Europe Travel

Paris – St. Germain, Hermes, L’Avant Comptoir

This is the third post in my 2013 trip series to Paris and Budapest. For the remainder of the series, please see below.

Paris – Hotel Esprit Saint Germain
Paris – The Marais, Le Bon Marche, Le Comptoir du Relais
Paris – St. Germain, Hermes, L’Avant Comptoir
Budapest – Four Seasons Gresham Palace
Budapest – Andrassy Avenue, Onyx
Budapest – Taste Hungary
Budapest- Christmas Markets, Bock Bistro

Today, I want to share with you some of our favorite spots and sights around the St. Germain area (as well as a quick detour over to the right bank for some rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré!) in a day to evening format. This is my last post on this 2013 Paris trip, and I hope you enjoy!

Each morning after breakfast, we would leave our lovely hotel for a walk around the neighborhood. There were so many great stores, wonderful cafes and restaurants, and beautiful buildings to see.

Paris Neighborhood

Right around the corner from our hotel (literally a five minute walk) was (in my opinion) the king of macarons, Pierre Herme. We dropped by several times during our brief stay. A new positive development that I noticed? The shop usually had free samples out!

Paris - Pierre Herme

Paris - Pierre Herme Treats

My #1 favorite flavor that I always have to get from Pierre Herme is the “Mogador” macaron – this is a year round classic, dark chocolate and passionfruit. Along with Mogador, I usually will choose a selection from the season. The most popular current season flavor seemed to be “Chocolate and Foie Gras” – almost everybody in line ordered a few while we were there. I got one too, just for fun, but for me it didn’t match up to some of my other favorite flavors.

Paris - Pierre Herme Foie Gras

Also very close to our hotel was a selection of great shops – Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Taschen (to browse fun books), and more. My personal favorite was actually a shop called Liwan, maybe a one minute walk from our hotel.

Paris - Liwan

Liwan had a great selection of items from all over the world, hand selected by the very charming owner. Since we had just been in Bali and South Africa earlier in the year, it was fun to recognize some of the local items from those destinations, in this store in Paris!

Paris - Liwan Inside

After some time poking around the neighborhood, we would then have some lunch. I mentioned earlier that I love crepes, and another great crepe place we visited that was in our local neighborhood was Little Breizh.

Paris - Little Breizh

I would really recommend this restaurant if you are in the St. Germain area – especially for lunch! I think for something like 10 euro each, we each got to chose for ourselves one savory crepe, one sweet crepe, and a cup of either cider of apple juice. A yummy, filling meal and the cider was especially good.

Little Breizh

Little Breizh is quite cozy inside, so I’d recommend coming earlier for lunch (before 12), and the same applies for dinner.

Paris - Little Breizh Inside

Now…onto a little bit more shopping. A short walk from Little Breizh was the newest Hermes shop in Paris, on rue de Sevres. It was wonderful, and I’d highly recommend a a visit! Not very crowded at all, very good service, and a great display of “Petit H” items.

And of course the shop itself was beautiful.

Paris - Hermes Sevres

Since it was much closer to our hotel, the Sevres store was the one I visited most while were in Paris. However, we did make one stop by the “flagship” Hermes, on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It’s always a very happy feeling…walking up to this building!

Paris - Hermes Sellier

Mr. Feather was very thoughtful and planned a visit to the Hermes museum for us while we were in Paris. The Hermes museum is a private museum on a higher floor above the regular boutique, where a collection of items and history of the Hermes family is kept. I had been to this museum exactly once when I was a lot younger, and barely remembered anything (except that I saw a saddle that Napoleon had sat on, and thought it was very small, perfect for me!). So it was an amazing feeling to get to go back and visit, and see all the of the fantastic new additions. We had a private guide for our tour who I could have listened to all day, and who had just an incredible amount of knowledge about every one of the items.

Our guide did ask that photos not be published of the items inside the museum so I of course am honoring that request. I’ll just share a photo of me below inside with the look that was constantly on my face – of “WOW! Cool!”.

Paris - Hermes Inside

Between our stops at Hermes Sevres and at the flagship we picked up a few items. The first was a pair of crystal glasses by Saint Louis. Hermes purchased Saint Louis some time ago, and now all Hermes crystal is made by Saint Louis (and Hermes boutiques also stock the brand).

St Louis 1

I never, ever thought I would be an appreciator of crystal, but our sales associate showed us these glasses, we were both drawn to them! I love that they can be flipped over, so you can use them for either wine, champagne, or just water. We took home two, so we could each have one and always remember our trip when using them.

