paris walk no. 2: marais

flagsSick of Paris yet?! But I have so many more images!! Maybe I’ll do a Bonn/Brussels post next to shake it up a little. I haven’t even come close to editing all of them, AND I just realized I never finished writing about this last Vermont trip. LIFE. YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST. Did I mention that whole 3 months until the wedding, oh, and my job is crazy?

I’m getting jealous of career bloggers who can sit and write and have the space to think about what they want to say! I’m just sneaking in bits and pieces here and there, convoluted little posts! Whew. I need a vacation from my work-vacation. We’ve been working on the invites (with help from the amazing Laurel) and need to really get going on assembling them. Next weekend? I need a life intern!

So! The Marais! Remember that whole TOTAL MELTDOWN thing? Well, I decided it would make sense to splurge on a hotel for myself for 2 days to unwind from working, and found a good deal at the Hotel Gabriel, in the 11th on the edge of the Marais. It turned out to be a super great location – a quick trek up the canal to Mathyld‘s, lots of shops in the 11th, and a quick walk to the 3rd. And it kept me from LOSING MY MIND. I have to keep telling myself that as I look at the credit card bill. It really was a perfect moment of calm in a hectic trip.

hotelIt also manages to suit my whole “hotels should be white and clean and like floating in space nothingness” philosophy of escape. Anyway, in my pretend future life I can afford more than 2 nights at a hotel in Paris and I have a dreamy escape time.

breakfastHotel Gabriel Marais Paris
25 Rue Grand Prieuré

dupainetdesideesDu Pain et des Idées
34 rue Yves Toudic

It’s also a quick walk to this darling artisan bakery.

marais2If you go to Paris, do this walk! (Click it for full map.) I am not even effing around! It takes you past the very pretty square on rue du Temple, Nicolas Flamel’s house (the oldest house in Paris), a couple of timber houses, loads of amazing shops, falafel land, Kusmi tea, the Musee Carnavalet, and the Place de Vosges. For starters. I zigzagged all around the center, as well.

timber2timberboulevardbeaumarchaisdooryardrepubliquepharmacyIt’s old old old and there are a million little parks and courtyards to duck into.

Le Petit Atelier de Paris
31 rue de Montmorency

boxesKusmi Tea
on the corner of rue des Rosiers

Mariage Freres
35 rue du Bourg Tibourg

76 rue Des Tournelles
Astounding designer vintage/gently used recent designer clothing. Wished I had endless money. I wished this a lot in Paris.

L’Air de Rien
33 Ter, rue Des Tournelles
I got a present for S. here, it’s a dream of a shop for housewares/design.

bonheur2petitbonheurAu Petit Bonheur La Chance
13 rue Saint-Paul

Les Petits Blablas
7 rue de Crussol


window2The Musée Carnavalet. This museum is free and on my last day, Mathyld talked the guard into sneaking us back into the closed-for-the-moment Mucha-designed jewelery shop, rebuilt in the museum. I started crying it was so beautiful and somehow familiar – I’ve had teary museum moments before but this was intense, I wish I could have spent hours there. muchamucha3mucha4

Musée Carnavalet
23 Rue de Sévigné


Nicolas Flamel’s house
51 rue de Montmorency

L’as du Falafel
34 Rue des Rosiers

rue des Rosiers
So the line at L’as du Falafel was too long and the man at Mi-via-mi saw me eyeing it and beckoned me over. I don’t wait in line, for anything, it’s a personal policy. Anyway. Mi-va-mi hooked me up, over-loading up my falafel despite my protests (“haha, the chubby little American will eat anything!”) & I ended up with the best falafel I’ve ever eaten for like 5 Euro. Ok. Awesome.

sorbetNearby is a gelato chain where all the servers are magically trained to scoop ice cream into the shape of roses. Roses. (&the pretty wrist tattoo belongs to my Saturday guide, Poppy, who was in Paris and took time out to cheer me up! Yay!)

carousel_republiquefountainflags2grisettebainsSo yes, the Marais warmed my cold little heart up to Paris, though was still SWARMING with shoppers pushing you into the street. It just finally felt old, historical, magic in a glimmer of the way I expected all of Paris to instantly be….


