Currently in my hallway is a line of packed suitcases and none of them are mine. I’m not the one going travelling and this makes me a little bit miffed. My dear husband is off on his travels again, I know I shouldn't be annoyed, in fact I will miss him lots. But it’s the fact that my DH is off to Tokyo for business and will visit Japan (again) that I’m narked at. Japan is right at the top of my bucket list of places to visit.
I couldn’t just fume in silence, especially as it’s thoroughly unjustified; I needed a trip of my own to look forward to. So I’ve booked one. Yes, I've booked a trip to Paris in September. It isn’t quite as “so there” childish sulk as its sounds (I promise). I do actually need to go to Paris for Paris Design Week. And I cannot wait; it’s going to be fantastic to visit Maison & Objet and the satellite shows. My very dear friend is actually off to Paris this weekend, so I thought I'd share a few pointers on where I thought was worth visiting.
A much younger me in Paris in 2002.
Where better to start, than with where to go to get Japanese food in Paris. I know I know I'm clearly miffed. I highly recommend Takara apparently a favourite of the fashion designers Victor and Rolf. Takara actually opened in 1958 and claims to be the oldest Japanese restaurant in Paris, I don't know if any of that's actually true but it does serve a really good Japanese menu. The staff are really helpful, very friendly and wear kimono’s. When I ate there a couple of trips ago the set menu included a fantastic green tea ice cream, which was so yummy. It's also really close to the Louvre. Address: 14 rue Molière 75001 PARIS
Another refuel stop close by to the Palais Royale garden itself, is Café Kitsuné which is a great stop for coffee and a cold press juice if you're pounding the streets shopping or sightseeing. It’s standing room only but its worthwhile and a take out to the gardens is a splendid idea if the weather is good. Address: 51 Galerie Montpensier 75001 PARIS oh and did you know Kitsuné means fox in Japanese.
No trip to Paris is complete without an afternoon stop-off for some wonderful patisserie. Something flaky, buttery, creamy and a surefire way to get your sugar hit. I'd recommend a visit to the airy white space on the left bank that is home to patisserie CIEL. They serve tiny little sponges in fantastic flavours, all Japanese inspired of course. Address: 3 rue Monge 75005 PARIS
Another patisserie I'd really like to try when I'm next in Paris is called Sadaharu Aoki, have you guessed it's Japanese again! The fun thing here though apparently is that you can get a green tea croissant and I really I want to taste that. Address: 35 rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris and Galleries Lafayette gourmet.
I can't write a post about all things Japanese in Paris without mentioning fashion and style. Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçon and Yohji Yamamoto are firmly established on the Paris fashion scene. The most striking retail interior can be found at the flagship Yohji Yamamoto store on Rue Cambon. The concept is taken from his Japanese roots and he has incorporated with the help of Sophie Hicks (who designed the space) a fantastic shoji paper screen. It sits in the window, made of folded bird like sculptures that are suspended in the all white space. It's very serene and impressive. Address: 4 rue Cambon 75001 Paris
The Comme des Garcons store on Rue Saint Honore is a bit of a find. It’s located in a quiet patio in one of the tall Parisian houses and like many of their stores it’s a bit of a wonderland. Lots of red lacquer on walls and tables and amazing pieces of art. It’s a fairly impressive space even without the clothes. Address: 54 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75001 PARIS
On my next trip to Paris I'd really like to visit the new Maison Kitsuné shop that opened earlier this year in the Marais district. The interior has taken inspiration from David Hockney and I can't imagine what all that the colour must be like. Address: 18 boulevard des filles du Calvaire 75011 PARIS
Do you have any Paris recommendation for me? If so do you get in touch, I'd love to hear all about them.