A day in the St. Germain area of Paris is on my top ten list of favorite ways to find new design inspiration, enjoy a yummy lunch and ogle over the many many beautiful baubles I would love to buy (if I were so lucky as to win the lottery or design a house for a movie star or the like). For better or for worse, a trip to Paris tends to bring out the material girl in me. In my defense, who would not be seduced by street after street of beautiful clothing, jewelry and yes home decor loveliness? Possibly Mother Teresa or maybe the Dalai Lama, but mere mortals are no match for the glittering “vitrines” of Paris, especially when they are packed with luscious options around the holidays.
I digress, this entry is meant to outline some of my more fun finds in the 6th Arrondissement in case you are on your way to Paris or just like to make itineraries in hopes of future exploration. I am staying in an apartment in the Marais (4th Arrondissement) just off of the Place Marché Sainte-Catherine, any easy walk across the river to the Isle Saint Louis. I ordered a café crème, orange pressé and a croissant from the very cozy and friendly Café St Regis 6 Rue Jean Du Bellay. The café crème was not as “crèmie” as I like but I was fortified for the rest of my journey – St Regis does however make a mean chocolat chaud (so if you are a chocolate lover order that in lieu of a café).
I continued my trek via Metro until I reached the St Germain Metro stop, surfacing on the Boulevard St Germain. I headed down the rue Bonaparte to enter the quiet maze of streets that is home to many of the designer fabric showrooms, antiques stores and home decor boutiques. Yveline Antiques 4 rue de Furstenberg, was first on the list. I was in heaven.
My photo does not convey how many fun things I could have easily given a good home. Lighting, furniture, interesting objets d’art – they have it all and it was all good!
Around the corner is the Osborne & Little showroom at 7 rue de Furstenberg and although you can most likely see their fabrics etc., many places in the world, it is fun to pop in while in the area. I took a quick photo of the window displaying a fun fabric.
Because no trip to the left bank would be complete without a stop at the taxidermist – I just had to go in! The window was actually so intriguing and the man inside was so pleasant and nice – an unexpected experience at Claude Nature 32 Boulevard St Germain. Strangely, I could have taken a little stuffed cuddly creature quite happily!
Last but definitely not least, I wandered past Gaggio at 16 rue Jacob. The necklaces in the window were gorgeous and so unique. When I went inside, I was mesmerized by the beautiful fabrics and luscious pillows – but I really wanted a necklace – so many beautiful options in the hand-knotted woven silk with gemstones and other sparkling ornaments.
Sadly, I walked on (sans necklace) in search of something yummy for lunch. I decided on Le Balto 15 rue Mazarine. Adorable, typical French cafe. The owner could not have been more accommodating. The dining room was full of French people, always a good sign, and he propped the menu up for me on a chair near my table.
I opted for the Filet Julienne with Safron Sauce. It arrived and I was a bit shocked- It was bright yellow! I know saffron is yellow but this looked like dessert next to basmati rice. I was starving so I dug in despite the garish color. YUM! What it lacked in subtle presentation, it made up for in taste. The fish was lovely and fresh, the sauce was tasty and not at all heavy – surprise surprise. I had a nice glass of white wine and followed the lunch with the dessert du jour – Tarte au Rhubarb! I had never had rhubarb tart before and again it was a lovely and tasty surprise.
Happily fed and on my way back to the Marais to continue the search for design inspiration.