When Alexa headed to Paris, she realized that much of what she wanted to see was centered in the third and fourth arrondissements. While she was there, we asked her to put together a one-day tour of the Marais with all our favorite places and her latest finds. If you find yourself with only one day in Paris, we suggest you arm yourself with this little guide and set out for a day's walk through the Marais—the best way to get a big dose of Paris in 24 hours.
Photography by Alexa Hotz.
Remodelista: Best way to begin a day in the Marais?
Alexa Hotz: Start with Rose Bakery's green tea cake or the pistachio one and a good coffee.
RM: Where to explore first?
AH: Walk through Le Marché Aux Enfants Rouge, a covered market full of fruit stands, traiteurs, and places for cheap eats. Then head over to Christophe Lemaire's for a look at the clothing (he designs for Hermès). He sells these Cartouchières—small belted leather pouches—so good that I really regret passing one up.
AH: For an absolutely only-in-France experience, visit the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature), which was recommended to me by a few trusted friends. The private museum was founded in 1964 by industrialist rug maker François Sommer and his wife, Jacqueline, in honor of their dedication to hunting and conservation. Think taxidermy-meets-opulence and you get the gist.
RM: Lunch spot?
AH: Head straight to the cult favorite bento spot, Nanashi, on Rue Charlot. Chef Kaori Endo, formerly of Rose Bakery, cooks up bento boxes with mixed quinoa and pickled vegetables—top it with a juice of the day and you've got the right antidote to all those pastries.
RM: Where to next?
AH: Near Square du Temple park you'll find The Broken Arm, where you can order a post-lunch coffee from the cafe and sift through the adjoining boutique with its mix of clothing and goods for the home. Afterward, head around the corner to the best book shop in Paris, Ofr, where you can stock up on art, design, and architecture books.
RM: Any other shops to see?
AH: Le Petit Atelier is a must. Visit Jae-Hyun Cheong and Stéphane Froger, their newborn, and their mascot dog, Pompon, in their shop, where they sell a selection of delicate handmade porcelain dishes, pendant lights, and switch plates, as well as plenty of other goods for the home.
AH: And of course you have to head to Merci to see what's new and stock up on linens and household brushes, then have a look at Bonton, the retail emporium for children nearby.
RM: Other places to visit?
AH: The Atelier Brancusi is a must-see and is free of charge (but it closes at 6pm). A whole small building is devoted to the Romanian-born sculptor's studio that he bequeathed to the Pompidou. The Centre Pompidou is well worth a visit, too, and stays open until 9pm, good for post-dinner browsing.
RM: Favorite place for dinner in the neighborhood?
AH: Get a Breton-style glass of cider and buckwheat crêpe at Breizh Cafe (thanks to Heidi Swanson for this recommendation). If you're not in the mood for crêpes, then have a cocktail and an oyster at Le Mary Celeste or, if like me, you are suffering from a little French food ennui, try the California-style fare at Candelaria for the city's hippest tacos. Make sure you walk past the front counter and all the way to the back to find the restaurant.
Here's a map with the locations noted:
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