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Paris Profiles – 1st Arrondissement with Mathilde of French Address

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I think it is safe to say that just about everyone who visits Paris (at least for the first time or maybe even the second too) steps foot into the 1st arrondissement. The Eiffel Tower is in the 7th Arrondissement, after that it is hard to miss the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, etc. Paris’s 1eme is full of activities, shopping, and places to eat and drink, but it is very touristy and not always easy to spot the “good stuff.” That’s why I am thrilled to finally have a local perspective on this neighborhood! I started Paris Profiles in 2014. The first edition was all the top picks in the 10th from my friend Daisy who lived there for years.  

You can visit an arrondissement a lot and become an expert, but no one is more expert than someone who lives there! I have stayed in the 1st a dozen times.  I love the Westin, the garden, Angelina’s, and the fact that there is a restaurant dedicated entirely to soufflé (trust me 3 courses of heaven). But I don’t live there so I was thrilled when Mathilde of French Address reached out to me. Mathilde wanted to share her lovely store, French Address, with beautiful French-inspired lifestyle products which I happily shared in my Frenchie Finds. Then I turned the tables on her and begged her to share her 1st arrondissement picks!

Let’s meet Mathilde and her 1sr Arrondissement!

French Address founder Mathilde Vuillemenot

Favorite thing about the 1st arrondissement.

I love the touristic activity! People coming from so many countries to discover the museums, the architecture, the food… I feel fortunate to live here and it makes me happy when I can help a tourist so he/she can have the best Paris experience. With the pandemic, the neighborhood has been so quiet, I felt that the soul of the place was missing. I’m delighted to see that tourists are back now!

Paris-view-garden-Tuillerie-from the Westin
View of the Tuileries Garden from Room 5068 at the Westin Paris Vendôme.

Least favorite thing about the 1st arrondissement.

Would it be too biased to say: none?! 🙂 Well, there is one thing I feel annoyed about from time to time: the works. There are always streets and buildings being renovated: the work can be noisy and the scaffoldings are discordant among the beautiful Parisian architecture.

What differentiates your arrondissement from all the other parts of the city?

The diversity of places: in the 1st arrondissement, the ancient mixes with the modern. For tourists, the historical architecture and monuments are well known: the Louvre Museum, rue de Rivoli, Palais Royal, the Tuileries Garden, Place Vendôme… For locals, the neighborhood is also full of modern spots: the shopping mall in Châtelet Les Halles, the new contemporary art venue Bourse du Commerce, or else Little Tokyo with its Japanese Restaurants.

Favorite coffee spot in your neighborhood.

Definitely “Télescope”: they are coffee experts. I particularly love this coffee spot because they have excellent coffee coming from Colombia where I lived a few years. The little extra: they have excellent pastry, I recommend the “Kouign-Amann”, a traditional pastry from the Brittany region… DE-LI-CIOUS!

Café Kitsuné in the Palais Royal Garden is also a great place to have a coffee. I like the peaceful atmosphere of this garden… Having coffee here is a great way to start the day!

Coffee Telescope Paris in the First Arrondissement

Favorite spot for drinks.

My favorite spot to spend a relaxing moment is a bar named Inavoué. They have great cocktails with original recipes, including an amazing one with no alcohol.

And there’s also a new spot I tested: Voyage, inside the department store La Samaritaine, (recently reopened). The setting is absolutely stunning! It is a great option before or after a shopping session, but get prepared: there are so many drinks and cocktails, it’s hard to choose what to drink.

Favorite local hangout.

I have MY spot in the Tuileries Garden/ a perfect spot to meet friends and chat for a while. It’s close to the entrance of the Orangerie Museum, right at the South West corner of the Tuileries Garden. There, I take seats and place them to overview the Concorde Place and the Eiffel Tower.

Paris Park Chairs in Tuileries Garden

Favorite breakfast spot.

Definitely Café Blanc, a typical Parisian café in the style 1900. It opens at 6 am, perfect for all the early risers! For traditional French breakfast, take the bread, butter, and jam option, plus a croissant and a coffee. French breakfast: check!

Favorite lunch spot.

