Eating Out in Paris: Le Café Latin

Cafe Latin 3You’re not exactly out of options when it comes to dining out in Paris but if you’re not used to the city, it can be hard to spot the genuine brasseries from the tourist traps… I myself have experienced my fair share of snappy waiters and slap dash meals which is why I’m always so thrilled when I find a little gem like the Cafe Latin!

The Cafe Latin is a particular favourite of mine for more than a few reasons. When it comes to the food, you’ll find fresh ingredients and a varied menu with a selection of constantly changing plats du jour. Prices are reasonable and the service can’t be faulted but what I love best about this little spot, only minutes away from the Cathédrale Notre Dame, is the wonderfully warm ambiance which is just so perfectly Parisian. Guests, friends and family members all come and go, perching on stools at the bar or tucked away in mysterious booths as they peruse the carte du jour.

The waiters are extremely friendly and more than ready to have a good laugh (as well as giving excellent advice on wine!) and you feel almost as though you are dining amongst good friends. Located in the heart of the Quartier Latin, you won’t regret an evening at this little bistro and you’ll probably even leave your table with a big smile as you head back into the lively street of this fun Parisian district.

Cafe Latin, 14 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, 75006 Paris  (Metro Odeon)

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Eiden Jewellery Boutique & Atelier

Eiden Boutique Paris 7Eiden Boutique Paris 2Eiden Boutique Paris 1I’ve always felt that my jewellery is all the more special when I know a little bit about the designers behind my favourite creations. Maybe it’s because jewellery and accessories are such a big part of my personal style or perhaps it’s just the curiosity of discovering the stories and minds that inspire each brand, but the more I know about a piece, the more I treasure it!

I know I’ve mentioned several French jewellery designers that are particular favourites (Gas Bijoux, Louise Hendricks…) but one of my more recent discoveries was the gorgeous little bohemian-style boutique, Eiden, a brand that seems to have been made for me. Long, layered necklaces and raw metal bangles displayed amongst the Native American decor (dreamcatchers, cow skulls, feathers…) alongside leather accessories and pretty scented candles… More unusual though, is the brand’s little atelier space open onto the boutique where the two designers are happily sketching design ideas and creating new pieces, a rare opportunity to discuss the collections and even request slight customisations!

Whilst browsing last weekend, I chatted with one half of the designer duo, Emilie, who joined her best friend Sonia despite neither of the girls having trained in the jewellery making business. Armed only with her passion for jewellery and years of design sketches, Sonia took the plunge and created her brand in 2012. Within just 2 years she was asking Emilie to join her and the two transformed the brand into an international label with collection launches in London, Paris, Madrid and as far as Sydney!

The brand’s atelier is still based in the original boutique in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, definitely worth heading here as the pieces are beautiful, casual and easy to wear, and the designers are very sweet and willing to chat to you.

Eiden, 58 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris 75009 – Nearest Metro: Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

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Alix Thomsen x Monoprix Capsule Collection

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Amongst the fashionable indie boutiques and exclusively-online designers, Monoprix remains a trusty friend in times of need and limited funds! Once stigmatized because of its basic designs unappealing fabrics, the French retail chain has since reinvented itself with a stronger focus on high end customers and fashion conscious shoppers. Following the very successful H&M collaborations, Monoprix’s womenswear collection has seen numerous guest designers including Antik Batik, Ba&h, Giles Deacon and Alexis Mabille which leads me to the topic of  this post…

Having worked in the world’s most prestigious fashion houses including Chloé and Lacoste, young designer Alix Thomsen launched her own brand, Thomsen, in 2009 mixing retro prints with modern cuts and gathering a loyal following with the likes of Léa Seydoux and Caroline de Maigret. Thomsen is behind the latest capusle collection set to launch at Monoprix stores across France from the 8th of March.

Jungle-themed prints and stripes feature heavily in the 7-piece collection with cute accessories, such as socks, headscarves and even a pyjama pouch, and more daring ready-to-wear pieces in the form of a sweater, shirt dress and straight-cut crop top… all perfectly suited to the coming Spring season.

I’m not quite sure what to make of the overall collection, I feel it’s a little too bold and unrefined and yet I am drawn in by the bright colour palettes. I guess that’ll be my excuse for a trip down to the launch event for a closer look!

What are your thoughts on this capsule collection? Too wild or perfectly colourful?

Don’t miss the collection in stores and online at Monoprix from the 8th of March.

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Le Musee du Quai Branly in Paris

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One of my favourite museums in Paris is the lesser known Musee du Quai Branly located just a few metres from the Eiffel Tower on the banks of the River Seine. It may not feature on everyone’s Top 10 in Paris but it’s one of my favourite locations and not just for the exhibitions (the museum’s restaurant Les Ombres is exquisite with spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower)!

The museum itself has a very unsual structure; spiralling corridors, dark halls and several mezzanines looking down on the main gallery, a very different feel to the more popular art galleries of Paris… And the collections are equally fascinating!

Home to more than 450,000 pieces, the museum’s permanent collection features the indeginous art and traditions of Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas with everything from jewellery, statues and elaborate costumes… sometimes hilarious!

An absolute must for your next weekend in Paris and I really can’t recommend enough the fabulous dining experience of Les Ombres, check out my pictures in this past blog post and you’ll see what I mean!

Musee du Quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007  – Metro :  Alma-Marceau

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Designers Create Exclusive Cinderella Slipper for Disney Film Release

Salvatore Ferragamo Cinderella shoe design

Celebrating the upcoming release of it’s live-action Cinderella classic, Disney asked nine iconic shoe designer to recreate their version of the fairytale glass slipper… cue, nine seriously stunning sketches from favourite brands such as Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo and Salvatore Ferragamo!

The limited edition shoes will be available to order from early March at renowned landmarks including New York’s Saks Fith Avenue, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Harrods, London and at certain designers’ own stores, you can even pre-order pieces of the Charlotte Olympia capsule collection online now!

Creative Director Sandra Choi‘s design for Jimmy Choo seems to feature prominently on fashion wishlists but I’m guessing Nicholas Kirkwood’s feminine, lilac slipper will be a big favourite too… Hop over to Business Wire to click through all nine sketches and see what inspired the designers in their creation.

 

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