I spy with my little eye... Paris, from the 8th to the 19th district.

When in Paris I love to walk for hours! This is how I beat the macaroons + champagne + cheese + red wine equation. 
Since I can't resist Pierre Herme's colourful and surprising macaroons, especially with my coffee at breakfast (he just opened a shop in Dubai at Mall of Emirates... People, we have officially entered the era of indulgence), and since Paris greeted us with a gorgeous weather, the Gentleman and I put on our walking shoes and off we went!

 From the 16th dictrict where we were staying, down the Champs Elysees, up to the 8th district, where luxury houses have their headquarters (Hermes, Richemont, Dior...) for a cosy lunch in a little alley with an ex colleague from my Lacroix days:

We then took the metro to reach The Marais in the 4th arrondissement (aka as the trendy area). We wandered around the vintage shops, and met my good friend Melanie for a drink and a healthy chat since she is a naturopath and well-known french food blogger. Check her website here.

Finally when the sun started to set, we headed towards the arty 19th district to meet with S. She is a documentary director and always surprises me with quirky venues.This time it was the Ourcq Canal which I am not familiar with. It actually looks like a whole other city, reinforcing the idea that Paris is a multitude of villages.

That was a long, full day, that ended up with laughter, pasta and a glass of red wine!

I spy with my little eye... Oh Mamie, Mamie Blue.

Vintage shops and flea markets are what I miss the most in Dubai. So when in Paris... you literally have to pull me out of them!

Starting with my favourite shop of all times: Mamie! There are actually 2 sister shops: I love the joyful mess at Mamie, I never found any piece of clothing there but they always have great accessories, and Mamie Blue is my go-to place for hats! These places are often visited by theatre and cinema professionals. I love the ambiance as much as the owners who are the essence of parisians: moody, big mouth, loud, joyful, and I am still trying to figure out how the hell they keep track of their stocks...

Alice in Wonderland...

I can spend hours trying on hats at Mamie Blue, and if I have any doubt on how to wear them, I usually ask the owner. This day she actually decided to do my hair...

Sometimes it works out better than others:

But it is definitively my happy place!

And the answer is yes, I did find an other, actually 2 other hats: 40's and 50's!

For more information on Mamie and Mamie Blue, click here.

I spy with my little eye... a merry day in Montmartre.

One of the reasons of my trip to Paris was to attend two friends weddings. I've known them since we were teenagers and they decided to get married in Paris one week apart from each other, how convenient for the expat that I am!
On my first parisian Saturday, the weather was absolutely sunny, the city was calm, it was the perfect day to head to Montmartre and marry T. off. He is french, she is romanian, they met and live in China, and they said yes in the most romantic part of Paris.

So we put our nicest outfits on... Vintage dress and bag, Miu Miu sunglasses and Bourjois matte lipstick!

 and headed to the 18th district townhall.

Where we waited for a solid hour. It seems to be a tradition in France, even townhall is late. I can't complain since it was a great opportunity to catch up with everybody and to meet the bride!
The Gentleman was happy to document the event with his camera as while we patiently waited in the corridors of the french administration.

The bride's clear and loud "Yes!" was definitively the highlight of the day!
After officiallising T. and M.'s international relationship, M., C., the Gentleman and I headed to the heights of Montmartre for an Art deco lunch at La Mascotte. Oysters and fish on the menu with a sunny glass of white wine, that's my kind of day.

Lil'sis' joined the fun for lunch and stayed for a little walk in this neighbourhood where we both lived.

Ice cream stop was definitively required and mandatory! Happy happy gal'!

Our little wander took us to the 43 up Rooftop where M. had booked a table. Amazing view!

I spy with my little eye... Bonjour Paris!

Bonjour pitchouns! I have been in France for a week now, running up and down Paris for a wedding, thriftshopping, catching up with friends, family and mostly eating and drinking wine (life is a question of priorities). As children, my sister, cousin and I use to love play dress up with my aunts clothes. The family flat in Paris was an Ali Baba cave where we would find all sorts of treasures, heaven for 3 little girls who were rather "coquettes". This probably explains how I ended up working in fashion, my sister and cousin in cosmetics.

Catching up with my sister, all we needed was a glass of champagne (graciously offered by my father) to start reminiscing...

Amongst Paris treasures, my mother found my great-grand-parents wedding invite. Such a lovely and priceless surprise!

Champagne and family reunions often come with pastries that my father loves to go and buy for the Sunday lunch. I have to admit I love this ritual. This is what my first day in Paris looked like.

I spy with my little eye... excuse my French.

By the time you read that I will be... in PARIS! It's holiday time pitchouns! It's wine and cheese-Montmartre-champagne-brasseries-vintage time! And Paris comes with french speaking, that beautifully complicated thing. Since french was my first language, I never realised how difficult to grasp my language is: all these letter that we write but don't pronounce, the innumerable ways to write the same sound (o, eau, au, eaux, oh... all of that is pronounced "o"), the way we pronounce our "r", and our famous "vous" vs "tu". That last bit was the object of a hilarious chart by the LA Times.
I absolutely loved they detailed and exhaustive multi-choice chart they draw, including situations like "are you speaking with a child? Is the child like a prince or something?", they definitively covered all possibilities, which is an achievement in itself. I loved it so much the gentleman actually printed and framed it! So this is my first french picture: grammar!
To see have a look at the detailed chart, click here.

I spy with my little eye... the vintage rainbow dress!

If you remember this post, you remember that I did a bit of vintage shopping in Stockholm and that I found 2 dresses. Well here is the first one, the linen rainbow dress!

Like a lot of vintage pieces, it needed a little bit of work: it was a tad too big for me and the zipper was broken but the rest was perfect. So I dropped it at a tailor Rawya had recommended and got it back a week later, fitting perfectly!

I love it already! So joyful, and works as well for eventful and uneventful days! I also appreciate the fact that usually vintage dresses have a length that is acceptable in Dubai. The colours are a bit uneven but that's part of its charm.

I spy with my little eye... breakfast at La Serre.

After 3 years in Dubai, I was still looking for a proper pain au chocolat, and I had heard lots of good things about La Serre breakfast so one quiet and early morning, the Gentleman and I decided to give it a go.

The pain au chocolat was, indeed, as good as its reputation. I will definitively come back for more, but I will take away next time. I got a bit disappointed by the menu: I usually enjoy small menus but "bread selection" seemed a bit dry. Does it come with jam, honey, butter? No idea. It's like they were not even trying to sell their breakfast. 

When the food arrived (after the waiter spilled both our coffees... but I'm no one to talk: serving a coffee is something I've never been able to do, seriously), I found the omelet too heavy. I actually couldn't finish it. I had the impression that they had added cream, or maybe just too much butter, but the result was that it didn't agree with me, so I had half an omelet and half a pain au chocolat.
La Serre for breakfast, yes, but at home!

For more information about La Serre, click here.
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