Le Nemours is a typical Parisian Brasserie, 5 minutes from the Louvre Museum. You will find many classics of French cuisine and patisserie. My favorite is the Croque Madame and for the dessert the Tarte Tatin. This is a fantastic spot for lunch, even more on sunny days when you can eat on the terrace.

If you’re more into having a picnic, in the Tuileries Garden, for example, take a Pic-Nic Basket at Nomad’s: they have tasty salads and desserts, perfect for a delightful picnic.

Picnic in the Tuileries Garden in the First Arrondissement

Favorite dinner spot.

I enjoy going to Place du Marché Saint Honoré: it’s a quiet place a few minutes away from Place Vendôme and the Louvre Museum. There are so many restaurants, from traditional brasserie to wine bar to international food (burgers, sushi…).

There is also Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond, a perfect spot for meat lovers near Châtelet les Halles. The “tripes à la mode de Caen” is the emblem of this traditional and renowned restaurant. I won’t translate, it will be a surprise! And in this restaurant, instead of a dessert, I take one of the delicious cheeses from Normandy. A pure French gastronomy experience!

Normandy Cheeses

One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.

Definitely the Orangerie Museum. Usually, my friends come for very few days so we don’t have the time to go to Giverny to visit Monet’s house. So, I bring them to the Orangerie Museum to admire Claude Monet’s architectural designs: The Water Lilies. Each time a friend discovers these paintings, he/she is amazed… and speechless! And I can tell, I have seen them so many times but each time I, too, am amazed.

Orangerie Museum Paris 1st Arrondissement

Merci, Mathilde!

Now you have the inside scoop on one of the most trafficked arrondissements! Don’t forget large portions of Call My Agent, Lupin, Emily in Paris and SATC were filmed in the 1st arrondissement too!

Other great spots in the 1st arrondissement curated for you:

Coffee Telescope Paris in the First Arrondissement

1eme/1st Arrondissement Restaurants

> Aki Boulangerie (16 rue Sainte-Anne) classic Japanese bakery.
> Au Pied de Cochon (6 Rue Coquillière) anything with pork! Open 24/7.
> Balgan (9 rue d’Alger) the temple of Mediterranean cooking with a bon vivant atmosphere.
> Benoit (20 Rue Saint-Martin) try the Corisican veal.
> Clover Grill (6 Rue Bailleul) restaurant by Jean François Piège specialising in cooking with coal and rotisserie.
> Damigiana (58 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau) fine Italian cuisine.
> La Dame de Pic (20 Rue du Louvre) discover the flavors of Ann-Sophie Pic in this One Michelin Star restaurant.
> La Poule au Pot (9 Rue Vauvilliers) travel back in time classics.
> Le Café Marly (93 Rue de Rivoli) original, elaborate dishes with an old-world atmosphere.
> Le Fumoir (6 Rue de l’Amiral de Coligny) Scandinavian-inspired food, attached tearoom with a library.
> Le Nemours (2 place Colette) classical French cuisine with a picturesque terrace.
> Le Soufflé (36 Rue du Mont Thabor) one of my favorites! Entirely dedicated to soufflé!
> Le Zimmer (1 place du Châtelet) Alsatian brasserie.
> Lobster Bar (41 Rue Coquillière) tapas, sea food and good wine.
> Loulou (107 rue de Rivoli) French and Italian dining experience in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
> Maison Maison (63 route Georges Pompidou) restaurant on the banks of the Seine.
> Pierre Marcolini (235 Rue Saint-Honoré) Belgian chocolatier that makes Shivers (shakes).
> Sequana (72 quai des Orfèvres) beautifully presented seasonal menus.
> Tamara (15 Rue de Richelieu) zero-waste cuisine with cheerful wines and warm atmosphere.
> Verjus (52 Rue de Richelieu) a casual relaxed setting with a wonderful wine selection.

1eme/1st Arrondissement Coffee + Tea Shops

> Angelina Paris (226 Rue de Rivoli) the legendary tea room founded in 1903 in a belle-epoque setting.
> Lockwood (5 Rue Villédo, 75001 Paris) local hangout.