St Louis 2

I also brought home a few bags. You never know what you’ll get with Hermes inventory, so I felt lucky that there was a nice selection while we were there. Here are the two I ended up with for myself – the Sac Roulis and the Evelyne. The Roulis was a surprise – I had always thought I would get a Constance, but when I tried on each (over and over again….), the Roulis came home! I will be doing a separate review of each of these bags, separately, so you can see how they are worn.

Hermes bags

By the way, I’ve said it before and I will say it again – when you’re in the French Hermes shops (I’m not sure if they do it in all the other European stores), have your shopping bags delivered to your hotel! So much easier and more convenient (not to mention safer), and I’ve never had an issue at any hotel, large and small.

After our visit to Hermes, we walked back home, with a small detour to admire the Place de la Concorde. It was starting to get dark.

Paris - Concorde

For dinner, we returned to the St. Germain area. The evening earlier, we had gone to one of my favorite patisseries, Gerard Mulot (a very quick, five minute walk from our hotel), and returned with a selection of sweet and savories. Please visit if you are in Paris! You won’t regret it.

Paris - Gerard Mulot

Paris - Gerard Mulot Chocolates

Paris - Gerard Mulot Inside

Paris - Gerard Mulot Savory

We were tempted to return again actually (I was thinking about the smoked salmon sandwich…), but instead, we decided to have dinner at almost the same place we had been two nights earlier – L’Avant Comptoir, right next to Le Comptoir.

Paris - Avant Outside

L’Avant Comptoir is a standing room only tapas bar, first come, first serve – which was perfect for us because as I said earlier, we didn’t make any reservations while in Paris.

Paris - Avant Ceiling

All of the regular choices were displayed on the ceiling, with a few special drawn on chalkboards. Some of our selections for dinner, starting with onion rings! I think the whole restaurant ordered these, and this picture is actually of the couple next to us, who were happily digging in.

Paris - Avant Onion

A potato omelette.

Paris - Avant Comptoir Potato

A jamon croquette and wild mushroom soup.

Paris - Avant Croquette

A salmon croquette.

Paris - Avant Tartare

And of course, lots of wine! And a very friendly staff.

Paris - Avant

Paris - Avant Wine

After our dinner at L’Avant Comptoir (and by the way, the prices were completely reasonable, especially for Paris), it was already dark outside. On our last evening in Paris, even though it was feeling quite cold, we decided to walk around and take in some final sights around the beautiful city.

Paris - Notre Dame

Paris - Metro

Paris - St Germain Night

Mr. Feather and I both travel for our jobs, and have each been “lucky” enough to find ourselves in this beautiful city at one time or another for work. However, I always find Paris a completely different city when you visit for pleasure…more beautiful, more charming, and time seems to go a little more slowly, while you enjoy every minute.  I don’t think I will ever tire of this beautiful city!

Thank you so much for reading along on our Paris adventure…next time, I’ll be starting on Budapest! Happy early New Year and best wishes for a wonderful beginning to 2014!

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  • Tabitha
    December 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Hello beautiful! Oh I love St Germain, its such a coo, laid back area and those glasses, wow, what a brilliant idea – excellent purchase.

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Thank you T! Have a wonderful NYE!

  • Marlene
    December 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    My favorite has got to be the Left Bank too. I adore Laduree packaging but Pierre Herme and a few other small & relatively unknown patisseries/chocolatiers beat it hands down, many times over. Congratulations on your new bags!

    • Groupthink7
      December 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

      How do you like the Evelyne bag? I bought it about two years ago because my sister and husband did not like it. What are your thoughts?

      • Katherine
        December 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        I love it!! I liked it so much that I bought another one later on our trip which was then taken by my mom. Do you like yours? I find it so easy for hands free carrying!

        • Groupthink7
          December 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

          I sent mine back. I kind of regret it after seeing yours. However, a lot of crossbody bags hurt my shoulders and back.

          • Katherine
            December 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

            I think if you sent it back it probably wasn’t meant to be 🙂 I know a lot of people with that issue and I think the Evelyne’s strap can be heavy if you have pain there. Happy NYE!

  • Jessie
    December 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I always loved your blog but never left a comment. So hello!

    I am very envious of your vert de Gris Kelly as I tried to SO it about a year ago but rejected bt Paris…I had the perfect colour idea for lining so it was a huge disappointment when my SA rang to tell me I had to choose another colour…

    Rant over and could I ask how your incredibly thoughtful husband organised a trip to the museum? Do we need to request it through our local shop or can we just turn up and ask?

    I would be very grateful if you could answer.
    TIA!!

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Jessie, thanks for the kind words and leaving a comment! I love my VdG Kelly but Hermes is always coming out with an amazing gray after another so I am sure you will find one that you love equally or more (if you didn’t already!). SOs can be a love or hate affair, I agree!

