We’ll always have Paris…
written by Sarah Jennings
Paris has and continues to capture the hearts and minds of travellers around the world. From its famous landmarks, standing proudly above the city to its quiet cafés peppered along the cobbles, it’s no wonder the City of Light remains one of the world’s top travel destinations.
Those of us lucky enough to live in Paris are exposed on the daily to all things art, culture, fashion and gastronomy – many reasons visitors flock here, if only for a taste of Parisian life. But what about those who’ve moved on or only here for a fleeting visit? How can they continue to indulge in everything Paris from wherever they are?
Including leading impressionists and delectable treats, I’ve put together a list of 10 iconic morsels of Paris (well, in my eyes anyway…) that can be enjoyed by everyone, anywhere.
Created in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Ladurée, Ladurée is one of the world’s best-known luxury bakeries and sweets makers – famous for its double-decker macaron. In fact, it sells approximately 15,000 of them every day! Boasting a gorgeous assortment of flavours such as salted butter caramel and rose petal, indulging in an exquisite Ladurée macaron (or two!) is a quintessential Parisian delight.
In addition to its signature macarons, Ladurée also offers a selection of melt in your mouth pastries, speciality jams as well as candles and home fragrances (who knew?) With six stores across Paris, Ladurée operates in many cities around the world including Hong Kong, London and New York. And with the Christmas season fast approaching, you’ll be glad to hear Ladurée delivers its yummy goodness across Europe: Germany, Spain and Greece to name a few. A word of warning however, as the cost of delivery is based on the weight of your purchase, it can get expensive…fast! So, like most things in life (including macarons), it’s quality over quantity!
Born in Paris on 19 July 1834, Edgar Degas was a driving force behind the impressionist movement. Famous for his drawings, paintings and sculptures, he beautifully brought to life the subject of dance, most notably, ballet. Degas’ works are on permanent display in many museums around the world including The National Gallery in London and have been the subject of many exhibitions.
If you were lucky enough to see ‘Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty’ at the MoMA in New York earlier this year, I’m officially jealous. Through to January 16, 2017, The Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) in Houston, Texas will showcase ‘Degas: A New Vision’ – 200 works from public and private collections around the world.
In fact, the MFAH is the only US venue for this exhibition. If you’re in Houston over the next few months and happen to check it out, let us know how it is!
Love it or hate it (I admittedly fall into the latter category…sorry), Sephora opened its first store in Paris in 1970. It features over 300 brands, many French – think Chanel, Sisley Paris and Nuxe. However, it also has a private label beauty range, which to be honest is pretty good. I’m talking the Pomegranate anti-fatigue and energizing eye mask here, mums – a saviour after a tough night with the kiddos #mumlife.
Despite its presence in Paris for just shy of 50 years, it didn’t reach North American shores until 1998 with the launch of its first store in New York. With stores currently in Brazil, Denmark and Singapore, Sephora is set to expand its existing empire with a number of openings across India and Iran in 2017. And for all of you UK-based Sephora fans, hold on to your make-up bags because rumour has it, Sephora will open its first store at Westfield Stratford in London in the very near future! And breathe…
With smash hits such as “One More Time” and “Get Lucky”, how can you not love a bit of Daft Punk?!? Formed in 1993 by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, Daft Punk is an electronic music duo that combines elements of house music with funk, disco and synthpop amongst others.
Okay, a bit of insider scoop here. According to my Parisian husband, Thomas Bangalter used to live across the street from him during the early Daft Punk years and he would occasionally hear them practicing. I mean, how cool is that? But I digress. Daft Punk has shared incredible success over the years and has collaborated with the likes of Pharrel Williams to name a few. Most recently, they teamed up with Toronto’s, The Weeknd and released the single, Starboy. This, in addition to the launch of mystery website, Alive 2017, immediately fueled speculation that the duo is planning a worldwide tour next year. Watch. This. Space, Daft Punk fans.
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One of my former bosses was the best at throwing parties. The founder of a small PR firm in the heart of Toronto’s Yorkville, Jane always went above and beyond for each of her employees’ birthdays – mine included. Knowing how much I wanted to visit Paris, she organized a Paris-themed party for my 26th birthday and it was beyond fabulous. From lunch at a wonderful French restaurant to French language lessons on CD, she also gave me my first Vogue Paris. Brimming with the latest French fashion trends, must-have beauty products and all things art and culture, this is everything I associate with Paris bundled up into the most gorgeous of packages.
