Europe Food Travel

Paris – The Marais, Le Bon Marche, Le Comptoir du Relais

This is the second 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

During our few days in Paris, Mr. Feather and I mostly walked around, ate, lightly shopped, and generally enjoyed the beautiful city while avoiding any of the tourist crowds. In my next few posts on Paris, I’ll be taking you through a few of our days there.

On one of our first mornings, we woke up, had breakfast at our lovely hotel, and then headed out the door to walk over to the Marais. On the way there, we had lovely clear weather and enjoyed our walk across the bridge.

Paris - Seine Books

The neighborhoods were still largely empty.

Paris - Marais Church

Our first destination in Marais was the Place des Vosges – the first planned square in Paris!

Paris - Marais Doorway

Paris - Place de Vosges

We were heading here because I had plans to meet the wonderful Carin for a coffee date, while Mr. Feather wandered around, with promises of an eclair if he came back in an hour. I was thrilled to finally meet Carin in person, after having interviewed her twice, and it really felt like we were old friends by the time we sat and chatted.

We met at Carette, which was right across from the Place des Vosges. I’d highly recommend it for a drink and a baked treat. Prices are of course high – if you look carefully in the menu there is an “express” option that gives you a tea/coffee and a pain au chocolat or croissant for a reasonable price!

Paris - Carette

After Carette, we hugged Carin goodbye and then went on to our next stop. On our way there, we passed through some crowds eyeing flea market goodies.

Paris - Marais Flea Market

Our next destination however, was lunch! I love crepes and always try to have them while in France – I haven’t found anywhere that compares to Parisian creperies in the Bay Area, and believe me – I’ve tried. For crepes, our concierge recommended Breizh Cafe, also in the Marais.

Paris - Breizh Cafe

Inside it was already very busy at 1 PM, and we were glad to have reservations. They’re highly recommended if you want to go, both for lunch and dinner. Otherwise, I imagine that it’d be a torturous experience, waiting to eat while watching all the crepes being made.

Paris - Breizh Cafe Omelette

We shared an appetizer, dessert, and each had our own savory crepes as entrees. Our smoked salmon appetizer crepe:

Paris - Breizh Cafe Salmon

And one of the mains – a classic from Breizh Cafe, this crepe had ham, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, onions, sardines and I’m sure I’m forgetting much more!

Paris - Breizh Cafe Crepe

We also shared a larger pot of cider.

Paris - Breizh Cafe Cider

After we had sipped our last dregs of cider, we headed back outside to walk off the calories and enjoy more of the neighborhood. I love the Marais area and a great plus is that it is open on Sundays as well (not much of Paris is).

Paris - Marais Red Door

Paris - Marais Lips

Paris - Streets

After we wound through the Marais, we headed back over the bridge to the Left Bank to do some shopping. This particular day was really dedicated to Mr. Feather’s shopping (you’ll see mine in the next Paris post). He needed a coat and shoes, so we went to my personal favorite department store in Paris, Le Bon Marché.

I love Le Bon Marché because it always has a great selection (their buyers are very good), it’s location is near lovely places to eat, and it generally isn’t as crowded as some of the other famous department stores.

Paris - LBM Outside

I also think the interior is quite stunning!

Paris - LBM Inside

The fall/winter items were fantastic as always and Mr. Feather quickly found a beautiful wool coat that I wished out loud they also made for women. I think he was secretly very relieved that they didn’t, for fear of being one of those matching couples (which I find awesome).

Anyway, apart from the coat he also found some trainers.  Mr. Feather is the type of guy who would wear Patagonia fleeces and Nike trainers for all occasions if it were socially acceptable, and generally dislikes anything very “fashiony”, so I’ve always had the hardest time finding him casual shoes – he rejects everything! I finally had success with some Dior and Hogan pairs years ago so now I just go back to those brands. Ladies, if your significant other is refusing your Lanvin and Saint Laurent entreaties, I would try Dior Homme!

Dior Homme LBM


The task of shopping for two items for himself was already a monumentally tiring task of shopping for Mr. Feather, so we ended there. I did get to spend a little time wandering the other floors – I fondled some Alaia dresses and also passed through the furnishings areas. I love Le Bon Marché’s selections here – it’s always reminded me a bit of Liberty’s own furniture floor. A cool button display, below.

Paris - LBM Buttons

Paris - LBM Buttons2

After we left Le Bon Marché, we swung by a nearby favorite chocolatier, Georges Larnicol. I would highly recommend this shop, we didn’t get any photos inside, but they have a wonderful selection of all kinds of chocolates. I also like their macarons, and they are reasonably priced at one euro! We came back here several times during our trip.

