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Paris

Avant-scène

The story of how a city’s lights, reflected in a young woman’s eyes, illuminated a mother’s heart.

I have always loved travelling with my daughter, and to mark her 21st birthday, I offered up Paris, capital of fashion, good taste … and macaroons!

As a student majoring in fashion marketing, it goes without saying that the City of Light was THE dream destination for Alexandra. For me, one week in the company of my beloved daughter, to rediscover this city and take time to stroll in the gardens of the Louvre in particular, was exactly what I needed.

When I’m there, I like to stay in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It’s centrally located and an ideal launch point for visiting on foot many of the points of interest on our ‘list of things to do.’ I was looking forward to our Vélib’ ride (Paris bike sharing service) along the Seine, the expression on her face when she set foot on the Champs-Élysées, and the feeling of immersing ourselves in the pace of Parisian life. Entering into bookshops brimming with books as beautiful to behold as to read, with a frothing cappuccino in the famous Café de Flore or at the Les Deux Magots. For Alexandra’s first visit to the French capital, we had to tour the classics! It was very moving to relive my first trip to Paris through the eyes of my daughter, just beginning her adult life, and to discover that we shared a passion for many of the same things.

The romantic in us savored the Pont des Arts, where inamorata pledged their love and left traces of their passage by attaching a padlock to the railings with their names inscribed, only to then throw the key into the Seine.

The exhibition ‘Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs’ (the present artistic director of the house) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs was a must-see. And what can one say of the Musée Rodin (one of my favorites) and its magnificent garden! Admiring the museums’ architecture was as thrilling as viewing the treasures they house.

« Just we two girls strolling allowed us to engage in our favorite activity: shopping!»

Just us two girls strolling allowed us to engage in our favorite activity: shopping! From the rue Montaigne to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where one can linger among the great fashion houses. Responsible for our giddiness were Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Ferragamo, Chloe, Goyard, Lanvin … to name only a few. Add Colette, rue Saint-Honoré, Chantal Thomass for chic, sophisticated lingerie, and L’Éclaireur, home to many labels under one roof, not to mention the essential Galeries Lafayette. This is the city to discover the fashion trends of the season at your leisure.

This world gastronomic capital is filled with unforgettable restaurants, including one on board the Bateau-Mouche, allowing you to dine with views of the unique monuments that border the Seine. Don’t forget to savour a sandwich at Fauchon, to meet in the Place Vendôme or on the fascinating Place des Vosges. Once finished exploring, return to your hotel on the métro, whose Art Deco flourishes are themselves akin to a final museum visit.

Several travel guides inspired us: Cartoville Paris (Gallimard), Top 10 Paris (Libre Expression) and Paris Louis Vuitton City Guide 2012.





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Sarah Pacini