin looking restored, regenerated and glowing. The beautiful store – which looks more like a fancy salon than a regular cosmetics store – also happens to sell Victoria Beckham’s beauty line that isn’t available pretty much anywhere else in Europe.

84 Galerie de Beaujolais

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Fondation Louis Vuitton

I finally had the time to visit Fondation Louis Vuitton during my recent stay in Paris. Surrounded by the greenery of Bois de Boulogne, this place really does stun with its view. At the beginning of March, no particular art exhibition was taking place here – just the sole experience of Frank Gehry’s architecture. Bathed in natural daylight from the skylight, the exhibition “An Architectural Journey” was like a walk inside of a living organism. Prepared in collaboration with Frank Gehry’s teams in Los Angeles, the exhibition proposed an open itinerary for visitors. Like the building itself, which offers multiple possible paths, you could easily get lost in all the wings and sails of the construction – but somehow, this was a kind of pleasure to explore it without a plan. The visual experience offered a vision of the building’s striking beauty, as well as its technological complexity. Definitely worth a visit, even though getting there takes a while.

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Musée Rodin

The calmness and beauty of Musée Rodin instantly made it one of my favourite places in Paris. The historical link between the collection and the Hôtel Biron where it’s located is the essence of the museum’s soul. Visitors will find many pieces created by the sculptor that have never been shown before in a display that affords a more comprehensive, coherent and accessible view of Auguste Rodin’s production. After a chronological presentation on the ground floor (including a room with a reproduction of the Hôtel Biron as it was in Rodin’s day), the first floor explores the aesthetic and historic dimensions (the Symbolist room, the Pavillon de l’Alma in 1900) and the creative process (Assemblage, Fragmentation, Enlargement) of the artist. One of the oval rooms, designed in the spirit of a cabinet de curiosités, presents Rodin’s sculptural practice alongside his activity as a passionate collector of antiquities. Although it was raining non-stop for a week, we were lucky with the weather the moment we went outside to the museum’s garden. Stretching over three hectares, the grounds are divided into a rose garden and a large ornamental garden, while a terrace and hornbeam hedge backing onto a trellis conceal a relaxation area. The glassed pavillon presents more Rodin goodness, this time in the context of nature. Some sculptures are unfinished, while others bear traces of the non-finito technique of which Rodin was so fond. For all the Rodin – and sculpture in general – lovers, this place is a must-see!

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Where To Eat in Paris

While now isn’t the moment to dine out (and restaurants are closed nearly everywhere for safety reasons), we can all look forward to our post-confinement lunches and brunches (at some point) in the future. Here are six spots, old and new, I enjoyed the most during my last stay in Paris.

Carbón

Located in the heart of Le Marais distict, Carbón is an ode to nature, a place where the most ancestral cooking technique in the world, fire, encounters the products of land and sea in their extreme nudity. The regularly-changing menu will surprise you with such offerings as oysers infused in coffee or different sorts of ceviche. Its contemporary decor provides a stylish backdrop whether you’re with friends (the sharing plates are perfect for a relaxed dinner) or looking for a more romantic spot. There’s also a great “secret” speakeasy bar, La Mina, hidden away downstairs serving up delicious craft cocktails.

14 Rue Charlot

Le Moulin De La Vierge

You could easily assume that Le Moulin de la Vierge is simply a typical neighbourhood bakery in the sleepy 15th district, however it’s much, much more. The owner is dedicated to preserving the art nouveau architecture of each of his close-to-each-other patisserie stores. The décor is reminiscent of a 19th century Parisian boutique the pastries are so, so delicious (especially chocolate croissants). You might also be tempted to taste one of the numerous pastries like the exquisite éclairs or the mouth-watering tarts. Mille-feuille lovers will also find happiness.

10 Place des Petits Pères

La Belle Epoque

This upscale and mundane dining room that seems to have existed since forever has imposed itself as “the” must-go hangout for the chic, Parisian crowd. A wired atmosphere, a super discrete decor with an elegant 19th century tiling… here is the ideal place to show up with friends and nibble on trendy vintage dishes (leek in vinaigrette sauce, veal chops, ceviche and French style burgers, for a good example).

36 Rue des Petits Champs

Mara by Caché

Charming dining spot in Le Marais that celebrates contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The sharing menu has a lovely selection of raw fish (seriole carpaccio served in mango sauce, sea bream ceviche with citrus fruits…), shellfish and crustaceans, but also gourmet desserts (including rousquille, a Catalan dessert served with nougat ice cream and chocolate sauce ). All accompanied by a superb selection of niche, natural wines.

27 Rue de Saintonge

Oursin

If you’re missing the sun and the sea, head to the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, where Simon Porte Jacquemus has opened Oursin in collaboration with Caviar Kaspia. After Citron, his sunny café located just a floor below, the darling of the fashion world continues telling Provençal stories in an atmosphere that’s dripping with la dolce vita: whitewashed walls, ecru banquettes, braided wicker chairs, beautiful ceramics, draping ivy, Italian melodies… In the kitchen, you’ll find chef Erica Archambault sending out southern dishes: delicious fried artichokes with Greek yogurt and lemon zest; incredibly tender grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes, potatoes and a tomato sauce with capers – all sponged up with squid ink bread; plus an incredible chocolate ganache with yogurt sorbet and blueberries for dessert. The plates – all hand-made by Daphne Leon – are as good as the food.

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Le Costes

This place is old and really well-known, but still, no other restaurant has reached the level of cool chic that Le Costes does so effortlessly for years. The opulent Second Empire décor designed by Jacques Garcia that’s a cross between a brothel and a trip to Egypt, with a lineup that brings together the fashion crowd (especially during fashion week. We were sitting next to @ireneisgood and System’s Elizabeth Von Guttman – and we had a very lovely chat…). The cuisine here is properly eclectic. The menu shifts between healthy options (a  avocado/olive oil/lemon tartine, fresh bass tartare…) and fusion dishes (crispy chicken spring rolls – they are the best – and Thai-style marinated steak) to updated classics: a beautiful Niçoise salad upgraded to include flash-seared fresh tuna or a delightful chicken breast served with fries. Take the divine pavlova with red berries and voluptuous meringue for dessert.

239-241 rue Saint-Honoré

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)