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Joel Robuchon

Europe Interview

Interview with Carin: Guide to Paris

I have a lovely interview to share with you all this sunny Wednesday, this time with the ever-so-charming Carin! I really wanted to interview Carin because she recently returned from a trip to Paris – one of my favorite cities – and I’m heading there in about a month. Carin returned with the most beautiful photographs and suggestions for the city which would be great for first time and seasoned visitors alike. Please enjoy!

Who are you? How old are you, and what do you do?

Well, my name is Carin. I’m from Sweden and I’m turning 20 this fall (which is a bit scary, but just a little bit haha. Although I think I’ll manage). I work as the editorial assistant at ELLE Decoration Sweden.

What are some of your favorite and most worn items in your closet?

At the moment, it has to be my new Goyard Saint Louis tote that I bought in Paris, even though I’ve only had it for about a week. It’s a really great everyday bag, which you don’t really need to be that careful with. I’m already thinking about other colors..

One of my favorite things in my wardrobe is my Chanel Jumbo flap. It’s just such a classic bag that goes with almost everything. And towards the spring I hope my Garden Party in orange will be carried a lot!

…As you probably can tell I’m a “bag person”. That’s my vice.

What was your first major splurge purchase?

At the age of 15 I purchased my very first designer handbag. It was a Louis Vuitton Speedy, which was a major purchase and splurge for me at the time. I can still remember that day!

Tell us about Paris. What made this trip significant for you?

Many things.. It was the first time my boyfriend visited this beautiful city, so it was really fun to show him everything I’ve been talking about.

The food. Both my boyfriend and I are big foodies so we were very happy to finally taste the French/Parisian cuisine for real. We had an amazing dinner experience at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which I can highly recommend. At the restaurant we met a super fun couple from Washington DC, that we had a fantastic time with throughout the whole meal.

The shopping. How could it not? You have the most amazing boutiques and stores gathered at the same place, in the same city.

What were some of your favorite cafés and little shops that you found, and what areas did you like the most?

I love the area around Avenue Montaigne and George V. There you can find the best shopping and some fantastic restaurants. The buildings are absolutely stunning; you can’t help but to walk around with your head a bit tilted back. But it’s hard to pick your favorite area since most of the neighborhoods are gorgeous. Of course St. Germain and the 1st arrondissement makes it on my list as well.

Some great cafés that I wrote down in my little guide before leaving home were: Café Angelina, Café Marly and Cador Patissier which are all located in the 1st arr. Ladurée, of course, but I would stay away from the one on Champs Elysées because of the tourists. Pierre Hermé for chocolate indulges and macaroons. Gérard Mulot for pastries, the gorgeous little shop is located in the 6th arr. Carette (8/16th arr.) for the beautiful view of the Eiffel tower. A visit to the famous Café de Flore or Le Deux Magots is never wrong, but be prepared for some stressed servers.. And of course make a stop at Berthillonfor some world-class ice cream (located on the smaller island).

What were some of your favorite souvenirs and mementos? What shops and restaurants would you recommend to visitors for a classic Parisian experience?

I purchased both my Goyard Saint Louis and my Hermés Garden Party during my trip so those must be my favorite purchases.

If you like vintage you should definitely visit both Didier Ludot (1st arr.) and Scarlett (8th arr.). Didier Ludot is apparently the master of vintage and has some absolutely amazing pieces, and the prices to match. The location of the boutique is also gorgeous and worth a visit by itself. Scarlett is great for accessories – vintage Chanel flaps, YSL shoes and Hermés scarfs and jewelry.

You should also make a stop at Le Bon Marché. It’s gorgeous and if I’m not wrong, it’s one of the oldest galleries in Paris.

Of course, in my opinion, you can’t miss the Hermès window display on Rue Faubourg St. Honoré either, and the for the Chanel lovers, it’s always nice to pay a visit to the Rue Cambon store.

But one of the best things, I would say, is just to stroll around in an area, then you will definitely find some hidden gems and some new, personal favorites.

What did you wear when walking around and what would you recommend others to wear in the future?

I went in the end of March and we were really fortunate with the weather. So I wore dresses, pants, blouses, my trench coat or little short jacket with ballerina shoes.
I would recommend people to dress comfortable, if you will be doing a lot of walking (which you really should be doing in a city like Paris). But when you’re in Paris you don’t want to, or at least I didn’t want to look too comfortable. I wanted to feel a little bit dressed up but at the same time be able to walk six hours in a row.

(..And don’t dress provocatively or too sexy. That’s never a homerun with the Parisians).

What did you love most about Parisian dress? Anything you found overrated?

During my little visit I really realized that the word to describe the Parisians (or well, most of them) the best is the word chic. It sounds like such a cliché but it’s so true. I squeezed my boyfriend’s hand every other minute or so and whispered, “that’s so chic, I want to wear exactly that”, haha.

I also discovered that the Parisians wear pants so well. So well! Better than anyone else. After the first day I wanted to unpack my pants that I’d brought with me immediately! Of course I can’t know for sure which people were Parisians and who weren’t, but either way I saw some amazingly dressed women, and many, in gorgeous pants.

 

And finally….your favorite Paris memory?

Oh, what to pick.. I think it must be our visit to a restaurant in the 8th arr. one evening. We waited for a table for about half an hour, outside in the rain. But it was totally worth it once we came inside and got to sit down at a table. The atmosphere was just fantastic and everywhere you turned you saw people talking, having fun and enjoying their company. The food was great and a huge contrast to the Michelin stared restaurant we previously visited the night before, but exactly what we wanted. We just sat there, talking, smiling and soaking up the atmosphere while eating great food and yummy desserts. It was just a perfect night and a great experience!

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Carin and sharing in her lovely photographs (I’m experiencing major blond envy right now). Paris is a gorgeous city but I think we can all agree that Carin’s insights and memories make it truly spectacular. Thank you Carin!