Just a hop, skip and a Eurostar from London, Paris and all of its fashion, food, romance and culture is so accessible. To celebrate everything the city has to offer, we have asked some key tastemakers and those in the know for their top tips on how to get the most out of the city.
From where to eat, what to see and of course, where to shop, all week we will be sharing our conversations with our chosen experts to offer you some inspiring tips whatever you’re in town for. You can also find everything you need for a stylish city break by shopping our Paris Edit.
Fred Letailleur is Yves Saint Laurent’s International Makeup Artist. He shares his insider insights in to what makes Paris such an amazing city;
Which restaurant do you make sure you have reservations at?
I do not have a specific restaurant as every corner bistro in Paris has the most extravagant menu… I’m in love with French cooking. My favourite food when I go to Paris is foie gras, mussels in white wine sauce and French fries, or andouillettes and French fries (even the French fries taste different there), and for desert, a religieuse au chocolat or an ile flotante. Then I am in heaven!
What’s Paris’s best kept secret?
For any true fashionistas, visiting the Pierre Bergé Foundation is like exploring the most amazing cathedral of fashion, passing through 4 decades of couture by Yves Saint Laurent. The place has something truly magical and inspirational. You can visit the studio where Mr Saint Laurent used to work and create his collections, and see original sketches and garments from the collection.
Where do you go to escape the crowds?
I love to climb to the top of the Sacred Heart Basilica, in Montmartre. It is peaceful and gives you the best views of Paris
What’s your signature style when you’re in Paris?
The BCBG (Bon Chic Bon Genre): a true definition of the French dress sense which means dressing up comfortably yet always dressing up for any occasion.
If you had only 24 hours in Paris, what would you do?
I would try to go shopping on the Champs Elysees, then move to the Avenue Montaigne for its luxury shops, then down to the impressive Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, move to the Montmartre area to watch the sunset then to the Eiffel tower light show every hour at night.
Where’s best for culture vultures?
The Louvres Museum, Montmartre where all bohemian classic artists and painters from Picasso, Monet, Mondrian, Dali, Van Gogh used to hang out from the mid 19th century and left their mark, and the collection of modern art at the Beaubourg Pompidou Centre or impressionists and post impressionists works at the Musee d’Orsey.
Which bar do you head to when you want to raise a glass?
At the Café Carlu, in the Palais de Chaillot to have French white wine overlooking the magnificent view over the Eiffel Tower.
What are the top 3 things to do?
I remember going in the catacombs underneath the streetes of Paris and being really moved by the place, and a visit the Chateau de Versailles is a must.
What’s the best thing you can do for free?
On the 14th July, watching the celebration of the burning of the Bastille Prison, marking the beginning of the French Revolution with the military parade on the Champs Elysees and the Fireworks in Paris in the evening from the Trocadero.
Sum up the city’s sense of style in 3 words
Artistic. Historic and Architectural.