LITTLE BLACK TRAVEL BOOK: PARIS
I never visit Paris without calling to my favourite store,
LE BON MARCHE (24, Rue de Sevres, 33 1 44 39 8000) and it's usually the final stop on my morning stroll through the Left Bank. Starting on Le Pont Royal, near the Musée d'Orsay, I wander at my leisure, stop for an authentic runny French omelette or a café crème in one of the bustling, corner cafes. Mix retail with culture and take a detour to the MUSÉE RODIN (79 Rue de Varenne, 33 1 44 18 61 10) to enjoy the spectacle of Auguste Rodin's memorable, sculpture pieces, The Kiss and The Thinker. It's a short stroll to Le Bon Marche, which is the oldest department store in Paris and a total treat for the senses. The
beauty department sits on either side of a magnificent Andrée Putman escalator (1). Your eyes will be darting everywhere as you travel under an Art Deco glass ceiling and the fragrances waft up as you explore the luxury fashions on the premiere étage. Later, go across the road to their food store, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, which is a total experience, absolutely food heaven. I suggest you head back across the river to the legendary fashion store COLETTE, (213 Rue Saint-Honoré, 33 1 55 35 33 90). It can be a little touristy but it's worth a visit if just to see the visual merchandising (2) and to finger Simone Rocha's covetable pieces (which are also available to buy at Le Bon Marche.) Head south through the creative Marais district, stopping to visit the Musée national Picasso (5 Rue de Thorigny, 33 1 42 71 25 21) and afterwards go to Les Archives de la Presse (51, rue des Archives, 33 1 42 726 393) and treat yourself to some vintage copies of Vogue (3). Movie buffs should reward themselves with a cosy, leather banquette at Le Grand Colbert, (2, rue Vivienne, 33 1 42 86 87 88) (4) which is the classic brasserie near the Bourse where Jack Nicholson surprised Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves in Nora Ephron's film, Something's Gotta Give.