Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

20 Apr

Paris – where to stay, shop and eat.


Paris-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg I have recently returned from beautiful Paris following attendance and presentation at an international medical conference.


I stayed at the Hotel Chavanel, a recently opened boutique hotel tucked away in the Madeleine district, 8th Arrondissement. It was only a stone’s throw away from the Galeries Lafayette with its roof top views over Paris. There was also access to a metro nearby and was close walking distance to the shopping area of Rue Saint Honore.

The hotel was beautifully designed and comfortable. We received the most friendly welcome and treatment throughout our stay.


I knew the hotel had style when I spotted their Teal Ligne Roset sofa contrasted against the mint tones of the carpet in the main reception area.  I definitely noticed their on trend grouping of side tables, not to mention my favourite Normann Copenhagen Tablo side table.

We sampled some excellent restaurants at walking proximity to the Chavanel. I highly recommend L’Aromatik and Chez Cecile for their delicious French Bistro style food. If you fancy something different at an affordable price, do try Higuma on rue Saint-Honore for their Japanese noodles. The Kimchi noodles packed the desired spicy punch after much French fare.

Now, for my favourite, the shopping recommendations.


Bonton, one of my favourite French children’s brands was on the to visit list. Being a typical design blogger, my eyes were drawn to the far wall painted in a fresh mint tone, adorned by cute prints of some of my favourite films.


The colourful children’s home wares and furniture section was on the lower ground floor. I fell in love with these desk sets with their painted metal legs.


There was also a children’s hairdresser there, with its cheery yellow sign.


If only they did adult clothing sizes. The colours were all my favourite for this Spring/Summer season. Corals,Teals, mints and bright pops of Canary yellow !


How cute is this for a stylish little toddler! Love how the mint cardigan contrasts against the deeper jungle green of the trousers and the scarf, such Parisian chic!


Just up the road from Bonton was the Merci concept store. I will be writing more about Merci in my next post.  This seems to be the must visit store in Paris, for a design lover.

We visited the cafe there, styled as an old library or reading room from an elegant period home, brought up to date with the rows of dangling, bare light bulbs illuminating the titles.


I must tell you now, the cakes at the Merci cafe are to die for! We visited the cafe twice on two separate occasions just to have cake!

The orange cake above was drenched in a tangy citrus juice which made it melt scrumptiously with each mouth full. Okay, I think you’ve got the point, the cake was yummy!


When you visit the Merci store, it would be a real miss if you didn’t come out with one of their famed paper bags by Be Poles.

Now that I already own a few, my eyes turned to their Vipp bins. If only I could lug them home on the Eurostar!


I also loved the colourful linen bedding there. The colours above could quite possibly be the new look for my bed. You can get similar bedding from Designer’s Guild in London.


We were blessed with beautiful weather whilst in Paris. I had to take a peek at the Jardin Tuileries before making a visit to another much talked about concept store, Colette.

The gardens were in full bloom, pretty with shades of pink everywhere, from the blossoms on the trees to the fuschia Tulips carpeting the grass.


So, next stop, Colette, the fashion forward concept store. The blue dots are apparently the store’s trademark logo.


There was indeed an eclectic range of dresses in bold colours upstairs, with an oriental and tribal feel to the patterns. The clothes were expensive but unsurprising for the curated, one of a kind creations.


I loved the scents and packaging of the candles on the ground floor.


If you need to do something touristy like visit the Notre Dame, then do take a stroll alongside the River Seine and visit the beautiful flower market near the river, then grab an ice-cream from Berthillon.


Two sweet Clothes boutiques that I discovered and loved whilst in Paris were Des Petits Haut and Karl Marc John.

If you want a well curated department store, then Le Bon Marche is the place to go.

One of the coolest shopping streets you should visit is the area around Rue Charlot in the Haut Marais, 3rd arrondissement area. You can read all about it in Time Out here.


I know I went on about Merci’s cake above, but there is a huge possibility it came from Rose’s bakery, a must visit place for brunch and cake of course.

I love the rustic, industrial feel of the cafe with its bare stone walls, worn mint concrete floors and Ercol chairs. We visited the branch in Rue Debelleyme in the Marais district.


Here are the cakes. I spot the Citron Orange cake, could this be the same one I had at Merci?


Now back to design stores. If you visit Rose Bakery on Rue Debellyme, then nearby on number 22 is this new design store called Isarie.

There was a beautiful photography exhibition by Nicola Matheus . You can see part of the rainfall print in the photo above.


Love the pastel Scandinavian ceramics on display there.


and the eclectic range of table lamps. The mint one is my favourite.


We stayed into Sunday, specifically to attend the famed Parisian flea market of Saint Ouen. It was an interesting spectacle but to be honest, I prefer the London flea markets.

It was a charming sight to see the antiques vendors set their lunch tables on the street outside their shops with pretty table cloths, vintage plates and cutlery as they chatted, ate home cooked meals and drank wine.

We explored the recommended area of Paul Bert for some 1960s inspiration. Loved the colourful Eames chairs scattered on a side street.

Paul-Bert-shop-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg The 1960s was certainly a colourful era.


These vintage bottles would look great with some fresh Spring blooms.

If you visit this area, I highly recommend the Bistrot Paul Bert for lunch. The Boeuf Bourguinon I had came served in a cast iron pan and was absolutely delicious.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my quick whizz through Paris. I will be writing about Merci for the Urban Jungle bloggers post next. Until then, have a happy Easter weekend!

  1. Oh, I do like a girl who loves her cake 😉 ! What a wonderful guide to Paris Geraldine! Hotel Chavanel has now gone to the top of my list of places to stay in Paris, and there is plenty of shopping to get on with too! Have a great week! Toni x

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Hi Toni! Yes that cake was quite something 🙂 The hotel was fabulous, such a great location! Happy week to you too lovely! xx

  2. It looks like you spend an entire week there, Geraldine. So much to see and read! In all these years visiting Merci, I have never made it into the café. It’s always packed and people are lining up! There is a great kids clothes store next to it at its right. Did you go? Can’t recall the name and see from your pics if it was one of them. xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Hi Gudy! Yes, nearly a whole week there! I was in the conference for 3 days. We went to Bonton next door. Great children’s clothing there. Happy week lovely! xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Hi Angela! I’m so pleased you will make use of the list. 4 weeks in Paris sounds amazing! Have a super fun trip and let me know what you think lovely! x

  3. Oh I can’t wait to get to Paris! You know after living in France for 8 months, being married to a Frenchman, I’ve only been there once! While I could walk around Toulouse blindfolded with the amount of times I’ve been back, I really don’t know Paris at all. It’s definitely something I intend to change pronto so I will remember to check in with those recommendations. That cake does sound utterly delicious and can’t wait for your Merci post. xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Hi Mel! Hope you visit London when you go to Paris. You have to eat the cake in Merci. It’s delicious! 🙂 xx

      1. Oh I will, now such a good excuse to meet up with you all. It’s been over a decade since I was last there! M xx

  4. What a fab round up, I have bookmarked your post for future reference and my next visit to Paris. I’m glad you had a good week in Paris and i hope the conference went well. xD

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Doris! The conference went really well and Paris was beautiful! x

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