      A visit should be arranged in advance and they will give you an appointment – I would schedule the visit at your local store, your SA and/or store manager should be able to work out the details with Paris.

      Enjoy your trip!

      • Anonymous
        January 31, 2014 at 9:53 pm

        Hello, I am also going to Paris in a few weeks with my husband and would love to visit the Hermes Museum. I love your posts on Paris! Your recommendations have been really helpful. But I don’t understand what SO or SA mean? Please could you explan? Thank you!

        Ola

        • Katherine
          February 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

          Dear Ola, SO means special order and SA means sales associate (at least in my world)…enjoy Paris!

  • philip go
    December 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Loving the Hermes Haul, Kath!

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Philip!

  • Katherine
    December 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    So jealous of your trip 🙂 This is a place I want to visit in the future 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Ammu
    December 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Lovely photos! Make me so nostalgic for Paris 🙂

    • Katherine
      December 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Thank you Ammu! Happy NYE and best wishes for a wonderful 2014!

      • Anonymous
        January 2, 2014 at 1:44 am

        Happy new year to you too!

        • Katherine
          January 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

          Thank you!

  • Paris in Four Months
    December 31, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Loove it! Wish you could come back to Paris very soon again 🙂

    xx Carin

    • Katherine
      December 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Thank you so much Carin! I hope we can see each other again, I think my husband will bother you about photography some more 🙂 Wishing you the best 2014 and can’t wait to follow along on all your success!

  • Ava Lon
    December 31, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Dearest Katherine,
    Just wanted to wish you a lovely 2014 filled with much happiness, laughter and lots more Hermes – LOL!
    Thank you for your wonderful posts this year and I am confident I am not alone when I say I look happily forward to many more!

    All the best to you and your hubby and all your travels and adventures!

    Meilleurs Voeux,
    Ava Lon

    • Katherine
      December 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Thank you so much Ava! Wishing you the best 2014!

  • bisbee
    December 31, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I have enjoyed your Paris posts – DH and I are going in May for the very first time, and I can’t wait! I believe we will be better off making advance reservations for dinners, since we are clueless about the city, and I don’t want to wander aimlessly when we are hungry for dinner, although I am looking forward to wandering around at other times! We have our transporation and hotel all booked – I am getting ready to begin planning exactly what we want to do – we have 4 nights in Paris and 2 in London, then we are taking the QM2 back to the U.S. – that was for DH – Paris is for me!

    • Katherine
      December 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

      May will be beautiful! You will have such a wonderful time. I think reservations are a good idea especially as so many popular places in Paris get booked up very quickly. Enjoy!

  • irina
    December 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Dear Kat – Happy New Years! Here is for your time dedicated to this blog and beautiful things of all sorts, and also for your patience and kindness in asnwering millions of questions:) Health and happiness for you and your family! xoxo, Irina.

    • irina
      December 31, 2013 at 10:12 am

      And i hope to see you in LA next year:)

    • Katherine
      December 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Irina! Thanks for being such a kind reader and I hope that I can visit LA too! Love the city!

  • Sonita Lontoh
    January 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Happy New Year, Kat! Good health, joy and happiness in 2014 and beyond! Thanks for keeping the fabulous blog, always enjoy reading it!

    Best,
    Sonita

    • Katherine
      January 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you Sonita! Best wishes for 2014!

  • bluepolkadotpjs
    January 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Kate,
    I’m so jealous that you can travel for work! I have fond memories of Paris, because I was there for my honeymoon and I haven’t been able to go back for quiet a while because of work and life. =) Thank you for sharing your experience! It felt like I was there while I was reading your post. I will definitely check out the Hermes museum next time I’m there. I’m looking forward to the review on your new Hermes bags. =)

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2014 at 10:53 am

      THank you! I hope you can go soon and enjoy Paris 🙂

      • Sonita
        January 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Kat,

        Btw, really loved your Roulis? What color and material is it? Cannot wait for the reviews. Thanks!

        • Katherine
          January 7, 2014 at 9:44 am

          I love the Roulis too! It’s Rouge Casaque and Clemence. Highly recommended, especially if you like the Constance!

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  • Shirling
    January 8, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Lovely post…and congrats on your new bags 🙂

  • Diva In Me
    January 21, 2014 at 2:03 am

    You were right about the Hermes store on St. Honore. It’s amazing! Ok, I must say after visiting Paris for the 3rd time, this is my 1st visit to the Hermes store after hearing much recommendations. I’m glad there’s no line outside the store but it’s definitely a busy store. I toured the store and tried my luck with by asking the SA if they’ve a Birkin or Kelly but they said it all flew off the shelves for the day. I guess better luck for me next time =D

    • Katherine
      January 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Good luck next time! I’m glad that you had a good time in Paris!

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