French Fridays: 24 hours in Paris

Paris Metro sign on eatlivetravelwrite.comNEWSFLASH! This entry made the top 10 in the Accor Hotel’s “24 Hours” Blogger Contest! Click here to vote for this entry!

Regular readers will know I’m deeply immersed in recipe development for my very first cookbook right now. It’s a lot of work (on top of my full-time job and blogging) but I seem to be getting there. Every now and then, though, I do find myself sitting at my desk or standing in the kitchen, daydreaming about the day when I can wake up with a day to myself. Even better?  A day to myself in Paris.

Many of you know that I lived in Paris for many years when I was much younger, and it’s a city that still holds a very special place in my heart. Until we purchased our vacation rental property in the South West of France, we spent a fair bit of time in Paris (me especially) but in recent years our holidays have focussed on Nérac and the surrounding area. Not that we are complaining at all by I do miss me some Paris!

A couple months ago, when I was starting to plan my summer, I wondered about flying through Paris instead of going directly to Toulouse just so I could get my fix. Timing is always tight so I was even considering just staying 24 hours – it would be better than nothing. I was telling a colleague and their response was “What could you possibly do that’s worthwhile in Paris in just 24 hours – don’t you need, like, a month?” Well, yes, that would be ideal but I don’t have a month. In the end, I didn’t book my ticket at that point. But I kept on thinking about making the time for even a short stay in Paris.

What would I do? Was it worth it to spend that short an amount of time in Paris?

As I was still pondering this question, last month, I came across Lindsey’s post about her ideal 24 hours in Paris as part of the Accor Hotels “24 Hours in…” blogger contest. And I figured that if anything was a sign for me to figure out once and for all if it was “worth it” to spend 24 hours in Paris (a moot point really since Paris is ALWAYS worth it!). So, what would I do? Where would I go? What would I eat? Could I squeeze in some “research” (you know, the learning, eating and drinking kind. For the book, you realise. For the book).

So, first thing’s first…. After an overnight flight, I’d need to fortify myself. So, coffee.  I’d head to Holybelly for a flat white.

HolyBelly in Paris on eatlivetravelwrite.comA “Melbourne-style café” that serves food, these folks have great coffee (despite what you might have heard, not all Paris coffee is like “sock juice”. Thanks to places like this, the coffee scene in Paris is thriving these days). Bonus? They serve “to go” cups which this visitor on a mission needs!

Holybelly: 19 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010

Of course I need some sustenance too so I’ll swing by Du Pain et des Idées for an Escargot Pistache-Chocolat. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

escargot-pistache-chocolat-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comDu Pain et des Idées: 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010

Coffee in belly, Escargot in hand, I’ll head to the Marché Bastille, one of my favourite markets in the city…

Tomato varieties at Paris markets on Baguettes at a Paris market on eatlivetravelwrite.comOeufs frais in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comMarché Bastille: Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011

Because I can’t buy any fresh food (I’m only there for  24 hours, remember!), I’ll have to be content with eating with my eyes only. since I CAN carry something small like chocolate so once I’m done with the market, I’ll head to La Manufacture du Chocolat by Alain Ducasse.

alain-ducasse-non-conche-lait-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comI’m kind of addicted to the 45% Lait Non Conché, which has a grainy as opposed to smooth texture thanks to skipping the final “conching” stage (and the addition of cane sugar). It’s really something.

La Manufacture du Chocolat by Alain Ducasse: 40 rue de la Roquette, 75011

And since I’m in the area, I can’t *not* drop by the Marché d’Aligre

strawberries and apricots on Context Aligre market tour on, I’m imagining this is a summer trip, as you can see from the fruits and veggies!)

As well as ogling the gorgeous meats, seafood, breads and produce, I’m going to wander by the “brocante” (bric a brac) section as well… You never know what fun souvenir you might find…

Pins at the Aligre Market in Paris on pins are always a good buy!)

Weekly meeting at Marche Aligre on’s a great place for people watching too!)