Paris - Georges Larnicol

Then, we headed back to our hotel, and grabbed a quick drink.

Paris - St Germain

After a little rest, we headed back outside to look for some dinner. We didn’t make any dinner reservations this time around in Paris, so were a bit limited. However, we were lucky – since it was the weekend, Le Comptoir was open for drop ins and it was only a few minutes walk from our hotel!

Paris - Comptoir

We arrived around 7 PM, and didn’t have to wait. Around 730 PM a line started forming though, so I would recommend arriving earlier if you aren’t okay with waiting.

Some dishes from our evening, starting with a haddock roe dish that I ordered. Delicious and I loved it as a spread on top of bread. Perhaps not how it was meant to be eaten, but perfect in my mind!

Paris - Comptoir Haddock

A squid risotto dish.

Paris - Comptoir - Calamari

A cod with seasonal vegetables – the broth was amazing!

Paris - Comptoir 3

Dessert was a shared rhum baba – with a very generous pouring of rum over it. I thought I was going to get drunk just eating it!

Paris - Comptoir Rum Baba

And that was one of our first days and evenings in Paris – I hope you enjoyed. Next time in my travel series, I’ll be covering a bit of my own shopping, more of our St Germain neighborhood, and more. Thank you, as always, for reading along!

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  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 8:39 am

    LBM is my favorite too. They have a wonderful candle section as well.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 8:46 am

    What? Not pouring with rain? Not freezing?
    It’s ten years since I’ve had good weather in Paris!

    • Reply
      December 16, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Ha we were SO lucky but you know me, coming from California I still complain just because it is cold!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I adore the Marais! I recently visited Paris and rented an apartment in the neighborhood. I loved Carette as well, but I actually prefer Galeries Lafayette over Le Bon Marche. LBM is beautifully designed, but I like that GL has more merchandise and a more exciting Christmas display. The lack of crowds in LBM is certainly a plus, though. Looking forward to reading more about your trip!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Paris is so pretty 🙂 I love the photos 🙂

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I feel like I’m in Paris with you from these pics and descriptions! Do share more! I absolutely enjoy these kinds of posts. And I recently discovered Carin’s gorgeous photos from Paris in Four Months on instagram…so ecstatic you know her! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Hi, great post. Isn’t it amusing that men get so “tired” from shopping for their own clothes?

    • Reply
      December 18, 2013 at 12:20 am

      Yes! They treat it like some monumental task!

  • Reply
    Jan P
    December 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Ooh, I think we’ll have to spend more time in the Marais next time! I’ve definitely bookmarked the chocolatier!

    Le Comptoir was also one of our favorite meals in Paris on our honeymoon. The pictures take us back, and I wish we were back in Europe. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Lovely photos that just remind me why I love Paris so much even after 13 visits!!!!
    Happy Tuesday Katherine xoxo

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Love your Paris travelogue – I am going in May for the first time – very excited! We are staying in the 7th arrondissment – 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower!

    • Reply
      December 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

      you will have a wonderful time!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 1:24 am

    It’s wonderful that you and Carin got to meet up. Hope to see you in London soon. You went to all my favourite places. Of all the arrondissements in Paris, I would pick St Germain and Marais to be my favourite. The area surrounding St Sulpice is so serene compared to the madhouse aka Champs dÉlysee.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Hi! I love your blog, I just found it and I’ve enjoyed reading it. Question for you, and apologies if you’ve already answered this in a post or comment – any tips or tricks to flying first class on a budget? My husband and I travel frequently and now that we’re, ahem, getting older, comfort is important and we’d like to fly first class, but we’re always blown away by how much it costs. Just curious if you have had good luck with frequent flyer programs, or other services to get upgrades to first class?

    • Reply
      December 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Haley. I would join a FF program and try to collect points on just one alliance…it helps a lot with upgrades. We almost never pay for first but either use miles and/or pay for a higher grade of biz and we almost always get upgraded into first through that route (but not everytime!). I hope that helps!

      • Reply
        December 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm

        Yes, thank you, that is a big help! We have just started to really stick to one alliance network, so hopefully in the next year we will start to see some rewards 🙂 I’m heading back to Paris in the spring, your recent trip there has given me some good ideas for shopping & eating – can’t wait!!

        • Reply
          December 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

          Enjoy Paris!! In my opinion I would try and stick with Star Alliance or One World…are you with one of those two? Happy holidays!

  • Reply
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    January 8, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Hi Kat! I love reading this post, Paris is beautiful, make me want to go back 🙂

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