THE 6TH ARRONDISSEMENT
24 days, but who is counting? Ha! The past few blog posts I have been making a Paris flea market/brocante shopping list. But today, I thought I would venture off that and venture into a specific district in Paris, the 6th. The 6th Arrondissement also called Saint-Germain-des-Pres Quarter is on the left bank of the Seine. Paris districts are shaped in a ring. District 1 (the Louvre museum) starts tight in the middle and spins out in a spiral around and around to 20 as you can see on the map below :
The 6th is special with its juxtaposition of wide boulevards and quaint alleys. It offers some quintessential Parisian landmarks and cafes and houses wonderful French décor and design stores. I must thank Janelle McCulloch for her beautiful book which is a must read for anyone planning a trip to Paris. The photography in the book is beautiful and her perspective as the title suggests is a “tour of the citys creative heart.” Design creative types will appreciate this book as it speaks to what they are likely to savor and appreciate in Paris. She not only strolls through many of the districts suggesting boutiques, cafes and sights to see, but also has a wonderful reference list section in the back :
So this book along with others and the internet brought me to the following list of things I would like to do in the 6th Arrondissement on my upcoming trip. Mind you, I will be there 5 days. This list below may warrant maybe not even 1/2 day. Has anyone figured out how to beat jet lag to pop out of bed the first morning with energizer “bunnyness?” I would like to take exercise walks every morning while the city is still quiet – I am feeling like that may just be too ambitious of me. I think I need to research and blog about making the maximum amount of time in 5 days (packing tips, hair styles, coffee and more coffee – ha!).
Cafes & Sweet Treats:
Ladurée is a French luxury bakery and sweets maker house created in 1862. It is one of the top premier sellers of the double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day! There are locations throughout Paris, however, there is one on Rue Bonaparte in the 6th Arrondissement. I actually took the picture above with the awning as well as the close up while strolling through the 6th a couple summers ago – I fell in love with this creative window display. The Eiffel tower and Seine River views are to die for, BUT the window displays alone could make any creative persons heart skip a beat while walking the streets of Paris.
Les Deux Magots located across the street from the oldest church in Paris, the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Les Deux Magots is a famous café that once had a reputation as the rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of the city such as Ernest Hemingway and famous artists such as Pablo Picasso.
Les Papilles Bistro. One Pinner says “one of my top 5 restaurants in Paris. Located in the heart of a famous parisian area near the Luxembourg garden and the famous Pantheon, our Bistroy… Les Papilles serving gourmet French terroir cuisine in the cosy atmosphere of a wine cellar and a fine oldstyle grocery.” This description was enough to entice me to stop for a glass of vin! On a side note, I thought it was clever that vin is offered in 4 different size portions at cafes/restaurants for those that want just a splash and those that want to drink and drink some more!
Stores & Boutiques:
Catherine B is affordable elegance where Chanel and Hermes can be found at a fraction of the price. One thing I must point out is that I went in August and it was closed. We did a home exchange in August two summers ago and MANY of the shops I wanted to see were closed as it is vacation time for many Parisians.
Then there is Flamant, a French style Pottery Barn-Restoration Hardware vibe with all things griege. I had the opportunity to visit this store when I was in Paris last time and it is totally worth the trip. Flamant is by Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres and picturesque Rue de Furstemberg where you will find an intimate French square complete with 19th century street lamp and beautiful flowering trees.
Sights to See:
The park was originally owned by the duke of Luxembourg, hence the name. The domain was purchased in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV. Between 1615 and 1627 the Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) was constructed at the northern end of the Jardin du Luxembourg for Marie de”Medici. The now almost 55 acre park is one of the favorites of Paris. In the middle of the park is a large octagonal pond, known as the Grand Bassin. Here, children can rent small boats. Other attractions for children include a puppet theater, pony rides, a merry-go-round and a large playground.
St. Sulpice Church
I took a picture of this a couple of summers ago. I actually did not know at the time that is was significant to Dan Browns popular movie “The Da Vinci Code.” There are so many churches in Paris, but Saint-Sulpice is actually the second-largest church in all of Paris (just behind the famous Notre Dame). The church is also well know for it’s incredible 6500 pipe organ.
Well, I think that about wraps up an ambitious 1/2 days worth in the 6th! If you have been there and have a must see suggestion or comment, drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!