Marché d’Aligre: rue d’Aligre, Between rue du Faubourg St Antoine and Boulevard Diderot, 75012

Ok, my market fix taken care of and a couple of easy-to-carry souvenirs procured, I’m heading across to the Marais for some learning at La Cuisine Paris.

utensils at La Cuisine Paris on eatlivetravelwrite.comAs a teacher and cookbook author I am always looking for opportunities to learn more.  They say the best teachers never stop learning and I can’t think of a better place to learn than here.  A smallish (but ever-growing) school, offering cooking classes and walking tours in English, it’s one of my favourite places to research the foods I write about and cook!

Mille feuille class at La Cuisine Paris on Completed mille feuille at La Cuisine Paris on it’s always the right time to “research” a mille-feuille, right?)

La Cuisine Paris 80 Quai de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris

After the class, I’m going to go for a stroll through the Marais, perhaps passing by yet another market and stopping for a few samples…

Mini saucisson in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on Saucisson seller at Marche Baudoyer on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’ll probably stop by BHV (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville)…

bhv-in-paris-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comIf you didn’t know this is a fabulous department store selling anything you could possibly want. I like to check out their kitchenware department. Oh and…

la-patisserie-des-reves-in-bhv-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comThere’s an outpost of La Pâtisserie des Réves there too… (because you know, I don’t think I stopped for lunch…)

BHV 52, rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris

Heading on up into the area around Les Halles, I find myself here.

E Dehillerin exterior in Paris on eatlivetravelwrite.comE. Dehillerin is THE place to come for kitchenware in Paris. I mean, Julia Child shopped here, so…

Inside Dehillerin near the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comYeah, um this is where I’m wondering if I can pay for a checked bag on the way home from my 24 hour jaunt… Though buying stuff is a little convoluted..

inside E DehillerinOnce you’ve found the item you want to buy on the shelves, you’ll have to flag down an assistant (they will not come and find you) and they’ll write the sale up on a piece of paper with the item numbers which you then take to the cash desk where you will pay. Once you’ve paid, you’ll go to another desk to pick your items up. Yes, a little confusing but the system has been operating like that since 1820 so it does work!

E. Dehillerin 18-20 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris

A little further down the road, I find myself checking out more of my favourite kitchenware supply stores..

Mora near the rue Montorgueil on La Bovida near the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comRead all about my favourite places to shop for kitchenware here.

A few minutes later, I’m here:

G Detou near the the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comG. Detou. A play on words (J’ai de tout) – meaning I have everything. And they really do. As it says on the window, “Everything for cooking and baking”. I lived next door to this store for 4 years when I didn’t have a kitchen. It was a sad time in my life so everytime I go to Paris now, I make sure that I go there to make up for all that lost time… Plus, you know, “reasearch”, Right?

G. Detou 58 rue Tiquetonne, 75002, Paris

I’ve somehow ended up in my old neighbourhood (I always do!) which is, in itself, a place I could spent days. On some trips to Paris, I’ve stayed here and spent the better part of a week not straying too far from the rue Montorgueil and its beautiful market street and surroundings.

Entrance to the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’m OBVIOUSLY going to stop off at Pâtisserie Stohrer, the oldest pâtisserie in Paris:

Maison Stohrer on the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comBecause…

rhum-baba-and-eclair-from-stohrer-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comClassics. Rhum baba and an éclair. Classic.

Practically next door, there’s a new place I have been dying to check out (it opened just days after my last trip to Paris) – Fou de Pâtisserie.  Featuring pastries from big name pastry chefs across Paris, it sounds like the kind of place you can hit up when you don’t have much time.

I’ll definitely spend a while wandering the market streets…

Flowers on the rue Montorgueil on Le Palais du Fruit on the rue Montorgueil on Shopping bags on the rue Montorgueil on Maison Collet on the rue Montorgueil on Quincaillerie on the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comRead more about how I would spent the day in this neighbourhood here.

One last stop would have to be Monoprix for some essentials…

French stationery in Paris on eatlivetravelwrite.comNecessary for research.

