Sense has prevailed and Emmanuel Macron is President of France instead of rotten to the core Marine Le Pen. Whether you’ve been to Paris before or not, celebrate this election near miss with a weekend of eating, drinking, shopping and culture à Paris.
There’s only one way to start a weekend in Paris, get your quality croissants from the boulangerie Maison Marnay, situated on rue Saint-Martin, near the Marais and Les Halles.
While away the rest of your morning in the Marais with a wander round Marché des Enfants Rouges, taking its name from an old orphanage where all the kids wore red, and which is the oldest covered market in Paris.
Head to the Chez Mario stall for garlic bulbs as big as your head and other beautiful veg, loiter round the pretty as a picture flower stalls, or do as Parisians do and head to Chez Alain Miam Miam (miam means yum) to queue for an hour for a huge à la carte toasted sandwich. It’s torturous when you’re so hungry, but it’s worth it for the tongue in cheek chat from the owner, and for the oozing, melty sandwichy results.
I love Ladurée, originally wooed by their beautifully colourful pâtisserie creations in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.
However, the infamous queen would never have sampled their dainty macarons as the patisserie was founded in 1862. Try royal fave Stohrer on rue Montorgueil instead, located there since 1730.
For fantastic company and colourful characters, make the Green Linnet Irish pub your new favourite local, before heading out and propping up any one of the many wonderful wine bars in town. I recommend La Belle Hortense, Le Baron Rouge and L’Art Brut for starters.
Stroll along rue des Archives, wandering in and out of cloistered buildings, and make a beeline for Pierre Caron Bijoux, a very pretty jewellery shop with prices that will surprise you. There are also jewellery stalls nearby worth checking out for great bargains on lace-like, intricate designs and patterns.
Concept store Merci on Boulevard Beaumarchais is filled with beautifully designed stuff, from clothes and homeware to art materials, garden gifts and cookbooks. Similar to Anthropologie but…more French.
Open since 1977, the Pompidou Centre is a must-do, stuffed full as its permanent collection is with works by Duchamps, Picassos, Matisses and Warhols, and with stunning views over the rooftops of Paris from its terraces and tubulur escalators.
Less well-known, don’t miss the far more beguiling Atelier Brancusi, the studio of sculptor Constantin Brancusi.
Kept as he left it when he died in 1957, it’s now housed in a Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers-designed building next to its Pompidou mothership. It’s a quiet haven away from the daily grind, and it’s free!
If you know one thing about the Musée de l’Orangerie it’s that it’s all about Monet, right? Wrong! The basement galleries are choc full with Impressionist artworks, the best being three paintings by Amedeo Modigliani.