1eme/1st Arrondissement Bars

> Bar Hemingway (15 Pl. Vendôme) a famous bar where Hemingway was a regular.
> Le Meurice Bar 228 (228 Rue de Rivoli) the bar of a thousand stories, warm decor, and tailor-made cocktails.
> Liquorium (11 Rue Saint-Denis) the hidden speakeasy of the Halles district with a curious herbalism theme.
> Willi’s Wine Bar (13 Rue des Petits Champs) one of the first bars to celebrate the Syrahs of the northern Rhône.

1eme/1st Arrondissement Parks, Museums & Things to Do

> Conciergerie (2 Boulevard du Palais) a palace building on Île de la Cité, formerly a prison but now used for law courts.
> Domaine National du Palais-Royal (8 Rue de Montpensier) garden with contemporary sculptures and 260 black and white striped octagonal columns.
> Fontaine des Innocents (Pl. Joachim du Bellay) the oldest Renaissance fountain in Paris, dating from the 1500s.
> Jardin des Tuileries (Place de la Concorde) a 17th-century garden created by Catherine de Medici dotted by statues.
> Jeu de Pomme (1 Place de la Concorde) arts center for modern and postmodern multi-media.
> La Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection (2 Rue de Viarmes) commerce chamber of the 20th century, now dedicated to contemporary art.
> La Comédie Française (1 Place Colette) oldest active theatre.
> Musée de l’Illusion Paris (98 Rue Saint-Denis) interactive gallery with perspective and optical effects.
> Musée de l’Orangerie (Jardin Tuileries) art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.
> Musée des Arts Décoratifs (107 Rue de Rivoli) a museum dedicated to the preservation of decorative arts.
> Musée du Louvre (Rue de Rivoli) former palace, and the world’s largest art museum with art dating back from the middle ages, home to the Mona Lisa.
> Palais de Justice de Paris (10 Bd du Palais) the house of French judicial power.
> Place Vendome, the luxury setting for jewelry shops, fashion houses, banks, and grand hotels.
> Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge spanning the whole river, through Ile de la Cite.
> Sainte Chapelle (10 Bd du Palais) the Gothic royal chapel of the medieval kings.
> Statue of Joan of Arc Paris (4 Pl. des Pyramides) gilded bronze equestrian sculpture.

1eme/1st Arrondissement Shopping

> La Samaritaine (9 Rue de la Monnaie) a grand departmental store containing the soul of the Parisian lifestyle.
> Laurence Bras (214 Rue de Rivoli) a poetic boutique for the chic Parisian.
> Librairie Galignani (224 Rue de Rivoli) quaint bookstore with English and French publications, claims to be the first English language bookshop on the continent.
> Maison Kitsuné (52 Rue de Richelieu) iconic clothing line with a mix of tailoring and streetwear.
> Rue Rivoli, affordable high-street brands and designers.
> Rue Saint-Honoré, a meeting point of old-world elegance and contemporary luxury, a street full of designer labels.
> Westfield Forum des Halles (101 Porte Berger) the go-to shopping and leisure destination.

1eme/1st Arrondissement Lodging

> Castille Paris (33-37 Rue Cambon) premium luxury hotel next to Maison Chanel.
> Cheval Blanc Paris (8 Quai du Louvre) a confidential haven in the heart of historic Paris.
> Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal (4 Rue de Valois) a refined hotel designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, housed in an 18th century style building.
> Hotel Regina Louvre (2 Pl. des Pyramides) traditional French luxury hotel overlooking the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries.
> Hotel Ritz (15 Pl. Vendôme) legendary hotel overlooking Place Vendome.
> Hôtel Thérèse (5 Rue Thérèse) a boutique hotel with a charming history.
> The Westin Paris – Vendôme (3 Rue de Castiglione) an idyllic retreat in the heart of Paris.

Fin!

You can connect with Mathilde of French Address on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

How about you? Do you have any 1st arrondissement additions? Have you been to this area of Paris? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?

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Do you live in Paris in an arrondissement I haven’t covered yet? I’d love to feature your favorite local picks! Drop me a line at MisadventuresWithAndi AT gmail DOT com and I will send you the information I need, merci!

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Male standing in front of pyramid at the louvre in ParisTuileries Garden Paris FranceCouple inside the Orangerie Museum in Paris

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