First published on 15 June 1920, Vogue Paris can be found just about anywhere in the world. This is more of a personal favourite than anything else. Jane was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in early 2008 and is now in the final stages of this terrible disease. I think about Jane often – her passion for PR, her wonderfully wicked sense of humour and yes, her parties. As a side note, I think she would find it beyond amusing to know that I ended up marrying a Parisian and am now living in Paris. Here’s to you, Jane!
I was lucky enough to see Les Misérables in London four years ago and it goes without saying that if you get a chance to see it, do! You’ll love it. Based on the epic novel, Les Misérables was written by French novelist, Victor Hugo and was published in 1862. Les Misérables premiered as a musical in 1980 at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Set in early 19th century France, it’s the story of Jean Valijean, a peasant and his ongoing search for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. But I won’t give it all away here.
The London production has run continuously since October 1985 – the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after The Fantasticks original off-Broadway run. It has been translated in 22 languages and productions have been played in 44 countries and over 349 cities. Whether you’re in London, Dubai or Singapore, don’t miss your chance to see this wonderful musical– tickets for 2017 are on sale now.
Okay, so it’s not a French movie, but it’s set in Paris (amongst other places in France), so that counts, right? One of my favourite movies of all time and the first DVD I ever owned, French Kiss is the ultimate chick flick. Starring a very young Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline and Jean Reno, we see Meg Ryan’s character, Kate – jilted by her fiancé – fly to Paris to win him back. But on the flight she’s seated next to a charming French thief, Luc, who plants stolen jewellery on her. She’s so American; he’s so French.
I’m sure you can guess what happens next, but you’ll have to watch to find out! Watching it way back when – we’re talking 1999, people – I remember immediately falling in love with Paris and promised myself that I was absolutely going to visit, no matter what. Fast forward to almost 20 years later and here we are living in one of the most beautiful cities in the word. Who would have thought?!?
Among the oldest in the world, Guerlain is perhaps the most iconic French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house. It has a loyal customer following around the world and is held in high esteem by the perfume industry.
The house of Guerlain was founded in 1828 by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain and was managed solely by the Guerlain family until it was acquired by the LVMH group in 1994. With beautifully crafted fragrances such as Shalimar, L’Heure Bleu and Mitsouko, Guerlain continues to influence global perfumery trends.
In addition to its perfumes, Guerlain has expanded its offering and now boasts a large make-up and skincare range. And for all of you spa lovers (because, who isn’t?), it has a number of salons and spas around the world including Berlin, Edinburgh and New York. While Guerlain perfume, beauty and skincare products can be found just about anywhere, yes, including Sephora, it doesn’t however, allow you to buy directly from their website *cries into pillow*.
One of my many guilty Parisian pleasures, Fauchon is a French gourmet food and delicatessen company founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon. With the opening of its first store on Place de la Madeleine in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it quickly came to symbolize French-style luxury.
With gastronomic delights ranging from decadent bite-sized chocolates to mini-madeleines and an assortment of truffle-based gorgeousness, it’s no wonder Fauchon has 450 outlets and 55 stores in 42 countries around the world. In fact, on 1 June 2016, it opened its very first Fauchon Paris Le Café in Hong Kong at Sha Tin. In addition to its selection of fine foods, Fauchon also offers online shopping with delivery to Germany, Italy and Switzerland (amongst many other countries) a home delivery service (available in Paris and the surrounding area only), as well as a perfectly personalised catering service for whatever the occasion – available in Paris and abroad!
Joie de vivre
It’s not a Parisian artist, musician or an iconic institution, but I’d like to think the saying, ‘joie de vivre’ captures everything Paris (and France) embodies and what travellers the world over seek when visiting the City of Light. Quite simply put, ‘joie de vivre’ is often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life. It can be a joy of conversation, a joy of eating or a joy of sharing a bottle of wine with friends. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more Parisians love doing than all of the above. So, in 2017, I invite you to indulge a little more in the pure enjoyment of life, whatever that means to you and wherever you are. I know I’m going to try *scribbles down New Year’s resolution #148*.
Follow Sarah @sarahejennings on Twitter.
Mama to Arthur (almost 2)
Thanks for this wonderful post, Sarah! If you found this post useful and enjoyed it, please like it and or comment. Subscribe to MLP’s newsletter and follow MLP on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.