Sometimes you just want to spend the whole day with your "gal pals": treat yourself to a perfect breakfast, relax in spa, have dinner and cocktails on a roof with fantastic view. There is no better place to do it all than Paris, and this route will reveal to you the most suitable places for such occasion.
Hollybelly is an ideal place not far from Canal Saint-Martin to have a bite and good coffee in beautiful interiors. Sounds like nothing special but Paris still lacks such venues. This one was opened by one of the contributors to Kinfolk magazine together with his girlfriend so the place often hosts their parties and sells magazines, of course. The atmosphere is great – welcoming inked baristas in beanie hats and the gem is their awesome coffee. If you don't want to spend thirty minutes in a line come to have breakfast on a week day. Music can be too loud but breakfasts and brunches are made of organic local produce and are perfect as well as coffee.
"The Fugitive" is one of the largest spa centres in Paris and definitely one of the nicest ones. It is just a few steps away from Richard Lenoir boulevard, on a quiet Folie Mericourt street. The facade of L'echapée doesn't give the right impression of what's inside, as is often the case in Paris. Spending a day in L'echapée is the best way to recharge your batteries after long days of shopping, walking and visiting museums. Massage, swimming pool, hammam, various procedures, as well as pilates and yoga – there are plenty of choices. Begin with full body massage, take a break for tea by the pool, and then take a swim and go to hammam. When you feel hungry, just go upstairs to the restaurant, sit on a snug sofa and order what will be one of the tastiest meals of your trip. At weekends they have fantastic brunches, but for those come early, as the number of people willing to try them is usually much bigger than the number of seats available.
Merci is one of the loveliest concept stores in Paris. An enormous well-lit space hidden on Boulevard Beaumarchais seems to be perfect. It regularly showcases installations by the best stylists and designers and has everything – from clothes and accessories to house utilities, furniture, bedding, cosmetics and stationary. All profits go to charity, by the way. The place also has plenty dining options – a cozy Used Book Cafe to the right of the entrance is perfect for breakfast and brunch with a book – they have a library of thousands here. For a light lunch go to Cinema Cafe – they serve several salads and soup of the day. La Cantine on the ground floor has a patio view and healthy options – fresh fruits, smoothies, seasonal products only and fantastic desserts. So, if you have little time and need a party dress, a gift for your friend, something for your home and are hungry – Merci has it all.
Paris has a problem with vegetarian places but Pinson is vegan's dream coming true. Frisco-inspired place has huge armchairs by the window, so grab a detox smoothie or a home-made lemonade and have a seat waiting for an original organic food (quite yummy, by the way). Most things on the menu are gluten and dairy free. Try them even if you don't care much about eating healthy just to see that vegan food can be delicious. And picky locals seem to really love it – recently the second cafe Pinson opened in the 10th arrondisment (58 rue du Faubourg Poissonière). And there are not that many 24/7 places in Paris.
Yukiko, the owner, created a heaven on Earth for vintage lovers. Celebrities and sharp dressers come here looking for a silk Hermes handkerchief, a Dior bag, a Gucci wallet, and, of course, Chanel purses and accessories. Yukiko also started her own line of fur clothes and silk shirts that are a perfect match to her vintage treasures (it is still a secret where she manages to find them). Mirrors, candles and lamps make the space look like a girl's bedroom, cute and elegant. You can't avoid a feeling that Grace Kelly is about to come is. In addition, Yukiko recently launched an e-shop (http://www.vintage-paris.com/) where you can select something before you go to an actual shop.
L'Eclair de Génie
Macaroons and cupcakes came out of fashion several years ago, and now eclairs are the main dessert here. Although they are sold on every corner, L'Eclair de Génie in Marais is the only place worth spending time to get to in order to buy them. This concept store, dedicated solely to eclairs and chocolate truffles, was opened by Christophe Adam, former creative director at Fauchon, who once decided that eclairs are his favourite dessert. Besides, they look brilliant (feel free to take a photo for your Instargam) and taste wonderful thanks to a contrast between crunchy dough and tender creme, and because of a combination of unconventonal flavours – pistachios and orange, lemon, chocolate with mango and banana, or roses with marshmellows, for instance. You simply can't leave without buying a box with a dosen of those colorful beauties.
Paris, unlike London and NYC, doesn't have that many rooftop bars or restaurants, that's why Le Perchoir, which has recently opened in Oberkampf number one bar spot, is so popular. There is a huge line of people craving a 360° panorama of Paris, though the place has no ads or signs – it is all spread by word of mouth. Once you pass face control and take the elevator up the 7th floor a relaxed and nice bar welcomes you. It is ideal for a summer drink and tapas with your friends admiring Paris in the rays of the setting sun. The place can seat only 110 people so better come early (5-5.30, after 18.30 don’t even try). There is, however, another option - book a table in Le Perchoir restaurant under the bar to have a rooftop aperitif before a great dinner.
Sometimes you want more than just a yummy dinner but an experience. For lunch with the view go to the terrace of Kong futuristic restaurant on the sixth floor of Kenzo building. Designed by Philippe Starck, this fabulous mirrored roof offers stunning views on Paris roofs, Seine and Pont Neuf . You should visit it at least once, just don't forget to book a table and specify you need a veranda one, otherwise you will be seated a floor lower. A nice meal will cost you 30-60€ (they serve British, traditional Japanese and French food). Have a drink (happy hour is from 18 to 20) and make some great shots of Paris.