    1. Which one! The first is one of my favorite photos I took in Paris. I took some film of it too, but I don’t know if it came out because it stopped winding at picture 16. :(

  1. that hotel looks a lot better than i imagined – i was worried for you about the light-up people thing which is a concept i find highly disturbing for some reason but it actually looks pretty cute.

    oh, the gardens of the musée carnavalet… so beautiful. i miss strolling by – the apartment we rented was in a hôtel particulier situated just a couple of blocks away. it was really the perfect location.
    beautiful photos!
    want. to. go. back. now.

    1. No, it was ok, those little people! It felt very space-y, but I think I needed it after all the chaos. A little white and clean and cool space pod for recharging.

      I swear, one day I’ll open a hotel, I have such a crazy idea of how they should be. A re-set button hotel, all white and airy.

      Now that I’m doing these posts I want to go back! But really by my 2nd to last day I was thinking “Nooo, I have so much more to seeeee.” It really wasn’t until the last 3 days that I was able to just spend time doing what I wanted. :(

  2. these posts have been the highlights of my busy days…i could weep with how much i want to be there! i am going to print out and wish upon your little map. i got really excited about that.

    1. It’s strange how much I wanted to see Paris, like a desperation and idea of what it would be like, and then the feeling did NOT translate once I was there. I’m super grateful for a free ticket there, (though I spent the same amount in the 4 days I wasn’t working, it’s SO EXPENSIVE there) but I think maybe my expectations were a little too high. I found Brussels far more beautiful and enchanted…

  3. Oh no, another post bookmarked for the future. These posts are nuggets of goodness that I must save for my future Paris-going self.

    And can I just add that I didn’t know Nicholas Flamel was a real person outside of Harry Potter. I read that you went past his house and I was like WHAT?! A quick google explained he was real. Holy cow.

    1. Ha! I wish I’d traveled into magic-land!! I did want to do an “magical Paris” walk, but I didn’t have the time to research it. We went to an amazing medieval museum, though.

  4. There is so much more in Paris I want to see. But like you we were in and out of there so fast we hardly had time to breathe. And then there was the whole Footlocker/Burger King thing that is TOTALLY A MAGIC KILLER! We ran for the Conciergerie because we could see it. Totally saved our day!


    The time we spent outside of Paris was the most magical. Down in Saumur in the Loire Valley sans tourists! Took 3 trains to get there! The Chateau had moat bunnies!

    1. Oooh, I walked past that place but didn’t know what it was. Sigh, I wish Paris was more old-y and not so mall-y. We accidentally walked through THE MOST HORRIBLE MALL EVER smack in the middle of the city. Total buzzkill.

      These photos have the teeming masses sneakily cropped, but oh, were they there.

  5. I was so glad & relieved that the woman accepted to show you the Mucha shop … You really HAD to see it !
    Also … Guess which other pic I took, except for the garden ones & the Mucha shop, last time I was there … ?
    Right. The giant scissors ! Ha ! Twin photographers !

    x x x

  6. Dying with love for everything I see here.
    I’m crying just LOOKING at the pictures of the Mucha-land.
    That is where I should live, forever. And be served rose-shaped sorbet
    all day. I want to jump into all of these pictures, and jump in the fountain
    and aaaah! It’s making me want to travel SO BAD!

    1. Allons-y! World tour! This time with sleeping!

      I wanted to jump in all the fountains and even walked in one, but they’re sooooo nasty and sludge-y. It was so. so hot. though.

  7. really. so lovely lovely. that top photograph is perfect Paris distilled. have i said that already? or just thought it? i don’t know. anyway, i am totally yearny for travel. take me away!

  8. Thank you for the gorgeous photos! These bring back memories of my time in Paris last year, staying in le Marais. Too bad the line up at L’as du falafel was too long. I had the chance to eat there a few times and it was super nommy! Next time I’ll have to try the flower shaped gelato :)

  9. oh.my.god, this post has brought me extreme happiness, especially the gelato. i can’t believe i’m just finding your blog now, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. i’m going to paris in less than a month and i need suggestions. the photos are so beautiful.

  10. I stayed at the hotel Gabriel Marais and I also loved it! It’s true that it is a bit expensive, but it’s worth it!! I couldn’t enjoy Paris more, it’s was really cool to be able to walk to the Marais after a long day of having strolled around, go back to the hotel and have a lovely bed that is waiting for you !! The staff was really nice, and helped me a lot! PS: I loved the toiletries…http://www.gabrielparismarais.com/

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