It seems like it might be time for an apéro, right? I can’t think of a better place for people-watching than Le Tambour.

Le Tambour on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’s not fancy but it’s an authentic taste of an old-style Paris bistro (decked out in old metro station paraphernalia). It’s open 24/7 and it’s a great place to people watch.

at-le-tambour-on-eatlivetravelwrite-com Le Tambour 41 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris

Ok it MUST be time for dinner, right? For me it’s a tough choice in that neighbourhood. Do I go to Frenchie Wine Bar?

burrata-with-pea-pesto-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comThis is the wine bar across the road from the restaurant of the same name. If you can’t get a reservation there (good luck!), note that the wine bar opens at 7 but does not take reservations so head there at 6.30 and line up to eat there, It’s REALLY good (and cheaper).

Frenchie Bar à Vins  rue du Nil, 75002, Paris

Or Verjus?

celery-root-dumpling-at-verjus-paris-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comServing beautiful, seasonal dishes, Verjus is a “special treat” restaurant – a splurge, for sure, but definitely worth it. And hey, since I *am* only in Paris for 24 hours… pourquoi pas? 😉

Verjus 52 rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris

or do I go classical with La Bourse et la Vie, Daniel Rose’s new-ish place offering classic French bistro cooking in an intimate (30 covers) space, tucked away in the 2nd on rue Vivienne?  Highly recommended for bistro-type dishes done very, very well done.

La Bourse et la Vie, 12 Rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris

Dinner, I guess, it all depends on how I’m feeling… But the choices are there.

My time in Paris is coming to an end, sadly but there might just be room for a nightcap… And since I’m in the ‘hood, how about Ma Cave Fleury?

Ma Cave Fleury on rue St Denis near the rue Montorgueil on eatlivetravelwrite.comAbout a block from the rue Montorgueil in what looks like a seedy street but it’s really quite harmless, this is the place to order biodynamic wines or champagnes by the glass or bottle, served up by Morgane Fleury, a former actress who serves as brand ambassador for her family’s champagne house in this quaint, slightly chaotic looking space. It’s a friendly cozy place to while away a few hours over some wines you likely won’t find outside France.  Live music on some nights and they serve cheese and charcuterie platters too.

Ma Cave Fleury 177 rue St Denis, 75002, Paris

I’m headed to bed for a few short hours (the Lumen Paris Louvre is closeby) but in the morning you’ll find me waiting to board my flight home with a few last-minute souvenirs…

souvenirs-from-paris-on-eatlivetravelwrite-comBecause, research, right?

How would YOU spend 24 hours in Paris?

NEWSFLASH! This entry made the top 10 in the Accor Hotel’s “24 Hours” Blogger Contest! Click here to vote for this entry!





20 thoughts on “French Fridays: 24 hours in Paris”

  1. Oh this article made me feel very nostalgic…it brought tears to my eyes because of the lovely memories! Three weeks ago we were in Paris staying in an apartment in Rue Saint Sauveur which is off Rue Montorgueil. Maison Collet was my patisserie of choice and the local shops were all brilliant! I also did a cooking course at La Cuisine Paris. Back home now in Queensland, Australia after five wonderful weeks in France; three of those in Rue Saint Sauveur. Can’t wait to go back to Paris, thank you for the memories!

    • Hey Maureen – I lived in the rue St Sauveur for the last year I lived in Paris 🙂 I lived in the rue Tiquetonne for the four years prior to that! Maison Collet was also my favourite place to get my bread and pain suisse au chocolat… Sigh! Glad I could take you on an armchair visit today!

  2. What a fabulous post ! I discovered LaCuisine on my first trip to Paris and it is a go to every visit ! You have inspired me to book my next visit for the spring and given me some new destinations.

  3. In my circle of fine art photographers we talk about the dream shoot we would do in Paris!
    Long flowing gowns & flower crowns with the most amazing light creating legacy images. Just spectacular!

    Voted & shared on Twitter!


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