Hot on the Highstreet Week 237

I know I wrote about Maison Labiche very recently, but their pop-up shop looks so exciting I can’t help but mention them again. The hipster design studio has set up shop at 56 de la rue de Rochefoucauld to celebrate young Parisian designers and made-in-France craft, the perfect place to find a quirky Christmas present.

Three years after its birth, the Maison Labiche atelier created by Marie and Jenny, opens the doors to its first pop-up store in Paris. As well as offering its signature embroidered t-shirts and sweaters, the temporary space is selling a carefully curated edit of accessories and decorative objects by young Parisian labels, until the end of the year.

The chic collection includes fragranced clutches from Kerzon, sunglasses by Waiting for the Sun and Bois2, hand-made lingerie from Slip Français, cult Parisian stationary by Papier Tigre, umbrellas by Kumo and watches from Rich Gone Broke, this minimalist new space created by Jenny Richard, is a celebration of contemporary cool and French craftsmanship. I want it all.

Discover the Maison Labiche & Friends pop-up store right up until the end of the year, at 56 de la rue Rochefoucault, open Tuesday to Saturday.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 210 – A Day in Marais

Everyone is talking about the super cool Parisian neighbourhood, Haut-Marais. Last weekend I hunted out the best boutiques, cafes and bars for the perfect day in Marais.

Marche des Enfants Rouges – I stumbled across this atmospheric food market accidentally. The crowds and delicious smells encouraged me to look a little further. After a campaign by locals, this historic area reopened as a deluxe food market in 2000, taking its name from the 16th-century orphanage that used to occupy the site. With a range of Italian, Lebanese, African, Japanese food and a variety of great artisan and organic food stalls you are sure to be distracted for a few hours.

Edited Black, Comme des Garcons – an attractive monochrome edit of clothes and accessories from the Japanese fashion label Comme des Garcons.

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel – Renowned for her revolutionary, inside-out stitching technique and statement knitwear, Parisian designer Sonia Rykiel’s chic garments are the best thing to spend your pennies on in Paris.

Merci – this concept store is unmissable, a mix of industrial style homeware and simple stylish clothes, I could spend hours in this treasure trove. Be sure to also visit Bonton the kids version of Merci, complete with photobooth and nail studio.

Les Prairies de Paris – This designer shop is more like an art installation with beautifully curated clothes hanging delicately on the rails. The wonderfully unique detailing makes the prices almost seem reasonable.

L’art du Basic – This Parisian brand makes perfectly tailored basics for every occasion. I particularly loved the silk dresses and shirts.

Repetto – rainbow display of perfect ballerina shoes, I’d love one of each colour if I could.

Jean Marie Poinot – This artisan jewellery designer makes wacky jewellery from acrylic. It reminded me of Butler & Wilson in London.

Stephane Verdino – irresistably shiny and stylish bags. Wearable and wonderful.

Rose Bakery – Perfect for a weekend brunch or a shopping coffee break, Rose Bakery offers delicious homemade cakes and savoury dishes. Spot the hoards of fashionistas heading in here.

Pink Flamingo – I can’t recommend this pizzeria enough… Started by a young couple they now have several outlets around the city. They make delicious pizzas with inventive toppings.

Pozzetto – best gelato in Paris, the strawberry is absolutely divine.

Fragments – Previously known, in a different location, as Black Market Cafe this little venue is renowned for its faultless coffee.

La Perle – this Marais institution is cheap and cheerful… grab a seat in the sunshine and enjoy a glass of Provencal Rose, the perfect end to a day shopping on the Marais streets.

Hotel de Nell, Paris

Never have I witnessed luxury and design so beautifully combined as it is at Hotel de Nell in Paris. Part of Charm and More Hotels and Resorts, this establishment is in the calm and intellectual 9th arrondissement. There is a feeling of exclusivity as you walk through the smart glass doors and speak to the suited man on reception. It is instantly clear that the staff here are passionate about their workplace and pride themselves on providing the finest service.

We were in a lovely first floor room, flooded with natural light. The space was impressively large, one of the biggest bedrooms I’ve seen in a Parisian hotel. The airiness was emphasised further by the soft shades of white and brown seen throughout the decor. Fine materials like Oregon myrtlewood, organic wool and Egyptian cotton made the room look and feel luxurious. Every room is equipped with the latest technology and we noticed these features everywhere, particularly the comforting underfloor heating. A plump Queen sized bed was made up in the crispest, whitest linens… It guaranteed a blissfully indulgent sleep.

The bathroom was the highlight. A huge Japanese bathtub, carved from a single block of marble, was spa-worthy; in fact they do offer massages in the room. The ultra deep bath was incredible, great for a soak and scrub, especially using the invigorating Charm and More toiletries. Following the bathroom round we discovered an expansive walk-in black stone walled rainfall shower with numerous different settings. Two grand sinks allow couples their own space for beautifying and cleansing.

There are endearing touches in the detailing at Hotel de Nell. A box of chocolate treats from A la Mere de Famille (the neighbourhood institution and favourite Parisian chocolatier) was left for us in the room. There was also an extensively stocked mini-bar and intriguing design books to flick through.

In the morning, after a long hot bath, I sat by the balcony in my towelling robe and listened to soothing classical music, part of the Sunday service drifting from the giant Sainte Cecile church opposite. Looking out at this 19th century religious building across the road, I breathed in the warm incense hinted air and admired my contrasting minimalist surroundings.

Those guests interested in gastronomic delights will enjoy the prestigious restaurant at Hotel de Nell run by chef Bruno Doucet. I would recommend booking ahead for a table as it is one of the hottest eateries in town. For relaxing there is a library and a glass roof bar for evening cocktails. A small spa caters for visitors in need of some TLC.

More information and book a stay at Hotel de Nell here.

Thanks to the Paris Tourist Board, more information here.